JMU men’s basketball ready for Sun Belt debut
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - As the Dukes prepare to officially join the Sun Belt on Friday, the men’s basketball team is gearing up to face new conference opponents.
This summer, the program has added four new faces to the roster. Freshmen Xavier Brown, Brycen Blaine, and Jerrell Robertson are joined by transfer Noah Freidel, who spent his first three seasons at South Dakota State.
As the Dukes spend together in practice, JMU head coach Mark Byington said he is starting to see upperclassmen step into leadership roles on and off the court.
“A lot of things happen organically,” said Byington. “Terrell Strickland is a natural leader and hopefully, that permeates throughout the team.”
Strickland, a redshirt sophomore, suffered a career-ending injury midway through the 2021-22 season.
“It was difficult. I’m an energetic guy and when I couldn’t release that energy on the court with my brothers, it got tough,” he said.
Strickland said that he has fully recovered and is practicing without limitations.
According to his teammates, Strickland has been helping new players adjust to the college basketball environment.
“Everybody fits in. They all look excited and they’re hungry,” said Strickland. “They’re trying to come in and win and that’s what we’re all about.”
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