Tribe fans, we have big news! Our good friend Bill McDonald (aka billymac from the W&M CSN Forum) has agreed to allow us to keep posting his awesome insights on our Blog! He did an awesome job last week, and this week is no different.
But before we get into it, we want to direct your attention to a Washington Post article on Tribe basketball, released just a couple days ago. John Feinstein did an awesome job writing about W&M basketball’s history, which fuels its drive to qualify for the program’s first ever NCAA Tournament. If you haven’t already, definitely check it out here.
Now without further ado, check out the below for Bill’s CAA roundup, Tribe update, and previews of this week’s games vs. Hofstra and Towson! LET’S GO TRIBE.
CAA Standings: UNCW took over sole possession of first place in the CAA at 10-2 after pushing its winning streak to nine with road victories at Hofstra and Northeastern last week. After last Thursday’s win, it marked the first time since Jan. 7 (Northeastern 3-0) that there wasn’t a tie for first place in the CAA standings. The Tribe extended its winning streak to four and is a game back at 9-3. There is a three-way tie for third place at 8-4 between Hofstra, James Madison and Towson, and College of Charleston is close behind at 7-5. There are several head-to-head matchups between the top six teams this week as W&M faces Hofstra and Towson and JMU makes a road swing to UNCW and CofC.
UNCW’S WIN STREAK: UNCW’s nine-game winning streak Is tied for the 4th-longest in the nation as of Feb. 8. The Seahawks trail only Stony Brook (15), San Diego State (11) and Yale (10) and are tied with Stephen F. Austin (9). The nine-game streak has also matched UNCW’s school record set in 2002-03.
CLOSE GAMES: Of the 40 CAA games over the past four weeks, 17 have been decided by six points or less, including six overtime contests.
LATEST RPI: Five CAA teams are ranked among the top 90 in the latest RPI report released by Collegiate Basketball News. William & Mary leads all CAA squads at #37, followed by UNCW a #76, Hofstra at #78, College of Charleston at #88 and James Madison at #90. The CAA is ranked #9 among the nation’s 32 Division I conferences, and is one of only nine conferences with five teams among the top 90 of the RPI along with the American, A-10, ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac 12 and SEC.
NATIONAL LEADERS: Hofstra’s Rokas Gustys ranks 7th nationally in rebounding (11.8 rpg), 10th in FG percentage (62.5%) and 14th in double-doubles (13) . Hofstra’s Juan’ya Green (6.8 apg) is 7th in assists and W&M’s Terry Tarpey is 16th (2.27 spg) in steals. Delaware’s Marvin King-Davis is 22nd in double-doubles (11) and 38th in rebounding (9.3 rpg).
Tribe Disa & Data: W&M junior Omar Prewitt scored a season-high 28 points at Northeastern and had a team-best 21 points vs. UD on combined 18-of-26 FG shooting (69.2%). He’s scored 20+ points nine times. He was named CAA Player of the Week. He is the second Tribe player to win the award, also earned earlier by Terry Tarpey.
Daniel Dixon added 20 points at NU and matched it vs. Delaware. He tops W&M with 58 treys on 38.7% shooting from long range.
Terry Tarpey posted his 3rd double-double (12 pts/11 reb) vs. UD and had 11 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 blocks at NU. He’s scored double digits in 9 of his last 10 games. He has 50 steals and 32 blocks already this season.
David Cohn had 7 points, 10 assists and only 1 turnover vs. UD. He’s averaging 12.0 ppg and 5.8 apg in CAA play.
Connor Burchfield hit 3-of-5 treys vs. UD and is shooting 62.5% (20-32) from 3 in CAA play. And guess what? According to ESPN, Connor Burchfield leads the nation in 3 point shooting percentage, at 61.4%.
Sean Sheldon averaged 10.5 ppg on 10-of-13 FG shooting last week.
Greg Malinowski scored a career-best 15 points vs. UD in only 17 minutes of playing time. Very efficient.
Notes on this Week’s Opponents
Hofstra – Joe Mahalich (Head Coach)
Suffered narrow losses to UNCW (70-67) and JMU (98-95 in OT) last week.
6’2” Sr. Guard Juan’ya Green (17.9 ppg, 6.8 apg) posted his 4th double-double (21 pts/10 reb) vs. UNCW and had 20 points and 8 assists at JMU. He’s scored double figures in 23 of 24 games, has eight 20+-point efforts and leads the CAA in assists. He became just the fourth player in NCAA history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark at two Division I schools, as he has scored over 1000 for Hofstra and his former school, Niagra.
6’9” So. Center Rokas Gustys (12.8 ppg, 11.8 rpg) grabbed a career-high 21 rebounds vs. UNCW and had his 9th double-double (13 pts/18 reb) in 10 games at JMU. he was the first Division I player in six years to record back-to-back “20-20” games. He ranks 7th nationally in rebounds (11.8 rpg) and 10th in FG% (62.5%). He’s had 10+ boards 18 times and has 13 double-doubles. He is averaging 16.2 ppg and 14.4 rpg in CAA play
6’5” Sr. Guard Ameen Tanksley (15.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg) averaged 16.0 ppg and 7.5 rpg last week. He has reached double figures in 23 of 24 contests and 12 in a row.
6’8” G-Sr. Forward Denton Koon (11.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg) had 19 points and 13 rebounds at JMU. He’s scored double figures 17 times and grabbed 10+ boards six times.
6’2” Jr. Guard Brian Bernardi, (13.2 ppg) who scored a team-high 22 points at JMU, has made a team-high 63 threes on 38.9% shooting this season.
Towson – Pat Skerry (Head Coach)
Rebounded from a 65-47 loss at College of Charleston by beating Elon 81-77. Have won 4 of their last 5 games.
6’6” Jr. Forward William Adala Moto poured in a team-high 27 points with 8 rebounds at Elon. He’s scored double digits in 18 of the past 20 games and is averaging 15.8 ppg and 8.9 rpg in CAA play. He has been to the free throw line for 138 shots to date.
6’5” So. Guard Mike Morsell scored a team-high 13 points at CofC and 15 points at Elon. He’s averaging 17.0 ppg over his last 4 contests and has 13 double-figure efforts in the last 14 games. He has taken 106 FT’s already this season. He is tops in assists at 2.5 per game.
6’5” Jr. Forward John Davis scored 12 points at Elon, which was his 11th double-figure game.
6’1” So. Guard Byron Hawkins (13.4 ppg, 2.1 apg) has made 47 3-pointers on the season.
6’7” Sr. Forward Timajh Parker-Rivera averaged 12.0 ppg and 7.0 rpg last week. He’s TU’s all-time leader in games played. He has 29 blocks on the season.
Towson out-rebounded Elon 34-27 and is a CAA-best +7.3 in rebound margin, which also ranks 24th nationally. The Tigers have beaten 10 straight foes on the glass.
Towson is 16-0 when leading at halftime.
Stray Comments: An important stretch of games this week and next, against the top of the league.
Hofstra, while apparently extremely well conditioned, HAVE to be feeling the effects of, basically, playing only 6 players. (Gustys plays 29 minutes per game, the other starters well over 30 min.) A couple of overtime games haven’t helped. The Tribe needs to keep the pace up and see if legs get tired in the second half and slow down one of the most potent offenses in the CAA.
Towson, well, we know what will happen here. The Tribe has to meet the physicality that the Tigers play with every game and meet it head on. It should be another very physical affair and a lot may depend on the way the game is called by the officials.
Final Thought: DEFENSE decides Championships. Play hard.