Dukes earn first-place votes, picked fourth in CAA

The James Madison men's basketball team has been picked fourth in the CAA Preseason Poll.
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RICHMOND, Va. -- The James Madison men's basketball team has been picked to finish fourth in the Colonial Athletic Association in 2019-20, while junior guards Matt Lewis and Darius Banks each earned Preseason All-CAA honors, as announced by the league as part of CAA Men's Basketball Media Day on Wednesday.

The Dukes return four starters from last year's team, including Lewis, a Third Team All-CAA pick last season, and Banks, who was named to the CAA All-Rookie Team two seasons ago.

JMU was selected to finish fourth heading into the 2019-20 campaign, earning 253 points and three first-place votes in the poll of the league's coaches, media relations directors and media members. Five different teams collected at least one of the 40 first-place votes, with Hofstra (331 points, 14 first-place votes) and College of Charleston (323, 18) topping the poll.

Lewis has already made a mark in just his first two seasons at JMU, becoming the 32nd player in program history to score 1,000 career points and just the second to ever accomplish the feat as a sophomore. Last season, the Woodbridge, Va. native increased his scoring to 16.4 points per contest, adding 4.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists as he started all 33 contests.

After his CAA All-Rookie honor, Banks took his own step forward as a sophomore, averaging 12.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per contest while breaking the program record for three-point percentage at 49.3% for the season and racking up 56 steals, giving him 104 in just two years.

In addition to Lewis and Banks, the Dukes also return starters in junior forward Dwight Wilson and sophomore guard Deshon Parker, while adding six newcomers to the roster in incoming freshmen Michael Christmas, Zyon Dobbs, Jayvis Harvey, Dalton Jefferson, Quinn Richey and Julien Wooden.

JMU will open its season on Wednesday, Nov. 6, with a 7:30 p.m. matchup against Charlotte at the JMU Convocation Center.

2019-20 CAA Preseason Poll
1. Hofstra (14) - 331
2. Charleston (18) - 323
3. Northeastern (4) - 291
4. James Madison (3) - 253
5. Delaware (2) - 241
6. Towson - 194
7. William & Mary - 131
8. Drexel - 125
9. UNCW - 118
10. Elon - 48

2019-20 Preseason All-CAA Teams
First Team
Brian Fobbs - Sr. - Guard - Towson
Nathan Knight - Sr. - Forward - William & Mary
Matt Lewis - Jr. - Guard - James Madison
Eli Pemberton - Sr. - Guard - Hofstra
Grant Riller - Sr. - Guard - Charleston (Preseason Player of the Year)

Second Team
Ryan Allen - Jr. - Guard - Delaware
Darius Banks - Jr. - Guard - James Madison
Desure Buie - Sr. - Guard - Hofstra
Jordan Roland - Sr. - Guard - Northeastern
Camren Wynter - So. - Guard - Drexel

Honorable Mention
Bolden Brace - Sr. - Guard - Northeastern
Kai Toews - So. - Guard - UNCW
Kevin Anderson - Jr. - Guard - Delaware
Marcus Sheffield II - Gr. - Guard/Forward - Elon
James Butler - Jr. - Forward - Drexel