May 16 / Rob

New JMUSB Pod: JMU Lax is Cruising

Howdy Dukes fans. We’ve got a new pod up for your listening pleasure. This episode is all about lax and softball as they march on in post season play. Forgive us if we’re a little more excited than knowledgeable when it comes to these sports. Bottom line is that lax is in the Elite 8 and softball has a great chance to win its pod down in Knoxville. We also chat about hoops recruiting and the offer up some unpopular takes for the world of sports in general.

Don’t forget the JMUSB Podcast is brought to you by Pale Fire Brewing. Let them know we sent you next time you’re at the tasting room and they’ll give you a free pint glass.

Be sure to subscribe to the JMUSB Pod via iTunes.

 

May 13 / Todd

Dukes Lacrosse Takes Out the Hoos, Advances to Elite 8

E!!!!!

Well THAT was a satisfying Dukes victory wouldn’t you say? For the second time this year, the Dukes downed their “rivals” from over Afton Mountain in Lacrosse, this time 15-12 in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse tourney. Both teams battled the first real heat of the season with gametime temps at Sentara Park north of 90, but the Dukes rode a late 5-0 run to close the first half and played a smart, ruthless second half to arguable the biggest victory in JMU lacrosse history. With the win, the third-seeded Dukes advance to host the Florida Gators next week in what is almost certainly the biggest home game in program history (the ’00 squad hosted and defeated UVa to advance to the program’s only other Final Four but it just feels bigger this time with JMU Nation fully plugged in – love you ’00 squad from our era though!). The Gators held off a spirited Colorado squad to earn a trip to the Valley next weekend with a Final Four berth on the line. Next week’s game at JMU will be Saturday at 1 p.m. and tickets are on sale over at jmusports.com later tonight.

This game was a battle against two opponents, the Cavaliers and the heat. Both teams clearly slowed a tight game down a bit on the roasting field in the second half, but senior JMU badasses Hayley Warden and Elena “E” Romesburg went full Indiana Jones in ripping out the hearts of the hated Wahoos when twice in the second half UVa closed to within one and both times JMU responded with mini-runs to get some separation when they needed it most. Defender Emma Johnson also appeared at opportune times to help the Dukes slow down the Virginia offense. But much of the credit in this victory goes to all the offseason work the players put in with the help of the JMU strength and conditioning staff to be ready to outlast the Cavs on the hottest day of the season (thus far) in the ‘Burg. As always, Kristen Gaudian did Gaudian-National-Player-Of-the-Year type things and Katie Kerrigan seemed to assist on every threatening JMU offensive set.

One quick side-note: As always it was great to hear the sweet stylings of the one and only Curt Dudley on the all even if he had to carry the broadcast. Hope we get Curt next week but we’re certainly not clued in to what stage of the tourney gets the full ESPN3 treatment and of course we’re not opposed to FCS and lax guru Anish Shroff at any point.

Here’s hoping lots of Dukes can pack out the still newish facility on Port Republic to aid and abet JMU in seeking not only a Final Four berth, but a continuation of a quest for a title that is now very much in sight and realistic!

 

May 11 / Rob

JMUSB Pod: Talking LAX, Softball, and Our Favorite Professors

Good morning everyone. We’ve got a new pod up for your Friday commute. On this episode we do a little lax bracket talk, discuss JMU softball, and Todd gives us a report on the recent Charlotte Coaches Caravan (or whatever they’re calling it these days). Finally, we discuss some of our favorite or most influential professors.

As always the JMUSB Podcast is brought to you by Pale Fire Brewing. Drop in for a beer next time you’re in the ‘burg.

Be sure to subscribe to the JMUSB Pod via iTunes.

 

May 7 / Rob

Two Championships Down, One to Go for JMU Lacrosse

Coach Shelley and the Dukes followed up a perfect 6-0 CAA season, with a pair of victories in the CAA tourney. Sunday’s 6-10 win in the finals over Towson gave the Dukes the CAA Tournament Championship for the second year in a row. With a CAA regular season championship in the books, that means JMU only has one more title to claim for 2018. The big one. And it’s definitely within reach.

Compared to last weekend’s 16-15 nail-biter over Towson on the road, the CAA title game was a bit of a breeze. Yes, Towson played well and hung tough all day. But the game was never really in doubt. The Dukes entered the tournament with a big ol’ target on their backs, but it didn’t really matter. They destroyed Delaware 17-5 in what looked to be nothing more than a tune up for the big rematch with Towson. The Tigers are a talented squad that can make some noise in the dance, but they were no match for the Dukes today. This Dukes team was all business and it showed. Plenty of folks were picking Towson to avenge last weekend’s loss and upset JMU for the title. Those folks were wrong. Very, very wrong.

Kristen Gaudian followed up a 5 goal game in the semis, with another 5 goal performance in the final. It was a fitting performance for the CAA’s Player of the Year. Elena Romesberg was also quite effective with 4 goals, 5 ground balls, and 3 draw controls. Last year’s CAA Player of the Year, Haley Warden had the type of game that coaches drool over. The senior stepped up and did everything her team needed her to against Towson, causing a team leading 4 turnovers and winning 7 draw controls. She also found the back of the net once. Her efforts resulted in her winning the tournament’s Most Outstanding Performer award for the second straight year. She also picked up this year’s CAA Defensive Player of they Year, so she’s got some hardware.

Now the Dukes will attempt to win their third championship of the year. And they’ll do so as the #3 overall seed. The NCAA bracket was revealed last night and JMU was given the right to host the winner of Stanford vs. UVA. The committee rewarded JMU’s strength of schedule and had a more favorable view of the Dukes than the pollsters did. Despite losing in the CAA championship, Towson also earned a seed. There are plenty of great teams, but JMU has already shown it can beat practically anyone. It should be a great tourney. Especially because our Dukes have a real chance to win the whole damn thing.

Apr 30 / Rob

JMU Women Went Next Level This Weekend


JMU Lacrosse ended it’s regular season with a huge clash at Towson on Saturday. The Dukes managed to earn the W in the most anticipated CAA Lacrosse game of the season. Kristen Gaudian came through in OT (again) to secure the 16-15 victory. The win gave Coach Shelley and the Dukes the regular season CAA title and the #1 seed in next weekend’s tournament, which JMU will host in the ‘burg. Additionally, the title means JMU will host the CAA tourney next year as well. read more…

Apr 25 / Rob

JMU Sports Is Crushing The Video Game

Everyone knows that the JMU athletic department has made tremendous strides with regard to facilities over the past few years. But the media teams have stepped up in a big way too. From all the individual sports social media accounts, the improved Madizone experience, and pretty much everything Curt Dudley touches is all top notch. Some of the video production really stands out though. Like this all sports highlight clip. It’s terrific. Although someone did Jeff Bourne dirty. The man had a hand in the success of every single program highlighted. And you put a clip of him trying to pump up the crowd immediately after a clip of a Mike Houston pep talk? Ouch. That’s not just not fair. 😉

Apr 23 / Rob

JMU Lacrosse Set to Clash With Towson

JMU lacrosse cruised to a comfortable 15-10 win over Hofstra in the regular season home finale. The win pushed the Dukes record to 15-1 overall and a perfect 5-0 in CAA play. The 5 goal margin of victory was the Dukes tightest in league play. To be frank, the ladies have essentially curb-stomped the rest of the CAA to this point. They’ve scored 85 goals and only given up 24. For the first time ever, they’ve had 2 players go over the 50 goal mark. Kristin Gaudian leads the league with 54 and Elana Romesberg is right on her tail with 51. The Dukes are playing great and locked in at #4 in all the major polls. They’re good. Really, really good.

Or course, Towson is pretty good also. The Tigers are 13-2 overall and also undefeated in league play. And they’re hosting the Dukes next Saturday. The winner will grab the regular season title and the #1 seed for the CAA Tourney. It’s a big game, and in all likelihood will be a preview of the tournament championship. Take a look at the stats and it’s pretty clear the Dukes and Tigers are the class of the conference. Here are a few samples.

Goals Per Game

JMU is #1 with 15.94. Towson is #2 with 14.27.

Goals Against Per Game

Towson is #1 with 8.01. JMU is #2 with 8.40.

Shooting Percentage

JMU is #1 at 49.7%. Towson is #2 at 49.0%.

Caused Turnovers Per Game

Towson is #1 with 11.47. JMU is #2 with 11.44.

It goes on like that for most of the major stats. Yes, there are differences. For one thing, JMU takes care of the ball significantly better, surrendering about 4 fewer turnovers a game. But the point is that these are two terrific teams who will probably play each other twice in the span of 8 days to decide the CAA autobid.

Fortunately for the Dukes, the tournament will be played at Sentara Park. As the tournament host, JMU figures to have a decent home field advantage. It’s going to be tough to beat Towson in Towson (but very doable), but if we’d certainly rather go on the road for the regular season and play host in the tourney. If JMU wins out, they’re a virtual lock for a top 4 seed to the NCAA tournament. But that’s getting a little bit ahead of ourselves. First things first, let’s root for a big win next Saturday. Then let’s pack Sentara to see Coach Shelley and the ladies take care of business in the CAA Tourney. This has been a special year so far, but there’s no telling how much better things could get over the next few weeks.

Apr 19 / Rob

Talking JMU Football Spring Game with Greg Madia


Good gracious people. The latest episode of the JMUSB Podcast was an incredible nuisance to produce. Do us a solid and give it listen to make the effort worth it. Without going into great detail, let’s jus say that the new app we use to record is a hot pile of garbage. But I digress.

In any case, we think the episode is worth your time. Primarily because it features a great conversation with Greg Madia of the Harrisonburg Daily News-Record. Greg has done a tremendous job covering Mike Houston and the Dukes and he was kind enough to join us to talk about the Spring game and what the roster is looking like heading into next year. If y’all enjoy listening to Greg even half as much as we enjoyed chatting with him, it will be a win.

As always the JMUSB Podcast is brought to you by Pale Fire Brewing. Drop in for a beer next time you’re in the ‘burg.

Be sure to subscribe to the JMUSB Pod via iTunes.

Apr 12 / Rob

JMU Spring Football Game Preview

It’s been 96 days since the JMU Dukes last played a football game. And we’ve missed them. A lot. Sure we’ve been able to see some reasons for optimism with hoops and enjoyed some stellar play from lacrosse and softball, but we miss football. Thankfully, our boys are back in action this weekend.

The Basics

Match-up: Some of the JMU Dukes 0-0 (00) vs. Some of the Other JMU Dukes 0-0 (0-0)
Kick-off: 1:00 PM on Saturday, April 14 at Bridgeforth Stadium in Harrisonburg, VA
Weather: Mostly sunny with highs in the upper 70s
Broadcast: Unavailable (program ain’t that big yet)

How We Got Here

Coach Houston and the Dukes began Spring practice on March 13. They’ve had two intrasquad scrimmages, but otherwise we’re just talking about practice. However, reports indicate that Houston has been pleased with what he’s seen from some of the younger players and the newcomers. Not sure if it makes sense to draw too many conclusions (if any) from Spring ball, but Dukes are crushing.

The Top Stories

I’ve tired of even pretending this a real preview, so I’m gonna assume you have too. Or you stopped reading and clicked elsewhere. In any case, here are the top 3 stories (in my opinion at least) heading into Saturday’s “game.”

QB Battle

The Dukes need to replace Bryan Schor, one of the all time great JMU QBs. Spring ball started with an open competition between Gage Maloney, Hunger Etheridge, Cole Johnson, and Pitt transfer Ben DiNucci. While DiNucci and Johnson appear to have made this essentially a two man battle, we’re not expecting a starter to be named until later this summer. Both guys are reportedly playing well and showing pretty good accuracy. And DiNucci has even shown some wheels. We’ve got zero insight and can’t even guess who’ll eventually win the job. Based on what we’re reading though, we’re not concerned about JMU having a drastic drop off at the position. Fortunately, there are plenty of offensive weapons to support whomever becomes QB1.

Percy Agyei-Obese

After a season where he saw action as a true freshman, Percy has been the featured back during the spring. Returning studs Trai Sharp, Marcus Marshall, and Cardon Johnson have all missed Spring ball. In their absence, Percy has stepped up and taken advantage of the increased carries. Based on the limited view we got of him last Fall, he’s clearly got talent. He ran for over 100 yards against Norfolk State and almost hit the century mark again at URI. By all accounts though, he’s taken a step forward since then. We get the feeling JMU will use a running back by committee approach in 2018 and ride the hot hand. Agyei-Obese has the potential to give the Dukes a deadly 4 headed monster in the backfield.

The Defense

JMU had a historically good defense in 2017. The Dukes gave up only 11 points a game and had 51 sacks and 31 interceptions. To call it dominating doesn’t do it justice. But they’re replacing a lot of players next season. They’ve got some younger guys who’ve been waiting for a chance. They’ve also got a number of transfers, including Matt Terrell (UVA via junior college), Paris Black (Wake Forest), and Juwan Moye (UVA) all vying for playing time on the defensive line. Of course they’ve got a linebacking unit anchored by Dimitri Holloway, who has been stellar in some big games. And a defensive backfield lead by Jimmy Effin’ Moreland. We don’t expect the D to shut teams down from day one, but we’re confident that Bob Trott will get the job done. 

JMUSB Beer of the Week

It’s not a real game, but fans can still tailgate. Or they can just read about the game Monday and enjoy a nice beer doing something else on Saturday. No rules people. Since it’s April, we might as well take advantage of the opportunity to pick a Spring beer. Let’s go with Bell’s Oberon Ale. It’s become ubiquitous, but that’s a good thing. If it’s not the G.O.A.T of warm weather beers, it’s in the running.

Official JMUSB Prediction

Fans tailgate, enjoy the weather, and act giddy while we watch a re-loading Dukes squad take a step forward to get ready for a march to Frisco. Then we all make WAY too much of the game, convince ourselves that we know exactly who should win the QB job, and pretty much count the days until the season kicks off. Enjoy the game everyone!

Apr 10 / Rob

JMUSB Pod: Spring Game Preview & Dad Moves

The latest episode of the JMUSB Podcast is available for your listening pleasure commute. In it we briefly chat about lax, baseball, and softball before diving into this weekend’s spring football game. We wrap things up with a discussion of infamous dad moves made by our own fathers.

As always the JMUSB Podcast is brought to you by Pale Fire Brewing. Drop in for a beer next time you’re in the ‘burg.

Be sure to subscribe to the JMUSB Pod via iTunes.