Ryan Larson, Charleston Cougars, CAA Tournament

CBB Review hands out awards for each conference tournament in 2023. Up next: The CAA Tournament.

The storyline coming into the CAA Tournament was all about whether Charleston could get the job done. The Cougars rode the bubble consistently after a two-game losing streak in the middle of conference play. Would the committee really keep a 30-win team out of the tournament? All of those concerns are now out of the window. Charleston earned their CAA Tournament victory by outlasting scrappy teams in Towson and UNC Wilmington, but now the Cougars get a chance to showcase their special group on the biggest stage.

CBB Review CAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player

Ryan Larson, Charleston

Ryan Larson earns this honor in part because of the spark he provided to help Charleston stave off UNC Wilmington over the game’s final minutes. Larson’s efforts on both ends of the court gave the Cougars what they needed to overcome a 15-0 run by the Seahawks, including some big steals and fastbreak layups. Larson has been the glue for this team all season, and he showcased exactly what that means both in the CAA Tournament Championship and throughout Charleston’s three games in Washington D.C.

CBB Review All-CAA Tournament First Team

  • G: Ryan Larson, Charleston – 3 games played (15.3 PPG, 2.3 APG, 2.3 RPG, 2.3 SPG)
  • G: Aaron Estrada, Hofstra – 2 games played (23.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 4.5 APG, 1.5 SPG)
  • G: Nick Timberlake, Towson – 2 games played (18.0 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 3.0 APG)
  • F: Ante Brzovic, Charleston – 3 games played (16.7 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.0 BPG)
  • F: Trazarien White, UNC Wilmington – 3 games played (17.0 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 53.0 FG%)

Charleston’s NCAA Tournament Prediction

Round of 32

Charleston’s fate will ultimately lie in the hands of its three-point shooting. This is a typical mid-major darling that, when they get hot from deep, will be hard to beat. Those shots help create long rebounds that the Cougars then work to turn into second-chance opportunities. Depending on seeding, Charleston could creep to the 11-line, which would create a more favorable match-up. Either way, there is enough here to earn at least one win. A run beyond that depends on how hot they get from the three-point line.