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NCAAB CAA Predictions and Plays


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It's that time of the year again. As bad as the CAA was last year, the CAA talent is going to be much worse this year. Many teams are/were crippled by graduation, suspensions, and (in the case of Jarvis Threatt) dismissal. In my opinion, there are only 3 teams that have a realistic chance of winning the CAA. The other 7 teams are going to be a crapshoot as to where they finish. That being said, here is my predicted order of finish in the CAA.

 

10. Elon - A team I really don't know anything about, as it is there first year in the CAA. From what I know, they graduated their top 3 scorers from a pretty bad team last year and figure to be much worse this year. I will have to see them a few times in their non-conference schedule to get a better idea of where they will stand against CAA opposition.

 

9. Delaware - Delaware did their job last year in winning the CAA tourney, particularly because of how much talent they were going to lose at the end of last season. Saddler, Usher, and Baptiste have all graduated from Delaware and that right there accounted for roughly 60% of their scoring. To make things worse, Threatt (the idiot that he is) managed to somehow screw up again and Delaware finally got fed up with him and kicked him off the team. Now you can take away 85% of their scoring from last year when you throw in Threatt. That means that Delaware will have to rely on the only returning double digit scorer in Kyle Anderson, a player with most of his point production resulting from the talent surrounding him. To put it short, this will be a rebuilding year for Delaware.

 

8. UNCW - UNCW did a good job of hiring Keatts from Louisville as their HC. UNCW will also have some pretty good transfers that will join the team next season (and will make them one of the tougher teams in the CAA next year). Unfortunately for them, next year isn't this year. Although I like the way Cedrick Williams plays and really wish he could be on a William and Mary team that badly needs a solid center this year, he just doesn't have much of a supporting cast around him.

 

7. JMU - I would have had them ranked higher this year if Charles Cooke hadn't transferred. But the loss of him and (what seems like the 8th year senior) Semenov takes a couple of good scorers off their roster. Throw in the early season suspension to Andre Nation (who I don't think will even make it the entire season before fucking up again), and JMU could be in for a rough year. JMU probably has the highest deviation among my projected CAA standings - if Nation stays out of trouble they could finish 4th or 5th; if Nation doesn't even make it to the CAA part of the schedule before getting his 3rd (what seems like his 6th) strike, then they could be duking it out with Elon and Delaware for dead last.

 

6. Towson - Amazing that Towson could't win even make it to the CAA finals last year with the players they had. Now, they will have to deal with life without Benimon. Also gone are double digit scorers Guthrie, Damas, and Burwell. Now, Towson will look to a couple of good transfers in Astroh (Vandy) and Ivory (Cleveland St.) + the deadly shooting of Four McGlynn to carry the load on offense. Parker-Rivera will also have to be relied on to do a lot of work in the paint for Towson.

 

5. Drexel - Another year, another string of injuries for Drexel. This time, a couple of impactful injuries happened before the season even starts... (whoever their strength and conditioning person is needs to be fired...) Kaz Abif and Major Canady will both be out for the season for Drexel, who will again have challenges with depth again this season. Throw in the graduation of a couple of great players in Fouch and Massanet and a good rebounder in Ruffin and all of a sudden it looks like a Drexel is going to be in trouble. The good news for Drexel? The return of Damion Lee from last year's ACL injury. Damion Lee will be heavily relied upon by Drexel to carry them in scoring and will lean on contributions from Allen and Williams. Outside of those 3, I think Drexel will have a hard time finding points from the rest of the roster.

 

4. College of Charleston - Charleston was probably the most covered CAA team in the offseason, mainly due to the stories surrounding HC Doug Wojick. Charleston returns some good players from last year's team that played very good defense, but couldn't get it done on the offensive end. Baru is a defensive force that is hard to score/rebound on (although he has a knack of getting in foul trouble), and Stitt and Barry are a couple of solid guards that should improve from last year. This team should be just as good on defense as they were last year. Now the question is can they improve on the offensive end.

 

3. William & Mary - O so close last year to making the NCAA tourney for the first time in school history, they will now have to focus on a new season without their quality big man Rusthoven and reliable point guard Britt. The good news for W&M? 2 words - Marcus Thornton. I expect Marcus Thornton to have an even better year this season that his 18.7 ppg last season. Throw in Prewitt who had a very good freshman season and W&M has a quality 1-2 scoring tandem. Throw in Dixon who is an excellent perimeter defender (and improved offensively as the season progressed last year), Tarpey who is an excellent rebounder for his size (and has reportedly improved on his shooting during the offseason), and a couple of freshmen in Schlotman and Tot that are expected to contribute this year, and the Tribe should once again have a very good backcourt. The bad news? They have a weak frontcourt and don't really have any rim protectors, which should result in W&M losing the rebounding battle against most teams and W&M struggling to defend the paint.

 

2. Northeastern - When a team that finished middle of the pack last year in the CAA and went 11-21 last year is projected by most to finish 1 or 2 this year in the CAA, then you know a lot of talent was lost in the CAA last season. The one team that didn't really lose any talent - Northeastern. NE returns probably the best big man in the league this year in Scott Eatherton, who will be a force for most teams to defend in the CAA this season. Throw in a couple of quality starters in Spencer and Walker plus a good reserve in Stahl and you will realize why NE is projected to do so well in the CAA. Another huge plus for NE is the return of Quincy Ford, who was lost early last season for the year and one of the few players that could be relied on for points outside of Eatherton.

 

1. Hofstra - I said last year that this will be a scary team to play next year because of all the transfer they will have. Well, next year has arrived and I am predicting them to finish tops in the CAA. Prolific scorer Juan'ya Green is eligible to play this year after transferring from Niagara 2 years ago. Throw in another Niagara transfer in Tanksley and SMU sharpshooter Bernardi to play with some good returning players in Nesmith, Robinson, and Kone, and you have a ton of scoring threats you need to worry about when playing Hofstra. The question with Hofstra (which is the same question I had with Delaware last year) is how long will it take for the transfers to gel with the team. I am also curious to see how their defense does this year, as it wasn't good last year and I don't see much defensive talent on this year's team.

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Friday plays

 

W&M +18 (-110) vs. Florida 1.1 units to win 1 - Wish I used a book that had the opening line of +22.5, but I will take a stab at the +18. Florida will be without center Chris Walker and don't seem to have a ton of size with Yeguette and Young graduating last year, which should play into W&M's favor.

 

The over is a bet I am definitely leaning towards, depending on the total. William and Mary is as athletic as I ever remember them being and I think they will play faster than they did last year. If they continue to be as efficient this year as they were on the offensive end last year, I think they have the potential to net around 65 against Florida. Also, with how suspect their defense will likely be this year, I think Florida will have no trouble scoring at least 75.

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Nice. I will tail on W&M.

 

Florida is another team that will play more to their ranking at the end of the season than they will at the start.

 

I'm working a little right now so will just copy and paste for today:

 

UCSB has no business being +16 vs Kansas. UCSB has one of the best players in the country - Alan Williams - to go along with one of the more improved players in the country last year - Michael Bryson - and Harmon who is one of the better distributors of the basketball on the west coast. UCSB has a lot of motivation this season after blowing their chance at the tournament to a horrible Cal Poly team. I don't love Seldon like a lot of people around college basketball; outside of Perry Ellis, Kansas is rebuilding to start the year. I don't doubt that Kansas may play at the level of their ranking by seasons end, once Cliff Alexander and the other FROSH get comfortable, but right now they are trying to find their identity for the season. UCSB is a senior laden team with a lot of depth and they have that elite player you need in college basketball. I think UCSB gives Kansas a pretty good game. Alan Williams will be a nice player for the youth on Kansas to go up against; he is creative around the basket and plays a very "veteran" style of basketball.

 

My line - UCSB +11 1/2.

 

Wofford +12 is a game to look a little further into. Stanford brought in the best recruiting class, possibly, in school history but they lost a ton. While they retain most of their perimeter talent, their size was lost to the NBA or graduation. It's going to take the youthful talent at Stanford some time to come together. Wofford is returning over 90% of their production from last year, including their 5 starters and they are senior led - Cochran took a big step forward last year in terms of offensive efficiency - if he can even make 1/2 the stride this year he'll be one of the better scorers around. Wofford won 20+ games with this unit last year and really should be even better. Wofford started off last year dreadfully, but finished really strong. Their showing in the tournament wasn't great, but they are a tournament caliber team again this year. I think Wofford has a decent chance at winning outright, and I like them a good bit to cover that number. I'll have a small ML play along with the spread.

 

Randle vs Cochran is a nice match-up. (Line is +10 upon wide release)

 

Indiana State -11: IUPUI and Indiana State are both horrible this year, but I like the quickness on IUPUI's perimeter and Indiana State is running with untested and unknown guards. They lost everyone that ran the offense. Indiana State I have as being the 9th best team in the MVC this year with not a lot of talent in sight. I wouldn't be shocked if shitty IUPUI pulled off the upset early on this year. IUPUI is equally bad in their conference, at least preseason forecasts, but I actually think IUPUI will be a decent bit better than they were last year (they were horrible).

 

 

I think I'm going to play Virginia even though the line is right on where I had it set; I just think they win that game by 20+ with ease.

 

Utah I like, but I don't want to lay 25 points with them. I was hoping for a lower line.

 

 

That VCU line was tempting at the B-Oline opener of 4 1/2 but the Bookmaker opener is 7 which is probably too much.

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UVA is probably a good call being -16. JMU without Andre Nation is a bad team and I don't see any one they can count on for scoring outside of Curry. I am usually hesitant with UVA covering big lines because of their slow tempo, but I see JMU struggling to hit 50 in this game.

 

Haven't really examined the lines for tomorrow outside of W&M, but I think there will be some soft totals tomorrow that can probably be taken advantage of

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Indiana State -11: IUPUI and Indiana State are both horrible this year, but I like the quickness on IUPUI's perimeter and Indiana State is running with untested and unknown guards. They lost everyone that ran the offense. Indiana State I have as being the 9th best team in the MVC this year with not a lot of talent in sight. I wouldn't be shocked if shitty IUPUI pulled off the upset early on this year. IUPUI is equally bad in their conference, at least preseason forecasts, but I actually think IUPUI will be a decent bit better than they were last year (they were horrible).

 

 

Based on your write-up, I assume that you meant to type "IUPUI +11" (I'm on them as well).

 

 

FWIW, I took the points with JMU-Virginia game (gonna be a tough environment, JMU isn't the only team that's shorthanded in that one, loss to Philly U isn't quite as bad as it looks, and a slow pace).

 

 

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The total is higher than I anticipated, but I am adding: W&M Florida OVER 139.5 1.1 to win 1 unit

 

Also adding: Drexel Colorado UNDER 134 1.1 to win 1 unit - With the depth issues Drexel has, I think they try to keep the pace of this game as slow as they can. A lot of the freshmen/sophomore that played for Bruiser last year have had time to learn and improve on Bruiser's defensive style/intensity.

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Based on your write-up, I assume that you meant to type "IUPUI +11" (I'm on them as well).

 

 

FWIW, I took the points with JMU-Virginia game (gonna be a tough environment, JMU isn't the only team that's shorthanded in that one, loss to Philly U isn't quite as bad as it looks, and a slow pace).

 

 

Yeah, just meant the line of Indiana State -11 was poor. I'm on IUPUI.

 

I like the Utah over 138 1/2. Utah one of the most efficient offenses in the country, and they got out and ran last year in their OOC scheduling. I can see that game in the 150's.

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2-4, -2.3 unirs

 

Monday

 

Hofstra +12.5 (-110) vs. NC St. 2.2 to win 2 and ML (+675) 0.25 units - Still don't think the books realize how much talent their is on Hofstra and am surprised the line is as high as it is. Despite getting Lacey from Alabama to lessen the blow of losing Warren to the NBA, there just isn't consistent scoring threats outside of Turner, Lacey, and Barber that will make it tough to cover the spread in what I predict will be a shootout. Also decent value on the ML as I really don't think their is much of a talent gap between NC St. and Hofstra.

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Hofstra played like shit and still covered that game. I stayed away out of fear of NC State's athleticism, but nice call in that one.

 

Tonight I like:

 

Wisc-Green Bay +15 - this is a lot of points, regardless of opponent, to give a very veteran and tough Wisc Green Bay team. If you'll remember last year, Wisc-Green Bay gave Virginia everything they could handle. Wisconsin is one of the nations 5 best teams, but they are matching up vs a team who fits their profile well. Wisc-Green Bay should control the basketball well, and might be able to lull Wisconsin into a slower pace of basketball. I think this game stays within double digits for the majority of it.

 

New Mexico State -12 - New Mexico finally gets an easy game and I think they capitalize on it; they are coming off two tough opponents in a row, and finally are heading home. I think this New Mexico State team is much better than they have shown out of the gates this year and this game should be a 15-20 point victory.

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Hofstra played like shit and still covered that game. I stayed away out of fear of NC State's athleticism, but nice call in that one.

 

Tonight I like:

 

Wisc-Green Bay +15 - this is a lot of points, regardless of opponent, to give a very veteran and tough Wisc Green Bay team. If you'll remember last year, Wisc-Green Bay gave Virginia everything they could handle. Wisconsin is one of the nations 5 best teams, but they are matching up vs a team who fits their profile well. Wisc-Green Bay should control the basketball well, and might be able to lull Wisconsin into a slower pace of basketball. I think this game stays within double digits for the majority of it.

 

New Mexico State -12 - New Mexico finally gets an easy game and I think they capitalize on it; they are coming off two tough opponents in a row, and finally are heading home. I think this New Mexico State team is much better than they have shown out of the gates this year and this game should be a 15-20 point victory.

 

 

If the 1st 10 minutes of the game never happened, it would have been a 1 or 2 possession game in the last minute. Hofstra's horrible shot selection in the 1st 10 minutes (i.e. turnaround fadeaway 3's early in the shot clock, chucking up 3's from way behind the 3-point line, and driving to the basket 1 v. 5 and throwing up an ugly layup). After midway through the 1st, Hofstra actually played pretty well outside of the freaking 3 or 4 tip backs they allowed NC ST. to get off missed free throws...

 

 

On both of your plays :cheers

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Wisconsin is really good; not that I'm surprised by that. New Mexico State was easy, but got my ass handed to me with Wiscy.

 

For today:

 

I like PSU/Charlotte under 139 pretty good. Charlotte isn't going to be a team that shoots well from the field all year, and at their pace they will be lucky to be in the mid-60's or under. PSU is a better offensive team but they fall into the pace of their opponent. This should be a 66-61 type of game.

 

SMU -2 1/2 (Now 3 but maybe comes back, but I'll count it as 3 for here) - Another situation where I'm glad they got humiliated on national TV. I didn't love the match-up for SMU against Gonzaga; SMU is going to be undersized until the 2nd semester, and Gonzaga is big and skilled. This is a much better match-up for SMU. Indiana is a program in shambles. The only way I see Indiana taking this game is a great performance by Yogi. I like SMU by 6-8 in this spot.

 

Texas vs Iowa should be an entertaining game. That line has plummeted, which makes sense given that Texas is playing their first game away from their building and they are a young team. That said, I am a Texas believer this year, and I like them now that the line has dropped a little bit. I'll be on Texas at -4 1/2 for a 1/2 unit so it's not a full play like the other two, but there's still value there. Texas should be able to control the glass vs Iowa which is something Iowa has done effectively so far this year. Aaron White can ball though; that's my one concern.

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Didn't get a chance to post my play of Drexel Miami UNDER 124.5 here cause of work.

 

Just glancing at tomorrow, UNDER in the charleston/tex a&m game and drexel/usc game will be plays depending on the total. Cal Poly -7 is also appealing with how bad Delaware is (especially with their lone returning double digit scorer Kyle Anderson being out for the 1st month of the season) - I just need to look into CP as a team a little more before betting it.

 

FWIW, I like the Mason WVU UNDER 139.5. I really don't care for the offense of Mason, but the size that Mason has (especially if Copes is able to play) should limit WVU on the offensive glass, where they have gotten a lot of their points from so far this season. Neither team has shot the ball well at all so far and neither team plays that fast to have me concerned from a possessions number

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Wasn't even close. What a bizarre game played at an incredibly hectic pace.

 

Another example similar to SMU today is Georgia State +7 tomorrow. Georgia State looked terrible and shell shocked on national TV in their last game. They are very talented and did not play like it; Harrow couldn't hit a shot to save his life, and no one else helped out. Colorado State is a much better match-up for them than Iowa State. I still really like this Georgia State team; as I did last year. I am shocked this line is above +3. I am on the Georgia State +7 and will be on the ML as well when released. This is a great match-up for the guards on G-State.

 

This will be my second play for more than 1 unit - following up on SMU's 1 1/2 unit play this evening.

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Didn't get a chance to post my play of Drexel Miami UNDER 124.5 here cause of work.

 

Just glancing at tomorrow, UNDER in the charleston/tex a&m game and drexel/usc game will be plays depending on the total. Cal Poly -7 is also appealing with how bad Delaware is (especially with their lone returning double digit scorer Kyle Anderson being out for the 1st month of the season) - I just need to look into CP as a team a little more before betting it.

 

FWIW, I like the Mason WVU UNDER 139.5. I really don't care for the offense of Mason, but the size that Mason has (especially if Copes is able to play) should limit WVU on the offensive glass, where they have gotten a lot of their points from so far this season. Neither team has shot the ball well at all so far and neither team plays that fast to have me concerned from a possessions number

 

We just need WVU to slow down a little. Your call on the Mason offense was spot on. Need this game to turn into a snooze fest so that WVU spends their time milking the clock and Mason continues to take poor shots.

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Yeah missed the under badly. Too many easy layups for WV off of Mason turnovers. 2nd half played too fast because Mason was trying to catch up. Good thing about watching that game is Mason is completely incapable of beating the press and will struggle to cover against those teams I.e. vacuum

 

Charleston total is lower than anticipated but I did bet:

Drexel USC UNDER 121 (-110) 2.2 to win 2

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