William & Mary Tribe

POSTERIZED: Virginia’s Darius Thompson finishes with authority

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Saturday afternoon Virginia’s Darius Thompson threw down a dunk that is one of the best thrown down to this point in the season in the Cavaliers’ 67-52 win over William & Mary.

After the Virginia defense forced a turnover by William & Mary’s Omar Prewitt, Thompson and Malcolm Brodgon took off on a 2-on-1 with Daniel Dixon being the lone defender. Dixon tried but he could not keep Thompson from scoring, as the Tennessee transfer threw down a vicious one-handed dunk while being fouled.

Thompson, whose role became even more important when starting point guard London Perrantes underwent an appendectomy less than a week ago, continued his solid run of play with 12 points, three rebounds, two assists and four steals in Saturday’s win. Brogdon and Anthony Gill scored 16 points apiece to lead the way for Virginia, which scored 20 points off of 19 William & Mary turnovers.

As for the dunk, it brings back memories of Mustapha Farrakhan’s dunk on NC State guard Javier Gonzalez in 2010. That clip is below for those who need a refresher.

Thompson dunk credit: ESPN (Farrakhan’s dunk courtesy of the ACC Digital Network)

Daniel Dixon’s three-pointer pushes William & Mary into second consecutive CAA title game (VIDEO)

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After falling in the CAA tournament title game a season ago, William & Mary will make its second consecutive appearance in the game Monday night. Their path to the CAA final wasn’t an easy one either, as they needed a Daniel Dixon three-pointer with eight tenths of a second remaining in double overtime to beat Hofstra 92-91 on Sunday.

CAA Player of the Year Marcus Thornton, who assisted on Dixon’s game-winning three, scored a CAA tournament single-game record 37 points to lead the way for the Tribe with Omar Prewitt adding 33 points. Juan’ya Green, the CAA Newcomer of the Year, led Hofstra with 26 points to go along with seven assists and four steals. Dion Nesmith added 21 points and Brian Bernardi 17 for the Pride, who drop to 20-13 on the season.

William & Mary will play either UNCW or Northeastern in Monday’s title game, which can be seen on NBCSN at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

Delaware continues recent dominance of William & Mary (VIDEO)

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After losing many of the key contributors from last season’s CAA tournament champion team, the 2014-15 season hasn’t gone too well for Monte Ross’ Delaware Blue Hens. Saturday afternoon Delaware moved to 6-8 in CAA play with a 73-70 win over William & Mary, which entered the game in sole possession of first place. The win is Delaware’s ninth straight in the series, and they also snapped the Tribe’s 14-game home win streak.

Two Marvin King-Davis free throws with 15 seconds remaining sealed the win for Delaware, with Kyle Anderson, Kory Holden and Cazmon Hayes scoring 15 points apiece to lead the way offensively. Marcus Thornton, one the best all-around guards in the country, led William & Mary with 27 points and Omar Prewitt added 25.

William & Mary, now 10-4 in CAA play, is tied with Northeastern and UNCW in the loss column. The Seahawks are also 10-4, and Northeastern is 9-4.

Balanced effort moves William & Mary into tie for first in the CAA (VIDEO)

William & Mary v North Carolina
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William & Mary entered Saturday’s game against Northeastern one game behind the Huskies in the CAA standings, and after their loss at Delaware on Wednesday this was a game Tony Shaver’s team had to get. And thanks to a balanced offensive effort the Tribe picked up the win, beating Northeastern 78-62 with Omar Prewitt leading four starters in double figures with 19 points.

Sean Sheldon and Tony Tarpley added 15 points apiece, with Tarpley also grabbing eight rebounds, and senior guard Marcus Thornton scored 13 as William & Mary pulled even with the Huskies at 6-2 in CAA play. Quincy Ford led Northeastern with 17 points and Scott Eatherton added 12, but the Huskies’ struggles from beyond the arc proved too much to overcome.

Northeastern, which is shooting 38 percent from beyond the arc for the season, made just two of its twenty attempts on the afternoon. By comparison, William & Mary (the CAA’s best three-point shooting team) made six of its nineteen attempts.

WATCH LIVE: Northeastern visits William & Mary on NBCSN

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Two of the best teams in the CAA will play on Saturday afternoon as Northeastern (14-6, 6-1) hits the road to play William & Mary (11-7, 5-2).

The Huskies are led by senior forward Scott Eatherton, as he’s averaging 15 points and 6.9 rebounds per game while shooting 58 percent from the field.

William & Mary will counter with senior guard Marcus Thornton, who is one of the most underrated scorers in the country. The 6-foot-4 Thornton is having another stellar season as he’s averaging 19.4 points per game on 46 percent shooting from the field and 3-point range.

You can see the game at 2:00 p.m. on NBCSN. It will also be streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra.

2014-2015 Season Preview: This the year for William & Mary, or do new contenders emerge in the CAA?

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Beginning on October 3rd and running up until November 14th, the first day of the season, College Basketball Talk will be unveiling the 2014-2015 NBCSports.com college hoops preview package.

MORE: 2014-2015 Season Preview Coverage | Conference Previews | Preview Schedule

The Colonial Athletic Association ended in dramatic fashion last season as Delaware defeated William & Mary, 75-74, in the final seconds of the conference title game in Baltimore. There will be plenty of turnover in the CAA heading into this season, as many star players have moved on from their collegiate careers and several programs from the bottom half of the conference standings in previous years look to make the jump into the NCAA tournament conversation.

William & Mary guard Marcus Thornton is the only returning first-team all-conference selection and is the league’s best player. The Tribe also return Omar Prewitt, the CAA 2013-2014 Rookie of the Year, giving W&M one of the best perimeters in the conference. Chasing the Tribe will be two teams that finished below .500, but have the tools to be serious contenders this season. Northeastern returns six of its top seven scorers, including second-teamer Scott Eatherton and Quincy Ford, who was sidelined all but two games with a back injury. The two 6-foot-8 forwards give the Huskies the CAA’s best frontline. Hofstra head coach Joe Mihalich is equipped with some offensive firepower to account for the graduation of CAA top scorer Zeke Upshaw. Juan’ya Green and Ameen Tanksley, both of whom followed Mihalich from Niagara in 2013, are now eligible, as is SMU transfer Brian Bernardi. That trio joins senior guard Dion Nesmith.

Drexel, Delaware, James Madison and Towson have all lost significant contributions, but could still pieces to offset the lost production. Damion Lee has recovered from last December’s ACL tear. He averaged 17.1 points per game for Drexel as a sophomore in 2012-2013. Gone from Delaware are four double-digit scorers, but Kyle Anderson remains, as the Blue Hens will shift to a strong defensive-minded team in 2013-2014. Two-time player of the year Jerrelle Benimon graduated last spring, but Towson does bring back Timajh Parker-Rivera and Four McGlynn while James Madison won’t have its full roster until late November.

The Dukes suspended talented scorer Andre Nation for the first five games. He missed 15 games last season due to violation of the athletic department. Northeastern has also dealt with personnel issues as starting guard Demetrius Pollard left the program earlier this month, although he remains enrolled at the university.

The CAA welcomes Elon from the Southern Conference. Elon’s Matt Matheny is one of three new CAA head coaches. Rick Pitino’s former assistant Kevin Keatts takes over at UNC-Wilmington while former Clemson assistant Earl Grant got a late start to his first season on the College of Charleston bench after the school fired Doug Wojick in early August.

REALIGNMENT MOVES

In: Elon
Out: None

PRESEASON CAA PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Marcus Thornton, William & Mary

The 6-foot-4 two-guard is the conference’s top returning scorer, averaging 18.7 points per game, going for 20 or more 14 times during his junior campaign that ended with first-team all-CAA honors. Thornton back-rimmed what would have been a game-winning, buzzer-beater in the CAA championship game against Delaware; a missed shot that likely fueled his offseason workouts this summer.

THE REST OF THE PRESEASON CAA TEAM:

  • Kyle Anderson, Delaware: The Blue Hens lost four of five double-digit scorers. Anderson, the only one to start all 35 games, should see an increase in production this season for the reigning CAA champion.
  • Scott Eatherton, Northeastern: The 6-foot-8 forward averaged a double-double last season, posting 15.9 points and 10.2 boards per game.
  • Juan’ya Green, Hofstra: One of three transfers eligible this season for a revamped roster. The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 16.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.9 assists a game for Niagara in 2012-2013.
  • Damion Lee, Drexel: Missed all but five games last year due to an ACL tear. When Lee is healthy, Drexel is a contender and he is a player of the year candidate.

ONE TWITTER FEED TO FOLLOW: @CAAHoops

PREDICTED FINISH

1. William & Mary
2. Northeastern
3. Hofstra
4. Drexel
5. Delaware
6. James Madison
7. Towson
8. College of Charleston
9. Elon
10.UNC-Wilmington