- West Virginia Mountaineers (1-0, Big XII 0-0, ESPN RPI 148) vs. James Madison Dukes (1-0, 0-0 Colonial, ESPN RPI 5)
- Series Record: 7-3, last matchup was in 2004 with Mike Gansey and D'or Fischer scoring 11, W 77-48
- Location: Charleston Civic Center (13,000), Charleston, West Virginia
- Vegas Lines: (-12) for the good guys, O/U: 152.0
- Date: Monday, Nov. 16th, 2015, 7:00PM EST
- Television: ROOT Sports (Rob King, Warren Baker, and Amanda Mazey)
- JMU Media Game Notes [PDF]
- Radio Affiliates
Opponent Information (RPI)
- James Madison Dukes (1-0, 0-0 Colonial, ESPN RPI 5)
- Head Coach - Matt Brady, Seventh year with the Dukes 119-116 (.506), 192-166 career (.623)
- Last Result - Won at Richmond to start the year, W 87-75
- Official James Madison athletics website
PODCAST SEASON PREVIEW:
Also, this just happened:
Bill Raftery has successfully trademarked "ONIONS!" https://t.co/33nLVDQGtJ— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) November 16, 2015
I'm aware that has nothing to do with either West Virginia or James Madison, but it's Raftery so I'm on board.
Before we get started, I want to point out that the only reason I used the ESPN Daily RPI instead of the NCAA RPI is that the NCAA rankings haven't been updated since Duke won the title. Since WVU played a Northern Kentucky team that was in the RPI 200s last year, WVU is currently sitting 148th in the Lunardi computer rankings. This will sort itself out, but because college basketball had quietly one of its most ridiculous starting weekends ever including Texas playing Washington in China and Pitt squaring off against Gonzaga on an Okinawa slip-n-slide, here's your current ESPN RPI college basketball rankings:
So, according to ESPN, an RPI #148 West Virginia is playing at the RPI #5 team in the country in a "neutral site" and is favored by 12. Moral of the story is to not really pay any attention to the computer rankings until mid-December when the early season invitational tournaments are over. Let's dive into the actual matchup.
The Mountaineers did exactly what they should do to a Northern Kentucky team at home. Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles, Jr., both had a good night combining for 33 points, 9 steals, and 62.5% field goal percentage. The press forced 30 NKU turnovers and the Eers turned that into 21 more field goal attempts than the Norse. All of this was largely expected outside of Jonathan Holton committing his first foul 13 minutes into the game and his second with only five minutes left in the game. Yes, Jonathan Holton. That is how you win the hearts and minds around here.
As for the Dukes, James Madison walked into Richmond and went HAM on the Spiders to the tune of 87-75. The Dukes shot 11-24 (45.8%) from three and outrebounded Richmond 40-23 with 16 offensive rebounds. Three guys you need to look out for on this JMU team are: senior guard Ron Curry, junior forward Tom Vodanovich, and JUCO transfer junior shooting forward Shakir Brown. Curry (6'3, 200) has been contributing since he was a freshman for this team and made First Team Preseason All-CAA. Tom Vodanovich (6'7, 215) usually is a utility-guy, but went 3/3 from long range against Richmond and should be looked after if he decides to keep that up. Shakir Brown transferred from Angelina College and averaged 20.3pts/11rebs per game while there. Against the Spiders, he got a double-double off the bench while getting 20 points and 12 rebounds for his first game for JMU.
It's tough to predict how well James Madison will be prepared for the press, but they don't have a ton of experience when it comes to ball handler depth. That usually means good things for the Mountaineers so West Virginia should have no problem coming out of this 2-0.
Prediction: WVU 91, James Madison 65