Hofstra basketball

CBB Rank 2021 goes through the projected top 100 teams in college basketball. Hofstra basketball starts us off at number 100.

Hofstra basketball just made the cut as the CBB Rank number 100 team. The Pride look to improve on a 13-10 (8-6 CAA) record last season. Jalen Ray will lead the experienced bunch that will be in play for a conference title.

The Pride also welcomes in alumnus Speedy Claxton to his new head coaching role.

Projected Rotation

PG: Jalen Ray: (6-2, 175, Gr.-Sr.)

2021 stats: 19.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.7 steals

Projected stats: 21.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.5 steals

SG: Zach Cooks: (5-10, 165, Gr.-Sr.)

2021 stats: 17.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 2.2 steals (NJIT)

Projected stats: 16.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 2.0 steals

SF: Darlinstone Dunbar: (6-6, 207, So.)

2021 stats: 2.3 points, 2.4 rebounds, 14.4 minutes, 16 games played (Iowa State)

Projected stats: 5.0 points, 4.0 rebounds

PF: Kvonn Cramer: (6-6, 205, So.)

2021 stats: 8.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, 0.8 blocks

Projected stats: 12.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.0 blocks

C: Abayomi Iyiola: (6-9, 230, Gr.-Sr.)

2019 stats: 10.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.2 blocks (Stetson)

Projected stats: 8.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.5 blocks

6: Caleb Burgess (6-3, 170, So.)

2021 stats: 8.3 points, 5.6 assists, 3.3 rebounds, 1.2 steals

Projected stats: 9.0 points, 5.0 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 1.0 steals

7: Aaron Estrada: (6-4, 207, Jr.)

2021 stats: 3.1 points, 1.9 rebounds (Oregon)

Projected stats: 7.0 points, 2.5 rebounds

8: Jaquan Carlos: (6-1, 160, Fr.)

3-star rated recruit (247sports.com)

Projected stats: 3.5 points, 1.5 assists

9: Alejandro Vasquez: (6-3, 200, Jr.)

2021 stats: 4.1 points, 1.0 rebounds (St. Bonaventure)

Projected stats: 2.5 points, 1.0 rebounds

Team MVP: Jalen Ray

Ray can be the reason Hofstra makes noise in the NCAA Tournament. He will head into the season as a top-25 mid-major player in college basketball and with better talent around him this year.

Make-or-break player: Abayomi Iyiola

Hofstra basketball is undersized. If Iyiola uses his size and strength down low, it will give the Pride an anchor when playing bigger and stronger teams. However, if Iyiola can’t revisit his Stetson days, there aren’t many other options for a starting center.

Bench rating: 8/10

The CAA usually doesn’t put out top-100 teams, but the Hofstra bench is a big reason why. Estrada and Vasquez both have great experiences with winning programs in tougher conferences. Carlos is a three-star, which is a fairly big get for a program like Hofstra. There is a question if Caleb Burgess is the starter again (no reason why he shouldn’t be), or if the scoring combination of Ray and Cooks will move him to the bench. Height is the biggest issue off the bench (no pun intended). If and when Cramer and Iyiola get in foul trouble, Claxton will have to be clever with his substitutions.

Team Outlook

Year one for Speedy Claxton got off to an enormous start by the way he hit the transfer portal. The Pride brings in three former power-six transfers. Aaron Estrada is the best of the bunch, but the depth Hofstra basketball has at guard will likely force him to come off the bench. Darlinstone Dunbar left Iowa State in search of more playing time and gives Hofstra length at forward. Finally, Iyiola last played meaningful minutes at Stetson but did spend two seasons in the Arkansas program.

It’s certainly not a big team, but given the 5-foot-11 stature of new head coach Claxton, it makes perfect sense. Expect Hofstra basketball to play a three-guard lineup most of the time.

Grad-seniors Jalen Ray and Zach Cooks could both averaged 20 points per game, giving Hofstra arguably the best backcourt in the Colonial. Kvonn Cramer is an undersized former who does damage on the boards but Iyiola will make up for it in the low post.

Projected Finish: 1st in the CAA

Projected Postseason Finish: Round of 64 exit

Ceiling: Round of 32 exit