W&M Basketball UPDATE: CAA Analysis

With out of conference play winding down, the Tribe is gearing up for CAA play. [photo via Bob Keroack of tribeathletics.com]
With out of conference play winding down, the Tribe is gearing up for CAA play. [photo via Bob Keroack of tribeathletics.com]
W&M Basketball is already a THIRD of the way through the 2016-2017 basketball season! Can you believe it? We can’t either. Though still early in the year, the Green and Gold has already experienced its fair share of ups and downs. And with the Tribe about to start in-conference play against Northeastern on New Year’s Eve, W&M will need to pick up the pace to compete in a competitive CAA.

We at the W&M Sports Blog thought it would be interesting to revisit the CAA preseason rankings to see just how “accurate” they’ve been in the early going. There have been several surprises, with a couple teams over-performing their original projection.

Preseason CAA Rankings

  1. UNCW
    UNCW (37 first-place votes) 
  2. towson
    Towson (2 first-place votes) 
  3.   new-tribe-logo-transparent-background
    William & Mary (1 first-place vote)
  4.  charleston
    College of Charleston
  5.  JMU thumbnaill
    James Madison
  6.  hofstra
    Hofstra
  7.  northeastern
    Northeastern
  8. elon phoenix
    Elon
  9.  drexel
    Drexel
  10.  delaware
    Delaware

Current CAA Rankings
(29 DEC)

As previously noted, and has been the case in the last several years, the CAA seems to be very strong this season. Parity this season will likely be at a high, as any team can score an upset over another on any given night. Below is the updated CAA ranking, as of 29 December.

  1. UNCW
    UNCW: 11-2, (0-0 CAA), #21 RPI Ranking
     No Change From Preseason Rank
  2. charleston
    College of Charleston: 9-4, (0-0 CAA), #58 RPI
     Preseason #4
  3. elon phoenix
    Elon: 8-5, (0-0 CAA), #154 RPI
     Preseason #8
  4. hofstra
    Hofstra: 8-5, (0-0 CAA), #187 RPI
     Preseason #6
  5. towson
    Towson: 8-5, (0-0 CAA), #106 RPI
     Preseason #2
  6. northeastern
    Northeastern: 7-5, (0-0 CAA), #120 RPI
     Preseason #7
  7. delaware
    Delaware: 7-6, (0-0 CAA), #200 RPI
     Preseason #10
  8.   new-tribe-logo-transparent-background
    William & Mary
    : 5-5, (0-0 CAA), #253 RPI
     Preseason #3
  9.  drexel
    Drexel
    6-7, (0-0 CAA), #175 RPI
     No Change From Preseason Rank
  10.  JMU thumbnaill
    James Madison
    : 2-11, (0-0 CAA), #343 RPI
     Preseason #5

Right off the bat, we should point out that little stock should be put in these early returns. Each CAA team has a completely different out of conference schedule. Some play against far weaker opponents than others. In general, not every schedule is created equal, and at the end of the year in the CAA, we bet just one team will make the NCAA Tournament; that team will have to win the CAA Tournament to secure the automatic bid. So in this case, checking out the RPI rankings noted above is helpful, which takes into account strength of schedule.

If we analyze the early returns, only two out of ten CAA teams have losing records, seven hold winning records, and one (your W&M Tribe) sits at .500. As predicted by the CAA pundits, UNCW has truly been the best team in the league up to this point. Elon has seemingly over-performed, while JMU looks like this year’s bottom-dwellers in the CAA. The Green and Gold has its work cut out for it, but definitely has the tools to get it done. The boys will look to get on track tonight vs. in-state rival ODU before a New Year’s tilt vs. Northeastern. LET’S GO TRIBE!!!

Next up for the Tribe

odu-logo @ ODU, 12/29

northeastern_huskies_logo @ Northeastern, 12/31

hofstra @ Hofstra, 1/2

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