CAA Preview: Hofstra Pride
Last year: 11-22 Overall (3-15 CAA) 11th in the CAA, Lost to Georgia State.
What Happened: The Pride struggled for most of the season and especially in CAA play, winning only won three of their 18 games. There were some bright spots throughout the season however, as they were able to grab wins versus successful non-conference opponents LIU-Brooklyn and Siena.
- Mike Moore (G): Hofstra will be without its biggest offensive threat from the 2011-2012 season, guard Mike Moore. In his senior season Moore averaged a team best in points per game (19.9), three point percentage (.391), steals per game (1.7), and free throw percentage (.817). Moore was the focal point of the Pride’s offense and earned a spot on the All-CAA Second Team.
- Nathaniel Lester (F): Unfortunately for the Pride they will also be without their second leading scorer in Nathaniel Lester. As a senior Lester led the team in rebounds per game with 6.5. Lester was a force in the paint averaging 14.6 points per game.
- Taran Buie (G): Hofstra made a big addition to their backcourt with the addition of transfer Taran Buie. Buie, who sat out last year after playing his freshman season at Penn State, was at one point an ESPNU Top-100 Recruit who led his high school team to the New York AA State Championship. Buie averaged 5.8 PPG as a freshman before being suspended for violating team rules and did not play last season due to NCAA Regulations for transfers.
- Jamal Coombs-McDaniel (F): Another transfer that could make a huge difference for the Pride is former UConn swingman Jamal Coombs-McDaniel. As a sophomore in 2010-11, Coombs-McDaniel averaged 5.6 PPG and 2.6 RPG for the championship-winning Huskies. Hofstra hopes that he can fill the void in the frontcourt left by Nathaniel Lester.
- Stephen Nwaukoni (F): Nwaukoni was a solid big-man for the Pride last year with room for improvement if given the opportunity. Nwaukoni was second on the team in rebounds (5.3) and seventh in points (4.6) despite not even being in the top five in minutes played. Nwaukoni is a forward who can hit his free throws (71%) and block some shots (4th on the team).
Outlook: Despite losing its best two players in Lester and Moore, it looks like Hofstra could easily improve on last season. If Buie can stay out of trouble he certainly has the talent to make an immediate impact. Fellow transfer Coombs-McDaniel will look to bring his winning ways to a Hofstra team that struggled in the previous season. In a conference that likes to grind out games the versatility of Coombs-McDaniel and the athleticism and speed of Buie could be a dangerous offensive combo.
- David Kroopnick