James Madison takes on Old Dominion in an in-state rivalry on Wednesday night from the TED in Norfolk. These teams last met last season with the Monarchs winning at home, 67-42.
JMU is off to a 2-2 start, after falling at former conference rival George Mason, 83-70 on Saturday. The Monarchs are coming off a 76-69 win over another CAA team in Northeastern on Saturday from Boston.
Dukes looking for consistencyJames Madison was 14-19 last season and 6-12 in the CAA. Head coach Louis Rowe is likely on the hot seat this season, after going 34-64 overall in three years. His Dukes opened with a 79-74 win over Charlotte and home, before being plastered by last year's NCAA champs Virginia on Nov. 10, 65-34. After crushing Division III Shenandoah by 48 points on Nov. 13, they traveled up North to Fairfax to face former CAA rival George Mason. The Dukes struggled from the floor, shooting just 33.3% (7-32 3pt) and were outrebounded by five. James Madison was led by Matt Lewis with 19 points, while freshman forward Julien Wooden scored 17 points off the bench.
Lewis is a talented 6-5 junior guard, who averaged 16.4 points per game last season. This year, he leads the Dukes with 15.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, but is shooting just 32.8% from the field (25.9% 3pt). Junior Zach Jacobs (6-8, 230) is the second-leading scorer with 11.2 points and adds 9.5 rebounds on 43.6% shooting, but also leads in turnovers with 11 in four games. Overall, JMU is averaging just 61 points per game on 35.3% shooting (27% 3pt) and is shooting just 55.8% from the line. They are also getting outrebounded by 5.4 per game. Defensively, they allow 74 points per game on 41% shooting (24.4% 3pt).
Solid start for MonarchsJeff Jones has been coaching for 27 years and just won his 500th game to become the 71st coach in Division I history to accomplish the feat at Virginia, American and now ODU. His Monarchs were victorious over Northeastern, 76-69 on the road on Saturday in a hard-fought contest. Xavier Green led Old Dominion with 24 points on 10-of-18 shooting, while Jason Wade added 18 points. ODU shot 50.8% from the field but just 4-of-15 from the three-point line and 12 of 20 from the three throw line (60%). They did force 18 turnovers, though the Huskies shot 11-of-22 from beyond the arc.
ODU opened the season with a loss at Northern Iowa (58-53), but since then, has defeated St. Joe's (82-69) and Loyola-Maryland (62-53) at home, before upending Northeastern.
"I am extremely pleased with how we played," said Jones after the game on ODUsports.com. "500 wins is great, but getting win number three for this season on the road against a good opponent is even better. Now our focus turns to trying to get number four on Wednesday. I'm sure there will be a day when I look back on the total career wins and certainly appreciate it and think about highlights and all of that kind of stuff, but right now we are all just grinding and fighting like crazy to become a good team, which is a lot more important right now than all the career numbers."
Green leads the Monarchs with 16.5 points per game, while Wade is tops in field goal percentage (64.7%) and steals (4.8). Jones' teams are usually outstanding defensively. So far, ODU is allowing 62.2 points on 38.4% shooting (33.9% 3pt). They have struggled on the offensive end, shooting just 41.5% from the field, 31.7% from three-point and 62.5% from the line.
- 4-12 ATS last 16 road games.
- 3-7 ATS last 10 Wednesday games.
- Underdog is 0-4 ATS last 4 in series.
Trends from Covers.com ODU is:
- 4-1-1 ATS last 6 Wednesday games.
- 4-1 ATs last 5 vs. CAA.
- 9-3-1 ATS last 13 non-conference games.