CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Eric Buckner • Georgia State
Sr., F, 6-8, 203 - Ehrhardt, S.C./Bamberg-Ehrhardt
Buckner averaged 13.0 points and 7.0 rebounds while also blocking 11 shots in Georgia State’s 3-0 week. The senior forward scored a team-high 21 points in an 85-54 road win at S.C. State, blocked a career-high 8 shots in a 73-47 triumph over FIU and had 11 points and six boards in a 66-34 CAA win over W&M. Shot 66.7% from the floor for the week and anchored a dominant GSU defensive effort that held foes to 45.0 ppg.
CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Bradford Burgess • VCU
Sr., G/F, 6-6, 225 - Midlothian, Va./Benedictine
Burgess averaged 19.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in VCU’s 2-0 week. The senior guard/forward scored 15 points as the Rams rolled past Big East member South Florida 69-46 and then poured in a season-high 24 points in a 75-60 win over George Washington. Burgess shot 50% from the floor for the week and connected on 6-of-12 from 3-point range.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Adam Smith • UNCW
Fr., G, 5-11, 160 - Jonesboro, Ga./Fayette County
Smith averaged 23.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in UNCW’s 1-1 week. The freshman guard scored a career-high 27 points in a 75-73 loss at Toledo and had a team-best 19 points and a career-high six boards in a 63-54 victory at Illinois State. Smith shot 53.1% from the floor over the two games.
Road Teams Go 3-2 In Saturday’s Conference Openers: Road teams went 3-2 on Saturday as 10 CAA teams played their conference openers. George Mason won 65-53 at Towson, James Madison picked up a 62-60 victory at Hofstra and Old Dominion earned a 69-59 win at Northeastern. Getting victories at home were Delaware, which beat rival Drexel 71-60, and Georgia State, which cruised by William & Mary, 66-34. All 12 CAA teams play one league game in the month of December and then return to non-conference action until Jan. 2. UNCW and VCU will play their CAA opener on Dec. 17.
Georgia State Pushes Winning Streak To Six: Georgia State increased its winning streak to six with convincing victories over South Carolina State (85-54), FIU (73-47) and William & Mary (66-34) last week. The Panthers, who started 0-3, are giving up just 47.0 ppg and limiting opponents to 30.7% FG shooting during the six-game run. The 34 points by W&M were the second-fewest allowed in school history. The winning streak is the longest for GSU since the 2003-04 season and its 6-3 start is tied for the 5th-best mark in school history.
18-Game Home Win Streak For Mason: George Mason defeated Bucknell 61-57 last Wednesday to extend its home court winning streak to 18 dating back to the start of last year. Mason owns the 9th-longest active home court streak in the nation. The Patriots have won four in a row overall after topping Towson last Saturday.
VCU Rolls Past USF: VCU used a dominant second-half performance to roll past South Florida, 69-46, last Wednesday. The Rams are now 9-4 against BCS foes over the last 2+ seasons under coach Shaka Smart. The win also evened the CAA’s record at 3-3 versus the Big East this season. The Rams also beat George Washington on Sunday and have captured four of their past five games.
Changing Of The Guard: It’s been a year of change around the CAA as many returning players have stepped into new roles and several newcomers are making an impact. As of Dec. 5, 13 of the current top 20 scorers in the CAA weren’t even among the top 30 in the league in scoring a year ago. The only seven who were on last year’s top 30 list are Hofstra’s Mike Moore, Mason’s Ryan Pearson, VCU’s Bradford Burgess, ODU’s Kent Bazemore, UNCW’s Keith Rendleman and Northeastern’s Jonathan Lee and Joel Smith.
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 and Northeastern are the only teams who haven’t had a freshman start at least one game. 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 Delaware’s Kyle Anderson. Three others - Towson’s Kris Walden, Mason’s Corey Edwards and Delaware’s Khalid Lewis - are among the top 15 in assists, while VCU’s Briante Weber and ODU’s Dimitri Batten are among the top 11 in steals.
UD’s Saddler Ranks 2nd Nationally In Scoring: Delaware sophomore Devon Saddler ranks second in the nation in scoring at 24.7 ppg through games of Dec. 4. JMU’s A.J. Davis is 16th with 21.0 ppg and Hofstra’s Mike Moore is 22nd with 20.4 ppg. In other statistical categories, Davis is 9th in 3-point FG percentage (54.8%), GSU’s Eric Buckner is 10th in blocks (3.6 bpg), ODU’s Kent Bazemore is 5th in steals (3.0 spg) and NU’s Joel Smith is 6th in FT percentage (95.5%). In team categories, Drexel is 11th in the nation in 3-point FG defense (24.1%). James Madison is 8th in 3-point FG percentage (44%) and 7th in threes per game (9.8). Old Dominion is 11th in steals per game (10.0 spg). A complete listing of statistical leaders can be found on Page 4 of this release.
Doubling Up: Seven CAA players have already recorded two or more double-doubles this season. ODU senior Chris Cooper leads the league with five double-doubles, while Delaware’s Jamelle Hagins, Towson’s Robert Nwankwo and George Mason’s Ryan Pearson each have three. Eleven of the 12 teams have a player with at least one double-double.
Starting Streaks: VCU senior Bradford Burgess has made 118 consecutive starts, which is the longest active streak in Division I basketball and is just three away from the Rams’ all-time record. James Madison senior Julius Wells has started 106 straight games, which ranks second on the Dukes’ career list. Wells also moved up to 9th on JMU’s all-time scoring list last week with 1,378 points.
Smith’s FT Streak Ends: Northeastern junior guard Joel Smith was a perfect 20-for-20 at the free throw line this season before missing one against ODU last Saturday. Smith had made 22 in a row dating back to last year.
• Lost 73-67 at Boston Univ. last Wednesday, but beat Drexel 71-60 in its CAA opener on Saturday.
• Sophomore guard Devon Saddler scored 30 points vs. Drexel and 20 points at BU. Saddler, who has led UD in scoring in all six games, has two 30-point efforts and five straight 20+ point games. He is averaging a league-best 24.7 ppg.
• Junior Jamelle Hagins has posted three straight double-doubles after tallying 17 points and a team-high 12 rebounds vs. BU and Drexel. Hagins, who also had 7 blocks last week, tops the CAA with 10.3 rpg.
• Junior Josh Brinkley had a season-high 12 points, six rebounds and two blocks at BU and averaged 10.5 ppg for the week.
• It was the second straight year that UD has knocked off the preseason CAA favorite in its conference opener.
• UD has started 3-0 at home for the second straight year, but is 0-3 on the road.
• Fell 62-49 at city rival Saint Joseph’s last Wednesday and 71-60 at league rival Delaware on Saturday.
• Sophomore Frantz Massenat has scored double figures in five of six games, including a team-high 18 points at Dealware. Massenat is averaging a team-best 14.7 ppg and also tops the Dragons with 20 assists.
• Freshman guard Damion Lee hit 4-of-7 treys and scored a team-high 14 points at St. Joe’s. Lee has reached double digits in three of six games.
• Senior Samme Givens grabbed 12 rebounds in the two games to move into 6th place on Drexel’s career rebounding list with 817. He is on pace to become only the 6th player in CAA history to reach 1,000 career boards.
• Junior Derrick Thomas scored a season-high 14 points at UD, while junior Daryl McCoy grabbed a season-best 15 rebounds.
• Drexel plays its first home game of the season this Saturday against Princeton.
• Riding a four-game winning streak after beating Bucknell (61-57) and Towson (65-53) last week. Also extended their home court winning streak to 18, which ties the Patriot Center building record.
• Senior Ryan Pearson averaged 15.0 ppg and 6.5 rpg last week and has led Mason in scoring in seven of eight games. Pearson ranks among the top five in the CAA in scoring (19.8ppg/4th) and rebounding (8.4rpg/5th).
• Sophomore Sherrod Wright, who averaged 12.5 ppg in the two wins last week, is shooting a league-best 62.3% from the floor.
• Sophomore Bryon Allen averaged 11.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg and 4.0 apg last week and committed just one turnover in 78 minutes.
• Freshman point guard Corey Edwards sat out last week’s games with a concussion but is expected to return at UVA on Tuesday.
• Mason has now won six straight CAA openers and eight of its last 10.
• Extended their winning streak to six with victories over S.C. State (85-54), FIU (73-47) and W&M (66-34). The win streak is GSU’s longest since the 2003-04 season.
• The Panthers have held their past six foes to 54 points or less and are allowing just 47.0 ppg during the winning streak.
• Senior Eric Buckner had a team-high 21 points and 8 rebounds at SCSU and blocked a career-high 8 shots vs. FIU. Buckner leads the CAA with 32 blocks this season and ranks 6th in career blocks (81) at GSU.
• Sophomore Devonta White tallied 17 points and 6 assists at SCSU, while backcourt mate James Fields averaged 10.7 ppg last week.
• Senior guard Jihad Ali scored a team-high 17 points vs. W&M and is averaging 14.8 ppg and 5.2 rpg since coming off the bench over the past five games.
• The 31-point win at SCSU was the largest margin ever for GSU in a road game.
• Dropped a 62-60 decision to James Madison in their CAA opener on Saturday, snapping Hofstra’s 12-game win streak vs. JMU.
• Senior Mike Moore scored 20 of his team-high 24 points in the first half vs. JMU. It was Moore’s league-leading sixth 20-point effort of the season. Moore also had a team-high seven rebounds in the game.
• Senior Nathaniel Lester has scored double digits in five of Hofstra’s eight games and is averaging 13.4 ppg for the season. Lester and Moore have combined for nearly 50% of Hofstra’s offense (270-of-541 points).
• Junior David Imes contributed 10 points and seven rebounds against JMU, while freshman Moussa Kane tied a career-high with six points and had a career-best four blocks.
• Senior Dwan McMillan had four assists and only one turnover in 38 minutes vs. JMU while filling in for injured Stevie Mejia. McMillan leads the team with 32 assists, which is 19 more than any other Pride player.
• Won 62-60 at Hofstra on Saturday for their third straight victory. Ended a 12-game losing streak against the Pride.
• Senior Humpty Hitchens scored a team-high 20 points at Hofstra, including the game-winning jumper with 2.8 seconds left. Hitchens leads the CAA in assists (5.3 apg) and is fifth in scoring (18.0 ppg).
• Junior guard A.J. Davis tallied double digits for the 6th straight game with 12 points at HU. He was the first JMU player to begin his career with four straight 20-point games.
• Davis, who ranks 2nd in the CAA in scoring (21.0 ppg), has scored 30 points in the first half but 96 points in the second half over the first six games.
• Senior Julius Wells had 11 points, a team-high nine rebounds and four assists at Hofstra. Wells is the leading active scorer in the CAA with 1,378 career points.
• The last three JMU/Hofstra matchups have been decided by 3 points or less.
• Rebounded from a 75-73 loss at Toledo on Wednesday by winning 63-54 at Illinois St. on Saturday for their first win of the season.
• Freshman Adam Smith poured in a career-high 27 points at Toledo and had a team-high 19 points at ISU. He has scored in double digits in all six games and ranks 6th in the CAA in scoring and 4th among all freshmen in Div. I with 17.8 ppg.
• Junior Keith Rendleman posted a double-double (13 pts/14 reb) at ISU and had 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds at Toledo. He’s averaging 14.2 ppg and 10.0 rpg over the last five games.
• Freshman guard K.K. Simmons had 11 points, three assists and no turnovers in 27 minutes in his first career start at Toledo.
• Freshmen have accounted for 216 of the Seahawks’ 378 points (57.1%) this season.
• Senior Trevor Deloach had a season-high 11 points and six rebounds off the bench at Illinois State on Saturday.
• Dropped a 68-51 decision at La Salle on Wednesday and fell 69-59 to Old Dominion on Saturday in their CAA opener.
• Junior Jonathan Lee scored 11 points in both games last week. Lee has scored double digits in 10 straight games, which is the longest active streak in the CAA.
• Freshman Quincy Ford came off the bench to score a career-high 16 points vs. ODU, with 13 coming in the second half.
• Junior Joel Smith missed his first free throw of the year vs. ODU, ending a streak of 22 consecutive made FT’s dating back to last year. He’s shooting 95.5% for the year.
• Freshman forward Reggie Spencer scored 12 points off the bench vs. ODU, which was his third double-digit effort of the season.
• Northeastern has pulled down 40 or more rebounds in three of five games after doing so only once last season. The Huskies lead the CAA in rebound margin (+5.8 rpg).
• Defeated East Carolina 63-58 last Tuesday and won 69-59 at Northeastern on Saturday in their CAA opener.
• Freshman guard Dimitri Batten set career highs with 18 points and nine rebounds vs. ECU. It was the third double-digit effort this season for Batten, who also made a career-high five steals at Northeastern.
• Senior forward Chris Cooper tops the CAA with five double-doubles after posting them vs. ECU (12 pts/11 reb) and NU (17 pts/12 reb). Cooper ranks third in the CAA with 9.6 rpg and is scoring 11.0 ppg.
• Senior Kent Bazemore, who had a team-high 21 points and 8 rebounds at NU, ranks 4th on ODU’s career steals list with 200. He tops the CAA with 3.0 spg this season.
• Junior forward Nick Wright tallied 12 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks vs. ECU and had 13 points at Northeastern.
• ODU made a season-high 15 steals at NU and leads the CAA with 10.0 spg.
• Fell 86-56 at UMass last Wednesday and lost 65-53 to George Mason on Saturday in their CAA opener.
• Sophomore Marcus Damas scored a career-high 25 points with five rebounds against Mason. Damas leads the team and is 15th in the CAA in scoring (12.4 ppg) and ranks 2nd on the Tigers in rebounding (6.4 rpg).
• Senior Robert Nwankwo had his third double-double at UMass with 19 points, 14 rebounds and 4 blocks. He also posted double-doubles against Kansas (14 pts/10 reb) and Michigan (16 pts/10 reb) and has 12 double-doubles for his career.
• Towson has played one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the nation. Of their seven opponents, five have either been ranked or received votes in national polls.
• Towson out-rebounded UMass 50-43 and is +2.3 in rebound margin for the year.
• Freshman Deon Jones averaged 8.5 ppg and shot 46.7% in two games last week.
• Have won four of their last five after victories over South Florida (69-46) and George Washington (75-60) last week. Have held foes to 57.4 ppg over the 5-game span.
• Senior Bradford Burgess averaged 19.5 ppg last week, including a season-high 24 points vs. GW. He has tallied double digits in seven consecutive games.
• Sophomore Rob Brandenberg has scored double figures in five straight games and is averaging 12.4 ppg over that stretch.
• Junior guard Darius Theus had 13 points, six assists and no turnovers vs. USF. He’s second in the CAA with 4.8 apg.
• VCU is 38-2 under Shaka Smart when holding an opponent to 65 points or less. The Rams are allowing just 60.8 ppg this season.
• Junior Troy Daniels came off the bench to score a team-high 17 points vs. USF. Daniels has made a team-high 21 treys this season, with 10 of them coming in 2 home games.
WILLIAM & MARY
• Lost 92-61 to in-state foe Richmond last Wednesday and 66-34 at Georgia State on Saturday.
• Sophomore forward Tim Rusthoven made his first start of the year vs. UR and led W&M with 15 points and 8 rebounds. He added five points and seven boards at GSU.
• Junior guard Matt Rum made his first start of the season vs. UR and finished with 13 points on 4-of-5 FG shooting.
• Freshman guard Marcus Thornton had 10 points against UR and has reached double digits in five of nine games.
• Sophomore Brandon Britt scored a team-high eight points at GSU and has led the Tribe in scoring in four of the past six games.
• Only two of W&M’s nine games this season have been at home.
• Senior Quinn McDowell ranks 15th on W&M’s all-time scoring list (1,315 pts).