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Delaware's Davon Usher

CAA Men's Basketball Weekly Honors - Feb. 17

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 02/17/2014
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PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Davon Usher • Delaware
Sr., G, 6-6, 200 - South Baltimore, Md./Digital Harbor
Usher repeats as Player of the Week after scoring a game-high 34 points and grabbing eight rebounds as Delaware ran its winning streak to 13 with an 81-65 victory over James Madison last Wednesday. The senior guard made 9-of-17 from the floor, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range, and hit 12-of-13 at the free throw line. Usher’s 76 points in consecutive games set a Delaware school record and he’s averaging 33.7 ppg over his past three contests.

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Yohanny Dalembert • James Madison
Fr., F, 6-8, 225 - Port-au-Prince, Haiti/Lower Merion (Pa.)
Dalembert averaged 7.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in James Madison’s 2-1 week. The freshman forward entered the week averaging just 1.5 ppg and 2.1 rpg, but broke loose for career-highs of 15 points and 13 rebounds at first-place Delaware. He followed by scoring seven points in his first career start against UNCW.

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Rodney Williams • Drexel
Fr., F, 6-7, 220 - Richmond, Va./St. Christopher’s
Williams averaged 9.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks as Drexel split a pair of games last week. The freshman forward contributed 11 points and seven rebounds in a victory over Hofstra and had eight points and five boards in a one-point loss at College of Charleston. He shot 54.5% from the floor.

CONFERENCE NOTES:

DELAWARE IMPROVES TO 11-0 IN CAA: Delaware matched the best start in CAA history at 11-0 after defeating James Madison 81-65 last Wednesday. The Blue Hens are on a 13-game overall winning streak, which is the 2nd-longest in school history and is the 6th-longest active streak in Division I. Delaware has won eight consecutive CAA road games dating back to last season and the Hens are 15-2 in their past 17 conference road outings. UD has also won 10 straight at home and is one of only six Division I teams with undefeated records in conference play, joining Syracuse (12-0), Wichita State (14-0), Florida (12-0), Stephen F. Austin (13-0) and Saint Louis (10-0).

DELAWARE’S START BEST IN CAA HISTORY: The 11-0 start by Delaware ties the CAA record for the best start ever. The 2006-07 VCU team and the 1985-86 Richmond team also opened 11-0. James Madison had  9-0 starts in 1990-91 and 1991-92 and three teams  have gone 8-0 - Old Dominion in 2004-05, Richmond in 1988-89 and Northeastern in 2012-13. The Blue Hens visit second-place Towson tonight in a nationally televised game on NBCSN and can clinch at least a share of the CAA regular-season title with a victory.

HOME COURT STARTING TO BE AN ADVANTAGE: Home teams have gone 15-4 in CAA play over the past two weeks after a run of success by visiting squads. Home teams are 33-21 for the year but four teams are above .500 on the road in league play. Each team will play a 16-game conference schedule  with home and away games against all eight league foes.

CLOSE GAMES IN CONFERENCE PLAY: Half (27-of-54) of all CAA games played this season have been decided by seven points or less or in overtime. Northeastern has had two games go to overtime and four others with margins of four points or less. James Madison has had eight contests decided by six points or less. UNCW has had seven games with margins of seven points or less and an eighth go to overtime. Drexel’s last three CAA losses have been by a total of five points.

NOTABLE PERFORMANCES: Along with the big week put together by Usher, several other players had impressive weeks. Drexel guard Frantz Massenat averaged 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.5 steals in a pair of games. Northeastern forward Scott Eatherton averaged 16.0 points and 13.0 rebounds while shooting 66.7% from the floor as the Huskies split a pair of road contests. Towson forward Jerrelle Benimon averaged 19.0 points, 15.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists as the Tigers went 1-1 on the road.

CAA RANKED 15TH IN LATEST RPI RATINGS: The CAA was ranked 15th among the nation’s 32 Division I conferences according to the latest RPI ratings released by Collegiate Basketball News (rpiratings.com) on Feb. 17. Delaware was the highest ranked CAA team at #65 followed by Towson at #119, William & Mary at #123 and Drexel at #125. A complete listing can be found on Page 2 of the release.

SADDLER, THORNTON IN DOUBLE FIGURES: Delaware senior guard Devon Saddler has scored double figures in 56 of his last 58 games, while William & Mary junior guard Marcus Thornton has reached double digits in 53 of his last 55 contests. Saddler had a 38-game streak snapped in the semifinals of the 2013 CAA Championship and then scored double figures in his first 18 games this year before being held to 9 points vs. JMU on Feb. 12. 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 10 of his 12 contests.

BENIMON, EATHERTON LEAD NATION IN DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Towson’s Jerrelle Benimon and Northeastern’s Scott Eatherton are tied for the national lead in double-doubles with 17 according to the latest NCAA statistics released on Feb. 17. Beninon also tops the nation in rebounding (11.6 rpg), while Eatherton was 13th in rebounding (10.3 rpg) and 27th in FG percentage (56.6%). In other categories, W&M’s Marcus Thornton was 45th in scoring (19.4 ppg), 20th in 3-pointers per game (3.08) and 43rd in 3-pt FG percentage (40.9%). Delaware junior Kyle Anderson was 59th in 3-pointers per game (2.6) and 46th in 3-point FG% (40.2%). CofC’s Willis Hall was 28th in rebounding (9.3 rpg) and 51st in double-doubles (8). Drexel’s Frantz Massenat was 20th in assist/turnover ratio and 54th in assists (5.1 apg). Delaware’s Davon Usher ranked 42nd in scoring (19.4 ppg).

DREXEL LEADS NATION IN FEWEST TURNOVERS: Drexel is averaging only 8.2 turnovers per game this season, which leads all Division I teams. The Dragons have committed nine or fewer turnovers in 14 of their last 18 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 11 of its last 15 games. The Blue Hens rank 14th nationally with 10.2 tpg.

SADDLER BECOMES UD’S ALL-TIME LEADING SCORER: Delaware guard Devon Saddler became the Blue Hens’ all-time leading scorer on Feb. 3, breaking the mark held by Mike Pegues (2,030). With 2,057 points, he has moved up to 10th on the CAA’s all-time scoring chart. Saddler, who missed seven games due to a team suspension, is averaging 20.4 ppg and ranks 4th in career points among all active players in Division I, trailing Creighton’s Doug McDermott, Oakland’s Travis Bader and Loyola Marymount’s Anthony Ireland.

DREXEL DUO CLIMBING CAREER LISTS: Drexel guard Chris Fouch has moved into 5th place on the Dragons’ all-time scoring list with 1,645 points. He has also made 264 career 3-pointers and needs five more to tie VCU’s B.A. Walker for 10th place on the CAA’s career treys chart. Backcourt mate Frantz Massenat ranks third in career assists at Drexel with 534 and has moved up to 9th place on the CAA’s all-time assists chart. He’s also eighth on Drexel’s career scoring list with 1,569 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 Quick Links for the full report.

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