James Madison earns right to play Indiana in first round

James Madison defeated Long Island Brooklyn 68-55  in a First Four game in Dayton, Ohio on Wednesday night to advance to play No. 1 seed Indiana in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday at approximately 4:10 p.m., also in Dayton.

(Dustin’s Note: Brief side note about that. As you all know, I covered James Madison for five years before I came to Indiana. In the first three of those years, the Dukes were 18-66. Slightly better the last two years, but only had a winning season in the last one. If you combine the first three years at James Madison and the first two years I covered Indiana, those teams went a combined 40-107. And somehow, I’m going to watch these programs play each other in the NCAA Tournament. I’m struggling to put how wild this is into words.)

Anyway, I covered baseball today instead of going up early, so what follows is the AP game story.

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A.J. Davis, who stepped in as a starter because James Madison’s leading scorer was suspended for a half, led the way with 20 points as the Dukes beat LIU Brooklyn 68-55 on Wednesday night in the First Four.
The Dukes (21-14) advance to meet top-seeded Indiana (27-6) on Friday night at the same University of Dayton Arena.
James Madison was without suspended starter Rayshawn Goins for the first half but built a big lead. After the Blackbirds (20-14) battled back to take a brief lead, the Dukes surged again to win going away.
Charles Cooke added 15 points and Andre Nation 14 for the Dukes, who hadn’t won an NCAA tournament game since 1983 and hadn’t played in the big dance in 19 years.
Jamal Olasewere had 20 points and 10 rebounds and C.J. Garner 16 points for the Blackbirds, who have lost in their first game in each of their six trips to the tournament.
JMU was without Goins, its leading scorer (12.7) and rebounder (7.4) after he was suspended for the first half following a weekend arrest. Police in Harrisonburg, Va., said they were called to break up a party early Sunday morning and Goins was shouting obscenities at them. He was not arrested on site, according to the police, for fear the crowd would “turn riotous.”
He was suspended for the opening half by coach Matt Brady on Monday.
After wasting a double-digit first-half lead, the Dukes regrouped. E.J. Reed’s two foul shots with 15:02 left gave the Blackbirds their first lead of the game. But after falling behind, JMU found another gear.
Devon Moore, who had six assists, scored in transition right through the heart of the lane, Nation hit a follow and Davis took a long pass and popped in the shot off glass for a 45-40 advantage.
Nation then blocked a shot at the other end and tossed a long lead pass to Cooke, who dunked while being fouled. His three-point play made it a 9-0 run for a 48-40 lead with under 12 minutes left.
The Blackbirds never threatened again.
Goins came in early in the second half but appeared out of synch for several minutes. After missing his first three shots badly, he finally got on the board with a muscular move inside on a putback with 7:36 left to push the lead to 56-51. The next trip down the floor, he scored again, this time off a nifty assist pass inside from Ron Curry.
It was not a huge falloff going to Davis in the starting lineup in place of Goins, since Davis was MVP of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament just over a week ago, and came in averaging 20.5 in his last 10 games and 20.7 in the CAA tourney.
Davis, of course, opened the game with a 3 and the Dukes never trailed in the first half. They hit 4 of 8 3-pointers at the outset to build a 20-8 lead in the opening 9 minutes, with Davis matching Brooklyn’s output all by himself.
LIU, making its third straight NCAA appearance at Northeast Conference champions, had a hand in its poor start, turning the ball over seven times — with JMU scoring each time immediately afterward to turn those mistakes into 13 early points that fueled the Dukes’ spurt.
The Blackbirds more than held their own inside and on the boards, but missed their first six 3-pointers.
When that statistic changed, so did the game.
Down as many as 12, the Blackbirds closed the half with a 13-2 run to trail 32-31 — with a go-ahead 3 by Garner disallowed because it came after the buzzer.
On successive trips down the floor, LIU hit three straight 3s — two by Jason Brickman, the nation’s leader in assists at 8.5 per game, and the other by Troy Joseph.
The Blackbirds came in trying to duplicate the success of fellow NEC member Robert Morris, which stunned defending national champion Kentucky 59-57 in the opening round of the NIT on Tuesday night.
The Blackbirds lost to top-seeded Michigan State 89-67 a year ago and 102-87 to second-seeded North Carolina in 2011 two years ago.
They had also weathered their share of adversity. They opened 0-4 and then lost Julian Boyd, their conference’s top player the year before, with a season-ending knee injury after eight games.
JMU coach Matt Brady said in the days leading to the game that one of his biggest concerns was the Blackbirds’ NCAA experience. Six players had seen action on the big stage in the previous two years.
The Dukes, who won just one of their first six games, were making their fifth NCAA appearance — and first in 19 years.
Once upon a time, Lou Campanelli coached the Dukes to mammoth NCAA upsets over Georgetown in 1981, Ohio State in 1982 and West Virginia in 1983. The 1982 team lost to eventual national champion North Carolina — led by Michael Jordan, James Worthy and Sam Perkins — 52-50 in the final minute.
But James Madison’s last appearance came with Lefty Driesell prowling the sideline in 1994. It was yet another close loss, 64-62 to Florida.
This time, JMU advanced with no upset necessary.

31 comments

  1. This will be a great scrimmage to get us ready for Temple/NC State. The fat suspended kid won’t be able to muscle The Big Handsome around like he did tonight. Crean should play Jurkin 20 mins to showcase him formed major teams that need a center. Go Hoosiers!!

  2. So who’s gonna be the a-hole who asks Dustin who he’s rooting for? Only kidding. I saw enough of this game to know that IU has no business letting it be even remotely close. I look for a lot of subbing to keep our guys fresh. The NC State-Temple winner will be a much stiffer challenge than most people are giving them credit for.

  3. As we get closer to tip-off, I wonder what people are going to say about CTC’s sub patterns. Months ago we said we needed to get Hanner in there more. Then Remy. Then Derek and Mo as they got healthier. Then Jeremy. Then Remy again. At the same time, each of them have looked “lost” or “useless” out there from game to game.

    I agree that sometimes coach will take the hot hand(s) out– presumably to save him for the stretch run– only to have it backfire, have the offense stall, and let the opposition make a run. It’s happened. But starters need breathers, and I have to assume he has a method to his madness. Sometimes it just doesn’t pan out.

    But who should we be putting in, as if it’s our call? It’s funny how opinions seem to change based on which reserve happened to not miss a few shots the last time out. I’m guilty of it myself. Remy, Will, and Hollowell generally play good minutes on defense and on the boards. Any offense they produce lately has just been a bonus. Same with some of the others. But I wonder how many of us base what we, as armchair quarterbacks, see as valuable sub time by our guys strictly on a few made buckets their last time out. I urge us to use patience and trust that Crean makes the right decisions, else we have to endure a full seven months of hearing the experts on here proclaim how their coaching moves would have brought us another banner.

  4. I was in Chicago for the B1G tourney and realized what CTC was doing with his sub patterns based on player reactions on the floor. CTC really believe that players are interchangeable and it’s about the quality of minutes that keeps you on the floor. If a player made a mistake on the floor, you would immediately see them look over their shoulder because they knew they were getting subbed out.

  5. Dustin, your presence obviously demoralizes a basketball team until they get used to your brutal, hyper-critical writing style. They know that if they screw up, Double D will rip them in the paper the next day – leading to a complete lack of confidence. Although we would hate to lose you, I suggest that you move to Miami and see if you could get a gig covering the Heat. Keep up the good work, but if you do move on someday, you might want to leave the whole “team jinx” thing out of your resume.

  6. I like and support Crean a lot. He’s doing a great job, but I think his primary vulnerability as a coach is his substitution philosophy/patterns. He deserves to be criticized for some of the substitutions he has made this year. And I believe a couple of the games we lost this year are directly related to substitutions he made. Here it is in more detail:

    1. Don’t take three key starters out at the same time. That’s just too much of a talent drain and it disrupts the team’s momentum. This happens in almost every game and the effect is some times obvious to anyone watching. It hurt us bad in the Wisconsin game.

    2. When the game’s outcome is secured, get your starters off the floor. Why risk injury to any starter in obvious garbage time? You want to throw your younger players a bone, give them more minutes in garbage time and demand they maintain the lead.

    3. The starting lineup should not be carved in stone. If someone is in an obvious slump, maybe that player should not automatically start a game. For example, I could make an argument that Jordy should not have started the game against Wisconsin (in the Big Ten tournament) and that Sheehey would have been the better choice. For two reasons; Jordy had been in a terrible shooting slump, and he was too small to effectively guard Wisconsin’s taller player.

    But in fairness to Crean, as good as IU’s bench has played at times, we’re still very thin at the Bigs, and that creates a problem when Cody needs a break. We have limited options. A freshman “that has looked lost at times,” a senior with a bad knee, and another freshman that can’t catch a basketball. And if none of those players are an option, then we move CWat over, bring in another undersized freshman, and ask Victor to pick up the slack. When you think about it, it makes you realize that the ramifications associated with DE’s knee injury were greater than most of us realized.

  7. Remember the walk-on for Butler that “abused” Jordy and hit the game-winner for the Bulldogs in our early season match-up?

    I just heard that Brad Stevens could just no longer keep him out of the starting lineup..I guess this Barlow kid just kept “abusing” the regular starting guards in practice and Stevens could no longer justify keeping him on the bench.

    It appears he’s also having a very solid game against Bucknell(the ‘sexy’ upset pick in this year’s tournament)..

    Can we remember the shots people were taking at Hulls for that walk-on coming up with clutch play to hand us our first loss?

    That piece of crap walk-on convinced what many consider one of best coaches in the game that he deserves a starting role.

    Pretty much proves what I’ve always thought on here. There are certain bloggers that will crucify a kid without having any understanding whatsoever the marginal differences in talent on a college basketball roster. Barlow was on that Butler squad for a reason and he’s already earned so much respect from his coach that he’s starting in their first round NCAA game.

  8. I agree completely with Podunker; #7 (Harvard) was a great post and a comment badly needed by the ‘Twitter brain crowd’ who often post deep thoughts like ‘(name of player) sucks!’, or ‘Crean is a/an _____!”. Creative aren’t they?

    A thought bouncing around the cerebrum walls since I followed the thought on possible causes for Cody Zeller’s foul risk avoidance: We are at a very early point- relative term- recruiting wise in Crean’s vision of a program. Zeller was the first ‘top level’ pivot recruited by CTC. With Pritchard’s graduation, Elston’s injury and Perea’s lack of experience and need for ‘touches’, IU simply became very thin when it came to options at the pivot. As we go forward we will have a much deeper ‘under the basket’ supply of ‘interchangeable position with Fischer, Vohnle,Perea and Jurkins. It will be interesting to see what improvement has been made by PJ and HBP…I suspect these guys have improved by leaps and bound and will really continue to do so in the next six months. Something makes me see Fischer as a version of Zeller, Hanner as a really strong defensive player and a Bellamy type rebounder, and Jurkins as a strong on the boards and shot blocking substitute. But, count them, the Hoosiers will now have a minimum of four physically overwhelming athletic players in the pivot where we now have one reliable relief player in a very good but obviously injury limited Elston. I would have loved to have seen Derek healthy, I believe he would have added the dimension we have missed at times.

  9. Po, your post is valid as well. Coach Crean could have started Sheehey, but obviously he didn,t. What he did do was (against Wisc.)find a lineup that was taking it to the stinking Badgers and taking over the game. To me, those players did not look tired, or like they needed to come out. So instead of forcing Wisky to adjust or force them to play at our tempo, he sub back to a smaller slower lineup. I wonder if after the timeout, Coach Ryan said, “hey guys, scratch that, and just do what we were doing.” Hopefully CC saw and found what he was looking for, as some here alluded to in another thread.

  10. P.S.
    Just observations and thinking out loud, for I have yet to walk a foot in Tom Creans shoes.

  11. Mass Hoosier…how’d the wife react to the new Pope? With the exception of the K bunch (Cristina’s buddies), they are all still celebrating it in BA and- get this- saying that what distinguishes him is his ‘natural humility’, a ‘cultural trait’. It took me two hours to stop laughing.

    How’s the boy?

  12. Thanks Po. I consider it to be my POY…’Post of the Year.’

    Once I get all the amassed morning garbage out of the brain, a brief and fleeting moment of concise and reasonable thought claims a short interlude. Think of my brain as a hurricane…Post #7 was the ‘eye of the storm’ passing over the logical thought centers momentarily escaping the winds of absurdity.

  13. Once the eye passes over, you get the hurricane strength winds again (Memphis) Harvard. Now you wait for the tidal surge. Been there, done that and yes, somewhere I have the t-shirt.

  14. 3 minutes of bad calls in the Gonzaga game – both ways.

    Southern coach is the opposite of CTC – energy level.

    Don’t see Gonzago going very deep in the tourney.

  15. Tsao, do you believe “Jurkins” will be on the team next year? I’m really curious about that. The young man has been invisible this year. Even after the BS suspension, I thought we’d get to see him in garbage time once in a while. Given our lack of depth in the pivot, you’d think he’d have gotten a minute or two once every four or five games.

  16. Tsao, do you believe “Jurkins” will be on the team next year? I’m really curious about that. The young man has been invisible this year.

    Crean is “developing” him until he transfers Bawa and others.

  17. Tsao,
    My wife seems to be OK with the new man in white. She comes from a conservative Catholic family. She likes what he stands for and that he is a Jesuit. She also likes that he has been addressing the crowds in Italian. Other than that, you would have to ask her. I am just a lowly sinner and we do not overly discuss such matters.
    The boy is doing good, thank you. He just finished his first year of basketball. Again saving his best game for last, getting six steals, 8 points in the second half and was instrumental in helping his team regain lead and win. A very exciting game. Can you tell I am proud ? He also filled out his first NCAA brackets this year. I really do think watching Victor Oladipo this year helped him tremendously. My son was a glove out there.
    And how are your grandkids?
    Po, I feel it might be tough for Jurkin to find a spot next year. I feel there is more of a chance that Zeller stays than goes. Especially if the Hoosiers fall short of the big goal.

  18. Po, I hate it when someone asks a question and the ‘answer’ comes back “I don’t know, I could go either way”, or something like that; but in all honesty I have no idea what is going on inside their practices with respect to both Jurkin and Hanner. I would hate to find out we are ‘stacking and storing’ players “in case…”. That would make our policy of over-signing players cynical.

    I seem to recall that Jurkin had some kind of an injury earlier and Hanner later injured a leg. Both could be candidates for medical red-shirts and, both, still have an option for a regular red-shirt year (the NCAA grants five years to get in four years of competition). It may be that nothing was said of either because they may have held off from declaring them ‘red-shirts’ earlier given taking precautions to the possibility of a Cody injury. Whichever is true, red-shirting one or both seems like a good thing to do to develop them in a situation where they would have top notch competition to speed up their development. So yes, I do think both may be back and both may file for ‘medical redshirt’, depending on their injury and what their medical evaluations determine, while still leaving an additional ‘regular’ red-shirt year as an additional possibility. By the time we see them, they will be completely different ball players while having all of the athleticism that made both so impressive to begin with. I always thought someone on this staff is something else in developing individual players as we saw in Oladipo, Sheehey and, now Hollowell.

    I wondered about this while noting we didn’t seem to be in any hurry to use Hanner or Jurkin this year. There may actually be something to the madness.

  19. Mass, great to hear about the boy…he may end the IU player who shows my grandkids around the campus when they get recruited. By then I’ll be the ‘old, old guy who whittles on a block of wood and watches them practice from a corner of Assembly Hall. So now the Hoosiers are guaranteed about 20-25 years of dominance.

    Tell your wife when Bergoglio (the Pope) was the Provincial of the Jesuits, I was a Dean at their university, their Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires (if she’s from a conservative Catholic she’ll know it) and had to deal with Bergoglio frequently since the Jesuit order owned it. He (Bergoglio) really was a good guy. Hopefully, it will have an impact on the rest of the country.

  20. Tsao, she moved to the U.S. when she was twelve. She recalls the School but didn’t really follow or pay attention. She attended Northlands (Sottish) and her brothers attended St. Andrews. You might enjoy talking with her father. He is your age, highly educated and was a good athlete in college. They left when they became uncomfortable raising eight children in B.A. during the late eighties. Considering some of the stories I’ve heard, I don’t blame them. Her father, Argentine born, her mother is from New England. She still has mucho familia residing in B.A.

  21. Mass is BACK!

    Oooohhh how the Establshment pulled one over tonight. Disguising a 14 v 3 as an upset. East coast Harvard with its Dukie coach taking down our prodigal son at New Mexico… Good news is that Alford siged his extension before the game.

    Did Syracuse figure things out or was Monana just terribly seeded? I looked at the Grizzlies schedule… They beat nobody and lost to every NIT and NCAA tourney team they faced. Hoping Cal gives the Orange a real battle.

  22. Mass, got it. That’s the age I came to the US, but after grad school thought I wanted to try to help rebuild the country. And so it went,…kissed the ground at JFK a year later after deciding they can have it. Just seeing a public telephones that worked here was an emotionally moving experience. Know how her dad feels. Yeah, everyone from that period has stories.

  23. Alford is the better coach than Crean, but my guess is that he would trade it all away for Crean’s stage presence.

  24. My guess, and it’s really just a guess, is that Jurkin will be encouraged to transfer after the season is over. There has been an almost total news blackout about this kid this year. And the news we did get about him (playing catch with DE) is not encouraging.

    Given Crean’s recruiting prowess, and how things have changed in the last two years (since Jurkin was recruited), my guess is that his scholarship is too valuable to have occupied for the next three or four years by a guy that may not be ready to compete in the Big Ten for a couple more years. And it may be in his best interest to transfer to a school where he could get to play.

    I guess my question is this. Next year, will he be as good as Capo was before he transferred?

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