James Madison Dukes
Overall Rank: #93
Conference Rank: #5 Colonial
James Madison Team Page
2010-11: 21-12, 10-8
2010-11 postseason: CBI
Coach: Matt Brady (55-47 at James Madison, 128-97 overall)
James Madison started out the 2010-2011 campaign very strong and by mid-January looked like one of the teams to beat in the Colonial Athletic Association, as most expected they would be. However, the team struggled after that, ending up sixth in the conference pecking order. Their early season success earned them a trip to the CBI, but the Dukes postseason consisted of a loss to William & Mary in their CAA Tournament opening and a blowout loss at Davidson in the CBI. With the return of Julius Wells, the Dukes have hope. Wells, a 6-5 senior, is a dynamic scorer who can shoot and attack the basket with ease. His 2010-2011 season was a little disappointing as he averaged just 10.7 points per game, but he can get back to averaging closer to 20 points per game during his senior season.
The absence of Denzel Bowles leaves many questions about whether or not this team can turn things around and compete with teams like VCU, George Mason and Old Dominion. Bowles led the team with 17.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. He was also a surprisingly good passer for a big man and was even a good free-throw shooter and rarely got into foul trouble. Chad Jackson and Ben Louis spent some time in the backcourt, but only tallied one start between the two of them. Jackson was a pretty important player off the bench who could come in and attack the basket and grab some boards from the wing, but both are replaceable.
A couple transfers will help bolster the pretty much non-existent depth on the perimeter. A.J. Davis, a transfer from Wyoming, is a big 6-6 guard who will allow this team to take advantage of their talent on the perimeter and play small at times. James Millen spent some time at Cincinnati State and is a big scorer who can handle the ball as well. Adjusting to life in the CAA may not be easy, but Millen should be a fine shooter off the bench at the least. Arman Marks will battle for minutes at the off guard spot. The smooth shooting lefty has the size to attack the basket and should emerge as a consistent contributor sooner or later. Unless this team does play small, Enoch Hood and Keynan Pittman will have to provide some depth in the frontcourt. Hood is a tough power forward who can bang under the basket. Pittman is a little longer and larger than Hood, but both may need some time to develop their games. Yet, Pittman can come in and grab some rebounds and Pittman can block some shots. Their offense will come in time.
Who to Watch:
The talent on this team is in the backcourt. Devon Moore missed the 2009-2010 season with an injury, but came back better than ever last season, averaging 11.4 points and 4.2 assists. Moore, a 6-4 junior, will do most of his scoring around the basket, but he has enough of an outside shot to keep the opposition honest. With a little improvement on his shooting, Moore could score a ton of points. Humpty Hitchens will join him in the backcourt again. Hitchens is the shooter on the team and knocked down 41.6 percent of his attempts from long range.
If Coach Matt Brady wants to play big and not force the 6-5 Wells to spend time at the four spot, Rayshawn Goins and Andrey Semenov will be starting in the frontcourt. Goins, who also spent some time at Cincinnati State, had a superb junior season, averaging 9.7 points and 6.8 rebounds. On a team with Bowles, those are some impressive numbers. Goins is only 6-6, but he tilts the scales at a hefty 275 pounds and can eat up space in the paint and uses his body very well to make space for himself. He should move into the five spot with the smooth shooting Semenov at the four. Semenov is the player who would be stepping into a starting role for the first time, but he is a nice inside-outside threat who knocked down 43.4 percent of his attempts from long range last season. He is not a great rebounder since he spends so much time on the perimeter, but with Wells and Goins by his side, James Madison should be fine on the glass.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
Projected Starting Five:
Humpty Hitchens, Senior, Guard, 8.9 points per game
Devon Moore, Junior, Guard, 11.4 points per game
Julius Wells, Senior, Forward, 10.7 points per game
Andrey Semenov Junior, Forward, 7.5 points per game
Rayshawn Goins, Senior, Forward, 9.7 points per game
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