Davis Returns and Leads JMU Over ETSU
JMU was favored over East Tennessee State tonight. The Buccaneers weren’t a particularly strong team to begin with, and due to injuries and various off the court transgressions they’re down a few players. But nothing is certain and there probably weren’t too many people who thought JMU would cruise to a 25 point win. They did though. JMU beat ETSU by the final score of 70-25.
There is no rational reason to get too excited about JMU beating an overmatched and undermanned opponent. Except that JMU doesn’t always defeat overmatched and undermanned opponents. Which means I’m excited anyway. Mock me if you must, but for the first time in a while I really enjoyed something JMU sports related. I’m sick of hearing folks call for Matthews to be fired, or Brady to be fired, or Bourne to be fired. I’m tired of listening to fans complain that JMU is screwed if it doesn’t move up to FBS. And tonight, my boys and I got to tune in to Madizone (which is awesome by the way) and watch the Dukes roll over ETSU for an easy win. And it was a hell of a lot of fun.
The story heading into the game was A.J. Davis’ return from his suspension. The story after the game was A.J. Davis’ triumphant return from his suspension. Coach Brady brought A.J. off the bench and he responded by scoring a team high 17 points. And he scored them in exciting fashion, with several poster worthy dunks. It’s only one game, but it certainly seemed like A.J. and Brady were on the same page tonight. Unlike in previous games, where Brady has given Davis a quick hook for even slight mistakes, he let A.J. stay on the court and get into a groove. Again, it’s one game. It was encouraging though. A.J. and Brady need to bring out the best in each other in order to be successful. Maybe the suspension made them realize that.
From the score, you might think that the Dukes had a hot night from the field. They didn’t, only hitting on 43% of their shots. On offense, they did move the ball well however. JMU had assists on 19 of its 27 field goals (unselfish!). Defensively the Dukes applied a ton pressure and forced ETSU to make a lot of mistakes. Seriously. The aggressive defense resulted in 15 steals and 7 blocks. It’s still a work in progress, but they’re pressing more and exerting greater effort on D this year. And Andre Nation is leading the charge. He was all over the court making an absolute pest of himself again tonight. He had 11 points and 5 boards, to go along with 5 steals and 3 blocks. And he did all that in only 23 minutes. The sky is the limit for Nation. He’s destined to become a fan favorite.
Yeah, it’s only one game and it was against a completely overmatched out of conference team. It was fun to watch though and a nice way to build some momentum heading into a big game against Richmond this Saturday.