#120 Hofstra Men's Basketball 2012-13 Preview

Hofstra Pride

2012-2013 Overall Rank: #120
Conference Rank: #5 Colonial
Hofstra Men's College Basketball 2012-2013 Team Preview
Hofstra Team Page


Hofstra suffered from a giant hangover after the departure of Charles Jenkins. Without their superstar scorer, the Pride won just three conference games during the 2011-2012 campaign. So why did the Pride slide back into mediocrity? The transfers sitting on the bench probably could have held their own against Hofstra’s starting five last season...and that would be three on five. Two years ago Jamal Coombs-McDaniel averaged 5.6 points and 2.6 rebounds for Connecticut. He is a big 6-7 slasher who can knock down some long balls and finish above the rim. Taran Buie barely made an impact before leaving Penn State, but his comings and goings from Happy Valley were big news. He is a great scorer and was very highly recruited out of high school. Just a sophomore, the half-brother of former Penn State star Talor Battle will put up Battle-type numbers. Daquan Brown is not as big of a name as Coombs-McDaniel and Buie, but at 6-10 and 215 pounds, he is at least big and that is what this team needs. After stints at Fresno State and Barstow College, Brown could step right into the five spot for the Pride.

2011-12 Record: 10-22, 3-15
2011-12 Postseason: None
Coach: Mo Cassara
Coach Record: 31-34 at Hofstra, 31-34 overall

Who’s Out:
There is plenty of bad news to go around, but losing the only two players who could consistently score from a ten win team is not a good thing. Mike Moore averaged nearly 20 points per game and was the lone long range threat on the team. Nathaniel Lester was a fine slasher who averaged 14.6 points and 6.5 rebounds. Point guard Dwan McMillan is also gone after dishing out 4.8 assists per game and sixth man guard Shemiye McLendon rounds out the list of departures.

Who’s In:
The more you look at the players on the roster, the more you start to like the Pride. Coach Mo Cassara certainly has his work cut out for him, but he has done a great job of bringing in players. Shaquille Stokes, a 5-11 point guard, had a fine season at Hawaii as a freshman last season. He averaged 8.4 points and 2.2 assists and could be eligible to play this year pending an appeal. Jordan Allen, a 6-6 forward, redshirted last season and is expected to add frontcourt depth along with incoming freshmen and Jimmy Hall. Kentrell Washington and Dallas Anglin, who could be asked to play major minutes at the point guard spot pending on Stokes’ eligibility, will battle for quality minutes as well.

Who to Watch:
Despite the poor play in general last season and the loss of some key players from the 2011-2012 squad, Hofstra does return some talent. Stevie Mejia struggled through some injuries last season, but back in 2009-2010 he led the Atlantic 10 in assist-to-turnover ratio while playing at Rhode Island. If he can regain that form for his senior season, the Pride will be in good hands. In 26 appearances for Hofstra last season he averaged just 2.1 assists per game. It is in the frontcourt where the Pride returns everybody. David Imes is a lanky 6-7 forward who was expected to block shots and grab some rebounds. He did those things, but he also showed some scoring potential. Stephen Nwaukoni and Moussa Kone split starts at the other forward spot. Nwaukoni is an absolute beast on the glass. If he can score a little more and play a little better defense, he will be too valuable to leave on the bench. However, Kone and the newcomers will have plenty to say about that. Kone, like Nwaukoni, is not much of a scorer, but he is a better defender.

Final Projection:
Hofstra has Mejia, Buie, Coombs-McDaniel, Brown and plenty of frontcourt depth. It all sounds really good. But how things sound may not be how things really turn out. While a majority of Hofstra’s impact players did practice together last year, there is still some major chemistry issues to work out. Perhaps a bigger question is whether or not Mejia can get back into form? If not, Stokes better be eligible to play or the point guard spot will be in trouble. It may take a while for everything to come together for Hofstra, but when it does this will be a very dangerous team. And do not forget, the CAA lost some teams and, at last count, just has seven teams eligible for the CAA Tournament. This is a team, even if they spend November, December and January taking their lumps, that can win the CAA Tournament in March and reach the NCAA Tournament.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Stevie Mejia, Senior, Guard, 6.0 points per game
Taran Buie, Sophomore, Guard, DNP last season
Jamal Coombs-McDaniel, Junior, Forward, DNP last season
David Imes, Senior, Forward, 7.0 points per game
Daquan Brown, Junior, Forward, DNP last season