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CAA males’s match prediction: Longtime kryptonite in Delaware’s path

BY DANIEL STEENKAMER
Managing Sports activities Editor

The favourite: Charleston has separated itself from the pack within the final month, profitable 9 in a row since falling to UNCW on Feb. 1. UNCW did handle to comb the common season sequence with the Cougars through that win, however the rivals have since gone in reverse instructions, with the Seahawks displaying cracks of their armor in defeats to Elon and Campbell. The prospect of UNCW having to beat Charleston a 3rd time this season within the semifinals? It’s a daunting one, given the Cougs’ CAA-best scoring offense (81 factors per sport) and league-leading three-pointers per sport (10.7).

The runner-up: Hofstra is the beneficiary of Charleston and UNCW occupying the opposite aspect of the bracket in Washington. The Satisfaction tasks to oppose Delaware within the quarterfinals – the Blue Hens are 1-9 and losers of seven in a row towards Hofstra in current sequence historical past. Head coach Speedy Claxton’s staff matches the profile, proudly owning extra of the identical traits to plague Delaware and advance to the ultimate: It’s sturdy scoring by guards (graduate Tyler Thomas and junior Darlinstone Dubar every common over 18 factors per sport), take care of the basketball (No. 2 assist-to-turnover ratio within the CAA belongs to Hofstra) and top-end perimeter capturing (37.4 three-point area purpose share is greatest within the convention for the Satisfaction.)

The upsets: Stony Brook is the lone staff with no double-bye that seems in my semifinals. The Seawolves closed the common season by throttling Delaware 79-56 on Lengthy Island, setting the tone for a possible underdog run. Presuming that Stony Brook will get previous Northeastern in its postseason opener, the Seawolves are set to face Drexel within the quarters. Though the Dragons could have the remaining benefit in such a gathering, they wanted all the pieces they’d towards SBU on Feb. 29, a 90-86 Drexel win. Stony Brook possesses the abilities of graduate guards Tyler Stephenson-Moore and Aaron Clarke, who’re two top-20 scorers within the league, plus 7-foot graduate heart Keenan Fitzmorris. Fitzmorris versus Drexel 6-foot-10-inch graduate ahead Amari Williams could be a deal with to look at down low. 

The enjoyable one: Saturday’s midday tip-off between Monmouth and Campbell must be a fireworks present on offense. When the Hawks and Combating Camels final met on Feb. 15, Monmouth’s Xander Rice, a graduate pupil, and Campbell’s Anthony Dell’Orso, a sophomore, mixed for 68 factors as Monmouth gained it on Rice’s buzzer-beating three close to mid-court.

Gerald Drumgoole Jr. (#1, above) drives into the lane towards Charleston in a house loss on Feb. 22. Jordan Rosales/THE REVIEW

The Hens: Delaware has sagged towards the perfect competitors within the CAA, going 1-6 versus tourney seeds increased than the Blue Hens: Charleston, UNCW, Drexel, Hofstra and Towson. The one victory over a top-flight foe got here Feb. 8 at Towson when Delaware shot 57.9 % from three-point vary, together with 4-of-5 by Cavan Reilly, 3-of-6 by Gerald Drumgoole Jr. and 2-of-2 by Niels Lane. This perimeter barrage has not been Delaware’s forte general, however when it’s clicking, it relieves strain on star ahead Jyáre Davis and rebounding stalwart Christian Ray within the halfcourt offense. Davis has ascended in his senior season, rating seventh within the CAA with 17.5 factors per sport on the convention’s No. 7 area purpose share (47.2) and No. 4 free throw share (81.9). Delaware’s lack of measurement and depth, although, coupled with capturing lulls towards premier opposition, generates dependence on a Blue Hen protection that does fee fourth within the league in scoring (70.2 factors per sport allowed). Head coach Martin Ingelsby’s rotation has felt the absence of injured St. Francis Brooklyn switch guard Zion Bethea, who has managed three appearances this season. All got here in January for the Hens, whose ceiling of the CAA quarterfinals right here feels applicable given the pressure brought on by lacking out on one of many CAA bracket’s 4 double-byes.