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NJDuke97 Offline
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2020-21 MBB Previews
Blue Ribbon Yearbook is out. Dukes picked to finish 9th (above W&M) in the Caa and Towson predicted to win the conference. Some highlights:

Lewis as player of the year- if he wins player of the year I think JMU would have to finish higher than 9th. I’m thinking 4th or 5th.

A few other tidbits:

- Coach B haves high praise to Lewis (Better than he thought) as an all around player. Gives high marks for Matt’s passing ability and length.

- it’s been said before this off season but Coach B is a fan of Jacob’s and Zach will start at 4 or 5

- Christmas is in better shape and expected to take advantage more driving snd off the dribble.

- likes Woodens skill set for the style they play

- like Harvey’s ability and strength but he has to play harder to have his game get to another level.

Of newer guys my guess is they are highest on Frederick (likely starter), Edwards (needs to add more strength) and Amadi (difference maker). Lauds Stricklands defensive ability too. I think the transfers were to infuse depth. Coach B says that this team will be bigger than most of his teams and definitely have some size at 4 where he would normally play a guard.

I think the current roster and perhaps JMUs ability to recruit could evolve Coach Bs style- he likes to play fast and up and down but it could be a best of all worlds scenario with a little more size at 4 and 5 than his teams have had in the past which could be the difference in finishing top 3 in conference and 20 wins and top 1 of conference and 25. We’ll see but he seems like a guy who gets it knows what he’s doing and at the same time is open to fitting the system to the pieces to win.
10-12-2020 08:02 PM
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Anders Online
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RE: 2020-21 MBB Previews
Thinking about buying Blue Ribbon this year as I’ve seen a lot for it.
10-12-2020 09:20 PM
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NJDuke97 Offline
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RE: 2020-21 MBB Previews
(10-12-2020 09:20 PM)Anders Wrote:  Thinking about buying Blue Ribbon this year as I’ve seen a lot for it.

They have a digital version for about $16.
If you are a college hoops fan it’s a good read and a lot more depth (especially on mid majors) than the one paragraph blurbs they have elsewhere. 3 man weave online does a nice job too with their in depth conference and team previews.
10-12-2020 09:31 PM
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Wear Purple Offline
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RE: 2020-21 MBB Previews
(10-12-2020 08:02 PM)NJDuke97 Wrote:  Lewis as player of the year- if he wins player of the year I think JMU would have to finish higher than 9th. I’m thinking 4th or 5th.

Bingo. No way a POTY comes from a team finishing 9th in a 10-team conference. Perhaps a ROTY, but not a POTY.

Good call.
10-12-2020 09:39 PM
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NJDuke97 Offline
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RE: 2020-21 MBB Previews
(10-12-2020 09:39 PM)Wear Purple Wrote:  
(10-12-2020 08:02 PM)NJDuke97 Wrote:  Lewis as player of the year- if he wins player of the year I think JMU would have to finish higher than 9th. I’m thinking 4th or 5th.

Bingo. No way a POTY comes from a team finishing 9th in a 10-team conference. Perhaps a ROTY, but not a POTY.

Good call.

I like the writer- UNCW beat guy but seemed like a hedge to me. If you say Lewis is the best player in the conference as a Senior than JMU has to finish higher than 9th. I’m not saying it’s obvious that Lewis wins POY- honestly I think he comes up short like Curry did but still I doubt JMU finishes 9th regardless.
10-13-2020 05:40 AM
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JMUNation Offline
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RE: 2020-21 MBB Previews
We don’t know how good Lewis can be until there is some talent around him. Lewis has faced three years of having defenses game plan to stop him. Teams basically forced the rest of the Dukes to beat them. This strategy has worked well. If the new talent is good enough to where opposing defenses have to pay more attention to defending them, Lewis should be freed up for more open looks. In past years, almost every shot he took was highly contested and one he had to get on his own.
10-13-2020 08:58 AM
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Wear Purple Offline
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RE: 2020-21 MBB Previews
Btw, I think Matt Lewis is a top candidate for CAA POTY. Definitely should be a preseason 1st team All-CAA pick (perhaps by close to unanimous vote even). I think he has a great shot at eclipsing 2,000* pts scored and there's no doubt in my mind one day in the future he will be a part of the JMU Athletics HoF.

*Note, Matt sits at 1,574 pts scored. Normally, you'd think a guy with that many pts heading into his Sr. season would be a shoe-in to eclipse 2,000. But, there will potentially be fewer games this winter (hopefully not as I hope we can make a run in the postseason AND we won't lose any games due to COVID or heaven forbid injury/illness to Matt himself).

Matt's average scoring per game has gone from 14.5 (Fr) to 16.4 (So) to 19.0 (Jr) last year. If he can score 20 a game (within reason) and the Dukes can play 30 games, for easy math, that's 600 pts right there. In that case, he has a very strong chance to finish up the leading scorer in JMU history -- Steve Stielper (2,126) & Sherm Dillard (2,065) as only guys over the 2,000-pts-scored mark.
10-13-2020 09:11 AM
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jmu98 Offline
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RE: 2020-21 MBB Previews
Teams can play up to 25 regular season games, plus one multi team tourney so max regular season will be 28.
10-13-2020 09:16 AM
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JMU Online
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RE: 2020-21 MBB Previews
I agree, ML can get to 2000 but it will be tough/close depending on # of games in reg season, CAAT, and post season (if applicable). He'll have to be on fire.
10-13-2020 09:21 AM
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Dukes84 Offline
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RE: 2020-21 MBB Previews
I haven't spent any time assessing the CAA at this point, but it would seem JMU should be highly competitive. A 9th place finish seems laughable to me. JMU didn't bring in Byington to finish 9th!
10-13-2020 10:01 AM
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nyduke Offline
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RE: 2020-21 MBB Previews
i could see us in 9th with so many new players, but i hope more like 5th
10-13-2020 10:35 AM
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Dukester Offline
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RE: 2020-21 MBB Previews
(10-13-2020 08:58 AM)JMUNation Wrote:  We don’t know how good Lewis can be until there is some talent around him. Lewis has faced three years of having defenses game plan to stop him. Teams basically forced the rest of the Dukes to beat them. This strategy has worked well. If the new talent is good enough to where opposing defenses have to pay more attention to defending them, Lewis should be freed up for more open looks. In past years, almost every shot he took was highly contested and one he had to get on his own.

Lewis' game seems to be a little like Fanning was in the day at a more talented level. I'm not so sure how much his game will change even with a new coaching staff or the players around him. Maybe it doesn't have to with the new flow of the offense.

It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
10-13-2020 10:59 AM
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NJDuke97 Offline
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RE: 2020-21 MBB Previews
If you believe that Lewis aspires to play pro
And believes he can I think the feedback that he received is that his path would be as a PG which I know is a stretch for the NBA based on what we have seen but he will need to demonstrate play making ability this season. Passing and getting his teammates involved will be a key to his development and prospects as a pro. That all aligns with what this team needs from Matt this season so I think that’s a good thing for JMU MBB as well.
(This post was last modified: 10-13-2020 12:01 PM by NJDuke97.)
10-13-2020 11:59 AM
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Hart Foundation Offline
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RE: 2020-21 MBB Previews
(10-13-2020 10:59 AM)Dukester Wrote:  
(10-13-2020 08:58 AM)JMUNation Wrote:  We don’t know how good Lewis can be until there is some talent around him. Lewis has faced three years of having defenses game plan to stop him. Teams basically forced the rest of the Dukes to beat them. This strategy has worked well. If the new talent is good enough to where opposing defenses have to pay more attention to defending them, Lewis should be freed up for more open looks. In past years, almost every shot he took was highly contested and one he had to get on his own.

Lewis' game seems to be a little like Fanning was in the day at a more talented level. I'm not so sure how much his game will change even with a new coaching staff or the players around him. Maybe it doesn't have to with the new flow of the offense.

It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

The problem hasn't been surrounding talent the past 3 years. The problem has been the coaching. Lewis was allowed and even encouraged to heave shots and we've seen his shot selection is not good on his own accord. Hopefully, Byington reins that in and actually results in a less is more approach. Fewer shots, but better shots, can result in Lewis scoring more than ever and the team actually winning in the process.

We'll see. All we can do is hope, because the ink on the contract is dry. Byington will have to be a much better coach than he has ever been and that is a hope for someone going into his eighth year as head coach with a career track record of always being the bridesmaid, but never the bride.
He has won zero conference championships.
He has won zero conference tournaments.

2014 7th place, lost in semifinals
2015 2nd place, lost in finals
2016 5th place, lost in play-in round
2017 3rd place, lost in quarterfinals
2018 3rd place, lost in semifinals
2019 2nd place, lost in semifinals
2020 4th place, quarterfinal W then Hoops cancelled for COVID

this was in a weak conference ranked even lower than the CAA over the past 7 years.
CAA avg conference rank = 16, his avg conference rank = 19.7
10-13-2020 12:59 PM
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HyperDuke Offline
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RE: 2020-21 MBB Previews
Awesome. Can’t wait for more of this from Hart.
10-13-2020 04:55 PM
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NJDuke97 Offline
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RE: 2020-21 MBB Previews
I know it will be that JMU should have spent more and hired more of a sure thing but the same credentials that Hart will hold against Byington until he proves otherwise he didn’t have much issue with when it came to Matt Brady.

It’s all relative but Coach B’s record/resume is superior to Bradys in that he has been more consistent finished higher snd gone farther in the conference tournaments. He also has better energy and a real connection to the league and Virginia. He’s not a home run at first glance but I believe he could be a very solid hire.
(This post was last modified: 10-14-2020 02:59 AM by NJDuke97.)
10-13-2020 05:18 PM
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JMUNation Offline
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RE: 2020-21 MBB Previews
(10-13-2020 12:59 PM)Hart Foundation Wrote:  
(10-13-2020 10:59 AM)Dukester Wrote:  
(10-13-2020 08:58 AM)JMUNation Wrote:  We don’t know how good Lewis can be until there is some talent around him. Lewis has faced three years of having defenses game plan to stop him. Teams basically forced the rest of the Dukes to beat them. This strategy has worked well. If the new talent is good enough to where opposing defenses have to pay more attention to defending them, Lewis should be freed up for more open looks. In past years, almost every shot he took was highly contested and one he had to get on his own.

Lewis' game seems to be a little like Fanning was in the day at a more talented level. I'm not so sure how much his game will change even with a new coaching staff or the players around him. Maybe it doesn't have to with the new flow of the offense.

It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

The problem hasn't been surrounding talent the past 3 years. The problem has been the coaching. Lewis was allowed and even encouraged to heave shots and we've seen his shot selection is not good on his own accord. Hopefully, Byington reins that in and actually results in a less is more approach. Fewer shots, but better shots, can result in Lewis scoring more than ever and the team actually winning in the process.

We'll see. All we can do is hope, because the ink on the contract is dry. Byington will have to be a much better coach than he has ever been and that is a hope for someone going into his eighth year as head coach with a career track record of always being the bridesmaid, but never the bride.
He has won zero conference championships.
He has won zero conference tournaments.

2014 7th place, lost in semifinals
2015 2nd place, lost in finals
2016 5th place, lost in play-in round
2017 3rd place, lost in quarterfinals
2018 3rd place, lost in semifinals
2019 2nd place, lost in semifinals
2020 4th place, quarterfinal W then Hoops cancelled for COVID

this was in a weak conference ranked even lower than the CAA over the past 7 years.
CAA avg conference rank = 16, his avg conference rank = 19.7

Very good info my friend. ‘14= over achieve. ‘15= about right. ‘16-17= under achieved. ‘18-20= about right.

I agree with ‘97. Coach B’s record is superior to Brady’s. Once in seven years his team played in and lost the play in game. Two consecutive years his tournament record was less than his regular season record. The other five years of his seven his team’s post season performance was equal to or better than their regular season.

I like what I am seeing so far having participated in his Duke Club Zoom call and read interviews with him. Now I need to see him coach at JMU. My gut tells me he is going to do better than any basketball coach since Lefty.
10-13-2020 11:04 PM
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Hart Foundation Offline
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RE: 2020-21 MBB Previews
(10-13-2020 05:18 PM)NJDuke97 Wrote:  I know it will be that JMU should have spent more and hired more of a sure thing but the same credentials that Hart will hold against Byington until he proves otherwise he didn’t have much issue with when it came to Matt Brady.

It’s all relative but Coach B’s record/resume is superior to Bradys in that he has been more consistent finished higher and gone farther in the conference tournaments. He also has better energy and a real connection to the league and Virginia. He’s not a home run at first glance but I believe he could be a very solid hire.

Your statements are accurate, but mostly not relevant. JMU moving into a $100 million arena requires more than a Matt Brady who BTW has one more NCAA tourney appearance than Mark Byington. If you like to praise milquetoast performance, without ever seeing a winner then go ahead.

The amount of money and time placed into the AUBC construction called for much more than "believing he could be a very solid hire". JMU should have pulled the trigger to hire someone with Clout and a Proven track record of winning conference tournaments and gaining NCAA tourney bids.
Byington has never done it so all we can do is hope.

Your being pleased with going farther in conference tourneys is weak. Nobody cares about the 9 teams that lose in the CAA every year. They are all losers. 2nd loser, 3rd loser, 5th loser, 9th loser etc.

Your assessments of "better energy" "connection to Virginia" are BS that you could have applied to Louis Rowe as well. Nobody cares about that stuff unless you win and gain a bid to the NCAA tourney. Substance > Style 8 days a week.
10-15-2020 03:52 PM
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HyperDuke Offline
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RE: 2020-21 MBB Previews
Byington hasn’t even won a SINGLE GAME. This is a clear fact. Fire Byington.
10-15-2020 04:23 PM
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Dukes84 Offline
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RE: 2020-21 MBB Previews
(10-15-2020 03:52 PM)Hart Foundation Wrote:  
(10-13-2020 05:18 PM)NJDuke97 Wrote:  I know it will be that JMU should have spent more and hired more of a sure thing but the same credentials that Hart will hold against Byington until he proves otherwise he didn’t have much issue with when it came to Matt Brady.

It’s all relative but Coach B’s record/resume is superior to Bradys in that he has been more consistent finished higher and gone farther in the conference tournaments. He also has better energy and a real connection to the league and Virginia. He’s not a home run at first glance but I believe he could be a very solid hire.

Your statements are accurate, but mostly not relevant. JMU moving into a $100 million arena requires more than a Matt Brady who BTW has one more NCAA tourney appearance than Mark Byington. If you like to praise milquetoast performance, without ever seeing a winner then go ahead.

The amount of money and time placed into the AUBC construction called for much more than "believing he could be a very solid hire". JMU should have pulled the trigger to hire someone with Clout and a Proven track record of winning conference tournaments and gaining NCAA tourney bids.
Byington has never done it so all we can do is hope.

Your being pleased with going farther in conference tourneys is weak. Nobody cares about the 9 teams that lose in the CAA every year. They are all losers. 2nd loser, 3rd loser, 5th loser, 9th loser etc.

Your assessments of "better energy" "connection to Virginia" are BS that you could have applied to Louis Rowe as well. Nobody cares about that stuff unless you win and gain a bid to the NCAA tourney. Substance > Style 8 days a week.

I don't buy the argument that Byington had a better resume than Brady did upon his JMU hire. Brady had been the top assistant with the no. 1 team in the nation with St. Joseph's and had been an assistant at Rhode Island. Byington was an assistant at Charleston and I don't think they made the NCAAs while he was there (one NIT). Brady had a better record at Marist than Byington at GA Southern (by percentage points) and had made an NIT and won a game over a Power 5 team in that tourney. Brady also had a second round NBA draft choice from his time at Marist, plus 1st rounders from St. Joe's. Byington never made the NIT or NCAA in 7 years as a head coach. One player from Byington's time got a bite of the apple with the NBA, as I recall, though.

What I just said doesn't make Byington a bad hire. I think he'll do well, as he's got a new $140M arena and full support by the administration. That support results in more resources for staff and players. Byington has done well with hiring staff and recruiting players so far -- kudos to him for that. Heck, knock Brady if you will, but both he and Bino Ranson, a former JMU assistant, are now assistants with Big 10 MD, as you know.

I think JMU should be a competitive team this season, if one is held.
10-15-2020 04:26 PM
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