PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Chris Cooper • Old Dominion
Sr., F, 6-9, 230 - Dumfries, Va./Forest Park
Cooper averaged 12.5 points and 9.3 rebounds in Old Dominion’s 3-1 week. The senior forward recorded double-doubles in three of the four games, tallying a career-high 17 points and 12 boards vs. #2 Kentucky, 13 points and 10 rebounds in a win over Howard and 10 points and 11 caroms in a victory over Long Island. The senior forward also blocked seven shots and made six steals last week.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Damion Lee • Drexel
Fr., F, 6-6, 190 - Baltimore, Md./St. Thomas More (Conn.)
Lee averaged 13.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in Drexel’s 1-2 week. The freshman played all 40 minutes in the Dragons’ 80-62 season-opening win over Rider and contributed 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists. He followed with a career-high 21 points and five rebounds in a loss to Norfolk State in the first round of the Paradise Jam.
ODU Reaches Finals Of Hall of Fame Tournament: Old Dominion reached the championship game of the Hall of Fame Tournament, but fell 62-52 to #2 Kentucky on Sunday. The Monarchs edged South Florida, 68-66 in overtime, in the semifinals and improved to 5-3 all-time against Big East teams under coach Blaine Taylor. ODU was within 50-49 of Kentucky with 7:10 remaining but couldn’t move ahead.
Scoring Surge: Of the top 10 scorers in the CAA through games of Nov. 20, five have increased their scoring average by at least 8.8 ppg from their most recent season. Leading scorer Devon Saddler of Delaware has jumped from 13.3 ppg to 22.5 ppg (+9.2 ppg), while #3 scorer Humpty Hitchens of JMU has gone from 8.9 ppg to 21.6 ppg (+12.6 ppg). Others making big jumps have been #6 Nathaniel Lester of Hofstra (+11.3 ppg), #8 Vertrail Vaughns of Mason (+12.0 ppg) and #10 Frantz Massenat of Drexel (+8.8 ppg).
More Steals For Bazemore: ODU senior guard Kent Bazemore, who has led the CAA in steals for the past two seasons, had seven thefts against USF and four versus Kentucky over the weekend. Bazemore, who was the CAA Defensive Player of the Year and the CollegeInsider.com National Defensive Player of the Year in 2010-11, tops the CAA with 17 steals this season and is just seven shy of 200 thefts for his career.
NU’S Smith Perfect At The Line: Northeastern junior guard Joel Smith is a perfect 18-for-18 at the free throw line this season and has made 20 in a row dating back to last year.
Heading Home: CAA teams have played just 11 of their 42 non-conference games at home thus far, and are 9-2 in those contests. The schedule becomes more favorable this week as 11 of 22 contests are at home and four others are on neutral courts.
Mason Receives Votes In National Polls: George Mason received 10 points in this week’s ESPN/USA Today Top 25 coaches poll released on Nov. 21. The Patriots, Drexel and VCU were among others receiving votes in the first coaches’ poll released on Nov. 14.
Four CAA Teams In Mid-Major Top 25 Poll: Four CAA teams were ranked in the Mid-Major Top 25 poll released on Nov. 14 by CollegeInsider.com. George Mason led the group of CAA squads at #7, while Drexel was ranked #10, VCU was ranked #13 and Old Dominion was ranked #21. The Missouri Valley led all conferences with five teams in the poll, followed by the CAA with four and the Horizon League and West Coast Conference with three. A new poll will be released on Monday night.
• Dropped a 79-69 decision at Villanova last Friday. Cut a 16-point deficit to four with 15 minutes left, but couldn’t take the lead.
• Sophomore guard Devon Saddler, the 2010-11 CAA Rookie of the Year, tied a career high with 27 points at Villanova and also had four rebounds and four assists.
• Freshman guard Kyle Anderson, who missed the season opener with a foot injury, hit four 3-pointers at Villanova and contributed 12 points off the bench.
• Two other freshmen had strong efforts at Villanova. Guard Jarvis Threatt netted 11 points and dished out five assists, while Khalid Lewis also handed out five assists.
• The Blue Hens drained 10 three-pointers against the Wildcats and also out-rebounded Villanova 36-34.
• Delaware plays its first two home games this week against Cornell and Lafayette.
• Lost 61-56 to Norfolk State and 49-35 to Virginia in the first two games of the Paradise Jam.
• Freshman guard Damion Lee scored a career-high 21 points in the NSU loss. Lee also contributed 14 points, a team-high nine rebounds and a team-best five assists while playing all 40 minutes at Rider.
• Defeated Rider 80-62 last Tuesday morning in ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon. Shot 60% in the second half and outscored Rider 52-34 over the final 20 minutes.
• Senior forward Samme Givens had 21 points and seven rebounds and sophomore guard Frantz Massenat scored a career-high 21 points on 7-of-10 FG shooting vs. Rider.
• Givens, who had a double-double (10 pts/10 reb) vs. UVA, is ranked 7th on Drexel’s career rebounding list with 798. He has a chance to become only the 6th player in CAA history to reach 1,000 career boards.
• Three of Mason’s four games this year have gone to overtime. The Patriots, who are 1-2 in those contests, have never played more than four OT games in a season.
• Senior Ryan Pearson recorded double-doubles in Mason’s first three games: URI (career-high 28 pts/12 reb), FIU (18 pts/10 reb) and Monmouth (16 pts/12 reb). He’s the first Patriot to achieve that feat since G.C. Marcaccini in 1995-96.
• Pearson is currently ranked among the top five in the CAA in scoring (20.3ppg/5th), rebounding (10.3rpg/2nd) and FG percentage (57.4%/5th).
• Guard Vertrail Vaughns, who is a first-year starter, has tallied double digits in Mason’s first four games, including a career-high 21 points at FAU. Vaughns has hit 11 treys and is shooting 50% from beyond the arc.
• Mason’s loss to FIU last Monday ended a 15-game regular-season winning streak.
• Defeated McNeese State 69-50 in their home opener last Friday. It was the first win at GSU for new coach Ron Hunter.
• Sophomore guard Devonta White scored a career-high 23 points on 8-of-14 FG shooting versus McNeese.
• Senior Josh Micheaux posted a double-double versus McNeese with 16 points and a career-high 10 rebounds. Senior Jihad Ali also grabbed a career-best 14 rebounds and center James Vincent had eight points and 10 boards.
• Senior Eric Buckner earned all-tournament honors at the World Vision Classic after scoring a team-high 24 points against FAU last Monday. Buckner was 12-of-18 from the floor and also blocked three shots.
• Georgia State was 18-of-19 at the free throw line against McNeese, which was the fifth-best percentage in school history.
• Rebounded from an 82-72 loss at Oregon State last Wednesday by beating St. Francis (NY) 63-59 on Saturday.
• Senior Mike Moore scored a team-high 16 points at OSU and posted a double-double (23 pts/10 reb) vs. SFC. Moore, who is averaging 20.7 ppg, has scored double figures in 26 of his last 27 games dating back to last season and 14 in a row.
• Senior Nathaniel Lester averaged 13.5 ppg and 5.5 rpg last week. Lester netted a career-best 33 points in HU’s opener and has scored double digits in all three games.
• Junior forward David Imes contributed 15 points and seven rebounds at OSU.
• Hofstra leads the CAA in 3-point percentage (48.4%) through three games and is second in FG percentage (48.6%).
• Hofstra’s starting five is accouting for better than 80% of the team’s scoring.
• Lost 92-83 at La Salle last Saturday in their first road game of the year.
• Junior guard A.J. Davis, a transfer from Wyoming, scored a team-high 21 points at La Salle after tallying 23 points in the opener vs. Canisius. He’s the first JMU player to start the season with back-to-back 20-point games since Darren McLinton in 1995-96.
• Davis, who ranks second in the CAA in scoring (22.0 ppg), has scored only 13 points in the first half but 31 points in the second half over the first two games.
• Senior Humpty Hitchens had 17 points and four assists at La Salle after pouring in a career-high 26 points vs. Canisius. Hitchens is filling in at point guard in the absence of Devon Moore.
• Junior forward Andrey Semenov contributed 18 points on 8-of-14 FG shooting at La Salle.
• Fell to 0-2 on the road this season after losing at Dayton 74-49 on Saturday.
• Junior Keith Rendleman recorded a double-double at Dayton with team-highs of 12 points and 12 rebounds. It was the seventh double-double of Rendleman’s career.
• Freshman Adam Smith, who scored a team-high 23 points and grabbed five rebounds in his collegiate debut at Maryland, added 10 points at Dayton. Smith is 7-of-15 from 3-point range over the first two games.
• Freshmen have accounted for 76 of the Seahawks’ 111 points (68.5%) this season.
• Forward Nate Anderson made his first collegiate start at Dayton and was one of three freshmen in the starting lineup.
• UNCW plays its first two home games of the season this week, entertaining Marshall and Davidson.
• Rebounded from an 83-67 loss at UMass by defeating Southern Illinois 64-57 in their home opener last Saturday.
• Junior Jonathan Lee poured in a game-high 24 points with five rebounds in the SIU win. He also had 15 points, five assists and a career-high five steals at UMass. Lee has scored double digits in 7 straight games.
• Junior Joel Smith, who scored 15 points at UMass, is a perfect 18-of-18 from the free throw line this season. Northeastern is shooting a league-best 76.5% as a team from the charity stripe.
• Freshman forward Reggie Spencer contributed nine points, a game-high eight rebounds and three blocks vs. SIU. He’s averaging 10.7 ppg and 7.0 rpg for the season.
• Junior forward Kauri Black had 13 points, six rebounds and three steals vs. SIU.
• Put together a three-game winning streak over South Florida (68-66 /ot), Howard (53-43) and Long Island (77-69) last week before falling 62-52 to #2 Kentucky on Sunday.
• Senior guard Kent Bazemore came off the bench to score a team-high 23 points in the USF win. Also had nine rebounds and seven steals. Bazemore was named to the Hall of Fame All-Tournament squad.
• Senior forward Chris Cooper recorded three double-doubles in four games last week: Howard (13 pts/10 reb), LIU (10 pts/11 reb) and Kentucky (17 pts/12 reb). He also blocked seven shots and had six steals.
• Freshman Dimitri Batten scored a team-high 16 points in the LIU win and had 12 points and three steals in the USF victory.
• Senior guard Marquel De Lancey scored a career-best 13 points against LIU and followed with 11 points on 5-of-6 FG shooting versus Howard.
• Suffered losses to #17 Michigan (64-47), Belmont (87-41) and UNCG (72-60) to close out the Maui Invitational.
• Senior Robert Nwankwo averaged 13.7 ppg and 9.0 rpg last week. Nwankwo posted double-doubles against nationally ranked foes Kansas (14 pts/10 reb) and Michigan (16 pts/10 reb) and has 11 double-doubles for his career.
• Freshman forward Deon Jones had the best game of his collegiate career vs. UNCG with 15 points and seven rebounds. He averaged 9.3 ppg and 6.3 rpg for the week.
• Sophomore transfer Marcus Damas is second on the team in scoring (10.3 ppg) and rebounding (6.0 rpg). He’s shooting 50% (4-8) from 3-point range.
• Towson shot a season-best 55% from the floor and scored a season-high 60 points against UNCG.
• Lost 69-54 to Seton Hall and 73-60 to Georgia Tech in the first two games of the Charleston Classic before beating Western Kentucky 69-64 in Sunday’s finale.
• Senior Bradford Burgess, who has made a nation’s best made 114 consecutive starts, was the Rams’ top scorer vs. Seton Hall (11 pts) and Georgia Tech (17 pts) and chipped in 10 points in the WKU win.
• Sophomore Rob Brandenberg broke out of an early-season slump with a team-high 18 points in the victory over WKU.
• Junior guard Darius Theus has at least four assists and one steal in all four games this season. The Rams are 13-3 when Theus dishes out at least four assists. He is also contributing 8.5 points per game.
• VCU has 59 offensive rebounds in its first four games, which is the team’s highest four-game total in nearly three years.
WILLIAM & MARY
• Ended a five-game slide with a 65-64 victory at Liberty on Sunday.
• Freshman Marcus Thornton averaged 12.0 ppg last week, including a career-high 19 points versus Liberty. Thornton has tallied double figures in four of the Tribe’s first six games.
• Quinn McDowell was named to the 2K Classic Subregional All-Tournament team. McDowell had 18 points and eight rebounds in the win over Liberty, including a game-winning 3-point play with 8.1 seconds to go.
• Freshman forward Tom Schalk made two starts last week and averaged 6.5 ppg and 7.0 rpg in those contests.
• Junior Matt Rum came off the bench to score 14 points against Liberty on perfect 4-for-4 shooting on threes.
• Sophomore Brandon Britt had 15 points, four assists and no turnovers in the Liberty victory.