2013-14 Preview: William & Mary
With most of the team's core intact, Tribe are poised to climb CAA standings
2013-14 CAA Projected Standings1. Towson | 2. Charleston | 3. Delaware | 4. Drexel | 5. Northeastern | 6. William and Mary | 7. James Madison | 8. North Carolina-Wilmington | 9. Hofstra
2012-13: 13-17 (7-11)
In-conference offense: 1.08 points per possession (3rd)
In-conference defense: 1.11 points per possession (11th)
Fans of offense would have loved last season's William & Mary team, and more of the same should be expected in 2013-14. The Tribe ranked last in the CAA in defensive efficiency while placing third in offensive efficiency. William & Mary's shooting mirrored its opponents', as it led the league in effective field goal percentage and was 10th in defensive effective field goal percentage.
Coach Tony Shaver has all but one of his key rotation players returning, so the same high-efficiency show should return to the CAA this season.
On both ends of the floor, the 2-pointer was a key element of offensive success for the Tribe. Behind the strong interior games of 6-foot-2 guard Brandon Britt, 6-9 forward Tim Rusthoven and 6-8 forward Kyle Gaillard, the Tribe hit on 51 percent of 2-pointers in CAA play. That didn't translate to the other end, where William & Mary allowed opponents to also hit 51 percent inside the arc.
Britt, Rusthoven and Gaillard all return, along with outside threat Marcus Thornton (43 percent from 3), so a continuation of offensive success is likely. If that happens, any bit of improvement on defense could mean a big jump in the standings in a conference that should be pretty even from the middle up.
While the Tribe are experienced, the backcourt is still thin with just four returning scholarship players to fill what is likely to be three guard spots on the floor. Freshmen Daniel Dixon, Omar Prewitt and Michael Schlotman all have a shot to break into the rotation.
The Tribe should improve on their seven conference wins, if only because other teams ahead of them have lost key players. Look for William & Mary to finish in the middle once again but close to .500 in CAA play.
Projected 2013-14 conference finish: 6th
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2013-14 Insider College Hoops Preview
In the lead-up to the 2013-14 college basketball season, Insider is providing preview articles on every Division I team, as well as essays from Insider's analysts and experts.