Home JMU basketball’s Precious Hall, Kenny Brooks honored by CAA

JMU basketball’s Precious Hall, Kenny Brooks honored by CAA


jmu logoJames Madison women’s basketball earned three major awards and seven all-conference honors on Wednesday, as junior guard Precious Hall was named the 2015 Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year, Head Coach Kenny Brooks was named the CAA Coach of the Year and redshirt-senior center Lauren Okafor was honored with the Dean Ehlers Award.

Hall, the preseason Player of the Year as well, is the second consecutive Duke to earn the Player of the Year award and fifth overall under Coach Brooks. Hall ranks 16th nationally in points per game (21.0) and has scored 610 points this season, which ranks sixth on the all-time JMU single-season scoring chart. She is 11th on the JMU career-scoring chart with 1,431 points, which makes her the CAA’s active career scoring leader.

Brooks earned his second straight Coach of the Year title after leading JMU to its second consecutive CAA Regular Season Championship and 10th consecutive 24+ win season. He became the all-time winningest coach in JMU women’s basketball history on Feb. 15 with a 94-64 win over Delaware for his 303rd victory. This season, the Dukes became just the third program in NCAA history to reach 1,000 program wins and spent time ranked in both the Associated Press Top 25 and USA Today Coaches Poll.

As a Dean Ehlers award recipient, Okafor exemplified excellence both on and off the court during the 2014-15 regular season. She averaged a double-double, posting 12.7 points and 10.0 rebounds per contest, while adding 1.6 blocks per game. Her 46 blocked shots this season are tied for eighth-most in program history for a single season and her 291 rebounds are the ninth-highest single-season total in program history. Off the court, she is a psychology major concentrated on pre-med, an Arthur Ashe Scholar-Athlete and the recipient of the Le Ann Whitlock Memorial Scholarship. She is financial secretary of JMU’s Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority as well as vice president of the Association of Black Psychologists.

Hall and Okafor were both named to the All-CAA First Team while junior point guard Angela Mickens earned a spot on the All-CAA Second Team and redshirt-junior guard Jazmon Gwathmey was placed on the All-CAA Third Team.  Both Okafor and Mickens were named to the All-Defensive squad while Okafor rounded out the honors on the All-Academic team.

Mickens, a 2015 Lieberman Award candidate, is fourth nationally in assists per game (7.6) and ninth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.80). Her 221 assists-to-date this season are the second-most in JMU history, and she is just three assists shy of setting a JMU single-season record. She has added 7.8 points per game on her own and helped JMU score 779 points this season, good for an average contribution of 26.9 points per contest. She also leads the team in steals per game (2.2).

Gwathmey averaged 9.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.1 blocks and 1.0 steals per game through the regular season. She shot 40.3 percent from the floor (104-of-258), the third-highest total amongst JMU players with at least 100 made field goals. She is already fourth on the all-time blocked shots list at JMU (121).

JMU heads to the 2015 CAA Championship Tournament at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md., as the top seed. The Dukes open play in the quarterfinals on Friday, March 13 at noon, when they will face either eighth-seeded Towson or ninth-seeded College of Charleston.



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