I’m in a Newark State of Mind…

Before we get to the weekend primer, coming later today, many thoughts spun through my head last night as I sat on a plane at the Newark airport. Between the flip-flopping about whether to de-ice the plane (it was snowing, and hearing pilot indecision regarding safety cannot be described as comforting) and the fact that we were about 2,384th in line for take off, I had the time.

Chief among my thoughts that you care about–other than the frat house ability of the woman sitting in front of me to down Bacardi and Diet Coke–is the ridiculous freshman class in the CAA.

There is a stockpile of talent that is playing significant minutes, and at crucial times in the games. The All Freshman Team is going to be a doozie. (Side note: I don’t know if it is an All Newcomer team that includes freshmen and transfers, but I’d like to suggest to the conference office splitting these teams up this year. There’s a boatload of transfer impact as well.)

Is this harvest the immediate rewards of the Mason Final Four run? Bookended by the successes of UNCW and VCU? Improved facilities? Heck, is it the oft-criticized point-of-view of Da’ Commish about getting into Atlanta, Boston, Philly, etc. in the most recent expansion?

Probably a little bit of all of it. But consider these players and the sheer volume. I present them in no particular order and for now present them in list form (assist to Basketball State for the research aid):

Charles Jenkins, Nat Lester (Hofstra)

Chase Allen (Nor’easter)

Fonzie Dawson, DJ Boney (Delaware)

Gerald Colds, Jamie Harris (Drexel)

Chad Tomko, Dom Lacy (UNCW)

Larry Sanders, Joey Rodriguez (VCU)

Ben Finney, Darius James (ODU)

DJ Jones (Ga State)

Heiden Ratner (JMU)

Cam Long (Mason)

That’s 16 players that RIGHT NOW are making a difference and playing significant minutes. I know there are others that haven’t been listed, which makes my argument even stronger. Quite frankly, I cannot think of a freshman class with so much immediate impact.

I don’t yet know what to make of all of this but wanted to get the point made as quickly as I can. (Plus there may be a down day in March and will need the Actual Analysis Post.)

And I lied earlier. I’m picking my All Freshman Team right now:

Charles Jenkins and Chase Allen are neck-and-neck for freshman of the year.

I’ll then take Fonzie Dawson, Gerald Colds, and Chad Tomko.


~ by mglitos on January 18, 2008.

5 Responses to “I’m in a Newark State of Mind…”

  1. I’ll take D. James over the last three any day of the week. Should of figured that you wouldn’t put a monarch on the team!

  2. You make a good point (and I mean that). I think Dawson is the best of that class, but they are all jammed together.

    Keep in mind the evaluation criteria, which is almost strictly statistical. I’m not saying it’s right, but a fact. Tomko and Colds are ahead of James in nearly every major statistical category.

    From an “impact on his team” standpoint, James is absolutely there, above Colds.

    Maybe it’s the little, unimportant game tomorrow that has my judgment clouded?

  3. I’ll take D. James over the last three any day of the week. Should of figured that you wouldn’t put a monarch on the team!

    Is there a more insecure group of people in the entire world then ODU basketball fans?

  4. Michael,

    I always appreciate your very affable and friendly responses to comments that may be seen as criticism or belligerent comments. Keep up the good work!

  5. […] whole freshman thing keeps growing on me. It’s the whole “guards plus experience give you the the keys to […]

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