James Madison on Monday announced that sophomore guard Andre Nation has been suspended the first 15 games of the 2013-14 season due to a violation of athletic department policy.
According to a release from the university, Nation — the lone returning starter for James Madison this season — will be suspended until the Dukes’ second Colonial Athletic Association game of the season on January 7th at the College of Charleston.
The 6’5″ sophomore from Plant City, Florida averaged 9.3 points and 3.1 rebounds per game last season for the Dukes and was expected to compete for CAA All-Conference honors this season.
“It is an unfortunate situation,” James Madison Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne said in the release. “I feel for the coaches, our student-athletes and many other folks who are invested in our program. We’re disappointed in Andre and hope that he is able to learn from this incident.”
Dukes head coach Matt Brady also commented in the release, stating, “We’re disappointed in Andre’s actions, and we hope that he learns a life lesson, that he is part of something greater than himself and is accountable to his team and to the entire JMU community.”
James Madison will now have five new starters for at least the first 15 games of this season after winning last season’s CAA Tournament and advancing to the NCAA Tournament Second Round after defeating LIU Brooklyn in a first-round matchup of 16 seeds. The Dukes then fell to Indiana in the Second Round.
Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.
Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.
Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.
The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.
John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.
We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.
For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.
Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.
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