WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 25, 2006) Ė Hofstra, which returns three starters off last year’s 26-7 squad that advanced to the quarterfinals of the NIT, is picked to capture the CAA men’s basketball championship in 2006-07 according to a vote of the league’s coaches, sports information directors and media. The results of the poll were announced during Wednesday’s CAA Basketball Media Day at the ESPN Zone in Washington, D.C.

 

The Pride was followed in the voting by George Mason, Drexel, Old Dominion and UNC Wilmington. Picked sixth was VCU, followed by Towson, Georgia State, Northeastern, James Madison, William & Mary and Delaware.

 

Hofstra tied a school record for victories last season and picked up the first two post-season wins in school history. The Pride welcomes back the nation’s highest-scoring three-man backcourt in senior Loren Stokes, junior Antoine Agudio and senior Carlos Rivera. Stokes, a two-time 1st team All-CAA selection, ranked among the league’s top 20 in scoring (17.4 ppg/3rd), rebounding (5.1 rpg/20th), assists (2.8 apg/14th) and steals (1.6 spg/10th) for the second straight season. Agudio, a 2nd team All-CAA pick, was fourth in the CAA in scoring with 17.2 ppg with many of them coming on a school-record 91 three-pointers. Rivera chipped in 11.7 ppg and led the team with 3.6 assists per game.

 

George Mason captured the nation’s attention last season with its 27-8 record and magical run to the NCAA Final Four. Returning to the Patriots’ starting lineup are junior forward Will Thomas, who contributed 11.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while topping the CAA in field goal percentage (58.0%), and junior guard Folarin Campbell, who poured in 11.0 points and 4.2 rebounds per game and also led the team in assists (3.4 apg). Also back is senior Gabe Norwood (3.4 ppg), who was the team’s “sixth man” last season.

 

Drexel returns four starters from its 15-16 team that advanced to the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off Tournament. Senior guard Dominick Mejia, a 3rd team All-CAA honoree, scored 15.3 ppg and drained a league-high 92 three-pointers while backcourt mate Bashir Mason chipped in 11.3 points and 4.3 assists while making the CAA’s All-Defensive team for the third year in a row. They are joined by junior center Frank Elegar (11.1 ppg/6.8 rpg), senior forward Chaz Crawford (6.4 ppg/7.6 rpg) and junior forward Randy Oveneke (2.5 ppg/2.8 rpg)

 

Old Dominion has three starters back from its 24-10 squad that reached the semifinals of the NIT. The Monarchs, who have won 52 games over the past two years, are led by senior forward Arnaud Dahi, who tallied 11.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, and senior point guard Drew Williamson, who contributed 7.3 points and led the league in assist/turnover ratio for the second straight season.

 

UNC Wilmington has two regulars returning from a 25-8 team that captured its fourth CAA championship in the last seven years. Senior guard T.J. Carter made the All-CAA third team last year after averaging a team-high 13.6 points per game, while junior forward Todd Hendley contributed 10.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game in his first year with the squad. The Seahawks will be in their first season under new head coach Benny Moss.

 

Hofstra’s Stokes was chosen as the CAA Pre-Season Player of the Year. He was joined on the pre-season All-CAA first team by teammate Agudio, UNCW’s Carter, Drexel’s Mejia, Mason’s Thomas and Towson senior guard Gary Neal, who is the nation’s leading returning scorer after averaging 26.1 ppg last season,

 

Voted to the pre-season second team were George Mason’s Campbell, ODU’s Dahi, Drexel’s Mason, James Madison sophomore forward Juwann James, who was the CAA Rookie of the Year in 2005-06, and VCU senior guard B.A. Walker, who tallied 11.7 ppg for the Rams last season.

 

2006-07 CAA MEN’S BASKETBALL PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

 

1. Hofstra

2. George Mason

3. Drexel

4. Old Dominion

5. UNC Wilmington

6. VCU

7. Towson

8. Georgia State

9. Northeastern

10. James Madison

11. William & Mary

12. Delaware

 

 

2006-07 CAA MEN’S BASKETBALL PRE-SEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS

 

First Team Cl. Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/High school

Antoine Agudio, Hofstra# 

Jr.

G

6-3

185

Huntington Station, N.Y./Walt Whitman

T.J. Carter, UNC Wilmington^ 

Sr.

G

6-3

200

Mechanicsville, Md./Chopticon

Dominick Mejia, Drexel^

Sr.

G

6-4

200

Voorhees, N.J./Eastern

Gary Neal, Towson#    

Sr.

G

6-4

210

Aberdeen, Md./Calvert Hall 

Loren Stokes, Hofstra* 

Sr.

G

6-3

175

Buffalo, N.Y./St. Thomas More

Will Thomas, George Mason

Jr.

F

6-7

220

Baltimore, Md./Mount St. Joseph

           
Second Team Cl. Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School

Folarin Campbell, George Mason   

Jr.

G/F

6-4

200

Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook

Arnuad Dahi, Old Dominion

Sr.

F

6-7

235

Ivory Coast, Africa/Life Center Acad.

Juwann James, James Madison

So.

F

6-6

225

Jacksonville, Fla./Raines

Bashir Mason, Drexel 

Sr.

G

6-0

185

Jersey City, N.J./St. Benedict’s Prep

B.A. Walker, VCU

Sr.

G

6-2

160

Onancock, Va./Nandua

        

 

CAA Pre-Season Player of the Year: Loren Stokes, Hofstra

 

* 1st team All-CAA in 2005-06

# 2nd team All-CAA in 2005-06

^ 3rd team All-CAA in 2005-06