We Finish With Your James Madison Dukes, and Your Northeastern Huskies…

Apologies to Dean Keener and Bill Coen. I’m tired of these previews and ready for the season to start. Does this foreshadow a tie in the standings?

INDEX

Drexel

Old Dominion

Towson

George Mason

Delaware

William & Mary

Hofstra

UNCW 

VCU 

Georgia State

James Madison

Place Range: 6th to 12th

Gutsy Pick: 9th

Why I Like Them Here: It’s about arguments. There’s no doubt in my mind the Dukes will be better. How much better remains to be seen. Abdulai Jalloh and Dazz Thornton will certainly add a dimension to them (pure scorer and toughness), as will Pierre Curtis being a sophomore. It’s also about depth–Dean Keener has, for the first time, multiple options. How can I tell? Juwan James is the fourth name written in this preview. Used to be his was the only name listed. As for the arguments, I can’t bring myself to put JMU ahead of Northeastern or UNCW. Before Tommy Breaux was injured, the same held true for Towson. The fact that we’re making arguments for JMU is something.

Why I Could Be Wrong: I refer you back to options. JMU has some pieces and parts, that f they weren’t coming off of a seven-win season, people would be touting highly. Four players averaged double figures last year. They have a pure shooter (Posey). They have a workhorse (James). They have a bruiser (Thornton). They have a swagger/scorer (Jalloh). They have a director (Curtis). They have a jack-of-all-trades (Carter). And Kyle Swanston gets to play with no expectations.

Oh Schedule-Maker, Why Doth Thou Curse Us: Keener must’ve made someone angry. We’re back to Happy New Year with a Jan. 2 homer against VCU, followed by a roadie at Hofstra, roadie at W&M, home to The Dub, at ODU, home with Mason. Then they all return in Feb.: @UNCW, @VCU, home Hofstra, home ODU.

Outlook: The CAA coaches and media picked JMU seventh and nobody raised an eyebrow. It’s mainly due to the talent they have on offense. But there is a big ol’ but. JMU was dead last in the conference last year in scoring defense, field goal defense, and three point defense. They gave up 80 or more points seven times. You don’t magically become a great defensive team.

Guesstimate: 4-14 to 8-10.

Northeastern

Place Range: 5th to 10th

Gutsy Pick: 6th

Why I Like Them Here: Two-bit, pointless analysis aside, I simply think this team has more talent than last year’s 9-9 team. It’s as simple as that. Nor’Easter is going to be big and athletic, and even Captain Matt has added strength and bulk. Manny Adako went the other, changing his body to adapt to the rigor of the season. Eugene Spates can shoot on take it to the rim, and he’s 6-8. Chris Alvarez averaged more than four rebounds per game at Dayton. Finally, I’m buying into Chaisson Allen. I don’t follow recruiting but those who do like this guy.

Why I Could Be Wrong: Though I haven’t ripped the three seniors that graduated (Bobby Kelly, Adrian Martinez, Bennett Davis) I have stated they weren’t much more than role players. I stick by that, but I could be wrong. Davis was a key cog, and I wasn’t in the locker room so I don’t know the leadership skills of Kelly or Martinez. If those three are not replaced, Nor’Easter could slide to a double-digit seed.

Oh Schedule-Maker, Why Doth Thou Curse Us: Seven of the first eight and 10 of 12 games have the @ symbol. And they aren’t playing the Boston Culinary Institute. As for the conference season, they play a bit of ping pong in late January, but otherwise it isn’t horrific. After hosting Drexel on Jan. 12, the Huskies travel to Mason and travel to W&M. Back home for Delaware and then three days later they hit the beach and The Dub. Then it’s right back home for Hofstra before heading to Delaware.

Outlook: Outside of Captain Matt, it’s a bunch of guys you’ve never heard of. Yet. Plus, they go 6-4, 6-5, 6-8, 6-8, 6-8 to start, and have 6-9 Allen Aragbaye waiting. That should solve last season’s rebounding woes. Plus, there are more options on offense. When you combine talent with increased athleticism, you get better shots. Nor’Easter’s 41% field goal accuracy (11th) will improve, as will its 62 ppg (also 11th). When you think of home court advantages, you always hear Trask, Siegel, The Ted, and The DAC. I dare you to head to Mathews one time.

Guesstimate: 7-11 to 10-8.

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~ by mglitos on October 18, 2007.

3 Responses to “We Finish With Your James Madison Dukes, and Your Northeastern Huskies…”

  1. FYI Aragbye is 6’4 PG… Your probably thinking of Transfer Chris Alverez who’s 6’8 or Maybe Nkem Ojogoboh at 6’9

  2. we love you!

    big huggs from the freezer!

  3. Nothing beats a Saturday afternoon game in The Freezer squeezed in between a home Hockey East weekend. They can’t really crank the heat in the Arena or it will negatively impact the quality of the ice.

    The cold combined with the pitched roof in the Freezer, and student apathy is one of the most unique experiences in college hoops.

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