CAA Men's Basketball Weekly Honors - Jan. 6
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Willis Hall • College of Charleston
Sr., F, 6-6, 235 - Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian
Hall averaged 22.0 points and 19.0 rebounds in the College of Charleston’s 2-0 week. He became the first player in CofC’s Division I history to post a 20/20 game with career-highs of 26 points and 21 rebounds in a 76-64 victory at defending SoCon champion Davidson, and followed with 18 points and a game-high 17 rebounds in a 60-50 triumph over Howard. Hall, who has recorded three straight double-doubles, shot 61.5% from the floor over the two games.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Marcus Thornton • William & Mary
Jr., G, 6-4, 185 - Upper Marlboro, Md./Bishop McNamara
Thornton averaged 25.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.0 steals in William & Mary’s 2-0 week. The junior guard scored 22 of his team-high 26 points in the second half as the Tribe defeated rival Old Dominion 74-68 and then tallied a team-high 25 points, a career-high six rebounds and a career-best six assists in a 78-67 road victory at Western Illinois. For the week, Thornton made 8-of-17 from 3-point range and was 15-of-20 at the free throw line.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Omar Prewitt • William & Mary
Fr., F, 6-6, 180 - Mount Sterling, Ky./Montgomery County
Prewitt averaged 14.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in William & Mary’s 2-0 week. The freshman forward scored 18 points, grabbed a career-high eight rebounds and dished out three assists in a 78-67 road win at Western Illinois and netted 11 points in a 74-68 triumph over Old Dominion. For the week, Prewitt shot 46.7% from the floor, including 5-of-11 from 3-point range, and made 15-of-20 at the free throw line.
JMU TOPS UNCW IN CAA OPENER: Defending CAA champion James Madison opened conference play with a 60-55 victory at UNCW last Saturday. The Dukes will stay on the road and face the College of Charleston on Tuesday night in the Cougars’ inaugural CAA contest. There are three more league games on Wednesday as UNCW visits Northeastern, William & Mary entertains Drexel and Hofstra is at Delaware. Preseason favorite Towson is the final team to open CAA play on Saturday. Each team will play a 16-game conference schedule with home and away games against all eight league foes.
NOTABLE PERFORMANCES: Along with the efforts put forth by weekly honorees Willis Hall and Marcus Thornton, several other CAA players had noteworthy performances last week. Towson senior Jerrelle Benimon averaged 22.0 points, 13.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 blocks in the Tigers’ 2-0 week. Benimon has posted six consecutive double-doubles. JMU sophomore Charles Cooke averaged 22.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 2.5 assists in JMU’s 2-0 week. Delaware junior Jarvis Threatt averaged 16.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists in the Blue Hens’ 2-1 week. Hofstra grad student Zeke Upshaw averaged 22.7 points in the Pride’s three contests, including a 31-point effort at Tulane.
CAA RANKED 16TH IN LATEST RPI RATINGS: The CAA was ranked 16th among the nation’s 32 Division I conferences according to the latest RPI ratings released by Collegiate Basketball News (rpiratings.com) on Jan. 6. Drexel was the highest ranked CAA team at #71 followed by Delaware at #110. Northeastern has faced the 20th-toughest non-conference schedule in the nation. A complete listing can be found on Page 5 of the release.
COFC’S HALL TURNS IN 20/20 GAME: CAA Player of the Week Willis Hall recorded the first 20/20 game in the College of Charleston’s Division I history with a career-high 26 points and 21 rebounds in the Cougars’ 76-64 victory at Davidson on New Year’s Day. The 21 rebounds matched the 10th-highest single-game total by a CAA player and it was the 7th-most in CofC history. It was the first 20/20 performance by a CAA player since Towson’s Jerrelle Benimon had 20 points and 21 boards in a victory at Oregon State on Dec. 29, 2012.
TOWSON TOUGH AT HOME: Towson is a perfect 8-0 at home this season and its 12-game home court winning streak is tied for the 18th-longest in the nation currently. The Tigers’ home court streak is their longest since winning 22 in a row from 1992-95.
NON-CONFERENCE SUCCESS: Towson’s nine non-conference victories are its most as a Division I program. Delaware posted its most non-conference wins (8) since the 1999-2000 season, while William & Mary has recorded four non-conference road victories for the first time since 1982-83.
SADDLER, THORNTON IN DOUBLE FIGURES: Delaware senior guard Devon Saddler has scored double figures in 46 of his last 47 games, while William & Mary junior guard Marcus Thornton has reached double digits in 44 of his last 45 contests. Saddler had his 38-game streak snapped in the semifinals of the 2013 CAA Championship, but has scored double figures in all eight of his games this year. 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. He started a new streak with 26 points in the Tribe’s win over ODU and 25 points in a victory at Western Illinois last week.
EATHERTON, BENIMON AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS IN DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Northeastern’s Scott Eatherton was tied for the national lead in double-doubles with 10 and Towson’s Jerrelle Benimon was tied for 3rd with nine according to the latest NCAA statistics released on Jan. 6. Eatherton was also 15th in rebounding (10.0 rpg) and 45th in FG percentage (56.1%) while Benimon was 7th in rebounding (10.7 rpg). In other categories, Delaware junior Jarvis Threatt ranked 36th in Division I in assists (5.5 apg) and 35th in steals (2.2 spg), while Blue Hens’ junior Kyle Anderson was 9th in 3-pointers per game (3.53) and 5th in 3-point FG% (49.5%). W&M’s Marcus Thornton was 43rd in scoring (19.5 ppg) and 35th in 3-pointers per game (2.92) In FG percentage, W&M’s Tim Rusthoven was 27th at 57.9%. CofC’s Willis Hall was 22nd in rebounding (9.7 rpg).
COACHES TELECONFERENCES START ON JAN. 7: The CAA will begin its weekly teleconference series with all nine men’s basketball coaches on Tuesday, January 7. The calls will take place each Tuesday morning starting at 10 a.m. through March 4. Fans and media can listen to the calls live on CAASports.com and audio from the calls will also be archived in the Media Center on CAASports.com.
TAKING CARE OF THE BALL: Drexel is averaging only 9.3 turnovers per game this season, which ranks seventh in Division I. The Dragons have committed nine or fewer turnovers in five of their last six games and haven’t turned the ball over more than 14 times in any of their 12 contests. Drexel had only five turnovers in a narrow loss to #1 Arizona on Nov. 27. Delaware has recorded single-digit turnovers in three of its last four games and is averaging just 8.0 tpg over that stretch.
MOVING UP THE WINS LIST: Delaware’s Monte’ Ross has 98 career victories and needs one more to tie current Notre Dame coach Mike Brey for third place on the Hens’ all-time wins list. JMU’s Matt Brady moved into third place on the Dukes’ all-time wins chart with 94, passing Sherman Dillard.
OFFENSE VS. DEFENSE: Delaware and College of Charleston both have 8-7 overall records, but have done it in different ways. The Blue Hens rank 29th nationally in scoring offense with 81.1 ppg and have tallied 80 or more points nine times. The Cougars are 25th in Division I in scoring defense at 62.1 ppg and have held seven foes under 60 points.
For more notes on all nine CAA men's basketball teams, 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.