By: Mack Krell
Head Coach: Louis Rowe
Last Season: 10-22 (6-12 CAA); Lost to Drexel in first round of CAA Tournament
Notable Players Lost:
G Joey Mclean
F Cameron Smith
F Ramone Snowden
G Matthew Urbach
G Jonathan Hicklin
G Deshon Parker
F Devon Flowers
The James Madison Dukes basketball season ended in the same fashion as many of their games during the 2017-18 season. Despite leading 55-54 with 4 minutes to play in the first round of the CAA Tournament, the Dukes lost to Drexel by a score of 70-62. In his third season as the head coach for James Madison, Louis Rowe will look to improve on a last place finish in the CAA.
The Dukes will be saying goodbye to three seniors from the 2017-18 season. Guard Joey Mclean will be the biggest loss of the three for the Dukes. Despite battling injuries much of his senior season, he was a larger part of what the Dukes did offensively. During his junior year he scored in double digits in 17 games and lead the team in assists. In addition to Mclean, the Dukes will also be losing role players Cameron Smith and Romane Snowden.
Despite graduating three seniors, the Dukes will be returning their four leading scorers from last season. The leader of that group is rising senior Stuckey Mosley. Last season, his first with the Dukes, he averaged 18.5 points per game and was awarded third team CAA honors. Mosley will be the leader on the court for the Dukes this season and the go to player late in games.
Mosley will most likely be joined in the backcourt by guards Matt Lewis and Darius Bank, both incoming sophomores. As a freshman last year, Banks was named to the CAA all rookie team and acted as a lockdown defender for the Dukes; he led the team with 48 steals on the year. Lewis was also named to the CAA all rookie team and was second on the team with 72 assists tallied. The Dukes will rely on both these young players to help Mosley in the scording column.
One of the major reason the Dukes struggled last season was from the inability to consistently make shots. They finished the 2017-18 season in last place in overall field goal percentage with just a 42 percent rate. The team finished in 8th place in the CAA in three point field goal percentage at a rate of 33.2 percent. Much of the shooting struggles this past season can be attributed to a combination of poor shot selection and rushed shots, issues often seen with young players. The Dukes can expect this part of their game to improve next season with many of their young key players having a year of experience behind them.
However, in order to be successful in that improvement, they will need the incoming freshmen to play well. One of those freshmen that could see playing time as the season progresses is 6-8 forward Devon Flowers. From Hyattsville, Maryland, Flowers was named to the VISAA All-State team as a senior and led his team in points, rebounds, and blocks. The Dukes will look for him to have an impact on both ends of the court his freshman season.
Bottom Line: Despite a disappointing 10-22 season last year, the Dukes will enter this season with confidence and the belief they can improve both in the CAA and overall. They graduated just three seniors and return all four of their leading scorers. Last season they started two freshman guards, each of whom will come into this season more experienced and poised to perform. As a guard heavy team that likes to run, the Dukes will hope these sophomore guards can provide some help to the Dukes team and scoring leader, Stuckey Mosley. If this happens, and forward Develle Phillips holds down the fort in the frontcourt, the Dukes can cause some trouble for teams in the CAA and improve on their last place finish from last season.