Look Back at 2012-13
JMU went 25-11 overall last season, including 15-3 against CAA opponents, to post the eighth-consecutive season with 24+ wins and eighth-consecutive visit to the postseason.
The Dukes advanced to the semifinal round of the CAA championship tournament before falling to eventual runner-up Drexel.
In the Women’s National Invitational Tournament, the Dukes advanced to the quarterfinals after winning against North Carolina A&T, N.C. State and Fordham. They fell to Florida 85-80 in their fourth game of the tournament.
2013-14 CAA Preseason Honors
The Dukes were picked by league coaches to win the 2013-14 Colonial Athletic Association title, ahead of Drexel (second), Northeastern (third), Towson (fourth) and reigning-champion Delaware (fifth). Hofstra (sixth), CAA-newcomer College of Charleston (seventh), UNCW (eighth) and William & Mary (ninth) rounded out the poll.
Senior Kirby Burkholder was voted the Preseason CAA Player of the Year. Sophomore Precious Hall joined her on the Preseason All-CAA First Team after being named the 2013 CAA Rookie of the Year.
Back in Purple
Burkholder, an All-CAA First Team honoree last year, returns for her final season with the purple & gold. As a junior, she averaged 15.0 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. She also shot 88-percent from the line and 34.7-percent from 3-point range.
Juniors Toia Giggetts and Crystal Ross help lead the Dukes after solid sophomore campaigns. Giggetts dropped in an average of 7.5 points per game and snagged 6.4 rebounds per game while Ross posted 3.1 points and 3.3 rebounds per outing after appearing in each of the Dukes’ 36 games last season.
Redshirt sophomore Jazmon Gwathmey led the team in blocks last season with 34, the second-most by a first-year player in JMU history. She was third on the team in rebounds per game (5.5) and added 6.2 points to the board.
Last year’s freshman class made an immediate impact for the Dukes. Hall tallied 9.6 points per game, third-most on the team, along with 3.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists. Destiny Jones and Angela Mickens each notched 1.6 rebounds per game, complemented by 2.0 points per game and 2.8 points per game, respectively.
Back in the Line-Up
Redshirt senior Nikki Newman returns to the court after taking a medical redshirt for the 2012-13 season. She was the 2012 CAA Defensive Player of the Year and currently ranks second in school history in blocked shots (120) and 15th in rebounds (672).
Off the Bench
After sitting out the 2012-13 due to transfer rules, redshirt junior Lauren Okafor will make her official debut for the Dukes this season. A transfer from Providence College, the center should give the Dukes a strong presence around the net.
Welcome to the Team
There are four new faces to the JMU women’s basketball team this season: freshmen Da'Lishia Griffin and Amani Tatum, junior Allysia Rohlehr, and senior Samantha Mitchell.
Griffin, a native of Chesapeake, Va., averaged 15.1 points, 12.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.4 blocks and 2.4 steals per game as a senior at Western Branch High School. The forward earned the 2013 Southeastern District MVP honors and All-State Second Team accolades.
A guard from Queens, N.Y., Tatum averaged 18.0 points per game as a senior and tallied over 1,200 points throughout her high school career. She graduated from Archbishop Molloy H.S., where she was named the 2013 Queens Borough High School Girls’ Player of the Year and earned All-Metro First Team honors the same year.
Rohlehr, a guard, transferred in from Pensacola State College after beginning her career at Albany. She was a 2013 All-Panhandle Conference Second Team and an FCSAA Conference All-Academic selection. In high school, she played at St. John the Baptist in Island Park, N.Y., where she was a McDonald’s All-American nominee in 2011.
Mitchell joins the JMU roster as a senior walk-on guard after previously working as a team manager. At Abingdon High School, Mitchell was named the Female Athlete of the Year and was a First Team All-Southwest District and Second Team All-Western Region selection.
All in the Family
With the addition of assistant coach Sarah Williams to the staff this offseason, head coach Kenny Brooks’ entire staff is made of JMU alumni. A 2009 graduate, Williams joined Brooks (’92), associate head coach Sean O’Regan (’03), assistant coach Jennifer Brown (’07) and director of operations Tim Clark (’09).
Williams rejoined the Dukes after a year on Longwood University’s staff. Previously, Williams was a two-year starter at JMU before serving as a graduate assistant for the Dukes.