RICHMOND, Va. (Nov. 20, 2023) – A smorgasbord of #CAAHoops awaits this week, full of matinee basketball leading up to and after Thanksgiving.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
TK Simpkins, Elon
Sophomore | Guard | Brooklyn, N.Y. / Liberty Heights Christian
Simpkins was in double figures in all three games of Elon’s 2-1 trip to the Rock Hill Classic. The sophomore from Brooklyn scored 19 points in Friday’s win over IUPUI and 12 in Saturday’s victory over Holy Cross before contributing 14 points, seven rebounds, and five assists on Sunday against host Winthrop. For the week, Simpkins averaged 15.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.7 assists on 44% shooting and 4-of-10 from three while making 17 of his 21 free-throw attempts in the games against IUPUI and Winthrop.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Nick Dorn, Elon
Freshman | Guard | Charlotte, N.C. / Julius L. Chambers
Dorn averaged 11.7 points and 3.3 rebounds in a 2-1 week for Elon with a strong performance in the tournament opener. The freshman from Charlotte knocked down four threes on nine attempts in a 19-point effort to beat IUPUI on Friday before helping the Phoenix to a win over Holy Cross on Saturday. Dorn is one of three Elon players averaging double figures this season.
2023-24 CAA MEN’S BASKETBALL WEEKLY AWARD WINNERS
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Nov. 13: Xander Rice, Monmouth
Nov. 20: TK Simpkins, Elon
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Nov. 13: Tyler Tejada, Towson
Nov. 20: Nick Dorn, Elon
NEWS AND NOTES
A six-game Monday begins in the early afternoon and continues all day for CAA fans.
Neutral-site games for UNCW (Fort Myers), Northeastern (Greenville, N.C.), and Hampton (Virgin Islands) comprise the afternoon slate before home night games for Stony Brook and Campbell and a game in the Florida Gulf Coast for Hofstra; the Pride’s game will be free on FloHoops’ social media.
ALMOST HEAVEN, CENTRAL JERSEY
Monmouth made a statement in the season’s opening week with a 73-65 victory over West Virginia in Morgantown.
Graduate transfer Xander Rice scored 30 points in his second game playing at Monmouth for his father, King Rice, who defeated a high-major opponent for the ninth time at the helm of the Hawks program.
The victory was the CAA’s first over a school in the Big 12 at the time of the matchup since VCU’s Elite Eight win over Kansas in 2011.
HOME IS JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR WIN
CAA teams are 16-3 at home to begin the year, including Division I wins over Air Force, American, Boston University, Coppin State, ETSU, Fairfield, Iona, Navy, Queens Charlotte, and Robert Morris.
Three CAA teams rank in the top 20 nationally in three-point percentage. UNCW is second (50.7), Delaware ranks sixth (45.3), and Elon is 13th (41.5).
The opening week of the season featured decisive road victories for the league.
UNCW led by as many as 27 in a 17-point victory at UNC Asheville, while Drexel erased a double-digit deficit to win at Winthrop. Earlier in the opening week, Delaware rolled to a 21-point victory over Bucknell in its Monday opener; the Blue Hens’ margin was the largest by a victorious road team nationally on Opening Night and one of just three by double digits. Towson was also a 21-point winner on the road at Coppin State and Monmouth led West Virginia for 26 minutes for the league’s marquee win so far in non-league play.
UP FOR THE CHALLENGE
CAA teams are slated to play eight of this week’s AP Top 25 in addition to four non-conference opponents who are receiving votes in either the AP or coaches poll.
Three CAA players went for 30+ points in the first weekend of the season. Campbell’s Anthony Dell’Orso poured in 35 – a season-high in the league – on Saturday at East Carolina after North Carolina A&T’s Landon Glasper scored 32 at UNCG and Monmouth’s Xander Rice dropped 30 in a win at West Virginia on Friday night.
BY ASSOCIATION, THAT’S PRETTY GOOD
Drexel’s Amari Williams was named Preseason Player of the Year after collecting his second straight Defensive Player of the Year honor in March. Williams is the fifth player all-time to win multiple Defensive Player of the Year honors since the award was instituted in 1999. Two of the prior four – Kent Bazemore and Larry Sanders – went on to play in the NBA.
One thing to know on each #CAAHoops team
- Anthony Dell’Orso’s career-high 35 points for Campbell at East Carolina were the most by a CAA player this season.
- Charleston made 17 three-pointers in Sunday’s win at Coastal Carolina.
- Delaware is 4-0 for the first time since opening the 2019-20 season with nine straight wins.
- Amari Williams recorded his 17th career double-double in Friday’s win over Fairfield.
- Elon’s wins over IUPUI and Holy cross marked the first time the Phoenix scored 80+ points in back-to-back games against D1 opponents for the first time since its final two games of the 2018-19 season.
- Hampton concludes its trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands on Monday against San Jose State; the Pirates’ Amir Nesbitt played for the Virgin Islands senior national team in the FIBA AmeriCup.
- Jaquan Carlos ranks in the top 20 nationally in assists per game (6.7).
- Monmouth’s win over West Virginia was the program’s ninth over a high-major opponent in King Rice’s tenure.
- Landon Glasper’s 32 points Friday for North Carolina A&T are the second-most by a CAA player so far this season.
- UNCW is 3-0 for the first time since 2016-17; that Seahawk squad opened the year 11-1 and went to the NCAA Tournament.
- Chris Doherty reached 500 rebounds for his Northeastern career on Sunday.
- Stony Brook’s Chris Maidoh leads the CAA with 2.3 blocks per game.
- Towson outrebounded Wake Forest 45-26 on Friday night and holds a +7.0 rebounding margin on the year, which leads the league.
- Gabe Dorsey’s 26 made three-pointers for William & Mary lead the nation.
JUST A SONG BEFORE I GO
The Thursday off-day – the first of the season in men’s #CAAHoops – will allow for a full day around a crowded table with loved ones. We’re thankful for what we have this Thanksgiving, while thinking of ways to warm the table of those less fortunate. Your notebook writer encourages you to do something for your community this week in the spirit of Thanksgiving.
The #CAAHoops Notebook is a weekly look around CAA Men’s Basketball for conference fans, media, and more. Like it? Have suggestions for how to make it better? Email the writer at email@example.com or find him on Twitter @MilesMcQuiggan.