PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Keith Rendleman • UNCW
Jr., F, 6-7, 215 - Iron Station, N.C./East Lincoln

Rendleman averaged 20.0 points and 12.0 rebounds to lead UNCW to a 3-0 week in CAA play. The junior forward posted double-doubles in wins over Delaware (24 points/career-high 18 rebounds) and Northeastern (17 points/10 rebounds) and had a team-high 19 points and eight boards in a triumph over Hofstra. Rendleman, who has 7 double-doubles this season, shot 61.3% from the floor and 84.6% from the line last week.

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Marcus Thornton • William & Mary
Fr., G, 6-4, 170 - Upper Marlboro, Md./Bishop McNamara

Thornton averaged 19.3 points and was William & Mary’s leading scorer in all three games last week. The freshman guard poured in a career-high 23 points at George Mason, tallied a team-high 16 points in a 68-61 win over James Madison and had a game-high 19 points, four rebounds and three assists in a setback to Delaware. For the week, Thornton shot 44% from the floor, including 6-of-14 (42.9%) from 3-point range.

CONFERENCE NOTES:

Mason Moves Atop CAA Standings: George Mason moved atop the CAA standings at 4-0 after edging Georgia State, 61-58, last Saturday in a battle of unbeaten league squads. Mike Morrison had 14 points, a career-high 15 rebounds and 4 blocks for the Patriots, who won their fifth straight game. The Panthers, who got a game-high 19 points from Jihad Ali, had their school-record 11-game winning streak come to an end. Earlier last week, Mason posted its first victory at ODU’s Constant Center in eight years by beating the Monarchs 63-54, while GSU edged VCU 55-53, which snapped the Rams’ eight-game win streak and was its first win ever at VCU’s Siegel Center. Joining GSU in a tie for second are UNCW, which is 3-1 for the first time since 2005-06, Old Dominion and Delaware.

Streaking: Several CAA teams continue to play well. George Mason has won five in a row and 10 of its last 12. Georgia State has won 11 of its last 12 after having an 11-game win streak snapped by Mason last Saturday, while Drexel has captured eight of its last nine. Despite two losses last week, VCU has won 10 of its last 13. UNCW has won four in a row and seven of its last nine and Northeastern has won three of its last four.

Road Teams Have Early Success: Home court hasn’t been a big advantage through the early part of CAA play. Road teams won eight times last week and are 11-13 through 24 conference contests.

Mason Sets Record For Consecutive CAA Victories: George Mason has now won 18 consecutive CAA regular-season games, breaking the record of 17 set by Richmond (Feb., 1988-Feb. 1999). The Patriots closed last season with 14 straight victories in league play and are 4-0 in CAA play for the first time since 2008-09 this year. Mason had never won more than seven straight CAA games prior to the current streak.

Doing It With Defense: Defense has been outstanding in the CAA this season. Three teams (Drexel, Georgia State and VCU) are holding opponents to under 61 points per game, while GSU, George Mason, Delaware and Drexel are limiting foes to less than 40% FG shooting. Drexel is 6th nationally in 3-point FG defense (26.3%) and 9th in scoring defense (55.6 ppg), while GSU is 16th in FG% defense (37.5%) and 17th in scoring defense (57.7 ppg). VCU leads the CAA and ranks 6th in Division I with 9.9 steals per game and is 5th in opponent’s turnover rate (26.3%). GSU, Old Dominion and Northeastern are also averaging better than 8.4 steals per game. The Rams are 4th in Division I in turnover margin (+6.0 tpg).

UNCW’s Smith Ranked 3rd Among Freshmen Scorers: UNCW guard Adam Smith ranked third in scoring among all freshmen in Division I through games of Jan. 8. Smith, who is averaging 16.9 ppg, trails only Kyle Vinales of Central Connecticut (19.5 ppg) and Juan’ya Green of Niagara (19.1 ppg). Smith has scored double figures in 12 of 14 UNCW games, including a UNCW freshman-record 32 points at Wake Forest, a 27-point effort at Toledo and 23 points at Maryland.

Changing Of The Guard: It’s been a year of change around the CAA as many young players and newcomers are making an impact. As of Jan. 9, there were eight seniors among the league’s top 19 in scoring along with four sophomores and two freshmen. Last season, eight of the CAA’s top 10 scorers were seniors.

Freshmen Making An Impact: Freshmen are seeing significant playing time around the CAA this season. All 12 CAA teams have at least one freshman on their team who is averaging better than 16 minutes per game and JMU is the only team that hasn’t had a freshman start at least one game. Five freshmen are among the CAA’s top 30 in scoring - UNCW’s Adam Smith, Drexel’s Damion Lee, W&M’s Marcus Thornton, UD’s Kyle Anderson and NU’s Quincy Ford. Three are among the top 15 in assists - Towson’s Kris Walden, Mason’s Corey Edwards, and Delaware’s Khalid Lewis. Three are in the top 15 in steals - VCU’s Briante Weber, NU’s Ford and Mason’s Edwards. There are also two in the top 20 in rebounding - UNCW’s Cedrick Williams and NU’s Ford.

From CAA To NBA: The CAA is well-represented with five players on NBA rosters to start the season. Former CAA players include Northeastern’s J.J. Barea (Minnesota Timberwolves), Hofstra’s Charles Jenkins (Golden State Warriors), VCU’s Eric Maynor (Oklahoma City Thunder), Towson’s Gary Neal (San Antonio Spurs) and VCU’s Larry Sanders (Milwaukee Bucks). 

UD’s Hagins Ranks 5th Nationally In Rebounding: Delaware junior Jamelle Hagins ranks fifth in the nation in rebounding at 11.8 rpg according to the latest NCAA stats through games of Jan 8. ODU’s Chris Cooper is 20th in rebounds (10.3 rpg) and UNCW’s Keith Rendleman is 21st (10.3 rpg). In other statistical categories, Hofstra’s Mike Moore is 8th in scoring (21.1 ppg), UD’s Devon Saddler is 27th (19.4 ppg) and Mason’s Ryan Pearson is 49th (18.2 ppg). GSU’s Eric Buckner is 16th in blocks (2.8 bpg) and VCU’s Briante Weber and ODU’s Kent Bazemore are 18th in steals (2.4 spg). In team categories, Drexel is 9th in the nation in scoring defense (55.6 ppg) and 6th in 3-pt FG percentage defense, Georgia State is 16th in FG% defense (37.5%) and 17th in scoring defense (57.7 ppg) and VCU is 6th in steals per game (9.9 spg). A complete list of CAA players among national leaders can be found on Page 4 of this release.

GSU’s Fields On Cousy Award Watch List: Georgia State senior guard James Fields is among the candidates for the Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award. Fields is contributing 8.9 ppg for the Panthers this season and has 41 assists with just 21 turnovers.

Doubling Up: Eleven CAA players have already recorded two or more double-doubles this season. ODU senior Chris Cooper has recorded nine double-doubles and Delaware junior Jamelle Hagins also has nine double-doubles, including seven that were recorded in consecutive games from Nov. 26-Dec. 19. Cooper and Hagins are tied for 8th in the nation in double-doubles this season. UNCW’s Keith Rendleman has seven double-doubles, George Mason’s Ryan Pearson has six and Towson’s Robert Nwankwo has four. Eleven of the 12 CAA teams have a player with at least one double-double.

VCU’s Burgess Leads Nation In Consecutive Starts: VCU senior Bradford Burgess has made 126 consecutive starts, which is the longest active streak in Division I basketball and is the VCU and CAA all-time record. With 17 more starts, Burgess would pass Patrick Ewing’s record of 142 straight starts at Georgetown. Burgess is also the CAA’s career scoring leader among active players with 1,427 points.

Smith’s FT Streak Ends: Northeastern’s Joel Smith was 20-for-20 at the FT line this season before missing against ODU on Dec. 3. Smith is shooting a league-best 93.5% (29-of-31) for the season.

Two CAA Teams In Mid-Major Top 25 Poll: Two CAA teams were ranked in the Mid-Major Top 25 poll released on Jan. 2 by CollegeInsider.com. George Mason was the top-ranked CAA squad at #13, while VCU was right behind at #14. Georgia State and Drexel got votes. The Missouri Valley led all conferences with four teams in the poll, followed by the West Coast with three. The CAA was among five other conferences with two teams ranked. A new poll will be released on Monday evening.

Delaware

•  Went 2-1 last week, rebounding from an 80-75 loss at UNCW by edging Hofstra 67-66 and winning 75-64 at William & Mary.

•  Jamelle Hagins, who has 9 double-doubles this year, averaged 18.3 ppg and 13.0 rpg last week. He had a career-high tying 21 pts and 18 reb vs. Hofstra and 21 pts and 9 reb at UNCW. He leads the CAA with 11.8 rpg and is 8th in scoring (14.6 ppg). Hagins had a 7-game double-double streak from Nov. 26-Dec. 22 that was the longest by a UD player since 2004-05.

•  Devon Saddler, who is 2nd in the CAA in scoring (19.4 ppg), scored a team-high 22 pts at UNCW, 14 vs. Hofstra and 15 vs. W&M. He has 13 double-digit efforts in the last 14 games with six 20+-point outings. 

•  Freshman Kyle Anderson scored a career-high 17 points vs. Hofstra and at W&M. Anderson leads UD with 32 threes.

• UD ranks 2nd in the CAA in FG percentage defense (38.8%) and has held its past 9 opponents to less than 42% FG shooting.

Drexel

•  Moved to 6-0 at home with a 60-27 win over Towson and 64-58 victory over VCU last week. Lost 58-44 at Georgia State, but have won eight of their last nine overall.

•  Frantz Massenat scored a career-high 24 points in the VCU win, hitting 7-of-10 from the floor and 4-of-4 from three. He’s averaging a team-high 12.9 ppg and ranks 4th in the CAA in assists (3.7 apg).

•  Samme Givens scored a team-high 18 pts vs. Towson and had a team-best 11 reb at GSU to move into 4th place on Drexel’s career rebounds list (883). Has scored double digits in 7 of his last 9 games and is averaging 14.1 ppg over that stretch.

•  Chris Fouch. who has 5 double-figure efforts in the last 9 games, ranks 10th in career 3-pointers (143) at Drexel.

•  Freshman Damion Lee had 12 pts vs. Towson and ranks 21st in the CAA in scoring

•  Drexel set a school and CAA record for fewest points allowed (27) in the Towson win.

George Mason

•  Have won 5 in a row and 10 of 12 after beating William & Mary (70-56), ODU (63-54) and Georgia State (61-58) last week.

•  Ryan Pearson posted his 6th double-double (16pts/14reb) at ODU and has scored double-digits in 16 of the last 17 games. Pearson, who had a career-high 35 pts and 14 reb at CofC on Dec. 30, is among the CAA’s top five in scoring (18.2ppg/3rd) and rebounds (8.3rpg/4th).

•  Mike Morrison had 14 pts and a career-high 15 reb vs. GSU. He averaged 12.7 ppg and 10.0 rpg for the week and also had 6 blks.

•  Andre Cornelius hit 5-of-8 threes and scored a season-high 20 points vs. W&M.

•  Bryon Allen had 14 pts at ODU and 10 pts and 6 asts vs. W&M. He leads the team with 61 assists and has scored double digits in five of his last seven games.

•  Mason tops the CAA in FG% (47.0%) and is 2nd in FG% defense (38.5%). Mason has shot at least 45% from the floor in 12 of 16 games, including 50% vs. W&M.

Georgia State

•  Beat Drexel (58-44) and VCU (55-53) before having their school-record 11-game winning streak snapped in a 61-58 loss at Mason. The streak was the 5th-longest in Div. I.

•  GSU allowed only 51.2 ppg while scoring 70.2 ppg during the win streak. GSU has held seven foes under 50 pts and is limiting opponents to 30.4% FG% in 4 CAA games.

•  Jihad Ali posted a double-double (17 pts/11 reb) at VCU and scored a team-high 19 pts at Mason. He averaged 15.3 ppg last week.

•  Devonta White scored a team-best 15 pts vs. Drexel and 14 pts at VCU. He’s averaging 15.0 ppg over his last 6 games.

•  Guard James Fields has scored double digits in 6 of his last 8 games. He leads the CAA in assist (41)/turnover (21) ratio.

•  GSU is off to its best start since going 11-1 in 2000-01. Coach Ron Hunter’s 11-4 start is the best ever for a first-year GSU coach.

•  Eric Buckner leads the CAA with 42 blocks and ranks 5th in career blocks at GSU (91).

Hofstra

•  Fell 80-63 to VCU at home and suffered road losses at Delaware (67-66) and UNCW (86-80) last week.

•  Mike Moore scored a team-high 24 pts at UD and 22 pts at UNCW. Moore has a league-best 12 20+-point efforts this season and leads the CAA in scoring (21.1 ppg). He’s been HU’s top scorer in 14 of 16 games.

•  Nathaniel Lester posted double-doubles at UD (15 pts/11 reb) and UNCW (23 pts/12 reb). He’s scored double digits in 13 of 16 games. Lester and Moore have combined for over 50% of Hofstra’s offense (557-of-1099 points).

•  Dwan McMillan ranks 2nd in the CAA in assists (4.5 apg) and his 72 total assists are 46 more than any other Pride player.

•  Stephen Nwaukoni averaged 9.7 rebounds over the three games last week.

•  Three of the Pride’s four CAA losses have been by six points or less this season.

James Madison

•  Suffered home losses to ODU (67-61/OT) and Northeastern (68-56) and fell 68-61 at William & Mary last week.

•  Humpty Hitchens hit 5 treys and scored a team-high 23 pts vs. ODU. He ranks 6th in the CAA in scoring (15.5ppg), assists (3.6 apg) and steals (1.8spg). He also leads the CAA in 3’s per game.

•  A.J. Davis had a team-high 19 pts at W&M and has tallied double digits 10 times. He ranks 5th in the CAA in scoring (16.0ppg). He began his JMU career with four straight 20-point games and had a team-high 22 points off the bench at GW.

•  Devon Moore scored a season-high 15 points at W&M and is averaging 11.8 ppg over the past four games.

•  Senior Julius Wells, who is the leading active scorer in the CAA with 1,414 career points, missed 2 games last week due to illness.

•  Freshman Enoch Hood had his first career double-double (11pts/10reb) vs. NU.

UNCW

•  Have won 4 in a row and 7 of their last 9 after defeating Delaware (80-75), Northeastern (70-62) and Hofstra (86-80) last week. 

•  Keith Rendleman posted his 7th double-double (17 pts/10 reb) at NU and had 24 pts and a career-high 18 reb vs. UD. He’s scored double digits in 12 of his last 13 games and ranks 3rd in the CAA in rebounding (10.3 rpg) and 7th in scoring (15.1ppg).

•  Adam Smith scored a team-high 19 pts at NU and 18 vs. Hofstra. Smith, who has 12 double-digit efforts and four 20+ pt games, is 4th in the CAA in scoring (16.9ppg).

•  Freshman K.K. Simmons hit 4 treys and scored a career-high 18 pts. at NU and added 14 pts and 5 assists vs. Hofstra.

•  UNCW shot a season-best 92.3% (24-26) from the FT line at NU and is 72-of-89 (80.9%) from the stripe in the last 3 games.

•  UNCW is 3-1 in CAA play for the first time since 2005-06, when it captured the CAA championship.

Northeastern

•  Have won 3 straight on the road after beating Towson 57-48 and JMU 68-56 , but fell 70-62 at home to UNCW.

•  Jonathan Lee scored team-highs of 20 pts at JMU, 17 pts vs. UNCW and 13 pts at Towson. Lee has hit double digits in 23 of his last 26 games, including 12 of 14 this year.

•  Lee ranks among the CAA’s top 10 in scoring (14.2ppg/9th), assists (3.6apg/5th) and steals (1.9spg/5th).

•  Freshman Quincy Ford scored a career-high 20 pts at JMU, which was his 6th double-digit effort in 9 games. He had 10 steals last week and is 3rd in the CAA with 2.0 spg.

•  The Huskies are averaging just 11.8 turnovers over the past five games after committing 20 or more in five straight contests.

•  Joel Smith is shooting a league-best 93.5% (29-31) at the free throw line.

•   Northeastern has held four of its last six opponents to 56 points or less.

Old Dominion

•  Went 2-1 last week. Won 67-61 in OT at JMU and beat Towson 75-38, but lost 63-54 to George Mason.

•  Senior Chris Cooper posted his league-best 9th double-double (12pts/16reb) at JMU and had 14 boards vs. Mason. Cooper ranks 2nd in the CAA in rebounding (10.3 rpg) and is scoring 10.4 ppg.

•  Kent Bazemore scored a team-high 17 points vs. Mason. He’s tallied double figures in 7 straight games and is averaging 16.4 ppg over that stretch. Bazemore is tied for 3rd on ODU’s career steals list with 215 and is 2nd in the CAA with 2.4 spg this season.

•  Trian Iliadis came off the bench to score a career-high 22 points at JMU. He’s scored 15 or more points in 3 of his last 5 games and has made 10 threes in that stretch.

•  Nick Wright added 10 points at JMU, which was his 5th double-digit effort this season.

•  ODU out-rebounded JMU 50-31 and Mason 47-37. Had 22 off. boards in each game.

Towson

•  Lost 57-48 at home to Northeastern and dropped road games at Drexel (60-27) and Old Dominion (75-38).

•  Sophomore Erique Gumbs scored a career-high 14 points vs. NU.

•  Robert Nwankwo had a team-high 11 pts, 7 reb and 5 blks at ODU. He’s among CAA leaders in scoring (10.8ppg/24th), rebounding (7.9rpg/5th) and blocks (2.3bpg/3rd).

•  Sophomore Marcus Damas scored 14 points vs. NU and has tallied double digits in 7 of the last 10 games. Damas is 21st in the CAA in scoring (11.4 ppg) and is 16th in the league in rebounding (5.6 rpg).

•  Freshman Jervon Pressley scored a career-high 11 points on 5-of-5 FG shooting and had 6 rebounds vs. Northeastern.

•  Towson has limited four of its last five opponents to 65 points or less.

•  Nwankwo has been Towson’s top rebounder in 12 of 16 games this season.

VCU

•  Won 80-63 at Hofstra last Monday, before suffering back-to-back losses to Georgia State (55-53) and Drexel (64-58).

•  Guard Troy Daniels hit 5 treys and scored a team-high 15 pts off the bench vs. Hofstra and GSU. He leads the CAA with 43 threes.

•  Bradford Burgess ranks 10th in the CAA in scoring (14.2 ppg) and has 12 double-digit efforts in the last 15 games.

•  Sophomore Juvonte Reddic is averaging 12.9 ppg and 6.3 rpg over his last 7 games.

•  Freshman Briante Weber had 12 points and made 5 steals for the 2nd straight game at HU. Weber leads the CAA with 2.4 spg and tops the nation in steals per 40 minutes.

•  Darius Theus scored a career-high 14 pts at Hofstra. He tops the CAA in assists (4.9 apg).

•  VCU leads the CAA and ranks 6th in the nation with 9.9 steals per game.

•  The Rams have limited 11 of their first 16 opponents to 65 points or less.

William & Mary

•  Went 1-2 last week. Fell 70-56 at George Mason and 75-64 to Delaware, but posted a 68-61 win over James Madison.

•  Freshman Marcus Thornton scored a career-high 23 pts at Mason and had a team-best 16 pts vs. JMU and 19 pts vs. UD. Thornton has reached double digits 11 times and leads the team in scoring with 12.1 ppg.

•  Quinn McDowell scored 14 pts vs. JMU and is averaging 14.4 ppg over the last five games. The two-time All-CAA performer ranks 10th on W&M’s all-time scoring list with 1,405 points and is the 7th player in W&M history with 1,000 pts and 500 reb.

•  Tim Rusthoven scored 11 pts on 5-of-7 FG shooting at Mason. He’s averaging 9.9 ppg and 5.9 rpg in 10 games since returning from an early-season injury.

•  Guard Matt Rum grabbed a career-high 10 reb at Mason and guard Kendrix Brown had a team-high 10 reb vs. JMU.

•  W&M had a season-low 6 TO’s vs. Delaware.