RICHMOND, Va., March 3, 2011 - James Madison senior forward Denzel Bowles (Virginia Beach, Va./Kempsville) claimed First Team All-CAA honors as the Colonial Athletic Association held its annual awards banquet on Thursday night on the eve of the 2011 CAA Men's Basketball Championship.
Bowles, who was Second Team All-CAA a year ago, became the first JMU player to claim First Team All-CAA honors since guard David Fanning in the 2001-02 season. It was the 15th First Team award in the program's CAA history and the seventh time for a JMU player earning multiple All-CAA awards in a career.
Predicted to the First Team in the preseason, Bowles finished second overall in the All-League voting behind only CAA Player of the Year Charles Jenkins of Hofstra. They were joined on the First Team by forward Frank Hassell of Old Dominion, guard Cam Long of top-seeded George Mason, and guard Chaisson Allen of Northeastern.
In addition to Jenkins claiming Player of the Year accolades, George Mason head coach Jim Larranaga was given CAA Coach of the Year honors. Guard Devon Saddler of Delaware won CAA Rookie of the Year while guard Kent Bazemore of ODU pocketed CAA Defensive Player of the Year laurels. The 2011 Dean Ehlers Leadership Award went to William and Mary guard Quinn McDowell.
Bowles ranked second in the CAA behind Jenkins with 18.2 points per game and third with 9.0 rebounds per game, ranking in the top 60 nationally in both categories. He also led the CAA and ranked 21st nationally with 58.1% field-goal accuracy and ranked 20th in NCAA Division I while sharing the CAA lead with 14 double-doubles.
Entering the CAA Championship, Bowles has scored 564 points while starting all 31 games for the Dukes. He became the 25th player in JMU history to reach 1,000 points and the 11th to record both 1,000 points and 500 rebounds, doing so in just 55 games, the second fastest in program history. He is currently ranked sixth all-time at JMU for points in a season and has matched the school record for rebounds in a season with 279.
In addition to points and rebounds, Bowles appears on the top 10 season statistical charts for field goals (219), free throws (126), free throw attempts (177), blocks (50), and second for double-doubles (14). On the career top 10, he sits fourth in field-goal percentage (.587), fourth in scoring (19.4 points per game), second for rebounding average (9.1), sixth in blocks (86), seventh in minutes average (32.7 per game) and second in double-doubles (26).
Bowles ranks second in the league with 15 games of at least 20 points or more. He is also third with an active streak of 16 consecutive games in double figures. He has scored 10 or more points in 53 of his 56 career games at JMU.
Three times during the 2010-11 season Bowles was named CAA Player of the Week, once after earning MVP honors of the Harrisonburg Subregional of the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic in November, once on Dec. 27 after a 34-point, 13-rebound night against Marshall and again after posting 40 points in a win at Towson in late January. He became the second CAA player of the season to reach 40 in a game and just the fourth different player in JMU history to do it.
Fellow senior Ben Louis (Melbourne, Australia/St. Francis Xavier) was recognized Thursday night as CAA All-Academic Honorable Mention as well as JMU's nominee for the prestigious Dean Ehlers Leadership Award.. The sport and recreation management major holds the highest grade point average on the team and has been a regular part of the rotation this season. In nine minutes per game, Louis is averaging 1.8 points, 1.1 assists, and 1.0 rebounds.
Louis ranks second all-time at JMU with 120 games played while surpassing the 100 mark for both steals (102) and assists (183). He has 364 career points along with 233 rebounds. His best statistical season came as a junior with per-game averages of 27.1 minutes, 5.4 points and 3.2 rebounds along with 82 assists and 51 steals.
JMU junior forward Julius Wells (Toledo, Ohio/Libbey) and sophomore guard Devon Moore (Columbus, Ohio/Northland) also received votes for the All-CAA squads but came up short of the top 15 award winners. Wells averages 10.8 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Moore averages 10.9 points per game while setting a record for assists by a sophomore with 131. Bowles also received votes for the CAA All-Defense Team while head coach Matt Brady received a vote as CAA Coach of the Year.
The Dukes finished the season at 21-10 overall and 10-8 in the CAA. Sixth-seeded JMU opens championship play against 11th-seeded William and Mary in Friday's final game of the opening day at 8:30 p.m. at the Richmond Coliseum. Madison reached 20 wins for the second time in three seasons under Matt Brady and for just the second time in the regular season in school history. JMU achieved its best seed since also being sixth in the 2000-01 tournament.