CAA deep dive for the 2020-21 season

1Hofstra Pride
PG: Jalen Ray
SG: Caleb Burgess
SF: Tariq Coburn
PF: Stafford Trueheart
C: Isaac Kante

Bench: Omar Silverio, Shawndarius Cowart, Zion Bethea, Vukasin Masic, K’Vonn Cramer, David Green

Additions: Shawndarius Cowart

Departures: Desure Buie, Eli Pemberton

Coach Mihalich has built a fantastic program year-in and year-out at Hofstra, producing NBA talent with Justi Wright-Foreman, Eli Pemberton, Desure Buie. Mihalic took the job in 2013-14 and has won 20+ games four times, including one CAA title this past season but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament was canceled. The two top players from last season have graduated with Buie and Pemberton, but there’s a plethora of talent returning. Being led by Isaac Kante, a likely first-team CAA player, looks to continue what was a strong first season for the Pride this past season posting 11 PPG along with 6 RPG. Jalen Ray is the lead guard on the team with the loss of Desure Buie, but Ray is one of the top shooters in the conference clocking in at an unreal 39.7% from three one of the tops in the conference this season. Another elite shooter is Tareq Coburn, the now senior who began his career playing for St Bonaventure has now spent two seasons for Hofstra, and has proven to be an illustrious shooter at every point in his career. Coburn shot 39.4% from three last season slightly behind Jalen Ray. Stafford Trueheart, the guy charged with the task of starting with the loss of Eli Pemberton, could be the top breakout candidate on the roster this season. The Pride should continue their reign on the CAA this season.

2.Charleston Cougars
PG: Zep Jasper
SG: Brevin Galloway
SF: Payton Willis (Minnesota)
PF: Lorenzo Edwards
C: Osinachi Smart

Bench: Brendan Tucker, DeAngelo Epps, Cam Copeland, Samba Ndiaye, D’Avian Houston, Dontavious King, Keegan Harvey, R.J. Ogam

Additions: Payton Willis (Minnesota), Cam Copeland, Keegan Harvey, R.J. Ogam

Departures: Grant Riller, Jaylen McManus, Sam Miller

It’s impossible to replace someone with the production of Grant Riller, a player who scored over 2,000 points for the Cougars only three of which have done so in program history now, with Riller being one. Earlier this week Riller was selected 56th in the 2020 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets only five Cougars have been drafted to the NBA two of them have been coach by Earl Grant (Riller, Jarrell Brantley). Producing next level of talent will make guys interested in coming to your program. Zep Jasper will be the one tasked with the ball-handling duties without Riller, and I think Jasper has the tools to become a fantastic player. Jasper started 30 games this past season while averaging 7.6 PPG with a 3-point percentage of 36.4%. Senior Brevin Galloway could be the next player from Charleston to get selected in the NBA Draft due to his elite defense and his ability to shoot at a high clip. Galloway could be the next big star in the CAA. Earl Grant made a terrific move when getting a Minnesota graduate transfer from the transfer portal. Willis is a tremendous two-way player that shot 35% for the Golden Gophers this past season while being versatile on defense being able to defend three different positions. The ability to recruit high-major transfers as a mid-major school is the move nowadays, and you have to do it to compete at the top of your conference. Osinachi Smart could play a big role in his first season being in the starting lineup full time. Earl Grant’s squad may improve from last season even without Grant Riller this season.

3.Towson Tigers
PG: Jason Gibson
SG: Cam Allen
SF: Zane Martin (New Mexico)
PF: Juwan Gray
C: Victor Uyaelunmo

Bench: Soloman Uyaelunmo, Nick Timberlake, Charles Thompson, Chris Biekeu, Darrick Jones Jr, Jakigh Dottin, Curis Holland III

Additions: Zane Martin (New Mexico), Chris Biekeu, Darrick Jones Jr

Departures: Bryan Fobbs, Allen Bertrand (Rhode Island), Nakye Sanders

Pat Skerry’s team is coming off a 19-win season but got upset by Northeastern in the first round of the CAA tournament. Three starters from last year are out of the fold with Fobbs, Bertrand, Sanders, but some reinforcements were added in those spots. One reinforcement is Zane Martin, who started his career at Towson, then transferred to New Mexico, and now is back at Towson. Martin had a bit of a disappointing season in his lone year for the Lobos, but two seasons ago, Martin had 19.8 PPG while shooting 45% overall and 38% from three. If you can get that Zane Martin, things could vastly change for Towson. 2019-20 CAA all-freshman team player Jason Gibson looks to expand on his solid freshman season where he posted 8.2 PPG. Cam Allen is onto school number three for his final season and had his best college season for Cal State Bakersfield posting 7.9 PPG while shooting 39.6% from three. Juwan Gray will start in place of Nakye Sanders this season and Gary could be a sneaky player this season. Towson can turn some heads this season.

4.James Madison Dukes
PG: Matt Lewis
SG: Rashawn Fredericks (UAB)
SF: Michael Christmas
PF: Zach Jacobs
C: Joel Mensah (San Diego State)

Bench: Justin Amadi, Terrell Edwards, Jayvis Harvey, Michael Christmas, Julien Wooden

Additions: Rashawn Fredericks (UAB), Joel Mensah (San Diego State)

Departures: Deshon Parker, Dwight Wilson, Darius Banks

When you have the best scorer in the conference anything is possible, and the Dukes have just that with Matt Lewis. The leading returning scorer in the conference is Lewis, after posting nearly 20 PPG while shooting 37.4% from three on 211 attempts from long range. Lewis isn’t only my pick for CAA player of the year, but he’s also an NBA prospect next season. Two key transfers coming are Rashawn Fredericks and Joel Mensah, Fredericks coming in from UAB after not playing a single game for the Dragons but started his career at Cincinnati. Fredericks is a 6’5 guard that’s a good athlete and should be a major piece for JMU. The other key transfer is 6’10 big from San Diego State, Joel Mensah, a defensive first player. Sophomore forward Michael Christmas is my number one breakout candidate in the conference due to his size and shooting ability. The Dukes were an utter disaster on defense last season, which was the main factor to why they won just nine games, but I think they’ll improve immensely this season.

5.Delaware Blue Hens
PG: Ryan Allen
SG: Kevin Anderson
SF: Johnny McCoy
PF: Aleks Novakovich
C: Dylan Painter

Bench: Anthony Ochefu (Stony Brook), Reginald Gardner Jr, Ebby Asomoah Jr, Logan Curtis, Gianmarco Arletti, Andrew Carr

Additions: Anthony Ochefu (Stony Brook), Logan Curtis

Departures: Nate Darling, Justyn Mutts (Virginia Tech), Collin Goss

The Blue Hens four months ago would’ve been the overwhelming favorites to win the CAA this season, but unexpectedly lost Nate Darling to the NBA early (And went undrafted) and Justyn Mutts graduated and transferred to Virginia Tech. When losing your leading scorer and rebounder you have to find ways to fill the holes but I don’t think the Blue Hens had sufficient time to get the best replacements. Of the returnees, they do get three starters back with Allen, Anderson, and Painter. Allen had a disappointing junior season shooting just 32% from three, dropping more than 5% from the previous season and 6% from his freshman season. The Blue Hens will need Allen to regain his old form if they have any shot at winning the CAA.

6.Northeastern Huskies
PG: Tyson Walker
SG: Shaquille Waters
SF: Jason Strong
PF: Chris Doherty (Notre Dame)
C: Greg Eboigbodin

Bench: Vito Cubrilo, Quinrin Emanga, J’Vonne Hadley, Coleman Stucke, Jahmyl Telfort, Alexander Ngawha, Connor Braun

Additions: Chris Doherty (Notre Dame), J’Vonne Hadley, Quinrin Emanga, Alexander Nwagha, Jahmyl Telfort

Departures: Jordan Rowland, Maxime Boursiquot, Bolden Brace, Myles Franklin, Guilien Smith

Bill Coen is losing one of the best pure scorers in College Hoops in the form of Jordan Roland, who had an illustrious college career once he transferred to Northeastern from GW. Roland posted insane figures of 21.8 PPG while shooting 48% from the field and 39% from three and earned POTY honors in the conference. Brace was a forward that could shot at a good clip from three, so he will be missed also. The name people aren’t mentioning that also moved on is Maxime Boursiquot, a 6’5 forward that could defend four positions you simply cannot find guys with that kind of defensive versatility very often. Boursiquot opted to transfer but has yet to commit to a school, so it’s unsure what the future entails. Tyson Walker will be the main player forced with the task of replacing the scoring feen, Jordan Roland. The now sophomore Walker posted really good figures as a freshman, 10.4 PPG along with 44% from the field, and also hit 35% of his three’s. I could see Walker being one of the top players in the conference this season. The transfer addition of Notre Dame transfer Chris Doherty could prove to be a massive addition. For Doherty, he played sparingly in his two seasons for the Fighting Irish, but the once three-star looks to show off why his career began in the ACC. Jason Strong is a super long Wing/Four-man hybrid who should slide right into the Bolden Brace role this season. Greg Eboigbodin former Illinois fighting Illini big-man looks to have a breakout season for the Huskies. It’ll be a brute task for the Huskies to get back to the CAA championship like they did this past season.

7.Drexel Dragons
PG: Camren Wynter
SG: Zach Walton
SF: Coletrane Washington
PF: T.J. Bickerstaff
C: James Butler

Bench: Mate Okros, Xavier Bell, Matev Juric, Amari Willliams, Chuka Mekkam, Lamar Odom Jr, Tim Perry Jr

Additions: Amari Willliams, Chuka Mekkam, Lamar Odom Jr

Departures: Sam Green

The Dragons were plagued by defensive lapses this past season ranking 271st in KenPom and 347th in steals. Even though the team struggled on defense they had one of the top rebound-getters in the nation this past season with big-man James Butler, who posted a double-double this past season. Guard Camryn Wynter is one of the top pure scorers in the conference after putting up 15.5 PPG while he shot 44.4% from the field and added 35% from three in his 2nd season for the Dragons. The former JUCO product Zach Walton averaged double-figures last season but was extremely inefficient shooting wise with just 28% from three. The Dragons bring in a solid recruiting class also, but this team will sit in the middle to bottom tier all season.

8.Elon Phoenix
PG: Hunter McIntosh
SG: Zac Irvin
SF: Hunter Woods
PF: Chuck Hannah
C: Michael Graham

Bench: Ikenna Ndugba (Bryant), Brandon Harris, Darius Buford, Kris Wooten, Federico Poser

Additions: Ikenna Ndugba (Bryant), Brandon Harris, Darius Buford Michael Graham

Departures: Marcus Sheffield

The Phoenix looked to potentially be one of the top teams in the conference and could still be, but losing the top recruit in program history with JaDun Michael is a devastating loss for an up-and-coming Elon team. Even without them, there are two tremendous guards with Hunter McIntosh and Hunter Woods who could be potential All-Conference players this season. McIntosh was the conference freshman of the year this past season after putting up strong numbers of 11.5 PPG along with shooting 40% from three. The other Hunter, this one being Hunter Woods, is a hybrid G/Wing that had 10.6 PPG and 6.6 RPG for Mike Schrage’s team as a first-year player. Michael Graham should play a significant role as a freshman, a three-star-recruit. The strong freshman class along with the good group of returnees should lead Elon to a good season, and I could see them being significantly better than my ranking of them.

9.William & Mary Tribe
PG: Yuri Covington
SG: Thornton Scott
SF: Luke Loewe
PF: Quinn Blair
C: Mehkel Harvey

Bench: Kurt Samuels Jr, Thatcher Stone, Miguel Ayesa, Jake Milkereit, Rainers Hermanovskis, Connor Kochera, Ben Wight

Additions: Yuri Covington, Kurt Samuels Jr, Jake Milkereit, Connor Kochera

Departures: Nathan Knight, Andy Van Vilet, Bryce Barnes

The Tribe lose all-time great in Nathan Knight, who scored 2141 points as a member of William & Mary. That’s an impossible player to replace, and you’ll see why this season as Knight carried the load the past few seasons. Luke Loewe should lead the team in scoring this season due to his elite shooting ability notching a 45% from three this past season. Thornton Scott is a solid do-it-all player but isn’t much of a shooter, which hinders his upside. The Tribe will struggle mightily in year one without Nathan Knight era.

10.UNC Wilmington
PG: Shykeim Phillips
SG: Ty Gadsden
SF: Mike Okauru
PF: Jaylen Sims
C: Ian Steere (St John’s)

Bench: Brian Tolefree, Imajae Dodd, Jamahri Harvey, Jake Boggs, Ja’Juan Carr, Brent Jenkins

Additions: C: Ian Steere (St John’s), Ja’Juan Carr, Jamahri Harvey

Departures: Marten Linssen

The Seahawks are coming off of an awful 10-win season where they simply couldn’t score at all. Nobody on the team shot better than 34% from three. For the Seahawks, the inability to shoot from three has to change this season. Or they will sit at the bottom of the conference once again. UNCW had just two double-digit scorers, and Linssen decided to transfer, leaving Sims as the lone returning double-digit scorer. Ever since Kevin Keatts left following the 2016-17 season, it has been a complete disaster since then, winning no more than 11 games in any of the three seasons. Adding a player with Ian Steere could bring something to the interior as a former high-major guy, starting at NC State then St John’s, now UNCW. It’s going to be another rough season for Wilmington.

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