CAA Trio Embracing G-League Challenges

Jarrell Brantley, Devontae Cacok and Justin Wright-Foreman made up 60 percent of the All-Colonial Athletic Association team in 2018-19. Less than a year later, the honors and accolades continue to roll in for the CAA alumni. 

All three were named to the Midseason All-NBA G League team, each flourishing in the professional ranks in their own way. 

JARRELL BRANTLEY, CHARLESTON (Salt Lake City Stars) 

A four-year starter at College of Charleston and 2018-19 All-CAA honoree, Jarrell Brantley has integrated seamlessly into the professional game. Just look at his G-League stats, which almost mirror his final season’s line at Charleston: 

2018-19: 19.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.4 steals per game 

2019-20: 19.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.5 steals per game 

The Utah Jazz organization’s decision to trade for Brantley on draft night 2019 landed it a reliable two-way player: Brantley’s appeared in three games with the Jazz, making his NBA debut on Oct. 25 against the Lakers when he grabbed three rebounds, dished an assist and blocked a shot. 

“It’s a challenge. You’ve got to go back-and-forth a lot, but at the same time, people pray for these opportunities,” Brantley told KJZZ.com in January, speaking of divvying time between the G-League’s Stars and a Jazz bunch contending in the NBA Western Conference. 

With a promising future in the pro game, Brantley continues embracing his Charleston roots. He sent Cougars coach Earl Grant an autographed Jazz jersey this season, a token of appreciation for the gamble Grant and his staff took on Brantley as an under-recruited prospect. 

“That was one of the coaches who gave me a chance,” Brantley said to KJZZ. “Not a lot of teams recruited me.” 

DEVONTAE CACOK, UNC WILMINGTON (South Bay Lakers) 

Devontae Cacok could be the face of what it means to represent in Summer League. Undrafted in June, the UNC Wilmington product capitalized on his opportunity with the Lakers summer team. 

He was one of the most impressive players in Las Vegas during the July showcase, which landed Cacok an opportunity in the Lakers organization. Cacok was waived at the end of training camp, but retained on an Exhibit 10 deal before landing a two-way deal. 

With such tenacity, it’s no wonder Cacok has shined for the Lakers’ G-League affiliate. 

Cacok hits the break averaging 18.6 points and 12 rebounds per game. He missed about a month of due to a stress fracture in his foot, but posted 32 points on 15-of-16 shooting with 11 rebounds in his second game back. 

JUSTIN WRIGHT-FOREMAN, HOFSTRA (Salt Lake City Stars) 

Justin Wright-Foreman won two CAA Player of the Year awards and became the Colonial’s first draftee since 2015, thanks in no small part to his explosive scoring touch. Since transitioning to the pro game, however, Wright-Foreman is evolving into a traditional point guard. 

The move isn’t unlike that of one of Wright-Foreman’s former coaches who previously made the jump from Hofstra to the NBA, Craig “Speedy” Claxton. Last spring, Claxton said Wright-Foreman has NBA game, and compared him to 2016-17 All-NBA selection Isaiah Thomas. 

As part of the Jazz organization, another standout pro has played a role in Wright-Foreman’s professional development: veteran guard Mike Conley. Per the Salt Lake Tribune, Wright-Foreman has been assigned one-on-one duties with the Jazz point guard during the former Hofstra standout’s call-ups to the NBA club. 

And while he’s evolving his game into more of a facilitating style, much of the same scoring punch that shaped his Hofstra career is still evident: Wright-Foreman is shooting nearly 40 percent from 3-point range en route to 17.4 points per game for the Salt Lake City Stars.

Tough Outs: CAA's NCAA Tourney Rep Figures To Make Noise

Colonial Athletic Association teams are proven tough outs in the NCAA Tournament: In 2018, Charleston went down to a final possession (and questionable non-foul call) against Auburn, UNC Wilmington took both Virginia and Duke to the limit in 2017 and 2016 and Northeastern went to the wire with Notre Dame in 2015. 

Hofstra Makes Another Statement, Collects Fifth Straight Victory

By Joe Mihalich’s estimation, Hofstra was going to get 10 or 15 minutes to enjoy Thursday night’s 76-63 win over Charleston. Players had meals to eat, rest and recovery to be embarked upon and classes to prepare for Friday morning. 

Pride In A Familiar Position, But March Madness Has Arrived Early

There are three weeks to go in the CAA’s regular season and everything has gone exactly as expected thus far. Which is to say, unpredictably. There are lower-echelon teams beating upper-echelon teams, the standings swing wildly every Thursday and Saturday and everyone envisions a scenario in which they can be the team cutting down the nets in Washington, D.C. in March.

William & Mary's Nathan Knight Named to Naismith Trophy Midseason Team

ATLANTA (Feb. 13, 2020) – William & Mary senior Nathan Knight was named one of 30 midseason candidates for the 2020 Citizen Naismith Trophy Men’s Player of the Year honor, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today.

Delaware's Nate Darling Has Blazed A Trail From Nova Scotia To Newark

Canada’s basketball boom in the 1990s and 2000s has made hardwood stars one of the nation’s chief exports into the U.S. 

With '00 Class Looking On, Claxton, Hofstra Hope History Repeats Itself

Hofstra assistant coach Craig “Speedy” Claxton never has to look very far to be reminded of his own playing days at the school. His number 10 hangs in the rafters behind the benches at the David S. Mack Sports & Exhibition Complex, the arena where Claxton played his final home game on Mar. 11, 2000, when he scored 24 points as the then-Flying Dutchmen earned the school’s first NCAA Tournament bid in 23 years by beating Delaware for the America East title.

Remembering A Justin Wright-Foreman Bucket That Transcended Basketball

Over my first 24 years of Hofstra basketball fandom, I witnessed championship game wins and losses, buzzer-beating victories and defeats and all sorts of impressive individual performances. So to declare I was seeing or experiencing something I’d never seen or experienced before? That was a bit of hyperbolic phrasing that could only be reserved for the truly rare and unique.

Northeastern Looks To End Run Of Bad Luck Against Hofstra

The good news for the Northeastern men’s basketball team and the fans reaching for Tums: You’re not alone and it could be worse.

With College Career Winding Down, Grant Riller Looks To Bolster NBA Stock

A year ago around this time, Hofstra guard Justin Wright-Foreman was scorching nets around the Colonial Athletic Association on his way to Player of the Year and amid growing buzz he would be the conference’s first NBA draft pick since 2015.