Byington wants Dukes to compete & win right away

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HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Recently hired James Madison men's basketball head coach Mark Byington wants the Dukes to win immediately.

Junior guard Matt Lewis led JMU in scoring this past season with 19.0 points per game.

"I want to be good this year," said Byington.

Byington made the statement during an online video interview with WHSV Friday afternoon. He was named JMU head coach two weeks ago.

In his short time on the job, Byington has been focused on recruiting and retaining the current roster. He says he wants the current team to stay together, even with three players recently entering the transfer portal. Those three players (Deshon Parker, Dwight Wilson, and Darius Banks) are all eligible to return to JMU.

Byington believes mixing JMU's current roster with a few more players could have the Dukes in position for success as early as the upcoming season.

"We're going to push this thing as hard as we can, as fast as we can.," said Byington. " I'm never going to put a limit on a team. I'm never going to say we are just trying to have a winning record or trying to win a certain amount of games...we are going to try and win every one of them."

Byington joins JMU after seven seasons as Georgia Southern. He replaces Louis Rowe who served as James Madison's head coach for the last four seasons.