Conference Preview: Colonial

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William & Mary remains one of four programs to have been a member of Division I since its inception and never made the NCAA Tournament (joining St. Francis-Brooklyn, The Citadel and Army in that group).  This has a chance to be the year the Tribe finally break through as they feature an exciting offense that can score with almost anyone.  However, the pick this season will be Northeastern as the Huskies return all five starters from the league co-champions.  College of Charleston should also be in contention again with several of their top players back.  Also keep an eye on James Madison as a team ready to make a jump up in the standings after finishing 6-12 in league play last season.

Predicted Order of Finish

  1. Northeastern – The Huskies tied for the regular season championship in the Colonial last season and lost the conference tournament title game in overtime. All five starters return from that squad, led by Vasa Pusica’s 17.9 points per game.
  2. William & Mary – The Tribe led the entire nation in three-point shooting percentage last season, and return forward Nathan Knight and guard Matt Milon, both of whom averaged over 13 points per game. Forward Justin Pierce is back down low as well, giving William & Mary a real chance at their first-ever NCAA Tournament bid
  3. College of Charleston – The Cougars gave Auburn all they could handle in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last season and have a great chance to return with two of their top three players back, guard Grant Riller and forward Jarrell Brantley.
  4. Hoftsra – The Pride return a deadly scoring duo in the backcourt with Justin Wright-Foreman and Eli Pemberton. They need to find a way to get better defensively, however, if they want to contend for the league title.
  5. James Madison – The Dukes feature a pair of high-scoring guards in Stuckey Mosley and Matt Lewis, in addition to two other returning starters. Despite losing 22 games last season, this team may be poised for a big jump up in the standings.
  6. Delaware – The Blue Hens would have been picked higher than this had leading scorer Ryan Daly not opted to transfer to St. Joseph’s. Ryan Allen, the CAA Rookie of the Year last season, is back so don’t count this team out by any means.
  7. UNC-Wilmington – The Seahawks feature a monster down low, as Devontae Cacok averaged 17.7 points and 13.5 rebounds per game last year, the rebound number being tops in the NCAA. They need to find a way to be a lot better on defense however, having surrendered over 83 points per game.
  8. Drexel – The Dragons only bring back two starters from a team that lost 20 games last season, though both of them (Kurk Lee and Alihan Demir) did average double figures in scoring. Avoiding 20 losses this season may be considered a success.
  9. Elon – The Fighting Phoenix lost a pair of double-digit scorers from a team that only went 6-12 in Colonial play last season. Tyler Seibring should score and rebound a ton down low, but there are probably not enough other pieces here for an upper division finish.
  10. Towson – The only returning starter, Alex Thomas, averaged 2.7 points per game last season. In other words, head coach Pat Skerry has a rebuilding year in front of him.
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