CAA Men's Basketball Weekly Honors - Feb. 10
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Davon Usher • Delaware
Sr., G, 6-6, 200 - South Baltimore, Md./Digital Harbor
Usher averaged 33.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.5 steals in Delaware’s 2-0 week. The senior guard made 5-of-6 from 3-point range and scored a game-high 25 points in the Blue Hens’ 80-67 victory over Northeastern and followed with career-highs of 42 points and seven steals as UD rallied from a 20-point deficit to defeat College of Charleston, 67-64. The 42 points were the most in a game by a UD player since 1964 and the most by a CAA player in a game since 2003. For the week, he shot 68.8% (22-32) from the floor, including 8-of-13 from 3-point range.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
T.J. Williams • Northeastern
Fr., G, 6-3, 190 - Pflugerville, Texas/Pflugerville
Williams averaged 12.0 points and 4.5 assists in his two games for Northeastern last week. He tied a career high with 12 points and had three assists in an 81-73 victory over Hofstra, and followed with 12 points and a career-best six assists in an 82-70 setback to William & Mary. For the week, he shot 50% (8-16) from the floor, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range.
DELAWARE IMPROVES TO 10-0 IN CAA: Delaware is off to its best CAA start ever at 10-0 after beating Northeastern 80-67 last Monday and rallying from a 20-point deficit in the final nine minutes to edge College of Charleston 67-64 last Wednesday. The Blue Hens are on a 12-game overall winning streak, which is the 3rd-longest in school history and is the 8th-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 nine straight at home and is one of only seven Division I teams with a 10-0 mark or better in conference play, joining Syracuse, Wichita State, Florida, San Diego State, Georgia State and Stephen F. Austin.
DELAWARE’S START AMONG BEST IN CAA HISTORY: The 10-0 start by Delaware in CAA play is the third-best in conference history. The 2006-07 VCU team and the 1985-86 Richmond team both started 11-0, while James Madison opened 9-0 in 1990-91 and 1991-92. Three other teams started 8-0 in CAA play - Old Dominion in 2004-05, Richmond in 1988-89 and Northeastern in 2012-13.
HOME COURT STARTING TO BE AN ADVANTAGE: Home teams went 8-2 last week after a recent run of success by visiting squads. Home teams are 26-19 for the year. but five squads are at least .500 on the road in CAA games. Each team will play a 16-game conference schedule with home and away games against all eight league foes.
CLOSE GAMES IN CONFERENCE PLAY: More than half (24-of-45) 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 six contests decided by five points or less. UNCW has had six games with margins of seven points or less and a seventh go to overtime.
UD’S USHER SCORES 42 AGAINST COFC: Delaware’s Davon Usher scored a career-high 42 points and made a season-best seven steals as the Blue Hens rallied to defeat the College of Charleston 67-64 last Wednesday. Usher, who tallied 27 points in the final 8:30, finished 14-of-20 from the floor, including 3-of-7 from 3-point range, and made 11-of-14 from the free throw line. The 42 points matches the 7th-highest total in CAA history and was the most by a CAA player since ODU’s Alex Loughton scored 45 vs. Charlotte on December 6, 2003. It was the second-most points ever in a CAA game, trailing only Navy’s David Robinson, who had 45 points vs. JMU on Jan. 10, 1987. The 42 points are the 6th-most scored in a Division I game this season.
NOTABLE PERFORMANCES: Along with the big week put together by Usher, several other players had impressive weeks. W&M guard Marcus Thornton averaged 22.0 ppg, 4.5 apg and 2.5 spg while shooting 60% from the floor in a pair of road victories. Towson forward Jerrelle Benimon averaged 18.0 ppg, 11.0 rpg and 4.0 apg in the Tigers’ 2-0 week. Drexel guard Chris Fouch averaged 21.0 ppg in the Dragons’ 2-0 week.
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. 10. Delaware was the highest ranked CAA team at #65 followed by Drexel at #111, William & Mary at #116 and Towson at #118. 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 57 games, while William & Mary junior guard Marcus Thornton has reached double digits in 53 of his last 54 contests. Saddler had his 38-game streak snapped in the semifinals of the 2013 CAA Championship, but has scored double figures in all 18 of his games this year, including 11 games with 20+ points. 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 11 contests.
EATHERTON, BENIMON LEAD NATION IN DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Northeastern’s Scott Eatherton and Towson’s Jerrelle Benimon are tied for the national lead in double-doubles with 15 according to the latest NCAA statistics released on Feb. 10. Eatherton was also 15th in rebounding (10.0 rpg) and 37th in FG percentage (55.7%) while Benimon was 5th in rebounding (11.3 rpg). In other categories, W&M’s Marcus Thornton was 28th in scoring (20.0 ppg), 17th in 3-pointers per game (3.17) and 31st in 3-pt FG percentage (42.2%). Delaware junior Kyle Anderson was 46th in 3-pointers per game (2.7) and 44th in 3-point FG% (41%). CofC’s Willis Hall was 29th in rebounding (9.2 rpg) and 45th in double-doubles (8). Drexel’s Frantz Massenat was 16th in assist/turnover ratio and 47th in assists (5.2 apg).
DREXEL LEADS NATION IN FEWEST TURNOVERS: Drexel is averaging only 8.3 turnovers per game this season, which leads all Division I teams. The Dragons have committed nine or fewer turnovers in 13 of their last 16 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 14 games and is averaging just 8.2 tpg over that stretch. The Blue Hens rank 14th nationally with 10.1 tpg.
SADDLER BECOMES UD’S ALL-TIME LEADING SCORER: Delaware guard Devon Saddler became the Blue Hens’ all-time leading scorer last Monday, breaking the mark held by Mike Pegues (2,030). With 2,048 points, he has also moved up to 10th on the CAA’s all-time scoring chart. Saddler, who missed seven games earlier this season due to a team suspension, is averaging 21.0 ppg and ranks third in career points among all active players in Division I, trailing only Creighton’s Doug McDermott and Oakland’s Travis Bader.
DREXEL DUO CLIMBING CAREER LISTS: Drexel guard Chris Fouch has moved into 5th place on the Dragons’ all-time scoring list with 1,623 points. He has also made 262 career 3-pointers and needs seven 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 526 and needs just one more to tie VCU’s LaMar Taylor for 10th place on the CAA’s all-time assists chart.
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 box to the right for the full release.