We continue our conference preview with the CAA. We have hosted a preview Twitter Space, twice a week streaming live from the Mid-Major Madness account (@mid_madness), speaking with media members and coaches throughout the selected league.
For the full CAA Twitter Space, hit the link below:
To open the conversation, Mid-Major Madness writer Nick Lorensen and Brant Wilkerson-New from The Seahawk Perch recapped what happened in the CAA last season and so far this offseason. Like many other leagues, conference realignment hit.
While James Madison left for the Sun Belt, four new programs joined the league. Hampton, Monmouth, NC A&T, and Stony Brook all expanded the CAA’s footprint and bring unique basketball atmospheres.
For the teams who stayed in the CAA, there were storylines aplenty. Towson returns nearly everyone from its regular season championship team, UNCW looks to capitalize off of a CBI Championship, Delaware returns one of the best players in the country during their NCAA Tournament run in Jyare Davis, and Hofstra returns the Player of the Year in Aaron Estrada.
To open the conversation with coaches, NC A&T interim head coach Phillip Shumpert (9:30) joined to speak about the Aggies' first season in the CAA. He was appointed the program's head coach on Aug. 18 after he was an assistant in Greensboro for three seasons.
“It was kind of surprising but all the guys had been here the whole summer, and rallied around each other, and went back to work,” Shumpert said. “The transition has been rather smooth.”
They’ll open their season on Nov. 7 against Edward Waters.
Following him, Hofstra assistant coach Serge Clement (28:00) joined the program. The Pride have been “Guard U” under Speedy Claxton and return one of the best in the country, Estrada.
The 2022 CAA Player of the Year entered his name in the NBA Draft waters before returning to Long Island over the offseason.
“He has a dream, he has a goal, he has his vision. The way we are as people, we would never shun him for leaving,” Clement said. “When he did decide to come back, it was almost like snow angels in the summertime, right on the grass. That’s how excited we were.”
Estrada will have an immediate challenge as the Pride open their season on Monday against the defending Ivy League champion, Princeton.
Closing out the conversations with coaches, Towson head coach Pat Skerry (55:00) joined to speak about returning nearly everyone from his 25-win regular season champion team.
“Well, I hope we’re not done and these guys know we have work to do,” Skerry said. “It’s got me motivated to try to do better this year. I’ve got to coach them better. They all came back. When you get blessed being around good players, that are gentlemen, and good guys, you just really appreciate that. It gets you fired up.”
The Tigers are Joe Lunardi’s preseason pick to make the NCAA Tournament, currently coming in as a 13-seed.
Brant and Nick then continued the conversation by previewing every team in the league. To hear about your team, advance the recording to each time stamp.
1:40:40 — College of Charleston
1:44:40 — Delaware
1:47:55 — Drexel
1:49:20 — Elon
1:25:00 — Hampton
1:30:20 — Monmouth
1:22:50 — NC A&T
1:53:45 — Northeastern
1:56:15 — Stony Brook
1:58:45 — UNCW
2:03:50 — William & Mary
2:15:15 — POTY & Title Predictions
Along with the Twitter Space, Nick talked to Stony Brook head coach Geno Ford. The Seawolves will be entering their first season in the CAA after many successful seasons in the America East.
Listen to our whole interview with Ford: Geno Ford Interview