RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Thursday, March 3

S14: Top 14 Scorers From Last Five CAA Tournaments

Last year, I did a ton of those Sporting 14 lists about college basketball conference tournaments, and the top recent past scorers and returning scorers and all that noise, and will probably do the same for the NCAA tournament once it starts, because hey, it's how my brain is wired. Pre-tourney lists though I decided to keep simple and confined to the Colonial Athletic Assocation and the Atlantic Coast Conference, the major and mid-major conferences that overlap my home geographically. The CAA contains the place I went to college at, and since she was 10, I've taken my oldest kid to the semifinals and finals of the tournament at the Richmond Coliseum, soaking up the strange environment of college athletics, with the added excitement of the conference's one berth into the Big Dance on the line usually, complete with ESPN cameras on the Monday night final.
This year, due to my malingering injuries, I had to bail out on going, and sold our tickets off. Sad too, because the CAA tournament looks exciting. There's two teams that might could actually get an at-large berth into the tournament even if they don't win the CAA title, but my VCU Rams are not quite so hot as they were in previous years, sort of flaming out here at the end of the season. That's to be expected with an NBA first-round draft pick on their roster each of the past two seasons. That's pretty amazing for what is called a mid-major program.
So anyways, for today's list, in psychic preparation for tomorrow's noon tip-off of the 2011 Colonial Athletic Association basketball tournament, we'll list out the top 14 high scorers from the previous five CAA tourneys. Up until this year, I've always done this as previous four years, but finally I am admitting that college basketball is a complete and utter scam, and that these guys have a fifth year built in, for redshirting during an injury, or just sitting and watching their first year, so that have that extra three semesters to try and be an actual student enough to justify them wearing the school colors on TV. The CAA is not a prestigious league in college basketball, but it is one of the better mid-majors, and usually, along with the Missouri Valley Conference or West Coast Conference, the mid-major that will rise up from time to time every couple of years, like it did five years ago with George Mason's run to the Final Four. So there's some ballers on this list, albeit Euroballers at this point.
#1: ERIC MAYNOR (VCU guard, 156 total points) - Two years ago, Maynor straight took over the court, and single-handedly willed VCU into the championship. I'm not sure I've ever seen a player live just take over and make everybody look impotent like he did. He's currently second string point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA, and because the OKC jerseys are so simplistic yet chill, and he's on the team, and Kevin Durant is one of the few NBA budding superstars I do not find annoying as fuck, they have become my default NBA team, though honestly, I find the NBA detestable and impossible to watch for more than seven minutes in a row.
#2: DANNY SUMNER (William & Mary forward, 132 total points) - Last year, I subscribed to some basketball website for like $10 to find out where all these lower level dudes ended up since college, but I don't feel like messing with that this year. Sumner was the non-threatening black dude on William & Mary that gave them their best run ever last year, where they went to the NIT tournament even. They suck again this year, and Sumner signed last summer to go play professionally in Finland.
#3: DRE SMITH (George Mason guard, 126 total points) - Smith was a relentless 3-point assassin for the Patriots, and not sure what ol' Dre is up to now, but if the interweb is leading me correctly, he seems to be in that mess of people who are marketing young musicians aka the A&R hustle, which you think people would know is dead. But at the same time, there's lots of young kids who think you still go platinum and actually own those cars and houses in the Rick Ross videos, so I guess somebody's gotta be there to fleece them of they grandma's money. (Oh wait, late results suggest he may be playing in Iceland, or maybe that's just a rap euphemism.)
#4: GERALD LEE (Old Dominion forward, 120 total points) - Gerald Lee was last year's CAA tournament domineering force, but lacked that total takeover ability of Eric Maynor. Still, he was a solid motherfucker, and with his Finnish roots, you had to figure he was going back to Europe to play pro ball, which he did, to Italy.
#5: WILL THOMAS (George Mason forward, 120 total points) - Damn, Will Thomas has his own Wikipedia page. Did not expect that. Apparently, since signing to go over in 2008, he has made a good name for himself as a star of the top pro league in Belgium.
#6: FOLARIN CAMPBELL (George Mason guard/forward, 118 total points) - Campbell also has a Wikipedia page, which I guess all those dudes from the Final four team would. He is playing in Germany and you can actually get current news results with his name, saying things like " Folarin Campbell war es am Ende, der mit 18 Zählern die meisten Punkte der Baskets ablieferte." Fucking punkte der baskets.
#7: CHARLES JENKINS (Hofstra guard, 116 total points) - Jenkins is still active, thus I will speak upon him in tomorrow's list of active returning players to this year's tournament.
#8: LARRY SANDERS (VCU center, 98 total points) - Sanders was a first round draft pick by the Milwaukee Bucks last year, and he's bounced back and forth between the far end of their bench and the Developmental League most of the year. But Andrew Bogut's recent muscle strain injury got Sanders called up and starting. I really dug him at VCU, but felt like he didn't really strive for his top potential. It's hard to imagine becoming a millionaire at age 21 would change that. Last year, my daughter wanted to knit Larry Sanders a basketball bag. I am amazed I have raised such a sweet child, even at her advanced age. Sometimes I worry we screwed up by raising her so nice, but that's just paranoia. I remember how I was at 12, and am confused as to how she could be so far from that.
#9: ANTOINE AGUDIO (Hofstra guard, 92 total points) - Agudio was the Puerto Rican gunslinger for Hofstra for what seemed like the longest time. He has bounced through the NBA D-league, and is currently gainfully employed draining threes in Belgium.
#10: JOSH THORTON (Towson guard, 92 total points) - Thornton was a senior last year, so I have no idea where he is this year, probably playing in Turkey or some shit. But I do know that Towson is a terrible, terrible team, that went 0 for the season in conference play. They had a big dreadlocked dude last year that was a round mound of tornado power in the paint, like a hip hop Tasmanian devil.
#11: PIERRE CURTIS (James Madison guard, 88 total points) - I did not realize JMU actually had a guy that made that many contributions at the college level. They always seem to be on the second-tier of the CAA, although they have played well this year, and I guess could hit a lucky streak like William & Mary last year, and make a run in the tourney. Curtis is now in Germany, playing off the bench for a team called Jena. You want proof? " Ihn begleiten wird der mit einem Probe-Vertrag ausgestattete Pierre Curtis, der trotz solider Leistungen auf dem Feld eine Ausländerposition freimachen muss." Hahaha, foreign shit look crazy, ain't it?
#12: MANNY ADAKO (Northeastern forward, 87 total points) - Adako helped Northeastern to the semifinals of the CAA tourney last year, which was annoying because all of these stupid people from Massachusetts wearing red and looking like lap dogs were at the games. He now is a starring player for DeFriesland Aris Leeuwarden in Holland, where you can get high as fuck and have sex with east European sex slaves. You can do that too in Boston, but it's a deeper underworld to navigate here in America. If you have ever worked with Boston area knucklehead white dudes (at least as they see themselves) on a construction site, you can only imagine how difficult such an underworld located actually in Boston proper would be. It makes me sick and frustrated just imagining it.
#13: DAVID SCHNEIDER (William & Mary guard, 86 total points) - So last year was Schneider's senior year as well, and he and Sumner were considered the greatest tandem William & Mary basketball had seen in decades, and Schneider - despite being an ultra-whiteboy, got signed to play in the British Basketball League for the Guildford Heat. There's something very natural to me for a white kid who starred at basketball at William & Mary ending up in England playing basketball. Thing was, he got released from the team the beginning of February, not because of his play, but because the team was going under. The team got sold for about $110,000, and in the process dumped off all it's (relatively) high-priced American talent. Holmes is still hoping to catch on with another European team, but more importantly to me, why do rappers and athletes spend all this money on cars and medallions, when they could all be buying foreign basketball teams, and convincing high school kids to play there for a year or two before coming to the NBA? It would be like Rucker Park International, and I would like to see that happen, because I like dumb shit.
#14: LAIMIS KISEILIUS (William & Mary forward, 84 total points) - You gotta figure a Eurotrash looking kid with a Euro name from a mid-major conference would be balling in Europe to this day, even though he's three years out of college, wouldn't you? Well you are right. A post-collegiate career that started as a star in the Ukrainian league, went through Latvia and the Baltic League, is now with the Gloria Giants of Duesseldorf in Germany's main league, which is one of the better ones in Europe. I am really intrigued by these guys who were minor stars in America and most folks never knew, who bounce from team to team on the international stage, travelling the world for free basically, extending their adolescence into adulthood, and can pretty much come back to America and coach high school basketball somewhere, without a problem. I mean, Kiseilius probably is gonna stay overseas afterwards, being he's a Lithuanian by birth, but still, this random dude who played in Williamsburg for William & Mary goes to something called Ferro-ZNTU Zaporozhye, which sounds like a chemical you order from Chicago, to Liepajas Lauvas, which played in multiple leagues last year as Euro basketball is modeled after soccer's chaos of tournaments and leagues, which is a good thing in my mind. We in America seem to be fed too much order. It would be good if the NBA was like what it is, and then the Developmental League was actually a giant clusterfuck of hundreds of teams where any rapper or former player who wanted to blow $250,000 on a team could do so, and there'd be all these sub-leagues and tournaments and shuffling of players and you could pretty much drive no more than two hours anywhere in America and catch wacky semi-pro basketball with a court full of guys still hoping to catch a 10-day contract into the NBA and never look back.

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