Final 2012-13 CAA Men's Basketball Report
JMU Tops LIU Brooklyn, Falls To Indiana In NCAA Tournament: CAA champion James Madison got a game-high 20 points from senior A.J. Davis and 14 points, seven rebounds and five blocks from freshman Andre Nation in a 68-55 win over LIU Brooklyn in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. It was the first NCAA Tournament win since 1983 for the Dukes. JMU’s defense blocked 10 shots and limited LIU to its lowest point total of the season. The Dukes dropped an 83-62 decision to #1 Indiana in the second round. Nation poured in a career-high 24 points on 10-of-16 FG shooting and freshman Charles Cooke added a career-best 18 points off the bench on 7-of-12 FG shooting, including 4-of-5 from three-point range.
CAA Success In the NCAA Tournament: With JMU’s 1-1 performance, the CAA has posted a 14-12 record in the NCAA Tournament since 2006, with two teams (George Mason - 2006, VCU - 2011) reaching the Final Four. Overall, CAA teams have a 29-38 record in the NCAA Tournament dating back to 1981 when the league was known as the ECAC South. CAA teams have won opening round NCAA Tournament games in six of the last eight years (2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013), including the last four in a row.
Postseason Wins: CAA teams have combined to win 41 games in postseason play since 2006, including 14 victories in the NCAA Tournament. During that seven-year period, the CAA has had two teams reach the NCAA Final Four, one reach the semifinals of the NIT, and has had squads capture championships of the CBI and CIT.
Northeastern Falls To Alabama In NIT: Northeastern made its third appearance in the NIT and lost 62-43 to Alabama. NU was within one, 28-27, early in the second half before the Tide pulled away. The Huskies also suffered first-round losses to Connecticut (59-57) in 2010 and Memphis (90-65) in 2005. It was NU’s third postseason appearance in the last five years, having also played in the CBI in 2009. CAA teams are now 16-33 overall in the NIT.
Mason Falls In CBI Championship: George Mason dropped an 80-77 decision to Santa Clara in Game 3 of the CBI Championship series. Mason advanced to the championship after beating College of Charleston (78-77) in the first round, Houston (88-84 in ot) in the quarterfinals and Western Michigan (62-52) in the semifinals. Santa Clara topped the Patriots 81-73 in Game 1 of the championship series before the Patriots posted a 73-66 win in Game 2. It was Mason’s first appearance in the CBI, but its fifth postseason trip in the last six years and 12th overall. The CAA is now 11-8 all-time in the five years of the CBI, with VCU winning the 2010 championship.
JMU Wins First CAA Championship Since 1994: Third-seeded James Madison captured its first CAA championship since 1994 with a 70-57 victory over #1 Northeastern. The Dukes jumped out to a 40-18 halftime lead and held on as the Huskies closed within eight with 8:23 to play. Senior A.J. Davis scored a game-high 26 points for JMU and senior Rayshawn Goins posted a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. The Dukes shot 49% from the floor while limiting NU to just 37% shooting, including 20.4% (5-24) in the opening half. Jonathan Lee had a team-high 14 points for the Huskies.
JMU’s Davis Headlines All-Tournament Team: JMU senior guard A.J. Davis was named the Most Outstanding Player of the CAA Men’s Basketball Championship after averaging 20.7 points and 5.0 rebounds in the three games. He was joined on the all-tournament team by senior teammates Devon Moore and Rayshawn Goins. Also making the squad were Northeastern’s Jonathan Lee, George Mason’s Bryon Allen and Delaware’s Jamelle Hagins.
Close Games In Tournament: The first five games of the CAA Men’s Basketball Championship were decided by six points or less with a total margin of just 19 points. Both semifinal contests came down to the final seconds. Northeastern posted the biggest comeback in school history by rallying from a 24-point deficit to defeat George Mason 69-67 on Jonathan Lee’s layup with three seconds to go. JMU finished on a 7-0 run to top Delaware 58-57 with Devon Moore sinking two free throws with 3.7 seconds remaining.
Northeastern Clinches First Regular-Season Title: Northeastern earned its first CAA regular-season title this season with a 14-4 mark. Fourteen of the Huskies’ 18 CAA games were decided by seven points or less and they were 11-3 in those contests. Northeastern was 8-1 in CAA road games with wins over the top three teams in the league’s preseason poll (Drexel, Delaware and George Mason) as well at Towson. The Huskies tied the school record for most CAA wins in a season (14), set by the 2009-10 team.
Towson Has Nation’s Biggest Turnaround: Towson posted the biggest turnaround in NCAA history this season at 17.5 games after improving from 1-31 in 2011-12 to 18-13 this season. The Tigers’ 13 conference victories were their most since joining the CAA in 2001-02 and they reached the 18-win mark for the first time since 1993-94. Towson’s 12 victories away from home (9-8 away, 3-0 neutral) are its most since 1976-77. The Tigers closed the season with eight wins in their final nine contests.
Road Warriors: Home teams were just 51-48 (51.5%) in CAA play this season. Six of the top seven teams in the league standings (Northeastern, Delaware, Towson, George Mason, Georgia State and Drexel) had equal or better conference marks on the road than they did at home.
Benimon, Rendleman Named To All-America Teams: Towson’s Jerrelle Benimon and UNCW’s Keith Rendleman were among 25 players selected to the Lou Henson All-America team, which honors the top mid-major players in college basketball by CollegeInsider.com. Benimon, the CAA Player of the Year, also received honorable mention All-America honors from the Associated Press. Benimon averaged 17.1 points and 11.2 rebounds per game for the Tigers and had 20 double-doubles in 31 contests. Rendleman contributed 17.0 points and 10.5 rebounds per game and also recorded 20 double-doubles.
Coaching Honors: Northeastern’s Bill Coen was named the USBWA District I Coach of the Year after guiding the Huskies to a 20-12 record and their first CAA regular-season title. Coen and James Madison’s Matt Brady were named NABC District 10 Co-Coaches of the Year. Brady guided JMU to a 21-15 record and its first CAA championship since 1994. Coen and Towson’s Pat Skerry were among 21 finalists for the Hugh Durham Award, which is given to the nation’s top mid-major coach.
Three CAA Players Among Nation’s Top 11 In Rebounding: Towson junior Jerrelle Benimon ranked third in the nation in rebounding (11.2 rpg), Delaware senior Jamelle Hagins ranked 7th (10.7 rpg) and UNCW senior Keith Rendleman was 11th (10.5 rpg). In other categories, Delaware’s Devon Saddler was 18th (19.9 ppg) and W&M’s Marcus Thornton was 31st (18.8 ppg) in scoring. W&M’s Tim Rusthoven was 26th (56%) in FG percentage. Thornton was also 10th in 3-pointers per game (3.1) and 16th in 3-point FG% (43.5%). NU’s Joel Smith was 35th in FT percentage (86.2%), 43rd in 3-pointers per game (2.7) and 20th in 3-point FG% (43%). Hagins was 30th (2.4 bpg) and GSU’s James Vincent was 38th (2.3 bpg) in blocked shots.
Hofstra Hires Mihalich: Hofstra named Joe Mihalich as its new men’s basketball coach, replacing Mo Cassara. Mihalich won 265 games in 15 seasons at Niagara and guided the Purple Eagles to two NCAA Tournaments and three NIT appearances.
Benimon, Rendleman Second Nationally In Double-Doubles: Towson junior Jerrelle Benimon and UNCW senior Keith Rendleman were tied for second nationally in double-doubles with 20. Benimon posted 12 double-doubles in his last 17 games and Rendleman recorded double-doubles in his final nine games. Delaware senior Jamelle Hagins was 10th nationally with 16 double-doubles. Three other CAA players had at least five double-doubles: ODU’s DeShawn Painter (11), JMU’s Rayshawn Goins (8), W&M’s Tim Rusthoven (5).
Hagins, Rendleman Among Top Six On CAA Rebounding Chart: Delaware senior Jamelle Hagins and UNCW senior Keith Rendleman finished among the top six on the CAA’s career rebounding list. Hagins had 1,078 career boards and ranks fourth, while Rendleman had 1,055 career rebounds and ranks 6th. Hagins became the all-time leading rebounder at UD and Rendleman took the top spot on UNCW’s career list on Feb. 20. Hagins and Rendleman are two of only eight players in CAA history to reach 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career. Hagins is also 3rd on the CAA’s career blocks list with 292.
NU’s Lee Among Finalists For Senior CLASS Award: Northeastern guard Jonathan Lee was one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award, which honors student-athletes who excel on and off the court. Lee was a third-team All-CAA selection this season and averaged 13.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists for the Huskies.
UD’s Saddler Among Nation’s Top Scorers: Delaware guard Devon Saddler had the second-most career points (1,670) of any junior in Division I, trailing only Creighton’s Doug McDermott. Saddler, who averaged a league-best 19.9 ppg this season, moved up to third on UD’s all-time scoring list. He had a 38-game double-figure scoring streak, which was the 2nd-longest active streak in the nation, before being held to 7 points vs. JMU on March 10. Saddler was the only CAA player named to the USBWA All-District 2 team.
Youth Movement: There were only nine seniors among the top 30 scorers in the CAA this season. NU’s Joel Smith and UNCW’s Keith Rendleman were the only seniors among the top 10. The top 30 also included 10 juniors, 8 sophomores and 3 freshmen.
Three Teams Among Top 28 Nationally In Free Throw Shooting: Delaware was ranked 14th (75.4%), Northeastern was 18th (75.3%) and Drexel was 28th (74.5%) in the nation in FT percentage in the final NCAA stats. In other team categories, Towson was 15th in blocked shots (5.5 bpg), 15th in rebound margin (+6.6 rpg) and 42nd (39.6%) in FG% defense. Northeastern was 48th in 3-point FG% (37.1%) and William & Mary was 30th in FG% (46.7%) and 42nd in 3-point FG% (37.4%). Hofstra was 38th (30.7%) in 3-pt. FG% defense while Old Dominion (4.7 bpg) was 42nd and JMU was 45th (4.6 bpg) in blocks. JMU was 23rd (11.1 tpg) and Georgia State was 47th (11.5 tpg) in fewest turnovers per game.
NABC All-District Honors: Ten CAA players were named to the NABC All-District 10 squad. Making the first team were Towson’s Jerrelle Benimon, UNCW’s Keith Rendleman, Delaware’s Devon Saddler, Northeastern’s Joel Smith and W&M’s Marcus Thornton. Named to the second team were Delaware’s Jamelle Hagins, Georgia State’s R.J. Hunter, Drexel’s Damion Lee, JMU’s Devon Moore and George Mason’s Sherrod Wright.
Benimon Headlines All-CAA Team: Junior forward Jerrelle Benimon became the first Towson player to earn CAA Player of the Year honors after averaging 17.1 points and a league-high 11.2 rebounds per game. Also earning major awards were Towson’s Pat Skerry as Coach of the Year, Georgia State guard R.J. Hunter as Rookie of the Year and Delaware senior forward Jamelle Hagins as Defensive Player of the Year.
Record-Setting Season For GSU’s Hunter: Georgia State’s R.J. Hunter was one of four freshmen in the nation to average at least 17 points and five rebounds per game this season and was named to the Kyle Macy Freshman All-America team by CollegeInsider. The Panthers’ guard set GSU’s freshman scoring record with 527 points, breaking Matt O’Brien’s mark (515 points) set in 1989-90. Hunter made 10-of-15 from 3-point range and scored a career-high 38 points in an 83-63 win over ODU on Feb. 2. The 10 treys set a new GSU record and tied the CAA mark set by Mason’s Dre Smith on Jan. 19, 2008. The 38 points were a career high for Hunter and the most by any freshman in the nation this season.
Baltimore To Host 2014-16 CAA Men’s Basketball Championships: The CAA and the city of Baltimore reached a three-year agreement to conduct the CAA Men’s Basketball Championship at the Baltimore Arena beginning in 2014. Six CAA schools in 2013-14 are located within 250 miles of Baltimore and more than 300,000 alumni from CAA institutions reside within 100 miles of the city. Baltimore Arena, which is located within walking distance of the Inner Harbor and many other Baltimore attractions, seats 11,800 for basketball.
College of Charleston To Join CAA In 2013: The College of Charleston has accepted an invitation to join the CAA beginning July 1, 2013. CofC sponsors 21 varsity sports and has enjoyed a great deal of postseason athletic success. The Cougars have made four NCAA Tournament appearances in men’s basketball.
• Reached the CAA semifinals for the first time since 2003 after beating Hofstra 62-57 before falling 58-57 to JMU. Eight of UD’s last nine games were decided by 5 points or less and they were 6-2 in those.
• Devon Saddler scored a team-high 22 points vs. Hofstra, but had his 38-game double-figure scoring streak end vs. JMU (7 pts). He tallied 20+ points 16 times, including 9 of the last 12 games. Saddler is 3rd on UD’s all-time scoring list (1,670 pts).
• Jarvis Threatt added 15 points vs. Hofstra, but had his 9-game double-figure scroing streak snapped against JMU (9 points).
• Jamelle Hagins had 16 double-doubles this season after posting them against Hofstra (12 pts/15 reb) and JMU (12 pts/12 reb). Hagins owns the UD career records and is among the top four in CAA history in rebounds (1,078) and blocks (292).
• UD’s 13 CAA wins were its most ever and its #2 CAA Tournament seed was its highest.
• Fell 60-54 to George Mason in the CAA quarterfinals.
• Sophomore Damion Lee scored 11 points in the loss to Mason. Lee, who poured in a career-high 34 points at ODU on Feb. 28, reached double digits 23 times this season.
• Junior Frantz Massenat had a team-high 20 points vs. Mason. He scored double figures in 17 of his last 19 games. Massenat ranks 6th in career assists (406) at Drexel and has gone over 1,000 career points (1,122).
• Massenat had 30 assists and just eight turnovers over his last 245 minutes of action.
• Derrick Thomas was held to 7 points vs. Mason, ending his 10-game double-figure scoring streak. He averaged 13.9 ppg over that stretch.
• Senior Daryl McCoy grabbed a team-best 12 rebounds vs. Mason, which was his 10th double-digit rebound effort. He’s 6th all-time in rebounds at DU (864).
• Finished as the runner-up in the CBI after an 80-77 loss to Santa Clara in Game 3 of the championship series. Went 4-2 in the CBI.
• Sherrod Wright averaged 22.0 ppg and 10.0 rpg in the final two games vs. Santa Clara and scored a career-high 29 points vs. Houston in the 2nd round. Wright had 17 20-point efforts this season and was Mason’s leading scorer 24 times.
• Jonathan Arledge scored a team-high 21 points in Game 1 at SCU and had a career-best 23 points in the quarterfinal win over WMU. He averaged 13.7 ppg and 5.5 rpg over his last 7 games. Arledge scored double-digits in 12 of the last 18 games.
• Erik Copes had 14 points on 7-of-8 FG shooting at CofC, including a game-winning tip-in with 0.6 seconds left. He added 10 points and 9 rebounds in the Gm. 2 win over SCU.
• Bryon Allen contributed 15 points and 8 assists in Game 1 vs. SCU and had 15 points in Game 2. He averaged 12.4 ppg and 5.3 apg over his last eight games.
• Finished tied for fifth in the CAA with a 10-8 record.
• R.J. Hunter, the CAA Rookie of the Year, set the GSU freshman scoring record (527 pts). He scored double figures 24 times and had 12 20-point outings. Hunter averaged 19.6 ppg over his final nine games and led all CAA freshmen in scoring.
• Manny Atkins tied a career-high with 26 points and had a career-best 12 rebounds vs. NU in the season finale. He was 3rd in the CAA in 3-pt FG% (41.2%) and scored double digits in 24 of his last 27 games with seven 20+ point efforts.
• Devonta White netted 24 points in the finale vs. NU and scored double figures in 25 of his last 26 games. White, who was among the CAA’s top six in assists and steals, reached the 1,000-point mark for his career
• Senior James Vincent scored eight points in his final game with the Panthers. Vincent was 2nd in the CAA in blocked shots (2.3 bpg) and ranks 2nd on GSU’s all-time blocks chart with 132.
• Fell 62-57 to Delaware in the CAA quarterfinals. Hofstra played 11 games decided by 5 points or less and was 3-8 in those contests.
• Stevie Mejia led Hofstra with 13 points, eight rebounds and six assists vs UD. He scored double figures in 10 of his last 11 games and averaged 14.7 ppg over that stretch. He also ranked 3rd in the CAA in assists (4.1 apg) and 1st in steals (2.0 spg).
• Moussa Kone scored a career-high 18 points against UD on Feb. 27 and topped it with 20 points on 10-13 FG shooting at Towson to end the regular season. He averaged 14.0 ppg over the final 4 regular-season games.
• Stephen Nwaukoni missed the final five games with a shoulder injury. He ranked 6th in the CAA with 7.9 rpg.
• Taran Buie scored 13 points vs. UD in the CAA quarterfinals and reached double figures 22 times this season.
• David Imes chipped in 12 points vs UD. He finished with 556 career boards.
• Beat LIU Brooklyn 68-55 for its first NCAA Tournament win in 30 years. Lost 83-62 to #1 Indiana in the second round.
• Captured first CAA championship since 1994 with a 70-57 win over Northeastern. Beat William & Mary 72-67 in the quarters and Delaware 58-57 in the semifinals.
• A.J. Davis scored a team-high 20 points vs. LIU. He also netted 26 points vs. NU and was named CAA Tournament MOP. Davis led JMU in scoring in 9 of the last 12 games and averaged 19.4ppg over the 12-game stretch.
• Devon Moore scored double figures in 9 of his last 13 games. Moore led the CAA in assists (4.9 apg) and is JMU’s all-time leader in assists with 502.
• Rayshawn Goins posted his 8th double-double vs. NU with 14 points and 13 rebounds. He scored double digits 23 times this season and led JMU in rebounding (7.3 rpg).
• Andre Nation contributed 14 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 blocks vs. LIU and a career-high 24 points vs. Indiana.
• Finished ninth in the CAA with a 5-13 record. Dropped two of their last three games by only one point.
• Keith Rendleman closed the year with 9 straight double-doubles. He tied for the CAA lead with 20 double-doubles and also had 21 straight games with double-digit points. He was among the CAA’s top five in scoring, rebounding and FG percentage this season.
• Rendleman is UNCW’s all-time rebounds leader (1,055) and ranks 6th in CAA history. He’s 4th in career points at UNCW (1,516).
• Chris Dixon scored double-digits in 11 of his last 15 games and had 33 assists in his final five contests. He ranked sixth in the CAA with 3.3 assists per game this season.
• Sophomore Cedrick Williams was 12th in the CAA in rebounding (6.0 rpg) and sixth in blocked shots (1.4 bpg).
• Tanner Milson topped the Seahawks with 43 three-pointers and shot nearly 37% from beyond the arc.
• Fell 62-43 at Alabama in the first round of the NIT. It was NU’s third postseason appearance in the last five years.
• Posted the biggest comeback in school history by rallying from a 24-point deficit to top George Mason 69-67 in the CAA semifinals, but lost 70-57 to JMU in the title game.
• Won their first CAA regular-season title with a 14-4 mark. Went 8-1 in CAA road games and tied a school record for CAA victories. Won 20 games for the 2nd time in 4 years.
• Joel Smith missed the Alabama game due to injury. He ranked 2nd in the CAA in threes (2.7 pg), 2nd in 3-pt FG% (43%), 1st in FT% (86.2%) and 8th in scoring (16.1 ppg). Smith is 2nd in career treys (243) at NU.
• Quincy Ford scored double figures in 8 of his last 11 games. Ford was among the league’s top 20 in scoring and rebounding.
• Jonathan Lee scored a team-high 13 points at Alabama and had 14 points in both CAA Tournament games, including a game-winning layup with 3 seconds left, vs. Mason.
• Finished 11th in the CAA but closed the season by knocking off regular-season champ Northeastern 81-74.
• DeShawn Painter posted 11 double-doubles this season. He scored double figures in his final 11 games and averaged 16.2 ppg and 9.4 rpg over that stretch.
• Dimitri Batten tallied double figures in his final eight games. He averaged 15.8 ppg over the 8-game stretch, including a 25-point effort vs. Northeastern on Feb. 9.
• Aaron Bacote scored double digits in 4 of the last 6 games and averaged 7.8 ppg for the season.
• Guard Keenan Palmore was first among all CAA freshmen in assists (3.0), second in rebounding (4.3 rpg) and fifth in scoring (8.2 ppg).
• The Monarchs had five players score in double figures in three of the last four games. ODU shot 50% or better in four of the final five contests.
• Posted a best-ever 2nd-place finish in the CAA. Won 8 of their last 9 games and went 7-2 in CAA road games.
• Jerrelle Benimon, who led the CAA with 20 double-doubles, scored a career-high 31 points at Mason on Feb. 26 and topped the 20-point mark nine times. He set Towson’s Division I season rebounds mark with 346 and was the CAA Player of the Year.
• Junior Marcus Damas averaged 20.0 ppg in Towson’s last two games. He had 9 double-digit efforts in the final 10 games.
• A season-high crowd of 4,119 saw the Tigers play their final home game in the Towson Center against Hofstra.
• Towson topped the CAA in rebound margin (+6.6 rpg) this season. The Tigers were only beaten on the glass five times in 31 games.
• Towson’s 13 CAA wins were its most ever and its 18 overall victories were the most since 1993-94. The Tigers had 12 wins away from home for the first time since 1976-77.
William & Mary
• Dropped a 72-67 decision to James Madison in the CAA quarterfinals.
• Marcus Thornton has scored double digits in 32 straight games. Thornton topped the CAA with 3.1 treys per game and shot a league-best 43.5% from the arc. He was 2nd in the CAA in scoring with 18.8 ppg.
• Brandon Britt scored 17 points vs. JMU and reached double digits in 8 of his last 10 games. He also went over 1,000 points for his career (1,008).
• Tim Rusthoven, who contributed 15 points in the setback to JMU, led the CAA in FG percentage (56.0%) and was 11th in scoring (14.4 ppg) and 9th in rebounding (7.0 rpg).
• Kyle Gaillard contributed 8.5 ppg and 5.3 rpg in his first season back after missing a year due to a knee injury.
• W&M made 50% of its shots vs. JMU and shot 51.8% over the last 10 games. The Tribe averaged nearly 10 threes made over the last nine contests.