With the Conference Tournament upon us, that also means that the Colonial Athletic Association’s awards have arrived as well. Each school in the CAA gets three votes: one from the coach, one from their Sports Information Director, and one from the media. While the team at Always a Dragon does not get a formal vote, that does not mean that we lack opinions. Clearly, we have plenty of those.
Listed below are our picks for the All-Conference First, Second and Third teams, the Player of the Year, the Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Coach of the year. Click on the picture to make it larger.
What Dan thinks: My top player and top coach both come from the same team. The CAA was destined for a down year this year and the fundamentally sound Huskies do what they do when the league is down. They play in the image of their coach: No frills, routine, hard nosed basketball. And when the league is down they can win with that. It helps a lot when you have a player come in as Vasa Pusica did. The transfer from USD was second in the league in assist rate while being a top ten shooter from deep, a deadly combination on a team that needed “the guy.” Zane Martin is the guy who could have been on the first team, but with nine or ten guys having an argument, this is a good, deep second team for him to be on. For the all defense team , I literally wrote the article on this weeks ago. Austin was put in a bad situation all year long and walks out smelling like roses. No CAA team was more dependent on any one player that this guy, and he came through to the tune of 36th in the nation in block percentage, which is good for first in the conference.
What Scott thinks: This was a very different season in the CAA. No team truly dominated play. The College of Charleston failed to run away from things, and Towson, who had a very strong start to their season, came back down to earth later in the year. No team impressed more than Northeastern. NU has never been a basketball-first school, anyone who has attended a game there and watched the court reduced to a hockey rink shortly after the final buzzer knows this. Bill Coen has done a great job with recruiting and building that program, including the management of undergraduate and graduate year transfers. He gets my pick for Coach of the Year, and his star player, Vasa Pusica, should be the second consecutive Huskie to win the Player of the Year honor.