Saturday, December 3, 2011

CAA Notes Heading into First Day of Conference Play

Today marks the first day of CAA conference action in the 2011-12 season.  There are five conference games on tap - James Madison vs. Hofstra, George Mason vs. Towson, William and Mary vs. Georgia State, Drexel vs, Delaware, and Northeastern vs. Old Dominion.  On December 17, UNCW will play at VCU to even up the conference schedule.  Mike Litos has a good preview of all the games.

What conference play holds for the Colonial teams is still to be determined.  But so far, it's been a crazy non conference season for the Colonial teams.  Here are a few highlights.

  • Florida Atlantic is 3-0 vs. the CAA. Yes, Georgia State, George Mason and Hofstra are all victims of Mike Jarvis' Owls.  Unfortunately, FAU is 0-5 in the rest of their non conference schedule.
  • George Mason has the best overall record in the Colonial with a 5-2 record.  But the Patriots could easily be 3-4.  They needed overtime to win at home vs. Rhode Island, whose only win on the season so far came at the expense of Hofstra, and had to rally at home to defeat Bucknell. 
  • One of the Patriots' losses came in overtime at the hands of Florida International.  Yes, the same Golden Panthers' team that lost by TWENTY SIX at Georgia State.
  • Speaking of Georgia State, after losing three games in a row, they have won five straight by an average of twenty one points.  The Panthers are 3-0 at home, with their average margin of victory being twenty two points.  Guess where William and Mary plays today?
  • Speaking of William and Mary, has there been a bigger disappointment so far than the Tribe? William and Mary is 1-7, with their average margin of loss being nearly seventeen points a game. Their lone win was a one point squeaker at Liberty, a team that lost at Georgia State by twenty two points. Ruh Roh.
  • Despite eventually losing to the Wildcats, Old Dominion (4-3) dominated inside again Kentucky.  Then the Monarchs followed that up by getting outrebounded 45-36 at home by the Catamounts in a loss to Vermont.  The Monarchs have already lost two games at home this season. They only lost two games at home the entire 2010-11 season.  
  • Hofstra followed up their loss to Rhode Island by giving Cleveland State their first loss on the season up at URI.  If not for two second half shooting droughts against Florida Atlantic and Boston University, the Pride could be 5-2 instead of 3-4.
  • Northeastern dominated St John's at Carnesecca Arena, beating the Red Storm by fourteen.  The Huskies followed that up by losing by seventeen points at LaSalle, who also beat James Madison by nine points.
  • Speaking of Big East teams, two of South Florida's three losses are against ODU and VCU, while the Bulls have won five of their other six non conference games.  Forget the Big East vs. SEC challenge.  Give us the Big East vs. CAA challenge.
  • VCU used to be a member of the Sun Belt conference.  I am sure Western Kentucky is glad that VCU is no longer in that conference.  The Hilltoppers have lost two games to the Rams this season, including a twenty three point drubbing on WKU's home court. 
  • Delaware is 0-3 on the road and 2-0 at home.  Drexel comes calling today.  Devon Saddler has hoisted 103 of the Blue Hens 288 FG attempts on the season.  Yes, that's more than twenty field goal attempts per game. The next closest, Jamelle Hagins with forty three FG attempts.
  • Drexel, the preseason favorite to win the CAA, is a disappointing 2-3.  It simply comes down to FG percentage for the Dragons.  In their three losses, Drexel has shot 38 percent, 26 percent and 31 percent respectively.  The Dragons are 311th in the country in FG percentage at 38 percent.
  • The scary thing is the Dragons don't get to the line either.  In five games, the Dragons have attempted sixty four free throws.  That's not even thirteen a game.  Huh?
  • In comparison, Hofstra has attempted two hundred and four free throws in seven games. That's twenty nine free throw attempts a game. 
  • James Madison is first in the CAA in scoring offense at 77.6 points per game.  They are next to last in the CAA in scoring defense at 74.8 points per game.  At least they are exciting to watch.
  • Towson is last in the CAA in scoring defense at 79.2 points per game.  Unfortunately, they are also last in the CAA in scoring offense, averaging 50 points per game.  Yup, they lose by an average of twenty nine points per game.  And they get to host Mason today.  Enjoy.
  • UNCW is last in the CAA in rebounding margin and dead last in defensive rebounding percentage. If you can't keep teams off the glass, you have hard time winning.  Thus, the Seahawks are 0-5.

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