The Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) handed out a series of awards to the league’s men’s and women’s basketball programs over the past couple weeks.
The conference awarded men’s basketball guard Justin Wright-Foreman with a second team honor, while Eli Pemberton was named to the All-Rookie team. Hunter Sabety and Rokas Gustys appeared on the All-Academic list.
On the women’s side, Ashunae Durant earned second team honors while Olivia Askin and Aleana Leon made the All-Academic team.
The players listed above should be applauded for their accomplishments, but Hofstra deserved better.
For the men’s side, Wright-Foreman broke out this season after scoring just 44 points in total over the course of his freshman season.
This year, the shooting guard led the Pride in scoring with 18.1 points per contest, which was more than three of the five players on the CAA first team.
In addition, only William & Mary’s Daniel Dixon had more 30-point games than Wright-Foreman’s four.
There are few who match Wright-Foreman’s skill as a pure scorer. Many will argue that Wright-Foreman was not deserving of a spot on the CAA first team because he played on a squad that posted a losing record in conference play. But Wright-Foreman’s 49.3 shooting percentage disproves the notion that he was just a volume shooter. In fact, his shooting accuracy was better than every player who was named to the first team.
On the women’s side, Durant and point guard Krystal Luciano should have received more recognition.
Durant – the second teamer – was a prolific scorer and a dominant rebounder. The junior tallied 16 double-doubles, tying for the lead in the CAA. She was third in scoring and first in rebounding in the Colonial, making her arguably the best multi-dimensional player in the league.
The most impressive part of Durant’s game was her ability to grab her own team’s misses. Her 4.6 offensive rebounds per game led the CAA by a sizable margin – the next-best player had 3.2 per game. Nobody in the conference was as good at generating her own shots inside the paint. Her aggression on the boards also helped her team generate more offensive possessions, leading to higher scoring totals.
Speaking of players who generated offense, Luciano was about as good as they come. She was a dynamic do-it-all athlete who could score, pass and rebound. She recorded the first triple-double in Hofstra women’s basketball history this year with 21 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds in the team’s win against the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Her strongest asset was her court vision. Her 6.2 assists per game led the conference by a comfortable margin.
Even on a Hofstra team that wound up near the bottom in the CAA in scoring, Luciano always found easy looks for her teammates. Her senior season was one of the strongest for a Hofstra point guard in recent memory and the team will have a hard time replacing her production.
Durant and Wright-Foreman will be back to redeem themselves next season. Although they both deserved first-team recognition, they’ll have a chance to improve upon impressive showings next year. Given that many first teamers were seniors, the conference should be theirs for the taking.