Always a Dragon – All CAA Teams

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It’s that time of year, when players are awarded for years of hard work that have culminated in outstanding seasons, and media outlets use the opportunity to provide some low hanging fruit fodder to the fanbases for great discussion.  It’s end of season awards time!  Scott and Dan independently submitted their non-existant votes here, and below are the results:

First Team

Justin Wright-Foreman, HOFSTRA (Player of the Year)
Nathan Knight,WILLIAM AND MARY
Grant Riller, CHARLESTON
Devontae Cacok, UNCW
Jarrell Brantley, CHARLESTON

Second Team

Vasa Pusica, NORTHEASTERN
Jordan Roland, NORTHEASTERN
Desure Buie, HOFSTRA
Camren Wynter, DREXEL
Eric Carter, DELAWARE

Third Team

Stuckey Mosley, JAMES MADISON
Brian Fobbs, TOWSON
Tyler Seibring, ELON
Matt Lewis, JAMES MADISON
Eli Pemberton, HOFSTRA

All Rookie Team

Camren Wynter, DREXEL (Rookie of the Year)
Ithiel Horton, DELAWARE
Kai Toews, UNCW
Chase Audige, WILLIAM AND MARY
Deshon Parker, JAMES MADISON

Defensive Player of the Year:

Desure Buie, HOFSTRA/ Nathan Knight, WILLIAM AND MARY

Coach of the Year:

Joe Mihalich, HOFSTRA

Narrative Notes: 
* Others receiving consideration were a split ballot of Drexel players, Troy Harper and Alihan Demir, and Steven Santa Ana.
* The only debate here at AAD on the first team was Pusica vs Brantley.  Scott’s argument for Brantley held up, as Pusica lost time due to injury and quite frankly, we don’t see voters not putting Brantley on the first team.
* The top four all rookie players were unanimous, with Deshon Parker being placed on the team over Matt Veretto.  If Veretto wanted to win awards on this website, he may have considered playing for a different institution than Delaware.
* Defensive player of the year was a split vote tie

Scott’s Take:

Some of my picks are obvious ones, and others will probably raise an eyebrow or two.  Justin Wright-Foreman is all but a shoe-in for his second conference Player of the Year award.  I also think that there should not be much of a question that Cam Wynter has earned the Rookie of the Year honors.
While many will probably have him on the conference’s first team, I think Pusica slips to the second team due to his own injury issues, and the remarkable play of Nathan Knight.  My third team held two Dragons: Wynter and Troy Harper.  Harper gets the nod if for no other reason than he finished his season 10th in the nation in fouls drawn/60.  There were things that Harper was not good at, and others that frustrated many people, but he was one of the most hard nosed guards I’ve ever seen, and I think he deserves to slip into the third team.
Picking the All-Rookie team was the most difficult.  Beyond the top four of Wynter, Toews, Horton and Audige, the quality of freshmen across the league fell off considerably.  I liked what I saw from Delaware’s Matt Veretto.  He possesses both size and range, and should be a useful piece for the Blue Hens in the future.
Finally, my Defensive Player of the Year honor goes to Hofstra’s Desure Buie.  Although it is frequently reserved for the best big man in the league, Buie’s 2.5 steals per game was the highest  average since ODU’s Bradon Johnson in 2007-08.  He was a threat in the passing lanes, and while Hofstra’s defense was not spectacular this year, Buie was a definite bright spot for them.

Dan’s Take:

JWF should be a unanimous pick for Player of the Year this year, but if he wasn’t in the Association, my pick would have gone to Nathan Knight.  Not only did Knight end up third in scoring and first in field goal percentage despite being the guy on that team that every coach planned for, but William and Mary was second in the conference defensively this year.  Coach Shaver has never had a plus defense but Knight in the middle almost single handedly at times ended drives.  Knight was also sixth in the league in assists, while playing center.  His production was just astounding in all facets of the game and he will enter next season as the frontrunner for the award.

On the second team, the high end of Pusica, Roland and Buie almost have to be there.  The other two spots led to some debate, with Scott pushing Eric Carter onto the team and me putting Cam Wynter there, over Stuckey Mosley and Brian Fobbs.  Cases can certainly be made for all four, but the level of game planning we saw coaches do for Eric Carter, and Cam’s FOY vote pushed their arguments over the other two here.

For the third team, Stuckey and Fobbs were joined by unanimous selections Lewis and Siebring.  The final four of Pemberton, Harper, Demir and Santa Ana were very tough choices.  Scott makes a great argument for Harper, but I pushed hard for one of the top players on the top team here in Pemberton.  He didn’t just free up things for JWF… He was almost as efficient as JWF himself.

Coach of the Year went to the guy who will win it, but I think an argument can be made for Bill Coen, who not just handled his teams injuries, but has them playing their best basketball at the right time.  Not to give too much away from our CAA preview column,  but much has been said about how Coach Spiker at Drexel has navigated through injuries, and Bill Coen deserves a share of that respect as well.   Losing Occeus early, navigating through Pusica’s pains, and not having Tomas Murphy for the final weekend were curveballs he handled well in finishing just a game back in the standings this year.
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