Fans will have plenty of opportunities to catch the JMU men’s basketball team at the Convocation Center this season as head coach Matt Brady unveiled the entire 2014-15 schedule Thursday, which features 10 non-conference home games and 19 home games overall.
The Dukes, who finished 11-20 with a 6-10 mark in Colonial Athletic Association play a year ago, will play a single-season program-high 19 times at the Convocation Center after playing in only 10 home outings last season. The Dukes have previously hosted 16 home games during five seasons, most recently in 2011-12.
This season’s slate pits JMU against three NCAA Tournament teams as well as six other foes who competed in postseason tournaments.
The 2014-15 campaign kicks off Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Convocation Center against defending Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season champion Virginia, which advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 last March. This will be the second game at the Convo that day as the JMU women take on UCLA at 1 p.m.
JMU’s opener versus UVa is the beginning of a five-game home stand as the Dukes welcome in Radford (Nov. 17), Longwood (Nov. 19), Colgate (Nov. 24) and Sacred Heart (Nov. 26) before setting out for the first of three non-conference road trips.
“I think home games are a critical piece in having a successful basketball program,” Brady said. “Last year, we just didn’t have the advantage of having hardly any home games during the non-conference portion of our schedule. We hope that with amount of home games we have, by the time we get to the CAA schedule that this team will be enjoying success and will have learned how to win to carry over to league play.”
The Dukes open the road portion of the season slate the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, in Columbus, Ohio, at ohio state out of the Big Ten. The Buckeyes have advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last six seasons and made 11 Final Fours in program history.
“We’re excited about the ohio state game,” Brady said. “It’s a high-level game, a challenging environment, a terrific team and talented basketball coach and staff, so it will be a real challenge for us and we’re looking forward to playing them.”
JMU returns home to host a pair of adversaries in Campbell (Dec. 2) and Richmond (Dec. 7) before heading back out on the road for its final two out-of-conference road games.
Madison will first travel down to Greenville, N.C., to face east carolina (Dec. 13) before trekking to Muncie, Ind., to battle Ball State (Dec. 17). JMU closes the non-conference portion of its schedule with three straight home games when it entertains high point (Dec. 20), Norfolk State (Dec. 22) and Valparaiso (Dec. 29).
“I think there’s a terrific balance between high-caliber opponents and games we feel we can win if we’re playing good basketball and remain healthy,” Brady said of his home non-conference schedule. “Certainly Virginia, Richmond, Valparaiso and high point are picked to do well in their respective leagues and will potentially go to the NCAA Tournament.”
The CAA also announced its league schedule Thursday, which has all 10 members participating in 18 conference games, in a double round robin with each team. JMU opens the 2015 calendar year at home on Jan. 3 with the first CAA contest against Towson.
JMU’s other eight CAA home games will be against Northeastern (Jan. 8), CAA newcomer Elon (Jan. 17), defending CAA champion Delaware (Jan. 28), William & Mary (Jan. 31), UNCW (Feb. 4), Drexel (Feb. 18), College of Charleston (Feb. 21) and Hofstra (Feb. 28) in the regular-season finale.
Their other CAA dates (all on the road) include: Charleston (Jan. 5), W&M (Jan. 10), Drexel (Jan. 14), NU (Jan. 22), Hofstra (Jan. 24), Towson (Feb. 7), UD (Feb. 11), Elon (Feb. 14) and UNCW (Feb. 25).
The 2015 CAA Men’s Basketball Championship will take place March 6-9 at the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Md. The semifinal and title games will all be nationally televised on NBC Sports Network.
Prior to the start of the regular season, JMU will play one exhibition at home on Nov. 2 against NCAA Division II foe Philadelphia.
Madison returns two starters from last season in junior guards Andre Nation (Plant City, Fla./Faith Baptist Christian) and Ron Curry(Pennsauken, N.J./Paul VI). Nation led the team with 15.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game and was named to the All-CAA Third Team, while Curry contributed 12.1 points per game and dished out a team-best 3.4 assists per outing.
In six seasons with Brady at the helm, the Dukes have produced three 20-win seasons and three postseason appearances, including a trip to the 2013 NCAA Championship after capturing the CAA postseason crown.
Renewals and new sales for season tickets are available now and individual game tickets will be on sale Nov. 1 atJMUSports.com/tickets. Season tickets include the home opener against Virginia and a game-day parking pass and are the only way to guarantee a ticket to the match-up against the Cavaliers. More information on men’s basketball tickets can be found HERE or by calling the Athletic Ticket Office at 540-568-3853.
Games by Conference:
CAA: 18 – College of Charleston (A, 1/5; H, 2/21), Delaware (H, 1/28; A, 2/11), Drexel (A, 1/14; H, 2/18), Elon (H, 1/17; A, 2/14), Hofstra(A, 1/24; H, 2/28), Northeastern (H, 1/8; A, 1/22), Towson (H, 1/3; A, 2/7), UNCW (H, 2/4; A, 2/25), William & Mary (A, 1/10; H, 1/31)
Big South: 4 – Campbell (H, 12/2), High Point (H, 12/20), Longwood (H, 11/19), Radford (H, 11/17)
A-10: 1 – Richmond (H, 12/7)
ACC: 1 – Virginia (H, 11/14)
Big Ten: 1 – Ohio State (A, 11/28)
C-USA: 1 – East Carolina (A, 12/13)
Horizon: 1 – Valparaiso (H, 12/29)
MAC: 1 – Ball State (A, 12/17)
MEAC: 1 – Norfolk State (H, 12/22)
NEC: 1 – Sacred Heart (H, 11/26)
Patriot: 1 – Colgate (H, 11/24)
Opponents in Last Year’s Postseason
Virginia, NCAA Sweet 16
Ohio State, NCAA Second Round
Delaware, NCAA Second Round
High Point, NIT First Round
Radford, CBI Quarterfinals
Towson, CIT Quarterfinals
East Carolina, CIT First Round
Norfolk State, CIT First Round
Valparaiso, CIT First Round