JMU men’s basketball signs JUCO star Shakir Brown to National Letter of Intent

jmu-logo-newJames Madison basketball coach Matt Brady announced the signing of Shakir Brown to a National Letter of Intent for the 2015-16 season. He will have two years of eligibility following two years at the junior college level.

A native of Baltimore, Md., the 6-foot, 6-inch guard/forward spent last season at Angelina College, a junior college in Lufkin, Texas. He led the Roadrunners to a 21-10 record as they reached the Region XIV conference semifinals.

“As a staff, we felt it was really important to bring in an older player who has some strength as well as some skill. He had a remarkable season at Angelina, which had one of its best seasons in history. His statistics speak for his abilities on the basketball court and AC’s staff believes he was one of the best players in Texas. He is an outstanding shooter and is tremendous with the basketball. His dribbling and passing skills are very high level so he’s a significant player for our program.”

Brown was the league’s third-leading scorer, averaging 20.3 points per game, while also being the top rebounder with an AC single-season record 10.8 rebounds per game. Those averages also ranked 27th and 11th, respectively, in the country. During conference play, he accrued 22.4 points and 11.3 rebounds per outing, which led Region XIV in both categories.

He also dished out 2.7 assists per game and shot well from the field at 48 percent (221-460). He knocked down 66 3-pointers, finishing the year at 36.5 percent (66-181) from beyond the arc, and converted 73.6 percent (120-163) of his free-throw attempts.

Following the season, Brown was named First Team All-Region XIV and First Team All-South Zone honors after notching 17 double-doubles, scoring in double figures in all but six games in 2014-15.

“He’s bigger and stronger than the wing players we have and that was an area we got hurt in last season,” Brady said. “We felt we needed to add another guy with some strength and toughness at the small forward position. He’s also a guy that we could slide to the No. 4 spot if we wanted to play smaller, which we’ve done before during my tenure. I think playing small is a way the last three champions in the CAA have played in Northeastern, Delaware and JMU.”

Prior to his year at Angelina, Brown spent one season at Iowa Western Community College, where he averaged 6.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in a sixth-man role. Brown graduated from Patterson High School in Baltimore, helping the Clippers win the Class 3A state title his senior year, scoring 18 points and 10 rebounds in the championship game.

Brown rounds out this year’s recruiting class, joining freshman guard Kevin Kangni, who signed with JMU back in the early signing period in November.

Brown and Kangni join a JMU squad which returns nine letter winners and all five starters from last year’s 19-14 team that earned a share of Colonial Athletic Association regular-season championship for the first time in 15 years. The Dukes’ returners produced 89.9 percent of last season’s scoring and 92.3 percent of the team’s rebounding. Also available this season is redshirt junior guard Devontae Morgan, who sat out last season after transferring from Butler.

“With the additions of Shakir and Kevin, as well as Devontae, it gives us great flexibility and more athletic ability in the backcourt,” Brady said. “That versatility will allow us to play differently defensively. We’re already talking about trying to pick up full court and playing a little faster. With the shot clock change looming for college basketball, being able to pick up full court and getting to teams defensively will be a big deal.”



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