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.

Friday, March 4

S14: Top Returning Scorers To The CAA Tournament

#1: CHARLES JENKINS (Hofstra Senior guard, 116 previous tournament points) - Jenkins has been the man in the CAA since Eric Maynor left two years ago. Sure, Gerald Lee won the tournament MVP last year, and Hofstra didn't make it even into the semifinals. But he's the CAA Player of the Year two years in a row, has had the rare situation of having his jersey number retired while he is still playing (not sure if he had to change his own number for the rest of the year or not), and Hofstra has their best finish in a while, sitting in the #3 seed, waiting for the winner of James Madison/William & Mary for the late 8:30 pm nightcap game on tomorrow night. I still couldn't pick this dude out of a line-up though.
#2: TROY FRANKLIN (Towson Junior guard, 64 previous tourney points) - The Towson Tigers have not won a conference game all year long. There is no reason to think they will get hot and knock off Drexel in the 2:30 pm game today.
#3: JOEY RODRIGUEZ (VCU Senior guard, 59 previous tourney points) - Rodriguez was supposed to be the dude that replaced Eric Maynor, but then when Anthony Grant left for Alabama, Rodriguez was gonna transfer. But then he didn't. So now he's the point guard of the team, but I don't know... something's not clicking. If he's not hitting 3s, which a lot of times he's not, VCU will lose. They don't play until tomorrow afternoon against the Drexel/Towson winner, where hopefully they can break up the losing streak they've been on.
#4: BRANDON ROZELL (VCU Senior guard, 57 previous tourney points) - Rozell is another highly-touted mid-major recruit under Anthony Grant that was gonna propel this team to the stratosphere. Grant's recruits have not delivered like expected, which does not bode well for Alabama, who also had a slight spike with the arrival of Anthony Grant as their head coach.
#5: BRADFORD BURGESS (VCU Junior guard, 54 previous tourney points) - And the third. How the fuck does this team have three guys in the top five for veteran leadership in this tournament, and still seem like they might be lucky to make the semifinals on Sunday?
#6: ALPHONSO DAWSON (Delaware Senior guard, 48 previous tourney points) - Dawson was a starter from his first year at Delaware, but this year got relegated to coming off the bench. Then he got suspended. But now he's playing again. I think. Delaware plays Northeastern at 6 pm today. I imagine there will be drunk people there.
#7: CAM LONG (George Mason Senior guard, 47 previous tourney points) - Long almost transferred a couple years back, but stayed on, made first time CAA this year, and is leading a team that seems to maybe be on another very special run, just like five years ago when they went to the Final Four. I mean, there's no way they could do that again, but they've got some serious mojo going on right now. They are the #1 seed in the tourney, and will open up tournament play against the winner of today's opening UNC-Wilmington/Georgia State game. Georgia State has already fired their head coach, before the tournament. That is never good.
#8: JULIUS WELLS (James Madison Junior forward, 45 previous tourney points) - JMU has reached 20 wins in a season for the first time since 1982. And they want more. They actually are good enough to make a run, seeded sixth, but really there's not much difference between the #3 through #6 seeds in this tournament. And James Madison has a guy named Humpty Hitchens, which is a sports TV nerd's dream name. So if they win their opener tonight against William & Mary, and upset Hofstra tomorrow night, you can expect to see JMU's purple underdog uniforms on Sportscenter, just so those dumbasses can make Digital Underground jokes.
#9: CHAISSON ALLEN (Northeastern Senior guard, 43 previous tourney points) - First team all-CAA, last run at it glory, but with a strong uphill fight from the #10 seeding, opening up tonight against Delaware. "Chaisson" is a strange name, even by today's standards.
#10: FRANK HASSELL (Old Dominion Senior forward, 43 previous tourney points) - Another All-CAA player, and one of a couple dominating forces on an ODU team that is still pretty good even after Gerald Lee went back to Europe. ODU actually stands a fairly good chance of an at-large berth into the NCAA tournament, but they should probably try to make it into the championship game at least just to seal the deal. They open up tomorrow night against whoever wins tonight's Delaware/Northeastern game.
#11: GREG WASHINGTON (Hofstra Senior forward, 42 previous tourney points) - Washington has always played second fiddle to Jenkins in their four years, but at this level of college basketball, if you can have a solid guard (or two or three) and a good forward come in at the same time, and they run their four years (as most mid-major players always do), you can have a good run in that Senior if everything breaks right. I think that's what Hofstra is hoping for, being both ODU and George Mason seem like candidates for at-large berths into the NCAA tournament. Hofstra wants to get a run going, and win this tournament this weekend, and take a trip to wherever the fuck the tournament committee marches them off to.
#12: KEYON CARTER (Old Dominion Senior forward, 41 previous tourney points) - Carter, along with Kent Bazemore, are some dunk nasty individuals on Old Dominion. If you are actually going to go to the games, I would imagine ODU will be one of the more entertaining teams to see, should they get to running it. Really, even though having a third team win the tournament would probably be best for the conference, a Monday night showdown between Old Dominion and George Mason would be the best face to put on TV.
#13: DENZEL BOWLES (James Madison Senior forward, 39 previous tourney points) - Another All-CAA first teamer, who hopes he is wearing his home white jersey for the last time tonight. From there on out, in this tournament, and if they make a 4-day run, two weeks from now in the NCAA tournament, will be in road purple. There aren't enough purple jerseys in college basketball.
#14: RYAN PEARSON (George Mason Junior forward, 36 previous tourney points) - Okay, I do not like George Mason, being a VCU supporter. But it is completely impossible to not like this Ryan Pearson kid. Somewhere along the way of George Mason running up the longest Division I winning streak in college basketball right now, Pearson decided to stop shaving and cutting his hair. Other team members joined the cause, and a few of them are looking shaggy, for sure. But Pearson is looking straight crackhead at times, like he's gonna go steal copper out from underneath the arena after the game. It is a beautiful fucking thing to see. And as much as I hate to say it, I would love to see them remain undefeated going into the NCAA tournament, just to see how roughshod young urban Grizzly Adams he can get.

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