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Challenging Slate Awaits #CAAHoops Men This Weekend As 12-13 Gets Underway

Nov 9, 2012, 1:37 PM EDT

Ten of the CAA’s 11 teams will open the 2012-13 season this weekend and the schedule includes numerous challenging non-conference games.

Eight CAA teams are in action on Friday night, highlighted by a pair of battles against ACC foes. Georgia State travels to 8th-ranked Duke, while George Mason entertains in-state rival Virginia.

CAA preseason favorite Drexel visits a Kent State squad that won 21 games a year ago, while Towson travels to a College of Charleston team that won 19 games last season.

Northeastern opens against city rival Boston University and William & Mary entertains Tidewater neighbor Hampton. Hofstra makes a short trip to Monmouth on Friday before facing Big Ten power Purdue on Sunday. Old Dominion hosts the Liberty Tax Classic, facing Holy Cross on Friday, Morgan State on Saturday and UTSA on Sunday.

Delaware starts its season at A-10 member La Salle on Saturday, while UNCW begins its season on Sunday versus in-state foe UNC Asheville.

James Madison doesn’t begin its season until November 15 when it travels to 13th-ranked UCLA in the first round of the Legends Classic. For links to the daily action this weekend and throughout the 2012-13 season be sure to checkout CAASports.com.

Drexel Receives Votes In National Polls
Drexel received five points in the Associated Press preseason Top 25 poll and two points in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches preseason poll. The Dragons return all but one lettermen from last year’s 29-7 team that captured the CAA regular-season title and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NIT.

Four CAA Teams In Mid-Major Top 25 Poll
Four CAA teams received votes in the preseason CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll. CAA preseason favorite Drexel was ranked #4 in the poll behind only Creighton, Gonzaga and Murray State. George Mason, Old Dominion and Delaware were among other teams receiving votes.

NU’s Lee Among Candidates For Senior CLASS Award
Northeastern senior guard Jonathan Lee is one of 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award, which honors student-athletes who excel on and off the court. Honorees must have noteworthy accomplishments in community, classroom, character and competition. Lee was a third-team All-CAA selection last season after leading the Huskies in scoring (14.5 ppg) and assists (3.5 apg) while also shooting 41.7% from three-point range.

Drexel Picked To Win CAA Title
Drexel, which welcomes back all but one letterwinner from last year’s 29-7 team, was picked to win the CAA men’s basketball title in 2012-13 in a vote of coaches, sports information directors and media. Delaware was second in the poll, George Mason was third and Old Dominion was fourth. Chosen fifth was Northeastern followed by James Madison, Hofstra, Georgia State, William & Mary, Towson and UNCW.

Drexel’s Massenat Headlines Preseason All-CAA Team
Drexel junior guard Frantz Massenat, who was a first-team all-conference pick in 2011-12, was selected as the CAA preseason Player of the Year. Massenat scored a team-high 13.7 ppg and led the league in assists (4.8 apg) and 3-point FG percentage (45%). Massenat was joined on the preseason All-CAA first team by Delaware senior forward Jamelle Hagins (12.4 ppg/11.1 rpg), Drexel sophomore guard Damion Lee (12.0 ppg), Northeastern senior guard Jonathan Lee (14.5 ppg/3.5 apg), UNCW senior forward Keith Rendleman (15.3 ppg/10.0 rpg) and Delaware junior guard Devon Saddler (18.8 ppg). Selected to the preseason All-CAA second team were James Madison senior guard A.J. Davis (15.9 ppg), Northeastern sophomore forward/guard Quincy Ford (11.5 ppg/5.0 rpg), William & Mary sophomore guard Marcus Thornton (11.1 ppg), Georgia State junior guard Devonta White (12.9 ppg) and George Mason junior guard Sherrod Wright (9.6 ppg).

Majority of Starters Are Back
The CAA’s 11 teams return 56% (31-of-55) of their starters from a year ago. Delaware, Drexel and Northeastern each have four regulars returning, while Hofstra, James Madison, UNCW and William & Mary have three starters back. In addition, 10 of the CAA’s top 20 scorers are back in 2012-13 as are nine of the 20 players in rebounding.

New TV Deal
As part of its new five-year agreement with the NBC Sports Group, the CAA will have 21 men’s basketball games televised nationally on the NBC Sports Network this season, including the semifinals and finals of the CAA Men’s Basketball Championship. In addition, 26 games will be televised by the Comcast SportsNet regional networks, including the quarterfinals of the CAA Men’s Basketball Championship. The entire CAA television package includes more than 100 games.

Postseason Success
CAA teams have combined to win 36 games in postseason play since 2006, including 13 victories in the NCAA Tournament. During that seven-year period, the CAA has had two teams reach the NCAA Final Four, one reach the semifinals of the NIT, and has had squads capture championships of the CBI and CIT. The CAA has had at least five teams reach postseason play for the past four years.

CAA In The Final Four
Only five other conferences (Big East, SEC, Big Ten, ACC, Pac-12) have had more NCAA Final Four appearances over the past seven years than the CAA. The CAA has also had at least one team post an NCAA Tournament victory in five of the past seven years.

Piling Up The Wins
For the first time ever, the CAA had five teams with 22 or more wins in 2011-12 as Drexel (29), VCU (29), George Mason (24), Georgia State (22) and Old Dominion (22) all hit the mark. The 29 wins by Drexel were a school record and the second-most ever for a CAA team, trailing only Navy’s 30 in 1985-86.

Tough Defense
The CAA featured some of the top defensive teams in the nation last season. Four teams – Drexel (56.1 ppg/5th), Georgia State (58.9 ppg/11th), VCU (59.8 ppg/19th) and Old Dominion (62.1 ppg/50th) were ranked among the nation’s top 50 in scoring defense, while GSU (38.0%/4th), Drexel (39.2%/17th), George Mason (39.3%/18th), Delaware (39.3%/20th) and ODU (40.2%/30th) were among the top 30 nationally in FG percentage defense. Drexel was 7th in the nation (29.0%) in 3-point FG% defense, while GSU was 4th (9.3 spg) and ODU was 10th (8.8 spg) in steals.

Welcome To The CAA
The CAA is expected to be impacted by numerous transfers from Division I schools. Among the newcomers are Delaware’s Carl Baptiste (Saint Joseph’s), George Mason’s Anali Okoloji (Seton Hall), Georgia State’s Manny Atkins (Virginia Tech), Hofstra’s Taran Buie (Penn State), Jamal Coombs-McDaniel (Connecticut), Shaquille Stokes (Hawaii) and Daquan Brown (Fresno State), UNCW’s Tyree Graham (Rutgers), Old Dominion’s DeShawn Painter (N.C. State) and Towson’s Jerrelle Bennimon (Georgetown), Mike Burwell (South Florida) and Bilal Dixon (Providence).

UD’S Hagins Among National Leaders In Rebounding/Blocks
Delaware senior forward Jamelle Hagins ranked fifth in the nation in rebounding last season with 11.1 rpg and ninth in the nation in blocked shots with 3.0 bpg. UNCW senior forward Keith Rendleman was 21st nationally in rebounding (10.0 rpg) and Delaware junior guard Devon Saddler was 27th in scoring (18.8 ppg) a year ago.

Doubling Up
UNCW senior forward Keith Rendleman and Delaware senior forward Jamelle Hagins were among the top 25 in the nation in double-doubles last season. Rendleman recorded 16 double-doubles, including 12 in 18 CAA games. Hagins posted 15 double-doubles, including seven that were recorded in consecutive games from Nov. 26-Dec. 19.

Tournament Draws Sellout Crowds
The 2012 CAA Men’s Basketball Championship set a new tournament attendance record with 47,833 fans, breaking the mark of 46,544 set in 2011. For the first time ever, three sessions – the second quarterfinal session, the semifinals and the finals – were played before sellout crowds of 11,200. It was the fifth straight year that attendance has exceeded 42,000. This year’s event will be held March 9-11 at the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Va.

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