Monday, March 15, 2010

Looking back at the CAA Tournament

Last December, we asked several players for their New Year's resolutions. The responses included this one from James Madison freshman Tarik Hislop: "My New Year's resolution is to bring the intensity every night for every game, no matter who the opponent. And my team's New Year's resolution is to win the CAA championship." Looks like Hislop went 2-for-2.

- Much of the talk heading into the CAA tournament centered on how anyone could win it. That's good PR for the conference - the more fans believe their team has a chance, the more interest is sustained across the board. As it turned out, though, form most held throughout the championships. Eight of the 11 games were won by the higher seed, and two of those "upsets" - No. 5 Delaware nipping No. 4 Drexel in the teams' third overtime game of the season and No. 2 James Madison defending its home court in the final against No. 1 Old Dominion - weren't terribly surprising. Only No. 10 UNC Wilmington's 50-30 rout of No. 7 Towson falls into the "Huh?" category. But who knew the Tigers would leave their offense in Baltimore?

- Brittany Wilson update: Here's the latest from the Northeastern sports information department on Wilson, the Northeastern star who suffered a seizure after an Old Dominion player landed on top of her during a CAA quarterfinal last Friday: "Brittany suffered a concussion but her CT scans came back negative and she was released from the hospital later in the day. She slept through most of Friday and on the bus Saturday (we had a sleeper bus), but when she was up and about she was her normal self."

- Coaching clinic: With Old Dominion down 13 in Sunday's CAA final and less than a minute to go, Jasmine Parker picked up her fifth foul with a frustration hack at JMU's Jalissa Taylor. Lady Monarchs coach Wendy Larry calmly called her players to the bench, and in about 15 seconds sternly - but with a hint of compassion - explained to them why they were losing - "The team that works the hardest wins" - and how they were to conduct themselves the rest of the way - "We show class! Show class!" Yet another reason why Lady Monarchs fans should be thankful their team has Larry as a coach - and that Comcast Sportsnet has excellent sideline microphones.

- It was nice of Delaware coach Tina Martin to vow "We will be back!" after the Blue Hens' 50-49 loss to Old Dominion in the CAA semis. But if I was a rival coach, that's exactly what I'd be hoping - that that same Delaware team will be back next season and beyond. This isn't meant to disparage the non-Elena Delle Donne Blue Hens, and we'll take them at their word that they'll buts their tails this offseason to improve. But if Delaware wants to max out with a once-in-a-generation talent like Delle Donne, clearly an infusion of talent is required. So far Delaware has signed just one incoming recruit, and she's an accomplished one - Virginia's own Kelsey Buchanan, a 6-3 center who on Saturday had 24 points and 16 rebounds in leading Freedom High to its second straight Division 4 state title. But aren't there others that want to play with a talent like Delle Donne? Martin said in a News-Journal story that last summer, the high-profile recruits were more interested in playing in the big conferences. But that was when Delle Donne was mostly hype, myth and rumor. Now that she's proven to be everything as advertised - and then some - it'll be interesting to see what happens when Martin hits those same trails again.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, ladyswish, for great coverage of state and CAA women's b-ball all season ... you've become my first online stop for WBB. Looking forward to your insight during the NCAA and WNIT games.

    One point to add about yesterday's CAA final (and the future of the CAA): only two seniors played in the title game -- JMU's Sarah Williams and ODU's Jessica Canady. Both will be missed next year for certain, BUT the rest of the league needs to know the Dukes and Monarchs are still going to be the teams to beat.