JMU Hoops Is Somehow in the Mix
While we (and most of you presumably) were locked in on the football team, the Lou Rowe era got underway for JMU basketball. The Dukes played their way through the out of conference schedule in a way that was, um, uninspiring? They looked out of sorts and nothing like a team that was expected to be in the middle of the pack in the CAA. JMU managed to pick up only two wins, against lowly Longwood and Eastern Mennonite, prior to CAA play. This season had all the makings of a disaster.
But JMU has actually shown signs of life in league play. The Dukes are off to a respectable 4-2 start in the CAA. That’s good enough for 4th place in the league. Had Joey McLean’s late lay up attempt fallen against CofC, they’d probably be 5-1. To say this is a surprise after OOC play is a gross understatement. We didn’t expect them to win 4 league games all season after watching them play in November and December. But they’ve played pretty well and look like they’re starting to gel under Rowe. Last night, they played a strong game and earned a 60-59 win over Elon in the Convo.
Jackson Kent lead all scorers with 21 points. Yohanny Dalembert had his best game of the season with 15 points and a career high 17 rebounds. Paulius Satkus also chipped in 12. Here are 3 random numbers from the win.
That’s the total number of field goals missed by YoYo and Satkus combined. Both players had very efficient games and took advantage of the scoring opportunities they were given. YoYo went 5 for 7 from the field and Satkus was 5 for 6. If you have two guys each hit double figures, despite only putting up 13 attempts, it’s a good night.
That’s the number of offensive rebounds Joey McLean had. Sure, it’s not an eye popping number, but it had McLean tied with YoYo for the game high. Keep in mind, he’s a point guard and he’s often the smallest guy on the court. He’s still got a bit to learn in terms of running the point, but you can’t question his effort. Every time I watch him play, I’m more impressed with his fearlessness in the paint. He manages to pull down big rebounds with smart positioning and more effort than anyone else on the court. The job he did on the boards yesterday was huge.
That’s how many points below his average, Elon’s leading scorer managed yesterday. JMU limited Steven Santa Ana to 5 points on 2 for 10 shooting. JMU played great defense, especially down the stretch. They made Elon’s shooters work for looks and challenged shots repeatedly without a flurry of bad fouls. YoYo had a particularly strong defensive series on the final play, closing out on the shooter on the wing and getting a hand in his face.