A new era begins tonight in College of Charleston basketball.
The Cougars will finally get their first “official” look at the Colonial Athletic Association. Certainly the Cougars are no strangers to the CAA, having played against a lot of their schools over the years.
But this is the first game that really means something in the standings. It’s not just a non-conference game to get you ready for your conference schedule.
It’ll interesting to see the crowd’s reaction, especially among the students.
Do they really care? I doubt it. Playing against teams from the SoCon or the CAA probably doesn’t matter to a 20-year-old. They want to see a good game. My guess is that the students will probably care more about Darius Rucker singing the National Anthem than James Madison.
The Cougars come in with a three-game winning streak and senior forward Willis Hall on a double-double binged. He has three double-doubles in the last three games and was named the national player of the week by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association earlier on Tuesday.
He’s playing like a guy whose college career is coming to an end and wants to make the most out of every moment.
It should be an interesting game.
James Madison won the CAA tournament a year ago and went to the NCAA Tournament. They’ve struggled early, like the Cougars, but have a three-game winning streak coming into the game.
They’ll also have sophomore guard Andre Nation back in the lineup. Nation, who averaged more than 9 points a game last season, was suspended for the first 15 games for the all-encompassing violation of “athletic department” policy. I’ve seen a couple of different stories that reported that Nation failed a drug test for the second time, but nothing that the Dukes have confirmed.
He’ll be a difference maker for the Dukes.
Here’s a story on Nation’s return to the lineup.
James Madison at College of Charleston
When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
Where: TD Arena
Series: College of Charleston leads, 1-0.
Last Meeting: CofC def. JMU, 76-53, in Cougar Classic on Dec. 30, 2007 in Charleston, S.C.
TV/Radio: CSS/WTMZ 910-AM
College of Charleston
Coach: Doug Wojcik, 32-18, in 2nd season at CofC; 172-110 overall in 9th season.
PROJECTED COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON STARTERS
#22 Anthony Stitt, G, 6-1, 180, Jr. (9.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 3.0 apg, 34.3 min)
#2 Johnathan Burroughs-Cook, G, 6-1, 175, Fr. (2.3 ppg, 0.7 rpg, 0.4 apg, 8.7 min)
#3 Anthony Thomas, SF, 6-7, 207, Sr. (6.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 0.5 apg, 23.1 min)
#53 Willis Hall, F, 6-6, 235, Sr. (11.9 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 0.9 apg, 32.1 min)
#1 Adjehi Baru, F, 6-9, 225, Jr. (10.1 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.0 apg, 28.9 min)
Coach: Matt Brady, 94-91, in 6th season at James Madson; 167-141 overall in 10th season.
PROJECTED JAMES MADISON STARTERS
#2 Ron Curry, G, 6-4, 190, So. (11.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.0 apg, 34.1 min)
#4 Charles Cooke, G, 6-6, 200, So. (15.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.1 apg, 35.9 min)
#11 Andrey Semenov, F, 6-7, 200, Sr. (11.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.5 apg, 30.1 min)
#22 Taylor Bessick, F, 6-9, 240, So. (8.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 0.5 apg, 23.8 min)
#55 Ivan Lukić, F, 6-8, 220, Fr. (2.4 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 0.2 apg, 13.3 min)
They Said It:
“James Madison has won three-straight games. Andre Nation, their leading scorer from a year ago, and Charles Cook are long athletes. They can score, post their wings and pick and pop. JMU plays a 3-2 zone, so we’ll see how we attack that zone on Tuesday night.” – CofC Head Coach Doug Wojcik.
“They (James Madison) are a good team. They have a solid frontcourt and a post presence. They won the league last year. We’re ready for the new challenge of playing in the CAA. We’re looking forward to playing new teams in new cities and opening it up with a big game tomorrow night.” – CofC senior forward Willis Hall.