MBB: James Madison University Dukes preview
Now that EMU’s football season is over, we turn our attention first and foremost to the men’s basketball team. The Eagles are 1-2, and the poor shooting is definitely worrisome. Tonight EMU travels to Virginia to take on the James Madison Dukes. Let’s start with some basic know-your-foe information about the Dukes. First, you can check out the JMU athletics website here.
|Conference||Colonial Athletic Association (CAA)|
|Coach||Matt Brady (since 2008)
Hire Date: March 25
|Arena (Capacity)||James Madison University Convocation Center (7,156)|
|NCAA Record||3-4 (.429)|
|Most Recent NCAA Appearance||1994|
|Most Recent NCAA Win||1983|
|Selectivity (US News)||More selective|
|Students (2009)||16,168 (6,468 M, 9,700 F)|
James Madison University has a fair amount in common with EMU. Founded in 1908 as The State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg, in 1914 it was renamed the State Normal School for Women at Harrisonburg. It was renamed the State Teachers College at Harrisonburg in 1924 and continued under that name until 1938, when it was named Madison College in honor of the fourth president of the United States. In 1946, men were first allowed to enroll, and in 1966 the school became fully coeducational. In 1976 Madison College became a university, and the current name was chosen. Although nearly as large as EMU, JMU is a fairly selective public school. The nickname “Dukes” is derived from Samuel Page Duke, the school’s second president.
|Head Coach Matt Brady|
|James Madison||2008-2011||37-35 (51.4%)|
|Overall: 2 teams, 7 seasons, 110-85 (56.4%)|
James Madison coach Matt Brady is in his seventh season as a head coach. In four years coaching the Marist Red Foxes in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), he only failed to post a winning record one year (his first), and he took the team to the 2007 NIT, in which they upset the #2 seed Oklahoma State Cowboys before fallling, 69-62, to North Carolina State. He had a strong first season with the Dukes, going 20-14, but they struggled some last year, finishing with a 13-20 record.
Since it’s still very early in this basketball season, let’s next take a look at how the Dukes did in 2009-10.
|James Madison University 2009-2010 record:|
The Dukes lost three key contributors from last season. Senior forward Dazzmond Thornton left the team in early January. Matt Brady was not happy with the performance of freshman guard Darren White, who started most of last season for the Dukes, and freshman Alvin Brown, who redshirted, and Brady asked both to leave the team. The Dukes also lost senior guard Pierre Curtis.
|Pierre Curtis||6-3||180||G||Senior||Starter averaging 34 minutes, 8.8 points, 4.2 assists, and 3.2 rebounds per game.|
|Dazzmond Thornton||6-7||275||F||Senior||Key contributor in the first half of the season, before leaving the team.|
|Matt Parker||6-8||220||F||Senior||Averaged 3 points and 10 minutes per game.|
|Darren White||6-3||200||G||Freshman||Starter averging 27 minutes, 8.8 points, and 4 rebounds per game.|
Roster with notes:
|James Madison Dukes roster|
|Denzel Bowles||21||F||255||6-10||Sr.||Starter, leads the team in points and blocks; second in rebounds and assists.|
|Rayshawn Goins||33||F||250||6-6||Jr.||Starter, JUCO transfer, second in scoring, leading rebounder.|
|Anthony “Humpty” Hitchens||12||G||175||5-9||Jr.||Starter, transferred from Akron, leads the team in steals.|
|Chad Jackson||24||G||185||6-4||Fr.||Averaging 18 minutes and 2 points off the bench, the #4 rebounder.|
|Devon Moore||40||G||165||6-4||So.||Starter, leads the team in assists, #3 scorer.|
|Andrey Semenov||11||F||195||6-7||So.||Averaging 21 minutes and 7 points off the bench, #2 shot blocker.|
|Julius Wells||34||F||190||6-4||Jr.||Starter, best outside shooter.|
As the next table shows, the Dukes really only go seven players deep, with only Semenov and Jackson providing meaningful play off the bench this year, which means they may get worn out if EMU is able to push the tempo. EMU fans will particularly recall Humpty Hitchens, who scored 16 points before fouling out in Akron’s double-overtime win over EMU in the 2010 MAC tournament; he hit the three-point shot at the beginning of the second overtime that put Akron up for good.
|Pos||65.6||79.3||EMU plays significantly faster|
Finally, let’s compare the schedules so far this season (rankings from Ken Pomeroy).
|Fri, Nov 12||16||Kansas St.||L, 75-61||72||Away||0-1|
|Sat Nov 20||209||The Citadel||W, 74-67||68||Away||1-1|
|Mon Nov 22||152||Princeton||W, 65-64||65||Home||2-1|
|Tue Nov 23||293||Presbyterian||W, 65-56||57||Home||3-1|
|Wed Nov 24||186||Bucknell||W, 85-75||66||Home||4-1|
|Fri Nov 12||8||Michigan St.||L, 96-66||88||Away||0-1|
|Wed Nov 17||NR||Madonna||W, 79-70||75||Home||1-1|
|Sat Nov 20||173||Canisius||L, 71-51||73||Away||1-2|
What this all boils down to is that EMU plays much faster than James Madison University, but the Dukes are much more efficient across the board. EMU has also had a much tougher schedule so far; largely because of the game against Michigan State, EMU has played the 26th hardest schedule in the country to date, while James Madison’s schedule ranks 159th. But don’t take schedule strength as too much comfort; Princeton is probably a better team than Canisius, and the Dukes edged out Princeton — admittedly at home — while the Eagles were embarrassed by the Golden Griffins last Saturday.
If the Eagles can turn this into a fast-paced, up-and-down-the-court game, they may have an opportunity to force the Dukes into mistakes, but if it’s a slower paced game, with a lot of half-court set activity, the Dukes will almost certainly win.
Since the game’s not on TV, and as far as I can tell, nor streaming online anywhere, let’s just call this the open thread post.