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Forecasting the best of the Colonial Athletic Association in 2020-21

This might be Delaware’s year.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 09 CAA Championship - Delarware vs Hofstra Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Colonial Athletic Association was one of only 12 leagues that was able to get its conference tournament in before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the sports world. Hofstra earned the championship crown and will have a shot to defend it in 2021, but the Pride will have some competition. Namely, the Delaware Blue Hens, who seek their first trip to the tournament since 2014.

5. Northeastern Huskies
2019-20 finish: 6th

Northeastern is a team that could rebound in a big way, even though it is losing its All-Conference first-teamer Jordan Roland. When you can have a first-team player playing alongside someone who was on the All-Rookie team, it could potentially be a sign of things to come. Tyson Walker did not disappoint. The Huskies will lose three seniors, but have begun to build some depth. Northeastern currently has six players listed at guard on the current roster, with a combo guard coming this fall in the form of J’Vonne Hadley. This is a team that could make some noise if things break right.

4. William & Mary Tribe
2019-20 finish: 2nd

Last year seemed as good a year as any for the Tribe to finally reach their first NCAA Tournament. But 21 wins, a first-round CAA Tournament loss, and a pandemic later, William & Mary must wait at least another year. Nathan Knight was one of the most under-appreciated players in the country last year, and he will be sorely missed. Still, Dane Fischer and company should still be able to compete with the best in the Colonial despite losing Knight and three other seniors. Luke Loewe had a streaky season as a junior, but he and his supporting cast should come out with a chip on their shoulder to start the season. After finishing with 10.7 points per game in a breakout 2019-20 season, we can expect to see more from him.

3 Hofstra Pride
2019-20 finish: 1st

If there were a contest for which team to feel the worst for after the NCAA Tournament was cancelled, Hofstra could well be your winner. The Pride had a fantastic season and should have ended their nearly two-decades-long tournament drought after winning the conference championship. Despite losing Desure Buie, Eli Pemberton, and Tareq Coburn, the Pride will have the experience needed to still make another run. Jalen Ray and Isaac Kante, who was a member of the All-CAA Third Team, will look to fill their shoes.

2. Towson Tigers
2019-20 finish: 3rd

The Towson Tigers were picked sixth in the conference just a year ago with zero first-place votes. They ended up finishing third and have real momentum going into 2020-21. The Tigers had three players pick up awards last season, including a CAA All-Rookie Team member in Jason Gibson. Towson will have just one senior and will look to rely on experience.

1. Delaware Blue Hens
2019-20 finish: 4th

Experience means a ton, and that’s what Delaware is in the best position to win the Colonial. The Blue Hens will have the most experienced roster in the conference, as they should return everyone but grad transfer Justyn Mutts. UAB transfer Nate Darling had a fantastic debut season. He will be the only player from the All-CAA First Team lineup to return this season, and will be a heavy favorite for CAA Player of the Year. It has to be a great feeling for Martin Ingelsby to know he has three double-digit scorers on the way back. In a transitional year in the CAA, that just might be enough.