Thursday, October 21, 2010

CAA Media Day - Fun for the Crowd

Tuesday was Basketball Media Day for the CAA.   They announced the preseason polls for both the women and men's basketball leagues, as well as predicted their preseason players of the year, the preseason all CAA first teams for men and women, and most importantly, the CAA announced the TV schedules for both men and women.

The men's TV schedule is particularly impressive.  Yes, there are the 26 games on the various World Wide Leader (ESPN) channels plus a few other games on Fox College Sports.   But every other game is on some CAA team's internet site, whether it's Monarch TV, Mason All Access, or Hawkvision, just to name a few.   And if your CAA team is playing a non conference game on the road, chances are you can watch them on (when Towson plays at Buffalo) or Bobcat (when Delaware travels to Ohio U.) or Orange All Access ( when William and Mary travel to the Cuse.

You can say that there are a lot of bad things or wacky things about the Internet (click here for the link of the Rent is Too Damn High Party web site).  However the ability to be able to watch your team playing on the road from your computer at home (or wherever) is a beautiful thing.  Yes, you will mostly like have to probably pay to view online your favorite CAA team play on the road,  and you may even get a team's live feed site that isn't very good (memo to the folks at - It's called "Play by Play").  But you can tell your friends how hardcore of a fan you really are!

As for those twenty six games on ESPN and three games on FCS, many of them feature defending CAA champ and NCAA 2010 Tournament First Round winner ODU.  Between the WWL and FCS, the Monarchs will have eight nationally televised games.  But Old Dominion is not the only CAA team in the national spotlight.  George Mason has seven games and VCU has six games respectively on the WWL family of networks.

Of course CAA Media Day is not just about TV schedules.  It's about the preseason poll or hearing the coaches speak.   With my real full time job, I didn't have chance to listen to the live feed from, but thankfully some folks wrote their usual good takes about the day.  Brian Mull gives you his usual good nuggets of information.  And of course, Mr. CAA himself, Mike Litos has some great quotes from the coaches.  The really insightful ones I thought came from Hofstra coach Mo Cassara.  I'll let you read the article and judge for yourself.

As for the preseason poll, no shock that ODU is picked to repeat. With four starters returning from a team that won the regular season and postseason titles, then knocked off Notre Dame in the first round of the tourney, I have the Monarchs as the favorite for the CAA too.   And not surprised by the usual suspects of Mason and VCU as the next two in the poll.  Then comes James Madison, and that's no surprise really, given the ton of talent on that team.  Meshing it together, well that remains to be seen.

And despite losing two starters to transfer, you can certainly see Hofstra being picked fifth simply due to the fact that the reigning CAA Player of the Year and Preseason Player of the Year, Charles Jenkins is back for another season of havoc.  However, there appears to be a major dropoff on the rest of the league due to teams losing players to bad conduct (Drexel with Jamie Harris), significant graduation (see William and Mary and Northeastern) or injury (Delaware with Brian Johnson still hurt).

As for the CAA Preseason First Team, no surprise that Jenkins leads it.  The others listed are Denzel Bowles (defiinitely by far, the biggest threat to Jenkins for winning CAA Player of the Year), VCU's Joey Rodriguez,  Northeastern's Chaisson Allen and Mason's Cam Long.  The Preseason Second Team has ODU's Kent Bazemore and Ben Finney, James Madison's Julius Wells, William and Mary's Quinn McDowell and Delaware's Jawan Carter.

But I am going to give you a little sneak peek of my CAA Season Preview article and tell you five players you need to know about that are not on either the preseason first team or second team.

  • James Madison's Devon Moore.  Moore is returning from injury and will be the key to how successful the Dukes are this season.  I think he is much more first team material than Cam Long.
  • Hofstra's Mike Moore.  Transfer from Fordham who Mo Cassara notes as having an "uncanny ability to score in different ways".  If he lives up to his billing, Hofstra could have a deadly one-two punch they have been missing since the Stokes-Agudio days. 
  • Old Dominion's Frank Hassell.  When you are the second leading scorer from last season's team, you shoot 54 percent from the field and the leading scorer graduates, Blaine Taylor will be looking for you to score more. 
  • VCU's Brandon Burgess.  Burgess is capable of lighting it up.  In his first two seasons, Burgess has shot  48 percent from the field.  Shaka Smart needs a new scoring option with Larry Sanders gone, so look for Burgess to blossom.
  • George Mason's Ryan Pearson.  Look at the end of last season.  When Cam Long was basically a cast member on the TV show "Lost", Pearson was the Patriots' go to guy in the CAA Tournament.  With Gerald Lee and Sanders gone,  Pearson might be the best post player in the CAA.
What really happens this upcoming season, well for the most part, it's anybody's guess.  No one predicted last season that William and Mary would finish third in the conference and knock off teams like Maryland, Wake Forest and Richmond.  Nobody had any idea how good Denzel Bowles would be or that Larry Sanders would be taken with the 15th pick in the first round of the NBA draft.    

There are a few things for certain though this upcoming season.  First, the basketball in the CAA will again be good, especially with three veteran teams at the top of the league.  Second, without fail, recent history has shown that one of the four top regular season teams in the CAA will win the CAA Tournament.   And finally, once again, I will be having my share of Aunt Sarah's pancakes while in town for the CAA Tournament in Richmond in March.  As much as many things change, some things stay the same.


  1. It's Bradford Burgess.

    As they say on ESPN: "C'mon man"

  2. My apologies. You know, I often mix up Brandon Rozzell and Bradford Burgess. I think Anthony Grant recruited both of them just to throw off people like me.

  3. But you should never quote the WWL "Cmon man" on this site. That's football. Next time, give me a hoops movie reference like "You know, it wasn't good enough. It wasn't good enough for me, wasn't good enough for you, wasn't good enough for anybody!