PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
A.J. Davis • James Madison
Jr., G, 6-6, 210 - Columbus, Ohio/Harmony Community/Wyoming
Averaged 23.3 ppg and 5.7 rpg in JMU’s 2-1 week. Hit 16-of-22 (72.7%) from 3-point range, including an 8-of-9 effort in a triumph over Rider where he scored a career-high 29 points. Scored 19 points in a win at Penn, including JMU’s first 14 points to start the second half. Also had a team-best 22 points and was 5-of-8 from three against Robert Morris.
Devon Saddler • Delaware
So., G, 6-2, 205 - Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen/Winchendon Prep
Averaged 26.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 4.0 apg in a pair of Delaware wins. Scored a career-high 32 points with four assists in a victory over Lafayette. Also had a game-high 21 points, six boards and five assists in a triumph over Cornell. Shot 47.2% from the floor for the week and was 14-of-17 from the free throw line.
Joel Smith • Northeastern
Jr., G, 6-4, 180 - Leander, Texas/Leander
Scored a career-high 29 points and grabbed a team-best 10 rebounds in Northeastern’s 78-64 road win at St. John’s last Saturday. Was 7-of-12 from 3-point range, including two threes that gave NU the lead after SJU had moved ahead. Also made a career-high three steals.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Kyle Anderson • Delaware
Fr., G, 6-2, 185 - Newark, Ill./Newark Community
Averaged 13.5 ppg while shooting 55.6% from the floor and 58.3% (7-12) from 3-point range in Delaware’s two wins. Scored a career-high 16 points versus Lafayette, including a three that broke a 75-75 tie with 30 seconds left. Also had 11 points against Cornell, including a three with 1:23 to go in a one-point contest.
Solid Week In Non-Conference Action: CAA teams posted a 12-10 record against non-conference foes last week, which included several noteable performances. Northeastern rolled to a 78-64 road win at Big East foe St. John’s last Saturday. Hofstra defeated previously unbeaten Cleveland State, 63-53, at the Legend’s Classic in Rhode Island. James Madison topped Rider (86-69) and Penn (60-58) in the final two games of the Philly Hoop Group Classic at The Palestra and George Mason won its final two games in the NIT Season Tip-Off over Brown (74-48) and Albany (66-46). Georgia State ran its winning streak to three by topping Samford (55-47) and Liberty (72-50), while Delaware won back-to-back home games over Cornell (72-64) and Lafayette (81-78). VCU gave 13th-ranked Alabama all it could handle on Sunday night before dropping a 72-64 decision.
Conference Play Starts On Saturday: Ten of the CAA’s 12 teams open conference play this Saturday. The schedule includes a 4 p.m. matchup between rivals Delaware and Drexel, which will be televised on The Comcast Network and Comcast SportsNet New England. Also on the slate is ODU visiting Northeastern, Georgia State hosting William & Mary, James Madison traveling to Hofstra and Towson entertaining George Mason. 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 face each other on Dec. 17.
Standout Performers: Numerous CAA players turned in outstanding performances last week. Delaware guard Devon Saddler averaged 26.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 4.0 apg in a pair of victories, highlighted by a career-high 32 points against Lafayette. Drexel guard Frantz Massenat scored a career-high 23 points on 6-of-8 three-point shooting versus Winthrop. George Mason forward Ryan Pearson averaged 23.5 ppg and 6.5 rpg while shooting 62.5% from the floor in a pair of victories. Georgia State guard Jihad Ali averaged 18.0 ppg and 5.5 rpg off the bench in a pair of wins while shooting 72.2% from the floor. Hofstra guard Mike Moore averaged 19.3 ppg over four games including a season-high 27 points versus Boston U. James Madison guard A.J. Davis averaged 23.3 ppg and hit 16-of-22 from three over three games while backcourt mate Humpty Hitchens averaged 15.0 ppg and 8.0 apg. UNCW forward Keith Rendleman averaged 18.0 ppg and 7.5 rpg while shooting 60.9% from the floor. Northeastern guard Joel Smith scored a career-high 29 points and had 10 rebounds in a win at St. John’s. Old Dominion forward Nick Wright had career-highs of 24 points and 10 rebounds against Vermont. Towson forward Marcus Damas set career-highs with 18 points and 10 boards versus Oregon State. VCU forward Bradford Burgess averaged 17.0 ppg in games against Western Kentucky and nationally ranked Alabama.
Hail To The Chief: Among the more than 3,000 fans on hand for Towson’s home opener with Oregon State last Saturday was President Barack Obama and his family. Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson is the brother of First Lady Michelle Obama. At halftime of the game, President Obama posed for pictures with the Towson football team, which was honored for winning its first CAA Football championship.
Bombs Away: James Madison junior A.J. Davis went 8-for-9 from 3-point range in the Dukes’ 86-69 victory over Rider last Friday. The eight treys is tied for the 9th-most ever by a CAA player and he also matched the CAA’s 8th-best 3-point accuaracy (88.9%) in a game. Davis helped JMU set a school record for 3-point percentage in a game (15-21/71.4%). Northeastern’s Joel Smith nailed seven threes in the Huskies’ victory at St. John’s, which was tied for the second-most by an NU player in school history.
Starting Streaks: VCU senior Bradford Burgess has made 116 consecutive starts, which is the longest active streak in Division I basketball and is just five away from the Rams’ all-time record. James Madison senior Julius Wells has started 105 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 1,367 points.
UD’S Saddler Leads Nation In Scoring: Delaware sophomore Devon Saddler leads the nation in scoring at 24.5 ppg through games of Nov. 27. JMU’s A.J. Davis is 9th with 22.8 ppg and Mason’s Ryan Pearson is 14th with 21.3 ppg. In other statistical categories, Davis is 7th in 3-point FG percentage (59.3%), GSU’s Eric Buckner is 8th in blocks (3.5 bpg), NU’s Jonathan Lee is 9th in steals (3.3 spg) and NU’s Joel Smith and UNCW’s Donte Morales are tied for first in FT percentage (100%). In team categories, Drexel leads the nation in 3-point FG defense (20.3%) and Northeastern is 3rd (21.8%). James Madison is 3rd in 3-point FG percentage (46.9%) and 7th in threes per game (10.6). A complete listing of statistical leaders can be found on Page 4 of this release.
Perfect At The Line: Northeastern junior guard Joel Smith is a perfect 20-for-20 at the free throw line this season and has made 22 in a row dating back to last year. UNCW sophomore forward Donte Morales also hasn’t missed from the charity stripe, going 10-for-10.
Three CAA Teams In Mid-Major Top 25 Poll: Three CAA teams were ranked in the Mid-Major Top 25 poll released on Nov. 21 by CollegeInsider.com. George Mason led the group of CAA squads at #15, while Drexel was ranked #17 and VCU was ranked #19. Old Dominion and Hofstra were among others receiving votes. The Horizon League led all conferences with four teams in the poll, followed by the CAA, West Coast and Missouri Valley with three. A new poll will be released on Monday night.
• Improved to 2-0 at home with victories over Cornell (72-64) and Lafayette (81-78) last week.
• Sophomore guard Devon Saddler scored a career-high 32 points against Lafayette and had 21 points, six rebounds and a team-high five assists vs. Cornell. Saddler has led UD in scoring in all four games this season and is averaging a league-best 24.5 ppg.
• Freshman guard Kyle Anderson, who missed the season opener with a foot injury, scored 11 points in his first career start vs. Cornell and followed with a career-best 16 points vs. Lafayette. Was 7-of-12 from 3-pt. range.
• Junior forward Jamelle Hagins posted his 6th career double-double vs. Lafayette with 13 points and a team-high 14 rebounds. He also had 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds in the Cornell win.
• The Blue Hens shot a season-best 53.6% from the floor against Lafayette.
• Beat Winthrop 68-45 in the final game of the Paradise Jam after losing 61-56 to Norfolk State and 49-35 to Virginia.
• Sophomore Frantz Massenat scored a career-high 23 points vs. Winthrop and was 6-of-8 from 3-point range. It was Massenat’s second 20-point effort this season and his fourth straight game in double figures.
• Freshman guard Damion Lee scored a career-high 21 points in the NSU loss and also contributed nine points, eight rebounds and seven assists against Winthrop.
• Drexel went 11-for-21 from 3-point range in the Winthrop win after hitting just 9-of-50 from beyond the arc in the first 3 games.
• Senior Samme Givens, who had a double-double (10 pts/10 reb) vs. UVA, is ranked 7th on Drexel’s career rebounding list with 805. He has a chance to become only the 6th player in CAA history to reach 1,000 career boards.
• Defeated Brown (74-48) and Albany (66-46) to extend their home court winning streak to 17 dating back to the start of last season.
• Senior Ryan Pearson scored a team-high 23 points vs. Brown and 24 points against Albany while shooting 62.5% from the floor. Pearson ranks 3rd in the CAA in scoring (21.3 ppg) and 2nd in rebounds (9.0 rpg).
• Pearson posted 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.
• Guard Sherrod Wright is shooting 62.2% from the floor, which leads the CAA.
• Freshman Corey Edwards started both games last week at point guard.
• Guard Vertrail Vaughns tallied double digits in Mason’s first four games, including a career-high 21 points at FAU.
• Riding a three-game winning streak after a 55-47 road win at Samford and a 72-50 triumph over Liberty on Saturday.
• The Panthers have held their past three opponents to 50 points or less for the first time in school history. GSU allowed 80.3 ppg over the first three contests.
• Senior guard Jihad Ali came off the bench to score a team-high 20 points at Samford, which was two shy of his career high. Scored 14 of his team-high 16 points in the second half against Liberty. Was 6-for-6 from the floor against LU.
• Senior Josh Micheaux contributed 12 points and nine rebounds at Samford and grabbed 10 boards vs. Liberty.
• Senior Eric Buckner blocked a career-high seven shots against Liberty, which matched the second-most in GSU history. He also had nine points and seven rebounds. Buckner ranks 8th in career blocks (71) at GSU.
• Suffered losses to FAU (62-60), Rhode Island (85-73) and Boston (71-68) last week, but knocked off previously unbeaten Cleveland State (63-53) on Saturday.
• Senior Mike Moore averaged 19.3 ppg and 7.5 rpg for the week and topped the 20-point mark three times. Moore scored 20 points vs. FAU, 25 points at URI and a season-best 27 points against BU.
• Senior Nathaniel Lester, who poured in 22 points at URI and 10 vs. CSU, has scored double digits in five of Hofstra’s seven games. He also had a team-high 12 rebounds against FAU.
• Sophomore Stephen Nwaukoni scored a career-high 12 points vs. Cleveland State.
• Junior Bryant Crowder scored 13 points in just 18 minutes off the bench in his Pride debut against URI.
• Senior Dwan McMillan had 10 of his 12 points in the second half in the CSU win.
• Rebounded from an 82-77 setback to Robert Morris last Tuesday by beating Rider (86-69) and Penn (60-58) at The Palestra.
• Junior guard A.J. Davis averaged 23.3 ppg for the week and was 16-of-22 from 3-point range. He was 8-of-9 from three and scored a career-high 29 points against Rider. He is the first JMU player to begin his career with four straight 20-point games.
• Davis, who is 2nd in the CAA in scoring (22.8 ppg), has scored 28 points in the first half but 86 points in the second half over the first five games.
• Senior Humpty Hitchens posted his first career double-double against RMU with 21 points and a career-high 10 assists. He added 16 points and nine assists vs. Rider. Hitchens leads the CAA in assists (6.0 apg).
• JMU tied a school record with 16 treys and 34 three-point attempts (47%) against RMU and was 15-of-21 from 3 against Rider.
• Slipped to 0-4 on the season after a 69-64 loss to Marshall and a 70-67 setback to Davidson in their first two home games.
• Junior Keith Rendleman scored a career-best 21 points with nine rebounds vs. Davidson. Also had a team-high 15 points vs. Marshall, with 11 in the second half.
• Freshman Adam Smith contributed 14 points against Marshall and Davidson. He has scored in double digits in all four games and is averaging a team-best 15.3 ppg.
• Freshman Freddie Jackson came off the bench to score a career-high 13 points in 17 minutes vs. Marshall while rookie Cedric Williams had a career-high 11 rebounds.
• Freshmen have accounted for 145 of the Seahawks’ 242 points (59.9%) this season.
• UNCW was 0-for-3 from 3-point range vs. Davidson, which was the first time since 1996 it hasn’t hit a trey.
• Knocked off Big East foe St. John’s 78-64 on Saturday.
• Junior Joel Smith scored a career-high 29 points and grabbed 10 boards at SJU. It was the second double-double of the year for Smith, who made a career-high seven treys.
• Smith is a perfect 20-for-20 at the free throw line this season and has made 22 straight dating back to last season.
• Junior Jonathan Lee added 17 points in the St. John’s win. Lee has scored double digits in eight straight games.
• NU only trailed for 37 seconds vs. SJU. It was the Huskies’ second win this year over a team that went to the NCAA Tournament.
• Junior forward Kauri Black had 12 points and seven rebounds vs. the Red Storm.
• NU out-rebounded SJU 45-35 and has out-rebounded three of its four opponents.
• Were beaten 65-63 in overtime by Vermont on Wednesday night. It was ODU’s second straight loss after a three-game win streak.
• Junior forward Nick Wright set career-highs with 24 points and 10 rebounds against Vermont. Wright was 9-of-12 from the floor and also blocked three shots.
• Senior guard Kent Bazemore ranks fourth on ODU’s career steals list with 195. Bazemore is second in the CAA with 3.2 steals per game this season.
• Senior forward Chris Cooper recorded three double-doubles in a four-game stretch this season: Howard (13 pts/10 reb), LIU (10 pts/11 reb) and Kentucky (17 pts/12 reb).
• Freshman Dimitri Batten scored a team-high 16 points in a victory over LIU and had 12 points and three steals in a win over Big East foe South Florida.
• Fell 66-46 to Oregon State on Saturday in their home opener. President Barack Obama and his family were in attendance.
• Towson has played the 9th-toughest non-conference schedule in the nation. Of their five opponents, two are nationally ranked and two others have been receiving votes in the AP Top 25.
• Sophomore Marcus Damas recorded a double-double against Oregon State with career-highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds. Damas is tied for the team lead in scoring and ranks second in rebounding.
• Towson out-rebounded Oregon State 38-23 and is +4.8 in rebound margin for the year.
• Senior Robert 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.
• Earned a 68-45 road win at Western Kentucky but lost 72-64 at #13 Alabama on Sunday.
• Senior Bradford Burgess averaged 17.0 ppg last week, including a team-high 18 points at Alabama. Burgess has scored double digits in five consecutive games.
• Sophomore Rob Brandenberg is contributing 13.3 ppg over his last three games.
• Junior guard Darius Theus has at least four assists and one steal in five of VCU’s six games. He’s second in the CAA with 4.5 apg.
• The 45 points scored by WKU were the fewest by a Rams’ opponent since Feb. 28, 2009. VCU is 36-2 under Shaka Smart when holding an opponent to 65 points or less.
• Freshman Briante Weber scored a career-high 13 points on 5-of-6 FG shooting and had five rebounds and four steals at WKU. He added eight points and six boards at Alabama.
WILLIAM & MARY
• Fell 67-58 at Howard on Saturday. It was W&M’s sixth game this season away from home and its fourth in a row.
• Sophomore Brandon Britt scored a team-high 15 points at Howard. It’s the third time in the last four games he’s led the Tribe in scoring and he’s averaging 12.8 ppg over that stretch.
• Sophomore forward Tim Rusthoven saw his first action of the season at Howard and scored 13 points with a team-high six rebounds in 21 minutes of action.
• Freshman forward Tom Schalk contributed a career-best 10 points on 5-of-7 FG shooting against Howard.
• Freshman Marcus Thornton has reached double digits in four of seven games.
• All-CAA forward Quinn McDowell was limited to just one point and four rebounds at Howard.