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Season Preview: Hofstra Pride

October 5, 2011

Mike Moore

2010-11 Record: 21-12 (14-4, 3rd in CAA) 

What happened last season: Charles Jenkins won his second straight player of the year – this time in a landslide – and used his granite physique to carry Hofstra to the third seed in the CAA tournament, where the one-man crew was no match for eventual champion Old Dominion in the semifinals.

What’s Changed: Jenkins was the only CAA player selected in the NBA draft (going 44th overall to the Warriors) after Pride coach Mo Cassara unsuccessfully petitioned the NCAA to allow Jenkins a fifth year of eligibility under the stipulation of “What are we gonna do without him?”

Key Team Stat: (10.3) Turnovers per game last year, best in the CAA and eighth best nationally. Also in the discipline department, the Pride led the league with 80.7 percent shooting from the free-throw line in league games.

Key Player Stat: (14.9) Points per game last year for Moore, which was more than any other CAA second banana.

Who’s Vince: Jenkins oozed Vince last year. Now it’s Moore’s turn at a promotion. In his first season on Long Island, the Fordham transfer was a nice complement on the wing. Moore can shoot and is an effective driver, but won’t control the ball and the game like Jenkins. He was a big reason for Hofstra’s sharp free-throw shooting, leading the team with an 85.2 average on 135 attempts.

Who’s E: Asked around midseason last year if Moore was the best secondary player he ever teamed with, Jenkins credited his teammate, but with a caveat. Jenkins said no teammate would match the harmony he had with 6-foot-5 guard Nathaniel Lester.  Sidelined all season with a quad injury, Lester (who averaged  8.0 points and 4.8 rebounds per game in 2009-10) is now back and will have a chance to make the same impression on Moore.

The Entourage: Aside from losing Jenkins, the Pride graduated 6-10 defensive specialist Greg Washington, which will leave its frontcourt thin. David Imes (7.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and Stephen Nwaukoni (2.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg) will have to do their best to provide “bulk.” Senior Dwan McMillan (6.8 ppg) and sophomore Shemiye McLendon (6.1 ppg) came off the bench with good minutes last year, while 5-9 Rhode Island transfer Stevie Mejia will try to grab some of their playing time.

Realistic Goal: Finish in the top half of the conference again, proving that a team is more than just one star.

Postseason tournament chances: Doubtful

DN-R Prediction: 9th in the CAA

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