By Milton Posner
Ahh, the CAA Preseason Poll. That wonderful time of year when the conference’s coaches, media relations directors, and media members (including a few from your favorite Northeastern student radio station) gaze deep into their crystal balls and relay the results of the upcoming season. The results of this annual divination ritual, released Wednesday, were among the closest ever, with five teams receiving first-place votes.
|Team||Points (First-Place Votes|
|Hofstra Pride||331 (14)|
|Charleston Cougars||323 (18)|
|Northeastern Huskies||291 (4)|
|James Madison Dukes||253 (3)|
|Delaware Blue Hens||241 (2)|
|William & Mary Tribe||131|
Hofstra, the defending regular-season titleholder, narrowly topped Charleston despite receiving fewer first-place votes. Northeastern finished third without immediate neighbors, and James Madison squeaked ahead of Delaware.
Charleston senior guard Grant Riller took home Preseason Player of the Year Honors and headlined the All-CAA First Team.
|First Team||Grant Riller, Charleston|
|Nathan Knight, William & Mary|
|Brian Fobbs, Towson|
|Eli Pemberton, Hofstra|
|Matt Lewis, James Madison|
|Second Team||Jordan Roland, Northeastern|
|Ryan Allen, Delaware|
|Camren Wynter, Drexel|
|Desure Buie, Hofstra|
|Darius Banks, James Madison|
|Honorable Mention||Bolden Brace, Northeastern|
|Kai Toews, UNCW|
|Kevin Anderson, Delaware|
|James Butler, Drexel|
|Marcus Sheffield II, Elon|
Hofstra, Charleston, and Northeastern, the top three finishers in the poll, were the top three finishers in the regular season last year, albeit in a different order. All three lost major contributors — Justin Wright-Foreman, Jarrell Brantley, and Vasa Pusica, respectively — to graduation. They, along with fellow first-teamer Devontae Cacok of UNCW, signed pro contracts. This was a familiar theme during the CAA offseason; many of the conference’s most talented players graduated or transferred, including William & Mary’s Justin Pierce, Drexel’s Alihan Demir, and Northeastern’s Shawn Occeus.
Hofstra will look to defend its regular-season crown behind a trio of guards: second-teamer Eli Pemberton, third-teamer and Defensive Player of the Year Desure Buie, and the sweet-shooting Tareq Coburn. Charleston will lean heavily on Riller and hope for increased contributions from their maturing role players, namely Brevin Galloway. Northeastern, the defending CAA champion, offers second-teamer Jordan Roland, versatile guard/forward Bolden Brace, and a mix of returning role players and freshman recruits. James Madison and Delaware look to rebound from losing years behind star guards and, in Delaware’s case, two high-powered transfers in Dylan Painter and Nate Darling.
WRBB will post detailed previews for each CAA team the week before Northeastern’s November 5 opening again Boston University. Michael Petillo and Milton Posner will be on the call; coverage begins at 6:45 PM ET.