Feb 20 / Rob

Matt Lewis Keeps Winning CAA Rookie of the Week Awards

He did it again folks. For the fourth time this year, JMU’s Matt Lewis was selected as the CAA Rookie of the Week for men’s basketball. If you haven’t been watching, Lewis is just one of a number of Dukes’ newcomers who give us plenty of optimism about the program’s direction. After playing shooting guard in high school, he’s transitioned to the point for JMU. And he’s doing an outstanding job.

In JMU’s three games last week, Lewis averaged 21.7 points while shooting 45.5% from the field. He also knocked down 18 of 31 free throws, helping JMU pull out a couple of tight wins. JMU went 2-1 for the week, picking up a pair of wins against UNCW and Towson, and narrowly losing to the CAA leading College of Charleston. Lewis’ best game probably came in the loss, when he dropped a career high 33 points. And it was not a quiet 33 points. It was an “in your face, let’s make it obvious who the best player on the court is” sort of 33 points.

We sound like a broken record, but the roster Coach Rowe has assembled has plenty of upside. Sure, there are flaws that we’ve acknowledged. But the Dukes can play with anyone in the conference. Right now, JMU is the proverbial team that nobody wants to see in the tourney. If you’re still not tuning in and judging things off the record, you’re missing out. Players like Lewis, Stuckey Mosley, Darius Banks, Develle Phillips, and others are really fun to watch. They’re athletic and aggressive. And to our eyes at least, Rowe has started to take some steps forward as a coach. This team buys into what he’s selling. The record isn’t impressive, but this team is actually fun to watch. And it could be primed to compete for the CAA title, sooner than we think.

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