JMU men picked sixth in preseason CAA hoops poll
James Madison men’s basketball has been selected to finish sixth in the 11-team Colonial Athletic Association it was announced on Tuesday at the league’s annual media day at Champps-Pentagon Row in Arlington, Va. The annual preseason poll is based on votes from the league’s coaches, sports information directors and media members.
Drexel, returning all but one player from last year’s 29-7 team, was picked to finish first in the CAA for the second straight season. The defending regular-season champions were followed by Delaware, George Mason, Old Dominion, Northeastern, JMU, Hofstra, Georgia State, William and Mary, Towson and UNCW. For the 2012-13 season, Old Dominion, Towson, Georgia State and UNCW have been ruled ineligible for the CAA tournament for various reasons.
In 2011-12, the Dukes finished eighth in the CAA after going 12-20 on the season with a 5-13 record in conference play. JMU was predicted to finish fifth in the preseason polls last year, but was unable to overcome significant injuries throughout the lineup.
Senior A.J. Davis (Columbus, Ohio/Harmony Community), JMU’s top returning-scorer, was named to the preseason All-CAA Second Team in his final season with the Dukes. The 6-6 guard averaged 15.9 points per game to finish fourth in the CAA, including a career-high 30-point performance against Delaware on Feb. 4 during his junior season. On the defensive end, Davis tied for seventh in the league with an average of 1.7 steals per game. He owns the second-place slot in JMU record books for season steals, having committed 54 thefts during the 2011-12 campaign.
Drexel’s Frantz Massenat was chosen as the CAA Preseason Player of the Year. He is joined on the preseason All-Conference First Team by teammate Damion Lee, Delaware’s Jamelle Hagins and Devon Saddler, Northeastern’s Jonathan Lee and UNCW’s Keith Rendleman.
JMU will host an exhibition game against Philadelphia on Sunday, Oct. 28, in the Convocation Center at 2 p.m. Madison will then hit the road to open the 2012-13 campaign at UCLA as a part of the Progressive Legends Classic. Tip-off is scheduled for 11 p.m. (EST) in Los Angeles, Calif.
The CAA also unveiled its television package for the upcoming season with the Dukes slated to appear in a minimum of 12 televised games. The schedule is highlighted by JMU’s home contest vs. Drexel on Jan. 12, which will air nationally on the CAA’s new television partner, NBC Sports Network. The season opener at UCLA is scheduled for coverage on the Pac 12 Network. Following the Drexel game, the Dukes close the regular season with nine of 14 games airing on Comcast SportsNet. Those dates include Jan. 15 at George Mason, Jan. 24 vs. Delaware, Jan. 26 vs. Old Dominion, Feb. 2 vs. George Mason, Feb. 10 at Drexel, Feb. 12 vs. Towson, Feb. 17 at Delaware, Feb. 20 at Northeastern and March 2 at William and Mary. All three games of the CAA quarterfinals will air on Comcast SportsNet while the semifinals and championship will have national coverage on NBC Sports Network.