Jan 29 / Rob

CAA Hoops Weekend Wrap: Suspended Coaches & Another JMU Loss

If you haven’t been paying attention to JMU (and odds are you haven’t), let us bring you up to speed. JMU lost a lot of games in the OOC/pre-season part of the season, going 2-11. Then the Dukes somehow got off to a perfect 3-0 start in CAA play, making some fans think the pre-season didn’t matter and this team was ready to compete. Since that time JMU has gone 1-6. And they lost Yohanny Dalembert for the season due to an undisclosed injury. Oh, and to top it off, assistant coaches Mike Deane and David Kontaxis were both suspended two games.

Neither Rowe nor the school have explained why Deane and Kontaxis were suspended. All that was said was that the suspensions weren’t related to NCAA or legal issues. The pair apparently ran afoul of some sort of team rule or standard. You might recall that Deane was Matt Brady’s top assistant prior to him moving on. It struck a lot of folks, including us, as odd that Rowe kept him on staff. Well, this just makes the entire situation weirder.

Meanwhile, the Dukes actually had another game over the weekend. They lost. To Delaware, the worst team in the CAA. The game wasn’t broadcast, which might have been a blessing in disguise. After a solid shooting performance in Thursday’s loss to UNCW, the Dukes shot only 34% overall and 25% from long range. There’s no real point to dig into this. Delaware was 1-8 in CAA play heading into the game. It’s clear JMU isn’t really in the mix for the CAA title. But Delaware? No team should lose to Delaware. We’re trying to be optimistic and focus on the long term, but fear the highpoint of this season might have been Thursday night when the Dukes went into halftime down only 3 to UNCW.

W&M 96 – UNCW 78

Goodness. Just when folks across the country started to take notice of UNCW and it’s undefeated CAA record, the Tribe stepped up and ruined everything. In all seriousness, this was a heck of a statement win for the Tribe. There’s a lot of talent down in Williamsburg and until this game, Shaver’s crew had failed to meet expectations. But they absolutely crushed the cream of the CAA crop on Saturday. Omar Prewitt and Daniel Dixon scored 28 and 27 points respectively. Devontae Cacok did what he does in the loss, scoring 21 and pulling down 16 boards.

CofC 90 – Drexel 76

The Cougars are 8-2 in CAA play and not going anywhere. They went on the road to Drexel and shot lights out from the stripe, knocking down 30 of 31 attempts. They also shot an impressive 51% from the floor. Freshman Grant Riller dropped 30 points in the win. Along with Joe Chealey and Jarrell Brantley, he forms a heck of a 3 headed scoring monster for CofC. They could make some noise come CAA tourney time. Drexel on the other hand, is struggling. The loss dropped them to 2-7.

Elon 84 – Hofstra 70

We still can’t believe Elon is in the CAA. Yes, we realize we say that constantly and swear we’ll stop whenever the addition makes sense to us. Which is to say, we’ll never stop. Anyway, the Phoenix won again thanks to Tyler Seibring and Brian Dawkins. The pair scored 23 and 22 points respectively. Our misgivings and lack of respect for Elon aside, Seibring is a nice ballplayer. No clue how he ended up at Elon. And Hofstra? Well, let’s just say this isn’t what the school had in mind when it decided to drop football and focus on hoops. The Pride is 10-13 overall and 2-8 in CAA play. There’s always next year.

Northeastern 69 (nice) – Towson State 62

This was a win Northeastern sorely needed after dropping four straight heading into the game. On the other end of the spectrum, the loss snapped Towson’s 5 game winning streak. Neither team is a realistic threat to win it all in Charleston, but we wouldn’t be shocked to see either squad knock out a contender. The Huskies put together a 15-5 second half run. It ended up being enough to overcome their 25% shooting from downtown.

9 Comments

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  1. OBXDuke1983 / Jan 31 2017

    I am a bit of a glutton for punishment, but I have been watching. I have only made it to one game (the heartbreaking last second loss to W&M-in Williamsburg), but have been watching online… Including the Delaware game which was broadcast by Delaware.
    I have also been reading your posts…Just tough to come up with positive things to say…So I don’t usually comment. Thank for continuing to post.
    I do think that Does has potential. He gets these kids to play hard and at least try to play defense. Hope folks don’t totally lose faith in the basketball program. Oh well, I will still be here cheering them on until…Maybe a couple of years from now when the bandwaggoners jump back in.
    Guess it is all that practice I got being a cubs fan for the last 50some years.
    Go Dukes!

  2. OBXDuke1983 / Jan 31 2017

    Rowe…Not Does

  3. 76 / Feb 1 2017

    We are still Rootin’. Made the trip last Thurs. to
    watch game at home against UNCW and get my
    rally towel. Don’t really know what to say about
    the team and the results. It’s essentially the same
    crew as last year but without Curry. I know these guys
    compete . By the time they figure out how to play under
    Rowe half will be graduated. I just feel bad for the seniors
    that success was lost in the coaching change.

  4. Ken / Feb 1 2017

    My question is what did Mike Houston do, with a large roster with seniors in critical positions, that Louis Rowe did not do — or is not doing — with a smaller, but senior-dominated and experienced roster? I don’t buy the whole argument that a coach needs to win with his kind of players. I think they play hard because it’s built into their nature — I’m not sure they buy into what the coach is selling. This is a team that won 21? games last year. Was Curry really was worth 21 wins? If so, then Coach Brady and staff were poor recruiters. No reason this team should be this bad. None. Nada. Nunca

  5. Rob / Feb 2 2017

    @Ken I think the simple answer is that Houston was simply a better coach when he was hired that Rowe is now.

    I’m trying to remain optimistic that Rowe will eventually develop into a good coach, but I don’t think he’s been particularly impressive thus far. However, I do have faith in his ability to recruit and think he can bring enough talent to the program, to make up for some of his coaching weaknesses. And if he gets better as he gains experience, and consistently recruits well, things will work out.

    Folks who part of the program when Rowe was a player, say he’s a great guy and has all the things you need in a great coach. They say he just needs time. I’m disappointed in the season, but I’m going to take the word of the guys who know Rowe and keep the faith.

  6. Ken / Feb 2 2017

    @Rob: realize it is way early to make sweeping judgments, so I don’t think patience will be too much of a problem for the fan base. I’m ok with giving him time to grow. I need to go back and watch more games, looking for things I may have missed the last time — see where they are improving.

    It’s just a bad year to struggle given all that happened on the gridiron and knowing you will lose 50% of your team to graduation.

    Are we sure Semonov has exhausted his eligibility?

  7. OBXDuke1983 / Feb 3 2017

    I was never a dump Brady guy. And for the first time, we had two winning seasons in a row. Generally, in past years we would have a 19-20 win season followed by a 10-11 win season. So, it would have been interesting to see what Brady would have done with this group, but history tells me the calls for Brady to go would be loud and clear again this year. I think folks totally underestimate the impact that the loss of Ron Curry has on this team. This team loses a lot of close games. There is nobody on this squad that seems capable of taking over at the end of a game. Even very good teams struggle when they lose their floor general.

    Now I don’t know if Rowe is the right guy for the job, or who else they could have hired, but i don’t think anyone else here knows either.

    We have to remember that JMU does not really have a great basketball history. Lou for 3 years made some noise, and Lefty made some regular season noise (never in the post season – think Withers). So, I am not sure great coaches were banging down the door hoping to the head job last year.

    I say cheer these guys on each game and give Rowe some time. I have been encouraged by the effort and the defensive attitude, just not the results. I am hopeful the results will come.

    Go Dukes!

  8. jmuparent / Feb 5 2017

    Maybe you-all should follow the women’s season …

    It might cheer you up some …

    🙂

  9. OBXDuke1983 / Feb 5 2017

    I do follow the women’s team. They have been fun to watch for years.

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