by Matt Lincoln
As the CAA Tournament is set to begin in Richmond, here are my picks for the big winners who will be announced Thursday night.
CAA Player of the Year - Charles Jenkins, G, Hofstra. No surprise here, Jenkins had an off game when he played in Richmond, and still scored 20 points. He leads the conference in scoring, and has helped to make a forgettable program into a conference championship contender.
CAA Coach of the Year - Jim Larranaga, George Mason. Mason was relatively quiet until midway through the conference season, then they just heated up and left everyone in their dust. Blaine Taylor deserves some consideration here, but I think ODU may be even more talented than Mason. So the conference champ gets it.
CAA Tournament Champion - Old Dominion. I think ODU can actually knock off Mason here. No magic for any of the other teams, you can mark it down for a Mason/ODU Monday final with the loser going to the NCAA tournament anyway.
All-CAA First Team
Charles Jenkins, G, Hofstra. For reasons shown above.
Chad Tomko, G, UNC-Wilmington. Not flashy, Tomko was third-best scorer in the conference, on a team that was picked to finish in the CAA cellar, but actually finished better than four teams.
Cam Long, G, George Mason. Mason's best player is their leading scorer by only a fraction of a point, but he's their senior leader that has lead the Patriots to where they are.
Frank Hassell, F, Old Dominion. 14 points, almost 10 rebounds a game, he's the man that cannot be stopped for the conference's second best team.
Denzel Bowles, F, James Madison. The Dukes may have struggled at times this season, but it's not because of Bowles. He finished second in the conference in scoring (18.2 ppg) and 3rd in rebounding (9.0 rpg).
All-CAA Second Team
Jawan Carter, G, Delaware. The Hens were not an easy out this year, and that had much to do with Carter, who led the conference in three pointers, and finished 5th in the league in scoring.
Chaisson Allen, G, Northeastern. It was surely a tough year for Northeastern, but Allen proved to be one of the best scorers in the league, averaging almost 17 points per game.
Ryan Pearson, F, George Mason. You don't win the league without some good frontcourt play, and Pearson was the guy for Mason to get easy points in the paint.
Jamie Skeen, F, VCU. Skeen was the only consistent offensive presence for the Rams this year. He was good for 15 points and 7 rebounds just about every night.
Samme Givens, F, Drexel. The only man in the conference to average a double double this year, Givens was a monster down low for Drexel, a team that won some big games in the conference.