Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Comings and goings Part VII: James Madison

Aneah Young
Without further adieu, here is installment No. 7 for Comings and goings. We look at the best team in the state: James Madison.

The others we've written about so far:

Comings and Goings: Old Dominion
Comings and Goings: Richmond
Comings and Goings: George Mason
Comings and Goings: Virginia
Comings and Goings: Virginia Tech
Comings and Goings: William and Mary

Who's going?

Lauren Okafor 12.4 ppg, 9.8 rpg; 13 double-doubles; drafted in third round by Atlanta Dream but cut prior to the WNBA season
Toia Giggetts, 6-0 Sr. F; 8.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg; started all 33 games
Candice Williams, G, 5-7 Soph. Guard; has played in one collegiate game

No doubt the Dukes will miss Okafor and Giggetts, two significant starters, each of whom played major roles in last season's success that saw JMU finish as CAA champs with a 29-4 mark. Okafor's WNBA time was brief -- not uncommon these days when jobs in that league are scarce, but we're happy she's been accepted into the Advanced Biomedical Sciences program offered by George Mason and Georgetown. Giggetts battled bad knees her final two seasons but was an integral cog in the Dukes machine. Williams, who initially signed with Louisiana Tech before a coaching change there had her reconsider to JMU, leaves after playing in only one game. She will play at South Alabama, returning to Mobile where her grandparents live.

Who's coming?

Elemy Colome, 5-10 G, Lawrence, Mass. (Proctor Academy) 19 ppg; also played softball, soccer and field hockey in high school
Kayla Cooper-Williams, 6-3 C, Dumfries, Va. (C.D. Hylton), led Northern Virginia in blocks; Three-star ESPN recruit
Savannah Felgemacher, 6-2 F, Church Hill, Tenn. (Volunteer High); TriCities.com All-County Team; amassed more than 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in high school
Logan Reynolds, 5-8 G, Norton, Va. (Wise County Central); 2014 Bristol Herald Courier Girls Basketball Player of the Year (19 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 5 apg, 5 spg); led Wise County Central to 2014 2A state title
Aneah Young, 6-0 G, Baltimore (Baltimore Polytechnic Institute); Four-star recruit by Prospects nation

Note: Destiny Campbell, 6-2 F, Laurinburg, N.C., (Scotland High), N.C. 11 ppg, 8 rpb; Carolina Reign Elite, who initially verballed to JMU, will attend Cape Fear Community College.

It's a sizable class both in number and height, but given the JMU system that favors upperclassmen, we're not sure how much playing time this bunch will average on a veteran team that will rely on Precious Hall, Jazmen Gwathmey and Angela Mickens. We also expect DeDe Griffin and Destiny Jones to fill the void left by Okafor and Giggetts, and Ashley Perez, who plays with an energy that sparks JMU every time she is on the floor, will see increased time. Young is the most touted of the newbies and has noted she hopes to start as a freshman.

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