CHARLESTON, S.C. – College of Charleston’s Grant Riller (Orlando, Fla.) was tabbed Preseason Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Basketball Player of the Year in vote by the league’s coaches, media relations directors and media members released on Wednesday.
Riller, a 6-foot-3 senior guard, becomes the first Cougar to be tabbed preseason conference player of the year since former great Andrew Goudelock prior to the 2010-11 season. The school’s all-time leading scorer went on to win Southern Conference Player of the Year honors and was drafted in the second round by the Los Angeles Lakers.
A two-time All-CAA First Team and NABC All-District Team selection, Riller needs 776 points this season to break that career scoring record held by Goudelock, who scored 2,571 points in his career from 2007-11.
The sociology major enters the 2019-20 season with 1,796 career points to date, which ranks seventh most in school history. He is also the school-record holder for most points scored in a single game (43 points versus Hofstra on Feb. 14, 2019). Riller is also 177 points from entering the Top 15 in CAA history.
This summer, he was invited to the Chris Paul CP3 Elite Guard Camp. Last year, he averaged a team-best 21.9 points and 4.1 assists per game.
Joining Riller on the preseason All-CAA First Team were Towson’s Brian Fobbs, William & Mary’s Nathan Knight, James Madison’s Matt Lewis and Hofstra’s Eli Pemberton.
In one of the closest preseason votes in CAA history, five teams – Hofstra, Charleston, Northeastern, James Madison and Delaware – earned first-place votes in the poll.
The Cougars were picked to finish second behind preseason favorite Hofstra, who tallied 331 points and 14 first-place votes. CofC was just eight points behind Hofstra, receiving 18 first-place votes and 323 points.
Under sixth-year head coach Earl Grant, the Cougars have won 24-or-more games the last three-consecutive seasons. They return two starters from last season’s 24-9 squad that reached the semifinals of the CAA Championship. Riller is one of two returning starters for the Cougars joined by junior guard Brevin Galloway (7.9 ppg). This season, Charleston will face a challenging non-conference slate that includes games against Oklahoma State, Wake Forest, Marshall and VCU.
The season will officially tip-off on Tuesday, Nov. 5, with eight of the CAA’s 10 teams in action. Conference play will open on Saturday, Dec. 28, until the end of the regular season on Sunday, March 1.
The 2020 CAA Men’s Basketball Championship will be held on March 7-10 at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, D.C.
2019-20 CAA MEN’S BASKETBALL PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
Team (1st-place votes) Points
1. Hofstra (14 1st-place votes) 331
2. College of Charleston (18) 323
3. Northeastern (4) 291
4. James Madison (3) 253
5. Delaware (2) 241
6. Towson 194
7. William & Mary 131
8. Drexel 125
9. UNCW 118
10. Elon 48
2019-20 CAA MEN’S BASKETBALL PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS
Brian Fobbs, Towson
Nathan Knight, William & Mary
Matt Lewis, James Madison
Eli Pemberton, Hofstra
Grant Riller, College of Charleston
Ryan Allen, Delaware
Darius Banks, James Madison
Desure Buie, Hofstra
Jordan Roland, Northeastern
Camren Wynter, Drexel
CAA Preseason Player of the Year: Grant Riller, College of Charleston