Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Yea or nay for Delle Donne on CAA first team?

To EDD or not to EDD, that is the question?

Does Delaware's Elena Delle Donne belong on the CAA first team? The conference will announce its honorees, as chosen by the league's 12 head coaches, at a banquet on Wednesday evening on the eve of the women's tournament at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md.

Despite playing in just 10 CAA games, the sophomore is eligible for postseason honors. Though not listed ranked in the final CAA statistics (players must appear in 75 percent of the games for that), were she ranked, Delle Donne would be the scoring leader, averaging 25 ppg. She would also be the top shooter from the foul line at 93 percent and her 27 blocks in conference games ties her for fourth.

Here's the scoop. Delle Donne was the CAA Player of the Year last season, and she put up similar numbers in 2010-11 - when she was able to play. She underwent a battery of tests that eventually diagnosed her ailment as Lyme disease, and like James Madison's Dawn Evans, she plays with limitation, combating fatigue.

Still, selecting a player who has appeared in just over half her team's games means leaving out someone who played their way into All-CAA consideration over the full 18. Clearly, a case can be made each way.

While we don't think Delle Donne should repeat as Player of the Year, we would find a spot for her on the first team. The rules allow it, and her numbers support it. Because even with her limitations, she remained one of the five best players in the CAA.

Wednesday, we'll find out if the coaches agree.

There's still time to make your own selections for the conference's Fans Choice All-CAA team. Our ballot would look something like this:

Player of the Year - Dawn Evans, JMU

Coach of the Year - Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, UNC Wilmington

Rookie of the Year - Alisha Andrews, UNC Wilmington

First team
Dawn Evans, JMU
Shante Evans, Hofstra
Courtney Hurt, VCU
Brittany Blackwell, UNC Wilmington
Elena Delle Donne, Delaware

Second team
Tia Lewis, Old Dominion
Lauren Jimenez, James Madison
Kamile Nacickaite, Drexel
Andrea Barbour, VCU
Jasmine Parker, Old Dominion

Third team
Taysha Pye, William and Mary
Alisha Andrews, UNC Wilmington
Martha White, UNC Wilmington
Chan Harris, Georgia State
Alena Voronina, Old Dominion


  1. Why not Courtney Hurt for POY 23.4 ppg (3rd in the nation) and is shooting about 46% from the field. 12.6 rpg (1st in the nation) 23 double doubles (1st in the nation)(CAA record)

    I know Dawn Evans scoring average is 23.6 but shes shooting a measly 35% from the field and the team runs everything through her whereas Hurt lets the game come to her.

    Just my 2 cents

  2. Remarkable season by Courtney, no doubt. But Dawn was the best player, leader and focal point on the best team in the conference. Also, the Dukes beat VCU twice, and in one of those games, Courtney made just 4 of 14 field goal attempts (still finished with 20 and 11, though). It's really close between those two - and Hofstra's Shante Evans had a heck of a year, too. But if forced to split hairs, we're leaning towards the fact that Dawn took her team to greater heights. Having said that, we wouldn't boycott the tournament if Courtney wins it. We absolutely love what she did this year.

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  5. Elena Delledonne for POY :)

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  9. Totally agree with your picks, Ladyswish. Agree that Evans should get the nod over Hurt for POY because

    a) Everything goes through her for JMU and she can beat you from three, on the drive, with the pass or (increasingly as the season went on) with her defense. Everything the Dukes did started with her (even when it didn't end with her score or assist) and the team's success is a matter of record.
    b) Even though she was the focal point of every team's defense, she led the conference in scoring AND JMU won the regular season
    c) She is an unbelievable story - how she has continued to play and inspire while suffering from FSGS is a story for the ages.
    d) She's a senior and has never won a major post-regular-season conference award. How crazy would it be for her to end her phenomenal CAA career without ever being ROY or POY?

    Cooper-Dyke will likely be a runaway choice for Coach of the Year. No one expected the 'hawks to be 14-4 and just an eyelash away from the #1 seed.

    And Andrews also will be a runaway choice for Rookie ... she reminds me a lot of Evans in her freshman year.

    EDD should be all-CAA and possibly even first team. She's a phenomenal talent - probably the most talented player in the league, and is among two players in the league (the other being Evans) who can beat you single-handedly. But, this year, she's on a 7th-seeded team that was only marginally better when she was in the lineup (UD was 6-4 in the CAA without her, also 6-4 with). And the name of the game is winning, after all, so no support here for any POY talk for EDD.

  10. Nay!
    Best player since Lebron James? Two years of basketball at UD and the best they could do is an at large to the WNIT, and that was a gift. Lauren Jimenez deserves the first team honors.