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Dukes expect to contend for CAA title again in 2020-2021

Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 6:16 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The 2020-2021 season is officially underway for the James Madison women’s basketball team.

The Dukes held their first official practice Wednesday afternoon. Media will be allowed to attend Thursday’s workout with certain restrictions and protocols in place due to COVID-19.

JMU has a new-look team this year with program stars Kamiah Smalls, Lexie Barrier, and Kayla Cooper-Williams having move on due to graduation. Sophomores Kiki Jefferson and Rayne Tucker are among the top players returning for the Dukes who again expect to contend for a CAA championship 2020-2021. JMU has won at least a share of the last three Colonial Athletic Association regular-season titles.

“I think we’ve got pieces and I think that’s the fun part of this whole thing is I do think we are going to be right back in contention for where we always strive to be which is right back at the top of the pyramid in a crazy year," said JMU head coach Sean O’Regan. "I don’t know what’s it going to be like exactly but I am really excited.”

The Dukes and the rest of the CAA are preparing for a unique season in which conference play will feature back-to-back games against the same opponent, mainly on weekends. O’Regan says JMU’s non-conference schedule is close to being set but has not yet been finalized. He says the Dukes plan to open the season on November 25, the first night games can be played in 2020-2021 according to NCAA rules.

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