Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) commissioner Joey D'Antonio announced that Stony Brook University, Monmouth University and Hampton University will join the CAA as 'full members' next season. Stony Brook and Albany are currently 'associate members' of the CAA for football only. Starting next year, Stony Brook will become a full member and compete against the likes of Charleston, William & Mary, Delaware and Long Island rival Hofstra, instead of NJIT, Maine and the rest of America East.
UAlbany, who has won 3 out of their last 4 games, raced out to 24-7 lead over the Mountain Hawks and never looked back. Dre Perry led the Great Danes scoring attack with 18 points, while blocking 3 shots and snatching 2 steals on the defensive side. Freshman Justin Neely was a monster on the glass, grabbing 14 boards while adding 11 points of his own.
Ok, maybe I don't like polls very much, especially when they are mid-major Division I polls. There are always so many variables. First, they are done by coaches, who are not always the most objective folks when it comes to other programs or coaches. Now throw in the new "Pandemic" rosters, featuring 6th year grad students and the "wild west" in recruiting created by the NCAA transfer portal, well, fans could be in for some of the best basketball we have seen in these conferences, maybe ever.
It's hard not to be skeptical of the NCAA or some of the larger conferences, aka the Power 5 schools, when it comes to things like, well, paying student-athletes above and beyond their tuition, room and board and more recently, a "cost of attendance" stipend. Yes, they are institutes of higher learning but over the years even some of the most prestigious universities in the United States, such as Notre Dame, Stanford, Duke and even Harvard have been marred by athletic scandals. Then add in the football and basketball powerhouses that occupy your tv screen every week and the list of improprieties would make your head spin.
Hartford is a member of the America East, as is UAlbany, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, UMBC, NJIT, Stony Brook and Binghamton. This year the America East was ranked 23rd out of 32 basketball conferences. For the past decade, the conference has been close to the lower third.
The Colonial Athletic Conference has produced such NFL greats as Howie Long (Villanova), Joe Flacco (Delaware), Charles Haley (James Madison), Darren Sharper (William & Mary) and scores of others. 36 CAA players were on NFL rosters at the start of last football season, including former UAlbany Great Dane, Jarron Williams. Many of them, including Williams, played at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium while still in college. All the more reason to support the UAlbany Great Danes by purchasing a couple of season tickets.