JMU vs. ODU Basketball

James Madison guard Vado Morse (4) drives into the paint around the Old Dominion defense during a game in November.

After the latest round of rescheduled games, James Madison is looking at nearly a month between men’s basketball contests as the Dukes continue to deal with COVID-19 issues within the program.

JMU’s Colonial Athletic Association games at Delaware and Drexel, which were scheduled for this week, were postponed over the weekend. That makes five consecutive JMU games canceled or postponed since the Dukes last played at home against Radford on Dec. 11. The Dukes’ Dec. 21 game at Morgan State was canceled due to an outbreak within the Bears’ program, but games against Penn, Towson, Delaware and Drexel were affected by JMU’s positive tests following a return from a short Christmas break.

The Duke’s conference games against Towson and Drexel have been rescheduled. James Madison is now supposed to visit Towson on Jan. 31 and travel to Drexel on Feb. 7.

JMU’s game at Delaware, originally scheduled for Jan. 3, has not yet been rescheduled.

The Dukes are 100-percent vaccinated within the men’s basketball program, but some players showed mild COVID symptoms after returning to campus on Christmas night. Several players have tested positive in the days since, as the Omicron variant has produced a surge in positive cases around the country.

JMU’s non-conference games against Morgan State and Penn will not be rescheduled this season, leaving the Dukes, who are off to a 9-2 start in non-conference play, with openings to add at least two more games.

Conference games that can’t be rescheduled will result in a forfeit by the team responsible for the cancellation. However, those forfeits are only reflected in the CAA standings and not on the team information sheets distributed to the NCAA and NIT selection committees.

With JMU ineligible for the CAA Tournament ahead of the Dukes’ move to the Sun Belt Conference, forfeits of conference games could take on less relevance if JMU decides to schedule more games outside the conference instead.

The Dukes’ next scheduled game is what would now be the team’s CAA opener, at home against Hofstra on Jan. 9.

Nothing But NET

JMU hasn’t played a game in weeks, but the Dukes’ NET rankings have fluctuated almost daily. As of Sunday morning, JMU was ranked a season-best 135th in the nation in the NCAA’s ranking system used to help select and seed teams for the NCAA Tournament.

The Dukes jumped three spots after Virginia won at Syracuse and George Mason suffered a close loss at then No. 7 Kansas on Saturday. JMU had previously defeated both the Cavaliers and the Patriots in Harrisonburg.

JMU has the third-best NET ranking in the CAA behind Towson (66) and Hofstra (97).

Contact Shane Mettlen at 574-6244 or smettlen@dnronline.com. Follow Shane on Twitter: @Shane_DNRSports

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