Brian Mull released his predicted CAA standings over at The Dub Hub this week. I think he’s got some really good points, but we disagree on a few teams in the standings. There’s just one team we really disagree on. It happens to be the one he covers, so maybe I’m the one that’s crazy. The other two? Hofstra and Georgia State, which Brian has two places lower in both cases. Check out his full rankings here.
When building these I considered personnel additions and subtractions as well as recent performance. Yes, recent performance is a pretty good indicator of future performance, even if all the players aren’t coming back. This is especially good news for George Mason, Old Dominion and Drexel. They’re given the consideration as such.
1. Drexel – 79.6% RPM: Most of the drop is due to departure of Samme Givens. This team though is loaded and is an outside Top 25 contender. After getting left out of the NCAA tournament last season expect the Dragons to be the class of the CAA.
2. Delaware – 82.3% RPM: The Blue Hens return the most possession minutes of any CAA team. Devon Saddler is the type of player that can carry a team. The one thing that makes me hesitant about this projection is that Delaware just hasn’t been very good recently. Still, another 30 spot improvement would put UDel at 130th in the nation in Pomeroy, which isn’t second, but isn’t bad in the reconstituted CAA.
3. George Mason – 57.7% RPM: The Patriots slipped a little bit in Paul Hewitt’s first season, but still have a solid foundation. Sherrod Wright getting more touches certainly would hurt GMU on offense.
4. Northeastern – 68.1% RPM: Lots coming back and lots to look forward to for Northeastern, which has been a consistent program under Bill Coen. In fact, the last team Coen had that looked like this moved up considerably. Jonathan Lee gives this team a great player to build around.
5. Old Dominion – 38.1% RPM: As you can see by the RPMs, this is a bet on the fact that Blaine Taylor’s worst team of the past nine season won 17 games. That’d be enough to get this high in the standings.
6. James Madison – 72.7% RPM: This is an experienced team and while JMU slid back to 239th in Pomeroy last season, it was ranked 109th in 2010-11. I’m expecting the veterans, led by A.J. Davis to turn things around and be competitive in conference play.
7. William & Mary – 71.2% RPM: The Tribe return a lot of players, but the big loss is Quinn McDowell, one of two efficient offensive players. Give Tim Rusthoven the ball more. Plus, Marcus Thornton has to improve going into his sophomore season.
8. Georgia State – 28.9% RPM: GSU returns the fewest possession minutes of any CAA team and it’s quite possible the fall will be even worse. Two seasons ago GSU ranked 223rd. I don’t think Ron Hunter will allow the team to drop that far down, but his second season is going to be tough.
9. Hofstra – 30.9% RPM: I’m not convinced that the transfers and returnees are going to meld into one seamless unit this season, but there’s a lot of talent here. Jamal Coombs-McDaniel didn’t use enough possession or play enough minutes at Connecticut to convince me he’ll be a star in the CAA, but he’ll at least score. Taran Buie used a ton of possessions, but couldn’t shoot in limited minutes with Penn State. We’ll see how both adapt. Even if they’re average offensively, they’d upgrade Hofstra’s attack.
10. Towson – 38.7% RPM: The Tigers are going to get better. But this team won one game last season and doesn’t return a ton. Towson ranked 338th in Division I last season. Even if they improved 50 spots they would’ve finished behind W&M. It was a huge gap. It won’t be made up easily, but maybe getting out the cellar will be a nice start.
11. UNC-Wilmington – 50.8% RPM: Someone has to be last. It’s really dangerous to put UNCW because of one reason, Keith Rendleman. He’s super talented, but who gets him the ball without turning it over to the other team first? If Tanner Milson or Freddie Jackson really develops, then UNCW will be better, but this is where they start.
What’d I, or Brian get wrong? Right?