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Men’s Basketball Notebook – Feb. 3

Feb 3, 2014, 3:58 PM EDT

Drexel's Frantz Massenat

PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Frantz Massenat • Drexel
Sr., G, 6-4, 190 – Ewing, N.J./Trenton Catholic
Massenat averaged 25.0 points, 7.0 assists and 3.5 rebounds as Drexel split a pair of road games. The senior guard made 6-of-9 threes and scored a career-high 32 points in a 77-74 victory at Hofstra. He also dished out nine assists with no turnovers in the win. He followed with 18 points, six rebounds and five assists in a narrow 75-73 loss at Towson. Massenat is averaging a league-best 23.3 ppg and 6.5 apg in CAA play and has committed just 13 turnovers in eight games.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Marcus Thornton • William & Mary
Jr., G, 6-4, 185 – Upper Marlboro, Md./Bishop McNamara
Thornton averaged 23.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists in William & Mary’s 2-1 week. The junior guard scored a game-high 26 points as the Tribe rallied from a 9-point halftime deficit to defeat College of Charleston 74-63 and also tallied a game-high 26 points in an 81-79 road win at James Madison. He added a team-best 19 points and five assists in a loss to Delaware. For the week, Thornton shot 49% from the floor, including 12-of-23 from 3-point range.

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Jamall Robinson • Hofstra
Fr., G, 6-5, 210 – Cheltenham, Md./Paul VI
Robinson averaged 9.7 points and 8.0 rebounds in Hofstra’s three games last week. The freshman guard posted the first double-doubles of his career in back-to-back games, contributing 15 points and a career-high 10 rebounds against Drexel and 10 points and 10 boards at College of Charleston. He’s scored double figures in four of Hofstra’s eight CAA contests.

CONFERENCE NOTES:

DELAWARE IMPROVES TO 8-0 IN CAA: Delaware is off to its best CAA start ever at 8-0 after defeating William & Mary (89-72) and UNCW (66-65) last week . The Blue Hens are on a 10-game overall winning streak, which is tied for the 3rd-longest in school history and is the 10th-longest active streak in Division I. Delaware has won eight consecutive CAA road games dating back to last season and the Hens are 15-2 in their past 17 conference road outings. UD, which has also won seven straight at home, is one of only nine Division I teams with at least eight conference victories and no losses. The Blue Hens lead second-place Towson (5-2) by 2.5 games.

DELAWARE’S START AMONG BEST IN CAA HISTORY: The 8-0 start by Delaware in CAA play is tied for the fifth-best in conference history. The 2006-07 VCU team and the 1985-86 Richmond team both started 11-0, while James Madison opened 9-0 in 1990-91 and 1991-92. The Blue Hens are one of four teams to achieve an 8-0 record, joining Old Dominion in 2004-05, Richmond in 1988-89 and Northeastern in 2012-13.

ROAD TEAMS HAVING SUCCESS: Road teams have gone 15-11 in CAA play over the past three weeks after home teams won seven of the first nine conference games. Home teams are just 18-17 for the year and six squads are at least .500 on the road in CAA games. Each team will play a 16-game conference schedule  with home and away games against all eight league foes.

CLOSE GAMES IN CONFERENCE PLAY: An amazing 60% (21-of-35) of CAA games played this season have been decided by seven points or less or in overtime. Of the nine conference contests played last week, five had margins of three points or less. Northeastern has had two games go to overtime and four others with margins of four points or less. James Madison has had six contests decided by five points or less. UNCW has had five games with margins of seven points or less and a sixth go to overtime.

NOTABLE PERFORMANCES: Along with the efforts put forth by weekly honorees Frantz Massenat and Marcus Thornton, several other CAA players turned in tremendous performances last week. Towson’s Jerrelle Benimon averaged 20.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg and 3.5 apg in the Tigers’ two victories. Delaware’s Carl Baptiste scored a career-high 23 points in a victory at William & Mary and converted the game-winning bucket with 26 seconds left vs. UNCW. Hofstra’s Zeke Upshaw averaged 20.3 ppg in the Pride’s three contests. JMU’s Andrey Semenov hit 5-of-8 threes and netted a season-high 23 points vs. W&M. CofC’s Willis Hall recorded his 8th double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Hofstra. UNCW’s Cedrick Williams had team-highs of 18 points and eight rebounds in a 1-point loss at Delaware.

CAA RANKED 16TH IN LATEST RPI RATINGS: The CAA was ranked 16th among the nation’s 32 Division I conferences according to the latest RPI ratings released by Collegiate Basketball News (rpiratings.com) on Feb. 3. Delaware was the highest ranked CAA team at #66 followed by Drexel at #119. A complete listing can be found on Page 2 of the release.

SADDLER, THORNTON IN DOUBLE FIGURES: Delaware senior guard Devon Saddler has scored double figures in 54 of his last 55 games, while William & Mary junior guard Marcus Thornton has reached double digits in 52 of his last 53 contests. Saddler had his 38-game streak snapped in the semifinals of the 2013 CAA Championship, but has scored double figures in all 16 of his games this year, including 10 games with 20+ points. Thornton saw his streak of scoring double figures end at 42 games after being held to nine points in a loss at West Virginia on Dec. 29. Since that time, he’s scored 17 or more points in nine of his 10 contests.

EATHERTON, BENIMON AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS IN DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Northeastern’s Scott Eatherton and Towson’s Jerrelle Benimon are tied for the national lead in double-doubles with 14 according to the latest NCAA statistics released on Jan. 30. Eatherton was also 12th in rebounding (10.2 rpg) and 31st in FG percentage (55.9%) while Benimon was 5th in rebounding (11.5 rpg). In other categories, Delaware junior Kyle Anderson was 32nd in 3-pointers per game (2.9) and 30th in 3-point FG% (43%). W&M’s Marcus Thornton was 37th in scoring (19.5 ppg) and 23rd in 3-pointers per game (3.05). CofC’s Willis Hall was 31st in rebounding (9.3 rpg) and 46th in double-doubles (7). Drexel’s Frantz Massenat was 21st in assist/turnover ratio and 47th in assists (5.3 apg). Hofstra’s Zeke Upshaw ranked 47th in scoring (19.2 ppg).

SADDLER CLIMBS SCORING LISTS: Delaware guard Devon Saddler has scored 2,010 career points and needs 21 more to break the Hens’ school record held by Mike Pegues. He’s also moved up to 11th on the CAA’s all-time scoring chart and needs four more to pass American’s Brian Gilgeous (2,013 pts) for 10th. Saddler, who missed seven games earlier this season due to a team suspension, is averaging 21.3 ppg and ranks third in career points among all active players in Division I, trailing only Creighton’s Doug McDermott and Oakland’s Travis Bader.

TRANSFERS MAKE AN IMPACT: Several transfers continue to make a big impact in the CAA. Hofstra’s Zeke Upshaw (Illinois State) is 2nd the CAA in scoring with 19.0 ppg, while the Pride’s Dion Nesmith (Monmouth) is 11th (12.9 ppg) in scoring and 3rd in assists (4.1 apg). Delaware’s Davon Usher (Mississippi Valley State) ranks seventh in the CAA in scoring (17.6 ppg) and 11th in rebounding (6.0 rpg). Northeastern’s Scott Eatherton (St. Francis Pa.) is among the league’s top 10 in scoring (16.4 ppg/8th), rebounding (10.2 rpg/2nd) and FG percentage (55.9%/2nd). Towson’s Four McGlynn (Vermont) ranks sixth in the CAA in 3-point FG percentage (40.2%) and sixth in 3’s per game (2.0). UNCW’s Ben Eblen (Alabama) is sixth in the CAA in assists (3.0 apg) and second in assist/TO ratio.

TAKING CARE OF THE BALL: Drexel is averaging only 8.4 turnovers per game this season, which ranks third in Division I. The Dragons have committed nine or fewer turnovers in 12 of their last 14 games and haven’t turned the ball over more than 14 times in any game. Drexel had only five turnovers in a narrow loss to #1 Arizona on Nov. 27 and three at William & Mary on Jan. 8. Delaware has recorded single-digit turnovers in nine of its last 12 games and is averaging just 8.4 tpg over that stretch. The Blue Hens rank 21st nationally with 10.3 tpg.

OFFENSE VS. DEFENSE: Delaware and College of Charleston both have had success this season, but have done it in different ways. The Blue Hens rank 25th nationally in scoring offense with 80.8 ppg and have tallied 80 or more points 13 times. The Cougars are 26th in Division I in scoring defense at 62.6 ppg and have held 10 foes under 60 points.

College of Charleston

•    Rebounded from a 74-63 loss at William & Mary (74-63) by beating Hofstra 67-49.

•    Guard Anthony Stitt hit 5-of-6 treys and scored a team-high 18 points at W&M and made 4-of-6 threes and scored 16 vs. HU. He’s shooting 50% from three in CAA play.

•    Willis Hall posted his 8th double-double vs. Hofstra with 18 points and 11 rebounds and added 15 points and 6 rebounds at W&M. He’s tallied six double-doubles in the past 11 contests.

•    Anthony Thomas tied a season high with 16 points on 8-of-11 FG shooting at W&M.

•    Nori Johnson is shooting 49.1% (26-53) from 3-point range in CAA play.

•    Adjehi Baru pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds at W&M and is averaging 9.0 rpg over his last five contests.

•    CofC is shooting 42.9% from 3-point range in CAA play and has shot 50% or better from beyond the arc four times.

Delaware

•    Off to their best start ever in CAA play at 8-0 after wins over W&M (89-72) and UNCW (66-65). On a 10-game overall win streak, which is tied for the 3rd-best ever at UD.

•    Devon Saddler averaged 17.0 ppg, 6.0 apg and 6.0 rpg in the two wins. Saddler, who is 2nd on UD’s career scoring list (2,010 pts), has scored 20+ points in 7 of the last 9 games and is averaging 22.1 ppg in CAA play.

•    Davon Usher hit 6-of-9 threes and scored a team-high 28 points at W&M. He’s scored double figures in 12 straight contests and is averaging 18.5 ppg against CAA foes.

•    Carl Baptiste scored a career-high 23 points on 9-of-11 FG shooting at W&M. He’s shooting 70.6% (36-51) from the floor in CAA play.

•    Starters Jarvis Threatt and Marvin King-Davis have been issued 1-month suspensions for violations of UD athletic department policy.

•    Kyle Anderson posted his 1st career double-double at W&M with 11 points and a career-high 10 rebounds.

Drexel

•    Picked up a 77-74 win at Hofstra, but fell 75-73 at Towson last week.

•    Frantz Massenat hit 6-of-9 threes and scored a career-high 32 points at Hofstra and also had 9 assists with no turnovers. He’s averaging 23.0 ppg and 6.5 apg in CAA play. He ranks 3rd in career assists (517) and 10th in career points (1,498) at DU.

•    Chris Fouch scored 19 points at HU and 10 vs. TU, which was his 11th straight game in double digits. He’s averaging 21.1 ppg in CAA play. Fouch is 4th in career treys (254) and 7th in career points (1,581) at Drexel.

•    Kazembe Abif, who has been injured for the past several weeks, contributed 16 points and 8 rebounds off the bench at Towson.

•    Tavon Allen, who has also been battling an ankle injury, tallied 17 points and four assists against Towson.

•    Drexel committed just six turnovers vs. HU and TU and ranks 3rd nationally with 8.4 turnovers per game. The Dragons are averaging only 6.9 tpg in CAA action.

Hofstra

•    Have dropped four in a row after losses to Towson (76-58), Drexel (77-74) and CofC (67-49) last week.

•    Zeke Upshaw scored a team-high 20 points at Towson, 27 points vs. Drexel and 14 at CofC. Upshaw has topped the 20-point mark a league-best 12 times this season and is averaging 20.3 ppg in conference play.

•    Dion Nesmith had 15 points and 4 assists at Towson and 13 points and 8 assists vs. Drexel. He’s scored double digits in eight of his last nine games and is averaging 12.9 ppg and 4.4 apg in CAA play.

•    Stephen Nwaukoni grabbed 23 rebounds in the 3 games last week. He’s averaging 9.9 rpg in CAA play and ranks 16th on the Pride’s all-time rebounding list with 659.

•    Freshman Jamall Robinson posted his first two double-doubles last week vs. Drexel (15pts/10reb) and CofC (10pts/10 reb).

•    Hofstra has outrebounded its opponent in 18 of 23 contests.

James Madison

•    Split games last week, winning 49-46 at Northeastern before losing 81-79 to W&M.

•    Andrey Semenov hit 5-of-8 from three and scored a team-best 23 points vs. W&M. It was his top scoring effort since 2008-09.

•    Andre Nation contributed 16.5 ppg and 6.5 rpg last week and is averaging 16.6 ppg and 5.7 rpg in CAA play. He’s scored double figures in six straight games.

•    Charles Cooke tallied 15 points and 5 steals vs. W&M and had nine thefts last week.  He ranks 9th in the CAA in scoring and third in steals for the season.

•    Ron Curry scored 11 points and dished out a career-high 9 assists vs. W&M. He’s scored double figures in four of his last six games and ranks among the CAA’s top 10 in assists and steals.

•    The 46 points allowed at Northeastern were a season-low for JMU. The Dukes have held three of their past five foes under 60 points.

UNCW

•    Lost 66-65 at Delaware on Saturday, extending their slide to 11. Six of their seven CAA losses have been by 7 points or less or in OT.

•    Cedrick Williams had team-highs of 18 points and 8 rebounds at UD. He has 12 double-figure scoring efforts in the last 13 games, and is among the CAA’s top 10 in scoring (14.4 ppg), rebounding (7.2 rpg), blocked shots (1.7 bpg) and FG% (54.7%).

•    Chris Dixon added 7 points and 4 assists at UD. He’s tallied double figures in five of his last six games and is averaging 14.7 ppg over that stretch.

•    Addison Spruill contributed 16 points and six rebounds off the bench at UD. It was his top scoring effort since Nov. 29.

•    Shane Reybold returned to the lineup for the first time since Dec. 31 and had 8 points and 6 rebounds in 19 minutes.

•    UNCW made 11-of-13 at the free throw line at Delaware and outrebounded the Blue Hens, 41-38.

Northeastern

•    Fell 49-46 to JMU last Wednesday, snapping a 2-game win streak. NU is 1-3 at home but 3-1 on the road in CAA play this season and is 11-2 in CAA road games in the past 2 yrs.

•    Scott Eatherton, who leads the nation with 14 double-doubles, grabbed 13 rebounds but was held to a season-low 5 points vs. JMU. He tops the CAA in blocks, ranks 2nd in rebounds, 2nd in FG% and 8th in scoring.

•    David Walker had a team-high 15 points, 3 assists and 2 steals against JMU. He’s among the top 10 in the CAA in assists and steals and has scored double figures in five of his last six games.

•    Demetrius Pollard added 9 points and 4 assists vs. JMU after contributing 25 points and 6 assists at Hofstra on Jan. 25.

•    NU has held five of its last six opponents to 60 points or less.

•    Reggie Spencer, who has 12 straight games with at least five rebounds, has missed the past three games due to injury.

Towson

•    Improved to 11-1 at home following victories over Hofstra (76-58) and Drexel (75-73) last week.

•    Jerrelle Benimon posted his NCAA-best 14th double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds vs. Hofstra and followed with 25 points and 8 boards vs. Drexel. He’s among the CAA’s top five in scoring, rebounding, FG%, assists and blocks.

•    Marcus Damas averaged 15.5 ppg in the two victories and went over the 1,000-point mark for his career. Damas is averaging 15.7 ppg over his last six games.

•    Mike Burwell netted a team-best 17 points vs. Hofstra and also contributed 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals.

•    Rafriel Guthrie averaged 16.0 ppg last week, including 18 points vs. Drexel.  He’s averaging 14.0 ppg over the past five games.

•    Towson outrebounded Hofstra 47-26 and is league-best +6.3 rpg in rebound margin for the season.

William & Mary

•    Went 2-1 last week, beating CofC (74-63) and JMU (81-79) but losing to Delaware (89-72). Have won six of their last nine games.

•    Marcus Thornton averaged 23.7 ppg last week, including 26-point efforts vs. CofC and JMU. Made 12-of-23 from 3-pt range. Leads the CAA in scoring and has tallied double figures in 52 of his last 53 games.

•     Freshman Daniel Dixon hit 4-of-6 threes and set new career-highs with 15 points and 6 rebounds against Delaware.

•    Brandon Britt averaged 11.3 ppg last week, including a season-high tying 15 points against CofC and 11 at JMU.

•    The Tribe bench outscored its opponents 80-16 last week and has outscored foes in 10 straight games.

•    Omar Prewitt leads all CAA freshmen in scoring (11.5 ppg) and rebounds (4.7 rpg).

•     W&M drained 13-of-21 from 3-point range at JMU, which was the 5th-best percentage in school history. W&M is shooting 44.5% from 3 during CAA play.

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