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Ball State Cardinals vs. James Madison Dukes: Men's Basketball Preview

Dukes. Not Duke.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Well clearly the Cardinals are due for a win.

At least that's been the script so far through 2014. The Ball State Basketball Cardinals (3-4) have alternated wins and losses since a season opening loss at Utah. Most recently BSU lost a heartbreaker on the road at Valparaiso. The Cardinals squandered a six point halftime lead and missed a potential game tying three at the buzzer falling to the Crusaders 65-62.

Freshman phenom Sean Sellers got back on track against the Crusaders. Sellers had slowed down of late, averaging 7 points in his last three games leading up to Valpo, after scoring 22 per in his first three contests of the season. On Saturday Sellers shot 50% from the field and led the BSU scoring with 14.

Zavier Turner continued his up and down season against the Crusaders. In this installment, Turner hit 4 of 13 shots and 2 of 7 from behind the arc for 13 points. He committed 6 turnovers against 5 assists. Saturday was his third of five games where he has failed to tally more assists than turnovers.

The frontcourt was unremarkable offensively against Valpo and struggled defensively. Matt Kamieniecki and Franko House combined for 14 points and 12 rebounds. Francis Kiapway was again a bright spot for the Cards. The freshman guard continues to shoot the ball well, hitting 70% from the field and 71% from three the last two games.

James Madison (6-3) of the Colonial Athletic Association enters Worthen Arena on Wednesday with an impressive non-conference schedule this season. Two of JMU's three losses have come to ranked opponents, 79-51 to Virginia, 73-56 against Ohio State. Against unranked competition, the Dukes are 6-1, the loss coming in their last matchup against East Carolina.

The Dukes have three players who average double digit scoring, led by Jackson Kent's 11.7 per game. The sophomore guard doesn't shoot particularly well from the field, hitting on fewer than 40% of attempts. That's the lowest on the team for any Duke averaging more than 14 minutes of playing time.

Yohanny Dalembert scores a point per game less than Kent, but shoots a lot less. The sophomore forward from Haiti hits 64% from the field, and is JMU's leading rebounder at 5.6 per game.

The offense will be run through Ron Curry. Curry handled more of the scoring load a season ago, but as a junior, he's been more of a distributor, dishing out 4.6 assists per game to go along with 10.2 points.

James Madison has a freshman of their own to look out for. Joey McLean scored 10 points to go with 5 rebounds and 5 assists in the loss to East Carolina.

After James Madison, the Cardinals have their toughest test of the season so far, a visit to San Diego State. James Madison returns home to welcome High Point. Tip off from Worthen Arena in Muncie, Indiana is Wednesday at 7pm ET.