Conference Tip-Off Primer: Colonial Athletic Association

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

We thought we knew who the clear frontrunner was in the CAA a couple months ago, but now it looks like the conference is very much up for grabs. What should you expect from conference play in the Colonial?

Conference Standings:

Rank School Record
t-1 Drexel Dragons 8-5
t-1 William & Mary Tribe 8-5
3 Towson Tigers 9-6
t-4 Charleston Cougars 8-7
t-4 Delaware Blue Hens 8-7
6 James Madison Dukes 6-9 (1-0)
7 UNC Wilmington Seahawks 6-10 (0-1)
8 Hofstra Pride 4-10
9 Northeastern Huskies 3-11

*Standings based on winning percentage since all teams have not played a conference game yet.

Leading Scorers:

Rank Player PPG
1 Devon Saddler (Delaware) 20.4
2 Marcus Thorton (W&M) 19.5
3 Zeke Upshaw (Hofstra) 18.9
4 Jarvis Threatt (Delaware) 17.9
5 Jerrelle Benimon (Towson) 17.7

Leading Rebounders:

Rank Player RPG
1 Jerrelle Benimon (Towson) 10.7
2 Scott Eatherton (NE) 10.0
3 Willis Hall (CofC) 9.7
4 Dartaye Ruffin (Drexel) 8.1
5 Stephen Nwaukoni (Hofstra) 7.8

Assists Leaders:

Rank Player APG
1 Jarvis Threatt (Delaware) 5.5
2 Frantz Massenat (Drexel) 4.5
t-3 Jerrelle Benimon (Towson)

4.0

t-3 Dion Nesmith (Hofstra) 4.0
5 Ben Eblen (UNCW) 3.7

Biggest Surprise:

I think a lot of people really thought Towson and Charleston would be a lot better at this point in time. Towson has been the real disappointment, as many thought the Tigers would be an Atlantic 10 caliber team this year and also be a stalwart in our Mid-Major Madness Power 15. Instead, the Tigers have no Top 100 victories despite 4 tries and really no signature wins beyond the Temple game early in the year. Towson had a chance to leave their mark on national hoops scene against Kansas and Villanova, but lost by an average margin of 32 in those two contest. They also laid an egg against Stephen F. Austin and North Dakota State, two teams that many thought were comparable mid-major competition.

Player of the Year:

Despite Towson's disappointing start Jerrelle Benimon has still been the conferences best player averaging 17.7 points, 10.7rebounds, and even 4 assists per game. The former Georgetown transfer shouldn't have any trouble holding onto the award unless a guy like Marcus Thorton continues to propel an underrated team, like his William & Mary Tribe, to victory.

Biggest Storyline:

It's pretty simple, who can win the CAA? Towson has underperformed. Drexel has looked great at times and bad at others. Charleston has not lived up to the hype. William & Mary has surprised. Delaware has three of the conferences top six scorers. There are plenty of variables in the CAA especially considering some of the teams at the bottom should still be a tough out. You can't look past Northeastern at this point and even JMU is getting Andre Nation back this week. A conference that we thought had a clear frontrunner a couple of months ago is now wide open going into conference play.

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