MBB Final Report
Postseason Success: CAA teams have combined to win 36 games in postseason play since 2006. During that seven-year period, the CAA has had two teams reach the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament (George Mason - 2006, VCU - 2011), one reach the semifinals of the NIT (Old Dominion - 2006) and has had squads capture championships of the CBI (VCU - 2010) and CIT (Old Dominion - 2009).
Piling Up The Wins: For the first time ever, the CAA had five teams with 22 or more wins this season as VCU (29), Drexel (29), George Mason (24), Georgia State (22) and Old Dominion (22) all hit the mark. VCU, which set a school record for victories, has recorded six straight 24+-win seasons. Drexel also set a school record for victories and reached the 20-win mark for the second year in a row. Mason won 20 games for the fourth time in the last five years. Georgia State hit the 20-win mark for the first time since 2003-04. ODU reached 20 wins for the eighth time in the last nine seasons. The 29 wins by VCU and Drexel were the second-most ever for a CAA team, trailing only Navy's 30 in 1985-86.
CAA Success In The NCAA Tournament: The CAA is 13-11 in the NCAA Tournament since 2006, which includes two teams (George Mason - 2006, VCU - 2011) reaching the Final Four. Only five other conferences (Big East - 5, SEC - 5, Big 10 -4, ACC - 3, Pac 12 - 3) have had more Final Four appearances over the past seven years than the CAA. The CAA has had at least one team post an NCAA Tournament victory in five of the past seven years.
VCU Advances To Third Round Of NCAA Tournament: VCU made its 11th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament and fifth in the past nine years. The Rams defeated #5 Wichita State 62-59 in the second round before losing 63-61 to #4 Indiana. VCU is now 11-11 all-time in the NCAA's. Bradford Burgess scored a team-high 16 points versus WSU and contributed 15 points and seven boards against IU.
Drexel Reaches NIT Quarterfinals: Drexel became the first CAA team to reach the quarterfinals of the NIT since league members Old Dominion and Hofstra went head-to-head in 2006. Drexel picked up its first two NIT wins ever by beating UCF (81-56) and Northern Iowa (65-63), before losing a narrow 72-70 decision to UMass. The Dragons made their sixth overall NIT appearance and fifth since joining the CAA in 2001-02. Junior Chris Fouch scored 19 points off the bench while backcourt mate Frantz Massenat added 18 points and a career-high 14 assists vs. UCF. Senior Samme Givens poured in 28 points in the UNI victory, and sophomore Dartaye Ruffin tallied 17 points off the bench vs. UMass.
ODU, GSU Post Victories In CIT: Old Dominion and Georgia State combined for three wins in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. ODU topped Coastal Carolina (68-66) and USC Upstate (65-56) before losing 79-73 to Mercer in the quarterfinals. It was the eighth consecutive postseason appearance for the Monarchs, which includes four NCAA Tournament berths. GSU beat Tennessee Tech 74-43 in the first round before falling 64-59 to Mercer. It was the Panthers' first postseason appearance since participating in the NIT in 2002.
Delaware In The CBI: Delaware made its first postseason appearance since 2000, but fell 75-58 to Butler in the College Basketball Invitational. The Blue Hens, who were making their sixth overall postseason appearance, last played in the 2000 NIT.
VCU Wins CAA Championship: Second-seeded VCU built a 16-point halftime lead and held on for a 59-56 victory over #1 Drexel in the title game of the Virginia 529 CAA Men's Basketball Championship. It was the fifth CAA title for the Rams. VCU, which built its lead behind a strong defensive effort that forced 18 turnovers, was ahead 52-41 with 5:04 remaining when the Dragons began their rally. Trailing by three, Drexel's Frantz Massenat had a game-tying 3-point attempt in the final seconds which bounced off the back of the rim. Darius Theus scored a team-high 16 points for the Rams and freshman Treveon Graham added 13 points off the bench. Drexel got a game-high 20 points from freshman Damion Lee, 15 from guard Chris Fouch and 14 points from Massenat. Theus was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Performer and was joined on the all-tournament team by VCU's Bradford Burgess and Rob Brandenberg, Drexel's Lee and Massenat and George Mason's Mike Morrison.
Tournament Attendance Record Falls Again: The Virginia 529 CAA Men's Basketball Championship set a new tournament attendance record with 47,833 fans, breaking the mark of 46,544 set last year. For the first time ever, three sessions - the second quarterfinal session, the semifinals and the finals - were played before sellout crowds of 11,200. It was the fifth straight year that attendance has exceeded 42,000.
Top Six Teams Finish Strong: The top six teams in the CAA standings finished the season strong. VCU won 18 of its last 20 contests. Drexel won 21 of its last 23 overall as well as 18 of its last 19 at home. Delaware won nine of its last 11, George Mason won 11 of its last 16, Old Dominion has won 11 of its last 15 and Georgia State captured eight of its last 12.
VCU Receive Votes In National Polls: VCU received 13 points in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll taken at the end of the regular season and 51 points in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll taken at the conclusion of the NCAA Tournament. Drexel picked up 11 points in the final AP poll.
Mason's Pearson Headlines All-CAA Team: George Mason senior forward Ryan Pearson was named the CAA men's basketball Player of the Year in voting by the league's head coaches, SID's and media. Pearson ranked among the CAA's top five in scoring and rebounding and recorded 12 double-doubles. Drexel's Bruiser Flint was named CAA Coach of the Year, Drexel's Damion Lee was selected as the Rookie of the Year and ODU's Kent Bazemore earned Defensive Player of the Year honors for the second straight season. GSU's Jihad Ali and W&M's Quinn McDowell received the Dean Ehlers Leadership Award. The entire All-CAA team can be found on Page 3 of the release.
Additional Honors For Pearson: George Mason's Ryan Pearson was selected as an Associated Press honorable mention All-American and was the only CAA player chosen to the USBWA All-District 3 squad.
Flint Named NABC District Coach Of The Year: Drexel's Bruiser Flint was named the NABC District Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his career. Named to the NABC All-District 10 first team were ODU's Kent Bazemore, VCU's Bradford Burgess, Drexel's Frantz Massenat, Mason's Ryan Pearson and UNCW's Keith Rendleman. Making the second team were GSU's Eric Buckner, ODU's Chris Cooper, Drexel's Samme Givens and Delaware's Jamelle Hagins and Devon Saddler.
CollegeInsider.com Awards: Several CAA players received honors from CollegeInsider.com. ODU's Kent Bazemore made the Defensive All-America team while GSU's Eric Buckner, UD's Jamelle Hagins and VCU's Darius Theus were named to the Mid-Major Defensive All-America squad. Drexel's Damion Lee was chosen to the Freshman All-America team and NU's Quincy Ford and UD's Jarvis Threatt made the Mid-Major Freshman All-America unit. Bazemore, Drexel's Frantz Massenat and Mason's Ryan Pearson were members of the Mid-Major All-America team.Road Teams Have Success: Road teams had good success in CAA play this season. In 108 conference contests, home teams were only 62-46 (.569). Drexel, Old Dominion and VCU went 7-2 in CAA road games this season, while Delaware, George Mason and Georgia State were 5-4.
GSU's Buckner Sets Blocked Shots Records: Georgia State senior Eric Buckner, who led the CAA and ranked 6th nationally with 118 blocked shots, set the Georgia State single-season blocks record on Feb. 8 and had the 6th-most blocks in a season in CAA history. He's also the school's career leader in rejections with 165 in two seasons at GSU.
CAA Defenses Among The Best In The Nation: The CAA featured some of the top defensive teams in the nation this season. Four teams - Drexel (56.1 ppg/5th), Georgia State (58.9 ppg/11th), VCU (59.8 ppg/19th) and Old Dominion (62.1 ppg/50th) were ranked among the nation's top 50 in scoring defense, while GSU (38.0%/4th), Drexel (39.2%/17th), George Mason (39.3%/18th), Delaware (39.3%/20th) and ODU (40.2%/30th) were among the top 30 nationally in FG percentage defense. Drexel was 7th in the nation (29.0%) in 3-point FG% defense. VCU led the nation in steals (10.6 spg) while GSU was 4th (9.3 spg) and ODU was 10th (8.8 spg). VCU also led Division I in turnover margin (+6.5 tpg) and GSU was 15th (+3.5 tpg).
CAA Performs Well In BracketBusters: The CAA went 7-5 in Sears BracketBusters, including a perfect 3-0 mark in televised games. VCU defeated Northern Iowa 77-68, while Drexel dominated Cleveland State 69-49 and Old Dominion won 73-67 at Missouri State on Saturday. CAA teams improved to 19-10 in TV games over the last eight years, which is the best winning percentage (.655) of any participating conference in the history of the event. The top six teams in the CAA all won as George Mason held off Lamar, Delaware got past Hampton and Georgia State topped UT-San Antonio. Hofstra also beat in-state foe Siena.
W&M's McDowell Named To Lowe's Senior CLASS Award All-America Team: William & Mary senior forward Quinn McDowell was named to the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award All-America second team after being one of 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. McDowell was a two-time All-CAA performer who concluded his W&M career as one of only four players in school history with more than 1,500 points and 500 rebounds. He was heavily involved in community projects and became the first two-time recipient of the CAA's Dean Ehlers Leadership Award in 2012.
Freshmen Make An Impact: Freshmen saw significant playing time around the CAA this season. All 12 CAA teams had at least one freshman who averaged better than 15 minutes per game and each CAA team has had a freshman start at least two games. Five freshmen were among the CAA's top 30 in scoring - UNCW's Adam Smith, Drexel's Damion Lee, W&M's Marcus Thornton, NU's Quincy Ford and UD's Jarvis Threatt. Two were among the top 15 in assists - Towson's Kris Walden and Delaware's Khalid Lewis - and two were in the top five in steals - VCU's Briante Weber, and NU's Ford. UNCW's Cedrick Williams was 16th in the league in rebounding (5.7 rpg).
VCU Records 18th Straight Sellout: VCU has played before 18 consecutive sellout crowds at the Siegel Center, which included all 14 home games in 2011-12. The streak is a CAA record and the Rams averaged 7,622 fans this season. Old Dominion played before 14 crowds of better than 7,000 at the Constant Center this season, including sellout crowds of 8,460 for four of its last five CAA games. Drexel had sellout crowds for five of its last eight home games. George Mason played before a sellout crowd of 9,840 against ODU on Feb. 4 and Georgia State played before its largest home crowd since Dec. 2008 on Jan. 12 against UNCW.
UD's Hagins Ranks 5th Nationally In Rebounding: Delaware junior Jamelle Hagins ranked 5th nationally in rebounding at 11.1 rpg in the final NCAA statistics. Towson's Robert Nwankwo was 19th in rebounds (10.1 rpg), ODU's Chris Cooper was 20th, and UNCW's Keith Rendleman was 21st (10.0 rpg). In other statistical categories, Hofstra's Mike Moore was 17th in scoring (19.9 ppg) and UD's Devon Saddler was 27th (18.8 ppg). GSU's Eric Buckner was 6th in blocks (3.5 bpg), UD's Hagins was 9th (3.0 bpg) and TU's Nwankwo was 22nd (2.4 bpg). VCU's Briante Weber was 25th in steals (2.1 spg) and ODU's Kent Bazemore was 26th (2.1 spg). A list of CAA players among national leaders can be found on Page 4 of this release.
Four Players On CAA Career Lists: Drexel senior Samme Givens ranks 4th on the CAA's all-time rebounding list with 1,059 boards. Givens became the sixth player in CAA history to reach 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds on Feb. 22. ODU senior Kent Bazemore ranks 2nd on the CAA's career steals list with 250, moving past UNCW's Brett Blizzard. Towson senior Robert Nwankwo finished 7th on the CAA's all-time blocked shots list with 223, while Delaware junior Jamelle Hagins is 9th with 212 rejections.
Doubling Up: Twenty-one CAA players recorded two or more double-doubles this season. ODU's Chris Cooper led the CAA with 17 double-doubles, while UNCW's Keith Rendleman had 16 double-doubles, including 12 in 18 CAA games. Towson's Robert Nwankwo had 15 double-doubles, including 11 in his final 15 games, and Delaware's Jamelle Hagins also has 15 double-doubles, including seven that were recorded in consecutive games from Nov. 26-Dec. 19. George Mason's Ryan Pearson was close behind with 12 double-doubles. Cooper, Rendleman, Nwankwo and Hagins ranked in the top 25 nationally in double-doubles. All 12 CAA teams had a player with at least one double-double.
VCU's Burgess Sets Consecutive Starts Record: VCU senior Bradford Burgess made 146 consecutive starts, which is the longest streak in NCAA history, breaking Patrick Ewing's record of 142 straight starts at Georgetown. Burgess finished his career with 1,684 points, which ranks fourth all-time at VCU.
VCU, Drexel In Final Mid-Major Top 25 Poll: Two CAA teams were ranked in the final Mid-Major Top 25 poll released by CollegeInsider.com. VCU was the top-ranked CAA squad at #3, followed by Drexel at #7. George Mason and Old Dominion also received votes. The CAA , Missouri Valley and West Coast were the only conferences with mulitple teams ranked in the top 10.