CAA Men's Basketball Weekly Honors - Jan. 27
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Scott Eatherton • Northeastern
Jr., F, 6-8, 219 - Hershey, Pa./Hershey
Eatherton averaged 18.5 points and 8.0 rebounds to lead Northeastern to a pair of CAA road victories last week. The junior forward tallied team-highs of 19 points and nine rebounds as the Huskies defeated Towson 57-54 to snap the Tigers’ 13-game home court win streak. He followed with 18 points on 8-of-10 FG shooting and seven boards in a 70-57 triumph at Hofstra, which ended the Pride’s three-game CAA win streak. Eatherton shot 58.3% from the floor for the week and also blocked three shots.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Devon Saddler • Delaware
Sr., G, 6-2, 210 - Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen
Saddler averaged 23.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in Delaware’s 2-0 week. The senior guard contributed a game-high 23 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as the Hens won 90-77 at rival Drexel and followed with a team-best 23 points in an 83-76 triumph over Towson. Saddler, who has tied a school record by surpassing the 20-point mark in seven straight games, shot 50% from the floor for the week.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Jackson Kent • James Madison
Fr., G, 6-7, 185 - High Point, N.C./High Point Christian
Kent poured in a career-high 17 points to lead James Madison to a 58-56 victory over College of Charleston last Saturday. The freshman guard made 6-of-12 from the floor, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range, and also grabbed five rebounds. Kent scored 10 straight points during a second-half rally that gave the Dukes a 52-48 advantage with 7:22 remaining.
DELAWARE SITS ATOP CAA STANDINGS: Delaware is the only remaining unbeaten team in CAA play after the first three weeks of conference action. The Blue Hens are off to a 6-0 start for the first time as a CAA member and just the third time in school history. UD, which has rallied from halftime deficits in four of its six league contests, has won seven consecutive CAA road games dating back to last season and the Hens are 14-2 in their past 16 conference road outings. Delaware’s current eight-game overall winning streak is tied for the 8th-longest in school history. Behind the Hens, there are five teams separated by only a half-game in the league standings - Hofstra, Towson and William & Mary at 3-2, Northeastern at 4-3 and College of Charleston at 3-3.
ROAD TEAMS HAVING SUCCESS: Road teams have gone 11-6 in CAA play over the past two weeks after home teams won seven of the first nine conference games. Home teams are just 13-13 for the year and five squads are at least .500 on the road in CAA games. Each team will play a 16-game conference schedule with home and away games against all eight league foes.
CLOSE GAMES IN CONFERENCE PLAY: Sixteen of the 26 CAA games (61.5%) played this season have been decided by seven points or less or in overtime. Two games last week featured game-winning 3-pointers at the buzzer as Northeastern’s David Walker hit one to beat Towson last Wednesday and William & Mary’s Marcus Thornton drained one to top Drexel on Saturday. Northeastern has had two games go to overtime and three others with margins of four points or less. James Madison has had four contests decided by five points or less and Delaware has had three. College of Charleston and Hofstra have had three CAA games decided by seven points or less and UNCW has had four contests with margins of seven points or less and a fifth go to overtime.
NOTABLE PERFORMANCES: Along with the efforts put forth by weekly honorees Scott Eatherton and Devon Saddler, several other CAA players turned in tremendous performances last week. W&M guard Marcus Thornton averaged 21.5 ppg and 4.0 apg in the Tribe’s two road games, including 26 points in a win at Drexel. Towson’s Jerrelle Benimon posted his 13th double-double with 29 points and 16 rebounds at Delaware. Drexel guard Chris Fouch tied a career-high with 31 points against William & Mary. Hofstra guard Dion Nesmith averaged 16.5 ppg and 6.0 apg in the Pride’s 1-1 week. UNCW’s Cedrick Williams (22 pts) and Chris Dixon (21 pts) each topped the 20-point mark in a setback at CofC, while the Cougars’ Willis Hall had 22 points and eight boards in a setback at JMU. Northeastern’s Demetrius Pollard poured in 25 points in a victory at Hofstra.
CAA RANKED 16TH IN LATEST RPI RATINGS: The CAA was ranked 16th among the nation’s 32 Division I conferences according to the latest RPI ratings released by Collegiate Basketball News (rpiratings.com) on Jan. 27. Delaware was the highest ranked CAA team at #68 followed by Drexel at #128. A complete listing can be found on Page 2 of the release.
TOWSON’S HOME WIN STREAK ENDS: Towson had its 13-game home court winning streak, which was the 12th-longest in the nation, come to an end in a 57-54 setback to Northeastern last Wednesday. The Tigers’ home court streak was their longest since winning 22 in a row from 1992-95.
SADDLER, THORNTON IN DOUBLE FIGURES: Delaware senior guard Devon Saddler has scored double figures in 52 of his last 53 games, while William & Mary junior guard Marcus Thornton has reached double digits in 49 of his last 50 contests. Saddler had his 38-game streak snapped in the semifinals of the 2013 CAA Championship, but has scored double figures in all 14 of his games this year and is riding a school-record streak of seven striaght games with 20+ points. Thornton saw his streak of scoring double figures end at 42 games after being held to nine points in a loss at West Virginia on Dec. 29. Since that time, he’s scored 17 or more points in six of his seven contests.
EATHERTON, BENIMON AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS IN DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Northeastern’s Scott Eatherton leads the nation in double-doubles with 14 and Towson’s Jerrelle Benimon is 2nd with 13 according to the latest NCAA statistics released on Jan. 27. Eatherton was also 15th in rebounding (10.1 rpg) and 33rd in FG percentage (56.3%) while Benimon was 5th in rebounding (11.6 rpg). In other categories, Delaware junior Jarvis Threatt ranked 42nd in Division I in assists (5.4 apg) and 22nd in steals (2.3 spg), while Blue Hens’ junior Kyle Anderson was 30th in 3-pointers per game (2.9) and 32nd in 3-point FG% (43%). W&M’s Marcus Thornton was 42nd in scoring (19.1 ppg) and 21st in 3-pointers per game (3.06). CofC’s Willis Hall was 32nd in rebounding (9.4 rpg) and 44th in double-doubles (7), and Drexel’s Frantz Massenat was 38th in assist/turnover ratio and 53rd in assists (5.1 apg).
SADDLER CLIMBS SCORING LISTS: Delaware guard Devon Saddler has scored 1,976 career points and needs 55 more to break the Hens’ school record held by Mike Pegues. He’s also moved up to 12th on the CAA’s all-time scoring chart and needs 12 more to pass ODU’s Petey Sessoms for 11th. Saddler, who missed seven games earlier this season due to a team suspension, is averaging 21.9 ppg and ranks fourth in career points among all active players in Division I.
TAKING CARE OF THE BALL: Drexel is averaging only 8.6 turnovers per game this season, which ranks third in Division I. The Dragons have committed nine or fewer turnovers in 10 of their last 12 games and haven’t turned the ball over more than 14 times in any game. Drexel had only five turnovers in a narrow loss to #1 Arizona on Nov. 27 and three at William & Mary on Jan. 8. Delaware has recorded single-digit turnovers in eight of its last 10 games and is averaging just 8.2 tpg over that stretch. The Blue Hens rank 32nd nationally with 10.5 tpg.
OFFENSE VS. DEFENSE: Delaware and College of Charleston both have winning records, but have done it in different ways. The Blue Hens rank 23rd nationally in scoring offense with 81.1 ppg and have tallied 80 or more points 12 times. The Cougars are 29th in Division I in scoring defense at 62.7 ppg and have held nine foes under 60 points.
For more CAA men's basketball news and notes, check out the Men's Basketball Notebook on Hoop Scoop or click on the PDF in the box to the right for the full report.