2016 CAA Tournament: Guards To Watch
Despite not having a professional basketball team since 1974, when the Baltimore Bullets departed for Washington DC, the town still remains as a basketball hotbed. For the past three seasons, the CAA has given the city of Baltimore a taste of March Madness. Due to low attendance, the conference does not see Baltimore as a prime basketball location.
So since this is the last season of March Madness style basketball we will see in Baltimore, here are a few guards in the Colonial Athletic Conference that will be worth the price of admission:
David Walker 6’6, Northeastern
Walker leads the Huskies in scoring and looks to lead them to a second straight conference title. As a junior, Walker was the second option behind big man Scott Eatherton but has elevated his scoring average from 13 points to 18 points per game. The long combo-guard has the ability to play point guard but can score with the best of them. This season, Walker has seven games with 25+ points and three games 30+, his season high of 32 coming against Towson in 79-72 loss. Walker will have an opportunity to revenge that loss Saturday night, as the Huskies take on the Towson Saturday Night in the final game of the quarterfinals.
#1 Juan’ya Green 6’2, Hofstra
My first introduction to Green was when he went toe-to-toe with Marcus Thornton, who was drafted by the Celtics in the 2015 draft, in last year's CAA semi-finals. Thornton, is William & Mary’s all-time leading scorer and was the CAA top NBA prospect at the time. In a losing effort, Juan’ya scored 26 points and went 4-9 from the three point line, being a part of one of the best games I’ve witnessed live. Green, now in his senior campaign, is second in total points behind Walker with 531, averaging 18 points per game. Green is a tough guard from Philly that embodies the city in his play. Green has great play-making ability that will entertain the average fan. With Hofstra as the #1 seed in the tournament, Green has a chance to win the Player of the Year award, which I predicted last season.
#2 Ron Curry 6’4, James Madison
Curry leads the Dukes in scoring, averaging 17 points a game and is the fifth player in the conference with 500+ points. Curry has a smooth style and can catch fire if he is not guarded well. Curry will need to have a monster tournament for the Dukes with Baltimore native, Shakir Brown, out with a broken foot. Curry has increased his average by four games but his assist and three point percentage has took a decline. Watch out for Curry to have an explosive tournament, JMU taking on William & Marry Saturday at 2:30pm.
#4 Omar Prewitt 6’6, William & Mary
Prewitt has been a premier player in the CAA since his freshman season. He played sidekick to Marcus Thornton for two years, but this season he has made the transition into being the main guy. Prewitt averages 18 points per game while shooting 50% from the field. Prewitt is a solid scorer but his best attribute is his defense, guarding the conference's best wing players on a nightly basis. Prewitt has been a part of two bad losses in the CAA, both in the championship. Prewitt will look to lead the Tribe to a third straight CAA Finals appearance, starting Saturday against the Dukes of James Madison.
Chris Flemings 6’5, UNC-Wimilton
Flemings is a newcomer to UNCW and the CAA, but he has made an instant impact. The swing guard averages 16 points per game, also leading the team with 6 boards per game. Fleming sat out the 2014-15 season due to NCAA transfer rule. Prior to walking-on to UNCW, Fleming was a standout at division 2 school Barton College, where he average 20 points and 7 boards a game during the 2013-14 season. Fleming is a big part in the Seahawks 22 win season and it will be interesting to see if he can guide them to their first CAA title since 2006.
#1 Kory Holden 6’2, Delaware
Holden is only a sophomore but he has 500 points this season, and ranks fourth in the conference for points per game with 17. The Hens have the worst record in the conference but Holden is a very entertaining player to watch. He will play on opening night and if he can get some help from his supporting cast, he might make it to the quarterfinals.