Can you hear it? It’s the sound of the Hofstra men’s basketball train getting a full head of steam. The Pride rolled to a 74-60 win over host Towson in a CAA game on Wednesday night.
Initially, it was difficult to believe that Hofstra would rebound so quickly after the defection of former coach Tom Pecora to Fordham and the transfer of two promising freshman. But my colleague Steve Marcus told me before the season started that things aren’t as bad as they seem.
He was right. Hofstra (11-5, 5-0) is the only undefeated team in the CAA. And they have wins over Drexel and George Mason.
The key for Hofstra this season has been a balanced scoring attack. Yes, Charles Jenkins is one of the nation’s top scorers and the engine that drives the Pride express, but he’s had help. Most notably from Fordham transfer Mike Moore.
But Moore isn’t the only one developing. Sophomore forward David Imes has found his way into the scoring mix, along with Shemiye McLendon. Moore led the Pride with 21 against Towson and Imes had 11.
The biggest surprise on Wednesday night was Greg Washington. The senior center had 16 points on 8-for-11 shooting, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks. It’s quite possibly the best all-around game of his career.
Here’s what Hofstra coach Mo Cassara had to say about Washington:
“It was unbelievable performance by Washington [Wednesday]. He had a big-time blocked shot late in the game (denying Rashawn Polk on a fast-break dunk attempt), but he also took two charges, ran the floor, made some shots and got on the offensive glass. If he plays like that, we have a chance to win a lot of games.”
As for Hofstra’s hot start, Cassara is most impressed with his team’s ability to win on the road.
“It's certainly very exciting to still be undefeated in the league. I'm really proud of our effort,” he said. “We've been able to go on the road and win some games, and you have to win on the road in order to be a contender.”
The best is yet to come, according to Cassara.
“We still haven't played our best basketball yet. It's a new system this year and we're still learning,” Cassara continued. “We're still turning the ball over a bit too much and not executing at times, but that's part of the learning process. I still think our best basketball is ahead of us.”