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Hofstra men’s basketball eyes NCAA Tournament bid as they head into postseason

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Hofstra capped off their regular season with a sizzling record of 23-8, earning the top seed in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Tournament.

Under the leadership of head coach and former NBA player Speedy Claxton, the Pride rode an 11-game win streak into the postseason, ranking them among the hottest teams in the nation.

Claxton, who was named CAA Coach of the Year this season, has compiled a 45-21 record in his two-plus seasons as the Pride’s head coach. He recently was rewarded with unspecified multi-year contract extension.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to lead the Hofstra men’s basketball program,” said Claxton in a statement released by the athletic department. “We have a great group of players and coaches, and I am excited about the future of our program. I want to thank our administration for their support, and I look forward to continuing to build a winning culture at Hofstra.”

With his ability to develop players and instill a winning culture, Claxton has been instrumental in the team’s success.

Among those who have blossomed under his guidance is senior guard Aaron Estrada, a transfer from Oregon. In his second season with Hofstra, the Woodbury, N.J. native averaged 20.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.1 assists, with 1.4 steals per game. Estrada was also unanimously voted the CAA Player of the Year by conference coaches.

One of Hofstra’s biggest wins came in January, when the Pride defeated the former No. 18 team in the nation, Charleston, ending the school’s 20-game win streak.

With the CAA Tournament this weekend, the Hofstra men’s basketball team is looking to make a deep run and earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

The Pride will face the winner of the second-round match between No. 8 William & Mary and No. 9 Elon in the quarterfinals on Sunday at 12 p.m.

The winner of the entire tournament automatically wins a bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The Pride’s last appearance in the Big Dance was more than 20 years in 2001. Claxton, a Hempstead native, played for Hofstra in 2000, a team that also made the NCAA Tournament.

Top: Hofstra head coach Speedy Claxton coaches from the sideline against Charleston during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)