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Courtesy: CAA
ODU's Kent Bazemore averaged 21.5 ppg and 7.5 rpg last week.

CAA MEN'S BASKETBALL WEEKLY REPORT - JAN. 16

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 01/16/2012
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PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Kent Bazemore • Old Dominion
Sr., G, 6-5, 195 - Kelford, N.C./Bertie

Bazemore averaged 21.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.0 steals in a pair of Old Dominion victories last week. The senior guard scored a career-high 27 points and tied a career high with 12 rebounds in a 68-66 overtime road win at Delaware. He hit a game-tying shot with 2 seconds left in regulation and then scored 9 of ODU’s 11 points in the extra session. Bazemore followed with 16 points and four assists in a 69-61 triumph over Hofstra. He’s averaging 18.2 ppg in six CAA contests.

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Damion Lee • Drexel
Fr., G, 6-6, 190 - Owings Mills, Md./St. Thomas More (Conn.)

Lee averaged 17.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in Drexel’s 2-0 week. The freshman guard tied a career high with 21 points as the Dragons beat George Mason 60-53, ending the Patriots’ 18-game CAA regular-season win streak. Lee scored 13 straight points late in the game to put Drexel on top. He also contributed 14 points in Drexel’s 79-57 victory at UNCW. For the week, Lee shot 50% from the floor and was 6-of-13 from 3-point range.

CONFERENCE NOTES:

Crowded Race Atop CAA Standings: Six teams are within a game of first place in the CAA standings as the league schedule hits the one-third mark. George Mason, Georgia State and Old Dominion are locked in a 3-way tie for first at 5-1, followed by a three-team tie for second at 4-2 between Drexel, Northeastern and VCU. There are three head-to-head matchups between the top six squads this week as Northeastern hosts Georgia State on Wednesday and visits Drexel on Saturday, while VCU and ODU renew their rivalry on Saturday night.

Streaking: Several CAA teams continue to play well. Georgia State has won 13 of its last 14 after victories over UNCW and Towson last week, while Drexel has captured four in a row and 10 of its last 11 after defeating George Mason and UNCW. The Dragons have won 10 straight at home, while the Panthers have claimed nine in a row at home. George Mason has won six of its last seven, VCU has won 10 of its last 12, Northeastern has won five of its last six and Old Dominion has won four of its last five.

Drexel Ends Mason’s Consecutive CAA Victories Streak: Drexel defeated George Mason 60-53 last Thursday, ending the Patriots’ 18-game CAA regular-season win streak. Mason broke the CAA record of 17 straight regular-season wins set by Richmond (Feb., 1988-Feb. 1999) when it beat Georgia State 61-58 on Jan. 7. The Patriots closed last season with 14 straight victories in league play and started 4-0 this year.

Road Teams Have Early Success: Road teams went 6-6 last week, continuing an early-season trend of success by visiting squads. Through the first 36 conference contests, home teams are only 19-17 (.528). Old Dominion moved to 3-0 on the road in CAA play after edging Delaware 68-66 in overtime last Wednesday, while Northeastern also improved to 3-0 on the road after winning 64-62 at Hofstra last Wednesday. George Mason also has three CAA road victories (3-1). Six of the league’s 12 teams are .500 or better on the road in CAA play.

CAA Defenses Among The Best In The Nation: The CAA features some of the top defensive teams in the nation. Three teams - Drexel (55.5 ppg/7th), Georgia State (56.9 ppg/14th) and VCU (59.7 ppg/33rd) are ranked among the nation’s top 35 in scoring defense, while GSU (36.9%/9th), George Mason (38.4%/23rd) and Delaware (38.4%/24th) are among the top 25 nationally in FG percentage defense. Drexel is 9th nationally (27.2%) and UNCW is 25th (29.1%) in 3-point FG% defense. In steals, VCU ranks 8th in the nation (9.7 spg), GSU is 9th (9.6 spg) and Old Dominion is 18th (9.1 spg). VCU is also 4th in Division I in turnover margin (+5.7 tpg) and 6th in opposition turnover rate (25.4%).

More On The Defense: The defensive numbers posted by CAA teams have been even more impressive during conference play. Through six league games, five teams are holding their opponents to under 60 points per game - Georgia State (49.2 ppg), Drexel (54.0 ppg), VCU (57.7 ppg), Old Dominion (58.0 ppg) and Northeastern (59.2 ppg). Conversely, all 12 teams are averaging less than 70.0 ppg in conference play. Six teams are also limiting opponents to under 40% FG shooting in CAA play - GSU (30.9%), Delaware (37%), Drexel (37.5%), George Mason (37.6), ODU (39%) and VCU (39.9%).

UNCW’s Smith Ranked 3rd Among Freshmen Scorers: UNCW guard Adam Smith ranks third in scoring among all freshmen in Division I through games of Jan. 15. Smith, who is averaging 16.3 ppg, trails Kyle Vinales of Central Connecticut (19.5 ppg) and Juan’ya Green of Niagara (19.1 ppg). Smith has scored double figures in 13 of 16 UNCW games, including a UNCW freshman-record 32 points at Wake Forest, 27 points 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. 16, there were nine seniors among the league’s top 21 in scoring along with four sophomores and three 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 each CAA team has had a freshman start at least two games. Four freshmen are among the CAA’s top 30 in scoring - UNCW’s Adam Smith, Drexel’s Damion Lee, W&M’s Marcus Thornton and UD’s Kyle Anderson. Two are among the top 15 in assists - Towson’s Kris Walden and Delaware’s Khalid Lewis - and two are in the top 15 in steals - VCU’s Briante Weber, and NU’s Quincy Ford. UNCW’s Cedrick Williams is ranked 14th in the league in rebounding (5.9 rpg) and Ford is 17th (5.4 rpg).

VCU Records 11th Straight Sellout:
VCU played before its 11th consecutive sellout crowd at the Siegel Center last Thursday night against JMU. The streak is a CAA record and the Rams are averaging a league-best 7,627 fans this season. Old Dominion has played before eight crowds of better than 7,000 at the Constant Center this season, including a sellout crowd of 8,460 versus nationally ranked Missouri. Drexel has had sellout crowds for its past two games against VCU and George Mason, while Georgia State played before its largest home crowd since Dec. 2008 last Thursday against UNCW. 

UD’s Hagins Ranks 4th Nationally In Rebounding: Delaware junior Jamelle Hagins ranks fourth in the nation in rebounding at 11.7 rpg according to the latest NCAA stats through games of Jan 15. UNCW’s Keith Rendleman is 15th in rebounds (10.4 rpg) and ODU’s Chris Cooper is 19th (10.2 rpg). In other statistical categories, Hofstra’s Mike Moore is 9th in scoring (20.4 ppg) and UD’s Devon Saddler is 32nd (18.6 ppg). GSU’s Eric Buckner is 14th in blocks (2.9 bpg) and UD’s Jamelle Hagins is 23rd (2.6 spg). In steals, VCU’s Briante Weber is 13th (2.5 spg) and ODU’s Kent Bazemore is 20th (2.4 spg). A complete list of CAA players among national leaders can be found on Page 4 of this release.

Drexel’s Givens Nears Top 10 On CAA Career Rebounding List: Drexel senior forward Samme Givens moved up to 11th place on the CAA’s all-time rebounds list with 899. He is just 10 away from tying ODU’s Frank Hassell for 10th place. Givens led the CAA in rebounding last season and is averaging 7.2 rpg this season.

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 9.9 ppg for the Panthers this season and has 46 assists with just 28 turnovers.

Doubling Up: Twelve CAA players have already recorded two or more double-doubles this season. ODU senior Chris Cooper has recorded a league-best 10 double-doubles and Delaware junior Jamelle Hagins also has 10 double-doubles, including seven that were recorded in consecutive games from Nov. 26-Dec. 19. Cooper and Hagins are tied for 9th in the nation in double-doubles as of Jan. 16. UNCW’s Keith Rendleman has eight double-doubles, George Mason’s Ryan Pearson has six and Towson’s Robert Nwankwo has five. 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 128 consecutive starts, which is the longest active streak in Division I basketball and is the VCU and CAA all-time record. With 15 more starts, Burgess would pass Patrick Ewing’s record of 142 straight starts at Georgetown. Burgess ranks first on the CAA’s career scoring list among active players with 1,455 points.

Three CAA Teams In Mid-Major Top 25 Poll: Three CAA teams were ranked in the Mid-Major Top 25 poll released on Jan. 16 by CollegeInsider.com. George Mason was the top-ranked CAA squad at #14, while VCU was ranked #19 and Georgia State moved into the poll at #24. Drexel was among others receiving votes. The CAA and West Coast led all conferences with three teams in the poll, followed by five other conferences with two teams ranked.

Delaware

•  Fell 68-66 in overtime to ODU and 68-53 to VCU at home last week.

•  Josh Brinkley averaged 14.5 ppg and 11.0 rpg last week. He recorded the first two double-doubles of his career vs. ODU (16pts/11reb) and VCU (13pts/11reb). 

•  Freshman Kyle Anderson tied his career-high for the 3rd straight game with 17 points vs. ODU. Anderson leads UD and is 4th in the CAA with 2.4 threes per game.

•  Jamelle Hagins had 10 pts, 14 reb and 5 blks vs. VCU, which was his 10th double-double in the last 13 games. He leads the CAA with 11.7 rpg and is 12th in scoring (13.4 ppg). Hagins had a 7-game double-double streak from Nov. 26-Dec. 22.

•  Devon Saddler, who is 2nd in the CAA in scoring (18.6 ppg), averaged 13.0 ppg last week. He has 15 double-digit efforts in the last 16 games with six 20+-point outings.

• UD ranks 3rd in the CAA in FG percentage defense (38.4%) and has held its past 11 opponents to less than 42% FG shooting.

Drexel

•  Beat George Mason 60-53 and won at UNCW 79-57 last week. Have won 10 of their last 11 games overall and have captured 10 in a row at home.

•  Freshman Damion Lee tied a career high with 21 pts vs. Mason, including 13 straight during a 4-minute span late in the 2nd half. Lee ranks 19th in the CAA in scoring.

•  Frantz Massenat is averaging a team-high 12.5 ppg. He ranks 3rd in the CAA in assists (3.7 apg) and 1st in 3-pt FG% (46.9%).

•  Samme Givens grabbed 16 reb last week to move into 3rd place on Drexel’s career rebounds list (899). He’s also scored double digits in 8 of his last 11 games and went over 1,000 points for his career.

•  Drexel has held its past six opponents to just 49.2 ppg. All have scored less than 60 pts.

•  Forward Daryl McCoy is averaging 8.7 rebounds over the past six games.

•  Derrick Thomas scored a season-high 19 points at UNCW.

George Mason

•  Had their 18-game CAA regular-season win streak snapped in a 60-53 loss at Drexel but rebounded for an 89-83 win at JMU. Have won six of their last seven overall.

•  Ryan Pearson had a team-high 19 pts at JMU and has scored double-digits in 17 of his last 19 games. Pearson is among the CAA’s top five in scoring (17.4ppg/3rd) and rebounding (8.5rpg/4th).

•  Mike Morrison scored double figures for the 5th straight game (12 pts) at JMU. He’s averaging 12.0 ppg and 7.4 rpg over that stretch while shooting 73.5% (25-34) from the floor.

•  Freshman Erik Copes blocked 7 shots (all in the 1st half) at Drexel and has a team-high 39 blocks for the season.

•  Vaughn Gray scored a career-high 19 pts at JMU, which was the most by a  Mason freshman since Dec. 2009.

•  Mason tops the CAA in FG% (47.1%) and is 2nd in FG% defense (38.4%). Mason has shot at least 45% from the floor in 13 of 18 games, including 57.8% at JMU.

Georgia State

•  Defeated UNCW 75-61 and Towson 57-42 at home last week. Have won 13 of their last 14 overall and nine in a row at home.

•  GSU ranks in the top 20 nationlly in scoring defense (56.9ppg) and FG% defense (36.9%). They have limited their six CAA foes to 49.2 ppg and 30.9% FG shooting.

•  James Fields set career-highs with 21 pts and 7 steals vs. UNCW. He’s scored double digits in 8 of his last 10 games and ranks 3rd in the CAA in steals (2.1 spg).

•  Jihad Ali added 13 pts vs. UNCW. He’s tallied double figures in 6 of the last 7 games and is averaging 13.5 ppg over that stretch.

•  James Vincent scored a career-high 18 pts vs. Towson on perfect 7-of-7 FG shooting.

•  GSU is off to its best start since going 11-1 in 2000-01. Coach Ron Hunter’s 13-4 start is the best ever for a first-year GSU coach.

•  Eric Buckner leads the CAA with 49 blocks and has scored double figures in 7 of his last 9 games.

Hofstra

•  Fell 64-62 to Northeastern and 69-61 at ODU last week. Five of the Pride’s six losses in the CAA have been by a combined 19 pts.

•  Mike Moore scored a team-high 21 pts at ODU. Moore has a league-best 13 20+-point efforts this season and leads the CAA in scoring (20.4 ppg). He’s been Hofstra’s top scorer in 15 of 18 games.

•  Nathaniel Lester averaged 17.5 ppg last week and has reached double figures in 10 straight games. He’s averaging 17.3 ppg over his last 6 contests. Lester and Moore have combined for over 50% of Hofstra’s offense (622-of-1222 points) this season.

•  Dwan McMillan dished out 11 assists last week and ranks 2nd in the CAA with 4.6 apg. His 83 total assists are 49 more than any other Pride player.

•  Stephen Nwaukoni is averaging 9.2 rebounds over his last five games.

•   David Imes scored 11 pts vs. Northeastern and grabbed 10 rebounds at ODU.

James Madison

•  Went 1-2 last week, beating Hampton 74-67 before losing CAA games to VCU (65-45) and Mason (89-83).

•  Humpty Hitchens scored 19 pts vs. Mason, which was his 13th double-figure effort. He ranks 7th in the CAA in scoring, 6th in assists and 11th in steals. He tops the CAA in 3’s per game and is 7th in 3-pt FG%.

•  A.J. Davis averaged 17.0 ppg last week, including a team-high 21 pts and a career-high 5 steals vs. Hampton. He’s averaging 16.8 ppg over his last 5 games. Davis began his JMU career with four straight 20-point games and has six for the season.

•  Andrey Semenov had 17 pts vs. Hampton, which was his best effort since Nov. 19. He was 7-of-10 from 3-pt range last week.

•  Julius Wells, who is the 3rd-leading active career scorer in the CAA with 1,414 points, has missed 5 straight games due to illness.

•  Devon Moore scored a season-high 19 pts vs. Mason, which was his 5th double-digit effort in the last 7 games.

UNCW

•  Beaten 75-61 at GSU and 79-57 by Drexel last week. Suffered back-to-back losses for the first time since Nov. 30.

•  Keith Rendleman averaged 23.0 ppg and 11.0 rpg last week, including his 8th double-double (23 pts/13 reb) at GSU. He’s scored double digits in 14 of his last 15 games and ranks 2nd in the CAA in rebounding (10.4 rpg) and 6th in scoring (16.1ppg).

•  Adam Smith scored 14 pts vs. Drexel. Smith, who has 13 double-digit efforts and four 20+ pt games, is 4th in the CAA and 3rd among all Div. I freshmen in scoring.

•  Freshman K.K. Simmons added 12 pts vs. Drexel and is averaging 13.3 ppg over his last four contests.

•  UNCW averaged just 59.0 ppg last week after scoring 70+ pts in their previous four games (all wins).

•   Sophomore Donte Morales missed both games last week due to injury. He’s averaging 5.5 ppg and has made 11 starts.

Northeastern

•  Have won 5 of their last 6 overall after defeating Hofstra (64-62) and W&M (64-50) last week. NU is 3-0 on the road in CAA play.

•  Jonathan Lee scored a team-high 21 pts at Hofstra, including the game-winning shot with 10 seconds left. Lee added 12 pts vs. W&M and has hit double digits in 25 of his last 28 games.

•  Lee ranks among the CAA’s top 10 in scoring (14.5ppg/9th), assists (3.7apg/4th) and steals (1.8spg/5th).

•  Freshman Quincy Ford posted his first career double-double (13pts/10reb) vs. W&M. He has 7 double-digit scoring efforts in the last 11 games and is 17th in the CAA in rebounding.

•  The Huskies are averaging just 11.4 turnovers over the past seven games after committing 20 or more in five straight contests.

•  Northeastern has held five of its last eight opponents to 56 points or less and is giving up just 59.2 ppg in CAA play.

Old Dominion

•  Won 68-66 in OT at Delaware and 69-61 vs. Hofstra last week. Have won 3 in a row and 4 of their last 5. 3-0 in CAA road games.

•  Kent Bazemore scored a career-high 27 pts and tied a career-high with 12 reb at UD. He’s tallied double figures in 9 straight games and is averaging 18.2 ppg in CAA play. Bazemore ranks 3rd on ODU’s career steals list with 219.

•  Chris Cooper posted his league-best 10th double-double (14pts/10reb) at UD and tipped in the game-winning shot at the buzzer. Cooper ranks 3rd in the CAA in rebounding (10.2 rpg) and is scoring 10.7 ppg.

•  Freshman Richard Ross scored a career-high 14 points at UD on 6-of-10 FG shooting.

•  ODU has grabbed 20 or more offensive boards in 4 of the last 6 games.

•  Trian Iliadis scored a team-high 19 pts vs. Hofstra after scoring just 6 in the last 3 gms.

•  ODU has tied a school record by playing in 5 overtime games this season.

Towson

•  Lost 66-49 to William & Mary and 57-42 at Georgia State last week.

•  Robert Nwankwo averaged 14.0 ppg and 10.5 rpg last week and also blocked 9 shots. He’s among CAA leaders in scoring (11.2ppg/22nd), rebounding (8.2rpg/5th) and blocks (2.5bpg/3rd).

•  Nwankwo has been Towson’s top rebounder in 14 of 18 games this season and ranks 6th on the Tigers’ career reb list with 630.

•  Sophomore Marcus Damas scored a team-high 14 points vs. W&M and 13 at GSU. He’s tallied double digits in 9 of the last 12 games. Damas is 20th in the CAA in scoring (11.6 ppg) and rebounding (5.3 rpg).

•  Freshman Deon Jones scored 10 points vs. W&M, which was his second straight game in double figures and sixth this season.

•  Towson has limited six of its last seven opponents to 66 points or less.

•  Towson blocked 10 shots at GSU.

VCU

•  Have won 10 of their last 12 after defeating JMU (65-45) and Delaware (68-55).

•  The Rams didn’t allow a FG over a stretch of 16:57 last week during the 2nd half vs. JMU and the 1st half at Delaware.

•  Bradford Burgess posted a double-double (10 pts/12reb) vs. JMU and had a team-high 18 pts at UD. He has 14 double-digit scoring efforts in the last 17 games.

•  Sophomore Juvonte Reddic is averaging 12.2 ppg and 7.3 rpg over his last 9 games.

•  Freshman Briante Weber made 6 steals last week and leads the CAA with 2.5 spg.

•  Freshman Treveon Graham averaged 13.5 ppg last week, including a career-high tying 18 points in the win over JMU.

•  VCU leads the CAA and ranks 8th in the nation with 9.7 steals per game.

•  The Rams have limited 13 of their 18 opponents to 65 points or less and are giving up just 57.7 ppg in CAA play.

William & Mary

•  Split a pair of road games last week, winning 66-49 at Towson, but losing 64-50 at Northeastern.

•  Quinn McDowell scored a season-high 26 pts at Towson and is averaging 15.9 ppg over the last seven games. The two-time All-CAA performer ranks 10th on W&M’s all-time scoring list with 1,444 points and is the 7th player in W&M history with 1,000 pts and 500 reb.

•  Freshman Marcus Thornton has reached double digits 11 times and is 2nd on the team in scoring with 11.3 ppg.

•  Tim Rusthoven blocked a career-high 3 shots at NU and dished out a career-best 5 assists at Towson.

•  Guard Kendrix Brown has 3 double-digit rebounding efforts in the last 6 games and is averaging 7.2 rpg over that stretch.

•   W&M is averaging just 9.0 turnovers over the past three games.
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