Meet the teams in the CAA men's basketball tournament

Jon Meoli
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
The CAA had four teams tie for first place. So which team will cut down the nets in Baltimore?

The Colonial Athletic Association's men's basketball tournament is at Royal Farms Arena in downtown Baltimore for the second year.

Here's a look at each team in the field heading into Friday's opening games, which feature No. 9-seeded Towson against No. 8 Elon at 6 p.m. and No. 7 Drexel versus No. 10 College of Charleston at 8:30 p.m.

Monday night's champion will earn an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.


No. 1 WILLIAM & MARY

Record: 18-11 (12-6 CAA)

Coach: Tony Shaver, 11th year

Key players: Marcus Thornton (19.4 ppg, 2.9 apg), Omar Prewitt (13 ppg, 4.2 rpg), Terry Tarpey (12 ppg, 8.4 rpg).

Skinny: One of five original NCAA Division I teams to never reach the NCAA tournament, the Tribe rode the league's best field goal percentage (49.2 percent) and 3-point percentage (40 percent) to the tournament's top seed. William & Mary earned the top seed by virtue of a 5-1 record against the other teams with 12-6 records.


No. 2 UNC WILMINGTON

Record: 17-12 (12-6 CAA)

Coach: Kevin Keatts, first year

Key players: Addison Spruill (14.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg), Freddie Jackson (13.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg), Craig Ponder (11.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg).

Skinny: Winners of nine of their past 13, the Seahawks completed their first winning season since 2005, the year they last won the CAA and reached the NCAA tournament. They boast the league's best 3-point shooting defense (32.2 percent).

No. 3 NORTHEASTERN

Record: 20-11 (12-6 CAA)

Coach: Bill Coen, ninth year

Key players: Scott Eatherton (14.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg), David Walker (13.3 ppg, 3.5 apg), T.J. Williams (10.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg)

Skinny: Having clinched a piece of the regular season conference championship for the second time in three seasons, the Huskies aim for their first NCAA tournament bid since 1991. Eatherton hit 57.3 percent from the floor, leading the league.

No. 4 JAMES MADISON

Record: 19-12 (12-6 CAA)

Coach: Matt Brady, seventh year

Key players: Ron Curry (13.8 ppg, 4.4 apg), Yohanny Dalmebert (11.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg), Jackson Kent (10.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg)

Skinny: The 2013 CAA champion is the most recent conference team to win an NCAA tournament game and enters the tournament having won six of seven. All six of the Dukes' conference losses came to the other three co-champions (William & Mary, UNC-Wilmington, and Northeastern).

No. 5 HOFSTRA

Record: 19-12 (10-8 CAA)

Coach: Joe Mihalich, 12th year

Key players: Juan'ya Green (17 ppg, 6.5 apg), Ameen Tanksley (16.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg), Brian Bernardi (11.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg)

Skinny: The Pride won their first four in conference play but skidded to five losses in six tries after that. They rebounded with five wins in their last eight conference games. Green's 6.5 assists lead the CAA, and he's scored in double figures in each of his 31 games this season.

No. 6 DELAWARE

Record: 10-19 (9-9 CAA)

Coach: Monte Ross, seventh year

Key players: Kyle Anderson (14.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg), Kory Holden (12.1 ppg, 5 apg), Cazmon Hayes (11.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg)

Skinny: Over a 12-day span in early February, the defending conference champs knocked off three teams that topped the standings: William & Mary, Northeastern, and UNC-Wilmington. Anderson snapped a streak of 11 straight games scoring in double figures in the regular-season finale against Drexel, but he has scored 10 or more points in 20 of 22 contents.

No. 7 DREXEL

Record: 11-18 (9-9 CAA)

Coach: Bruiser Flint, 14th year

Key players: Damion Lee (21.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg), Tavon Allen (11.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg), Rodney Williams (8.3 ppg, 7 rpg)

Skinny: Lee, a Calvert Hall product and the league's leading scorer, will miss the tournament with a broken hand. Without him, the Dragons ended their season with a win at William & Mary, but they only dressed seven players. Senior guard Freddie Wilson led the team in scoring in both games without Lee.

No. 8 ELON

Record: 14-17 (6-12 CAA)

Coach: Matt Matheny, sixth year

Key players: Elijah Bryant (13.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg), Luke Eddy (13.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg), Tanner Samson (13.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg)

Skinny: A newcomer from the Southern Conference, Elon has wins over Northeastern and UNC Wilmington in its past two games. Samson's 98 three-pointers are most in the CAA and seventh-most in conference history.

No. 9 TOWSON

Record: 12-19 (5-13 CAA)

Coach: Pat Skerry, fourth year

Key players: Four McGlynn (12.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg), John Davis (11.9 ppg, 8.1 rpg), Byron Hawkins (7.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg)

Skinny: Towson doesn't have many big scorers, but everyone rebounds. The Tigers lead the CAA in rebounds per game (36.4), offensive rebounds per game (14.5), and average rebound margin (8.2). Davis, who comes off the bench, leads the CAA with 12 double-doubles.

No. 10 CHARLESTON

Record: 8-23 (3-15 CAA)

Coach: Earl Grant, first year

Key players: Canyon Barry (12.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg), Joe Chealey (12.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg), Anthony Stitt (8.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg)

Skinny: The Cougars climbed to 5-4 on Dec. 16 but lost 14 of 17 since. Two of their three conference wins came against Elon. Charleston has the league's worst scoring offense, averaging 58.9 points per game, though opponents shot just 42 percent against them, second-best in the CAA.

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