JMU (3-3), coming off of a nail-biter against UT-Martin on November 22, took advantage of the mismatch and was able to cruise to a 106-74 victory heading into Friday’s game with Marshall. The Dukes finished the night shooting a blistering 66% from the field, including 63% (15-of-24) from deep, to put this one away after a competitive opening five minutes.
Eastern Mennonite came into tonight’s match-up after winning the tournament championship in the Pablo Coto Tip-Off Tournament on November 22nd in Arlington, VA. The Runnin’ Royals were able to stay competitive early but eventually, JMU’s size and athleticism began to take its toll and the Dukes rolled into halftime with a commanding 53-29 lead and did not look back after that.
Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) 2nd-Team performer, Ron Curry, played only briefly in the game due to illness. Despite playing just eight minutes, Curry displayed the shooting stroke that makes him so dangerous in the CAA, finishing with 6 points going 2-of-2 from three. Curry’s absence did, however, allow the Dukes to showcase some of their other players, notably 6-10, redshirt junior forward Dimitrije Cabarkapa of Serbia.
Cabarkapa made the most of his extended playing time by putting up 27 points on a variety of post moves and showing some extended shooting range. He finished the night shooting 10-of-12 from the field, including 3-of-5 from three point range.
Cabarkapa has a strong body and nice touch around the basket, finishing well with both hands. He spends most of his time on the left block, preferring to go left with a nice lefty baby hook. At his size and with his strength, the move proved to be virtually unstoppable.
The Dukes also used Cabarkapa in multiple pick-and-pop situations from different spots on the floor. He was also able to show off his impressive shooting stroke from three point range while stepping out in multiple pick-and-pop situations from several different spots on the floor.
JMU head coach Matt Brady was impressed with Cabarkapa’s performance but did have this to say following the performance, “Dimitrije is a tremendous scorer. The issue for Dimitrije is doing all the other parts of the game. The fact is, they (EMU) don’t know much about him. They don’t know how good a shooter he is. They didn’t close well on him. In our league, with all the tape we watch, people will understand who he is. They’ll guard him on the three-point line. I thought he did a better job on the dribble, taking his time and finishing shots at the rim. The issue for Dimitrije, for us, is just making sure that he makes progress as a defensive player.”
Third team All-CAA forward, Yohanny Dalembert, played only sparingly as he is making his way back to the court after having surgery nearly three weeks ago. Dalembert did show off some of the potential he possesses with a vicious one-handed put back dunk but, he is still shaking off some of the rust after being out of the line-up. He finished the night with six points and four rebounds in just 14 minutes.
Eastern Mennonite is loaded with freshmen and sophomores who came into the game believing that they could play at a Division I level. EMU’s Isaiah Harris-Winn, a 6-4 sophomore forward, echoed that sentiment in the press conference after the games.
“Coming in, a lot of us felt like we could play at that level (Division I) and we wanted to show that. I felt like we had a chance in the beginning but it just got away from us,” stated Harris-Winn, who lead the Runnin’ Royals with 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting, including 3-of-5 from three, in 30 minutes.
Harris-Winn has a smooth game that will be a match-up nightmare for foes in the ODAC conference. He showed no fear attacking JMU’s much bigger defenders and found ways to get his shot off and get to the free throw line despite giving away several inches in the height department.
Jerome Jones, a 6-3 sophomore forward for EMU, also played well despite matching up with the bigger JMU players. Jones finished the night with 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting along with seven rebounds and three assists. He also finished the night with zero turnovers, no small feat considering the pressure applied by the Dukes.
Eastern Mennonite head coach, Kirby Dean, was pleased with his team’s performance against JMU.
“I thought the kids really competed but we were worried about the physicality. If we could have contained their three-point shooters then we have a chance to make it interesting but our kids competed well. We watched clips of Buster Douglas-Mike Tyson, Chaminade-UVA, App State-Michigan and the Miracle on Ice, anything can happen but they had to play along with us for it to happen,” said Dean at the post-game press conference.
Dean was also impressed with Dimitrije Carbakapa’s performance saying, “We battled, 21 gave us buckets. He’s big, strong and he’s skilled.”
Eastern Mennonite will be off until Sunday, November 29th, when they travel to Randolph College. JMU will head to Huntington, WV for a match-up with Marshall University on Friday, November 27th.
This article was written by Jeremy Hartman, a correspondent and scout for NetScouts Basketball. You can subscribe to our RSS feed from the upper right corner of our home page, follow us on Facebook, or on twitter.
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