Mar 10 / Todd

Dukes Survive and Advance!

Forty. Minutes. Away!  From an elusive NCAA bid!  JMU knocked off Delaware in thrilling fashion today and will take on top-seeded Northeastern for the bid to the big dance and the CAA title at 7:00 at the Richmond Coliseum tomorrow night.  Game will be broadcast nationally on NBC Sports Network and the Buy One Get One Free deal is still available if you print the coupon under “Discounted Tickets” on the CAA website.

We’ve been tweeting like crazy all weekend, just got home, and need to get some sleep so we can get back on the road early tomorrow afternoon so we’ll keep this short and sweet.  One quick note to students though.  Rob was lucky enough to be in school the last time the Dukes won one of these, but by the time I got their the long winter of men’s hoops had begun.  Since I got into JMU way back when, this opportunity has NEVER ONCE presented itself.  If you’re just getting back from Spring Break, there’s simply no excuse for not hopping in your car at 4 tomorrow with a few buddies and making the run.  You’ll regret it if 15 years from now you never have another chance.  There’s nothing so important on campus on the first day back from break that you can pass this up.

The Good

JMU’s resilience and belief.  AJ Davis’ run of highlight real ridiculousness.

Andre Nation’s huge-rocks game today!  Nation set the tone from the very first possession when he blocked Devon Saddler and then proceeded to absolutely lock him down all night.  Oh yeah, and then drained an enormous trey to cut a six-point Blue Chicken lead in half in the last couple minutes.  Yes, he was blocked on the drive, but he is electric and led a freshmen resurgence after they collectively played tight in their first tourney action Saturday night.

Matt Brady coached his ass off today and we were pleased.  We’ve been up and often down in our coaching appraisal’s throughout Brady’s tenure, but I’ve been particularly critical of his handling of the starts and finishes to games.  The last two days he’s been on his game.  Starting AJ again has definitely helped avoid the slow starts and seems to have buoyed the team’s confidence early.  He’s been unquestionably the best player in the tourney so far and added another highlight real dunk today.  And then Brady did a great job alternating offense/defense with Diouf and Davis when AJ was getting manhandled on the block by that dumptruck that plays the opposite post from Hagins in the second half.

The Bad

Dukes’ free throw shooting.  Somehow they’ve gotten away with it for two games, but they HAVE to make foul shots to upset Northeastern.  Was a big factor in the only meeting in Boston a few weeks ago and likely will be tomorrow.

The Ugly

Officiating.  Both ways.  We should keep in mind the dirty secret that us college hoops junkies know – officiating is horrendous in college ball the last couple years, not just the CAA – but seriously, this is more embarrassing than the fact the tourney is sponsored by Jani King.  Today their were horrible calls both ways and at times it seemed the refs would realize they were leaning heavily one way and then run off a series of terrible calls the other way to make up for it.

Delaware’s shameful coaching and support staff.  The hoops crew must have been studying hard at the KC Keeler and UD football school of whining and making an ass of yourself.  Coach Ross engaged in a three-minute timeout staredown contest with an official at one point and then angrily followed the officials off the court and up the tunnel at the endgame.  Gotta think Yeager was sitting down there somewhere and didn’t miss this, but it is the CAA after all so probably didn’t even know the event’s taking place.  Apparently the cameras on NBCSN caught us giving our homage-to-Dikembe with a long wave off the court to the Blue Chickens coaching staff.  Screen shot credit to Ms. Jones!

Buh-Bye Blue Chicks

And yes, I must confess that is a green wristband from the “CAA Sports Zone Bar” even on a Sunday afternoon.  Hope they’re still open tomorrow night and the keg of Devil’s Backbone 8 Point IPA hasn’t kicked.



leave a comment
  1. Shady_P / Mar 10 2013

    The DUKES are playing their asses off…..Calling all DUKES get to the coliseum tomorrow night and support this team!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Let’s paint that place purple Monday night and give the old coliseum a proper send-off as the CAA tournament moves on next year. It should sound like a home game in there.

    Officiating comments dead-on…..they were not just awful but as you pointed out inconsistently bad……which is worse than just being bad.

  2. Dukie95 / Mar 11 2013

    Yep, NU beat us on free throws last time, they made them, we didn’t.

    People who haven’t been following this team have no idea how clutch (and surprising) Devon’s free throws were at the end.

  3. Shady_P / Mar 11 2013

    UD showed absolutely no class at the end of that game. Only 5 players shook hands post-game. Stay ‘classy’ blue chickens.

  4. 2004 Duke / Mar 11 2013

    I grew up as UNC fan (my dad was an alum), so watching JMU basketball has been particularly painful. We actually have a lot of talent. We have GOOD players (finally). What kills us through, is our discipline. They are the most undicplined team ive ever seen. We absolutely shut Udee down in the first half, and then (as we’ve seen so many times before) we just totally quit running our offense for 10 minutes in the 2nd half. It was just 5 guys running around playing streetball for 5 mins. Then you have the occasional stupid freshman move (Ahem… Andre Nation, shut your mouth and play). I also noticed that when we get a big turnover, we usually try to rush things, and it often leads to a mistake on our part, which totally wastes the opportunity. The last thing Brady needs to address is shot selection. The last two games has been pretty good, actually, because we have been driving to the hole rather than taking the low-percentage random shots we are historically addicted to.

    As big a critical of the program as I am, I honestly think that *IF* our guys played 40 minutes of consistent organized basketball, they could easily beat anyone in the CAA, and probably even win a NCAA tourney game.

    Most importantly, our guys need to believe they can win. Matt Brady won big points with me last night when he told the team during a timeout with about 5 mins left, “Ok guys, we are going to score to go ahead with about a minute left in the game.” Confidence breeds success.

  5. Bio / Mar 11 2013

    Love the screen capture. Nice work, Ms. Jones. Go Dukes!

  6. 2004 Duke / Mar 11 2013

    Well… they clearly read my post today.

  7. Danas / Apr 1 2013

    You simply copied a person else’s story

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