2018-19 Basketball

Players To Watch 2019: CIAA South Edition


The end of 2018 means the beginning of conference play. The CIAA is always an entertaining league from start-to-finish and this year looks to be no exception. Here are some players to watch in the CIAA South this year.

Amir Hinton, Shaw

No brainer here. This 6’5 guard is putting up numbers not seen in the CIAA since Earl “The Pearl” Monroe scored 41 points per game while leading Winston-Salem State to a national title. The 6’5 transfer from Lockhaven is averaging 34.3 points per game, leading all of college basketball in scoring.

He set a Shaw record in November with 49 points and then broke it in December with 52 points against Tampa. Hinton does most of his damage going to the basket and at the free throw line, with a solid mid-range game. Only 11 of his 109 field goals are from the 3-point line. He’s scored 114 of his points from the free throw line. His nearest competitor, Anthony Lee of Kutztown, only has 78.

Roger Ray and the Elmore Twins, Livingstone

Ray is the smallest guy on the court for Livingstone, but he’s the unquestioned on-court leader in Salisbury. The senior guard leads the team in scoring at 17.3 ppg and also leads the team and conference in assists with 6.8 per contest. He’s also an opportunistic defender, coming up with 1.6 steals per game.

Livingstone hasn’t been to the CIAA title game in two seasons, which is a lot considering it had played in the previous five. But with Ray along with the Elmore Twins (Nevar and Lydell), who combine to swat 3.2 shots per game and endless dunk possibilities, LC strikes as a team that could get hot late.

William Crandell and Rob Colon, Winston-Salem State

Winston-Salem State’s 2017-18 season was one to forget. One of the few bright spots in an otherwise dim season was the play of Crandell, who constantly put the team on his back as it tried to keep it together.

As an undersized big man, even by CIAA standards, Crandell will be crucial to WSSU’s hopes to returning to relevancy in the conference. His scoring punch up front will be needed and he will have to stay out of foul trouble while defending bigger players in the front court.

Colon is one of the most exciting players in the CIAA, and has been since he entered the league two years ago. The 2016-17 CIAA Rookie of The Year had an up-and-down sophomore season where despite being the team’s top scoring threat he found himself benched as rumors of ego clashes swirled around the program.

So far, so good under new head coach Cleo Hill. He’s scoring just over 19 points per game and also looks to be improved as a passer, leading the team in assists with 3.5 per game through ten contests.

Ty Gathwright, St. Aug

The past few years Gathwright was a supporting player to Anthony Gaskins and Quincy January. With both of those young men gone, he has become a primary scoring threat for SAU, averaging 19.2 points per contest through the first 10 games. Unfortuantely, for SAU, he’s the only one averaging double-figures in scoring and the team is just 2-8 through its first 10 games. Obviously he’ll need more help.

Cayse Minor and Roderic Davis, JCSU

Guard play for Johnson C. Smith has been a strong point over the past two seasons. Stedmon Lemon and Robert Davis have taken home the CIAA Player of The Year hardware over the past four years and point guard Christian Kirchman was a steady hand at point guard.

With Davis and Kirchman gone, Smith will need heavy contributions from Minor and Davis. Minor leads the team in scoring with 14.9 ppg and is an outside marksman, shooting nearly 43 percent from the 3-point line. Right on his heels is Davis, who is more of a slasher and also leads the team in boards.

Raymon Pratt, Fayetteville State

Pratt started his career at North Carolina A&T, but he appears to have found a home at Fayetteville State. At 6’5, he ‘s bigger than most D1 guards and has been able to get off his shot, scoring double figures in five of the nine games he’s played in. Pratt has also been a solid rebounder, second on the team with 4.7 rpg.

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