Hampton hoops to take on nationally-ranked James Madison

title image via Nelson Cheeseman

Courtesy of Hampton Athletics

Hampton University men’s basketball hosts No. 20 James Madison this Saturday inside the Convocation Center. The Pirates have not faced a nationally ranked opponent since the 2017-18 season when they traveled to No. 13 Virginia. HU will be closing out their game home stretch. 

Saturday’s game against the Dukes will also be Kids Day. With the purchase of one adult ticket using the promo code KIDS, four kids 12 and under will be able to get in free. Kids will also be able to take photos with Santa, get a glitter tattoo, and mingle with the Pirate mascot and his friends from Paw Patrol and Qdoba. To purchase tickets for Saturday afternoon’s contest visit www.hamptonpirates.com/tickets. Fans can also access the link below.


This official launch of the Hampton Pirates Kid’s Club will be taking place inside the Convocation Center. It will cost $10 to sign up. Upon signup, kids 12 and under will receive a free t-shirt. The Hampton Pirates Kid’s Club also includes admission into all women’s basketball games and select men’s basketball along with access to special club events and activities throughout the season.

A Look at Your Pirates

It has been 25 years since HU has hosted a top 25 team inside the Convocation Center. The last time the Pirates hosted a nationally ranked team was the 1998-99 season. Hampton would fall to #9 North Carolina 86-75  on Nov. 23, 1998. Coach Edward Joyner Jr.’s squad is looking to make history this weekend. It has been 35 years since the last time HU defeated a ranked team on their court. It would take a historic performance from Raymon Lee to lead the Pirates past #18 Norfolk State on Feb. 9, 1988. 

HU in their last time out defeated Mary Baldwin 100-53. In back-to-back contests, the Pirates were able to clip the century mark. It has been since the 2018-19 season since Hampton had multiple 100-point games. Before Monday’s contest against Mary Baldwin, HU had not had back-to-back 100 performances since the 1978-79 season. Coach Joyner Jr.’s squad was able to roll past the fighting squirrels with a season-high 61 points off the bench. 

Since the start of December, Hampton has gone undefeated picking up wins against Virginia University of Lynchburg and Mary Baldwin. Freshman Jerry Deng has been crucial for HU during these two games. Deng a native of Norcross, Ga. is shooting 79 percent from the field since the month began. The double-double machine Kyrese Mullen was able to produce his fifth one of the season in the Pirates last time out.

Hampton by the Numbers

  • 30.1: The Pirates bench is averaging the 37th most points in the country
  • 26.9%: Hampton is holding opponents to the 17th best shooting percentage from three
  • 93.3%: Tedrick Wilcox Jr. has the 15th-best free throw percentage at the Division I level
  • 5: Kyrese Mullen sits ninth in the nation for double-doubles this season
  • 75%: Since December Jerry Deng has gone 6-8 from beyond the arc.

A Look at the Dukes

James Madison started off the season by upsetting the #4 team in the nation Michigan State 79-76 in overtime. The Dukes were led by Terrence Edwards Jr.’s 24-point performance. T.J. Bickerstaff would be the second JMU player to have 20 or more points. With Bickerstaff scoring 21 points in back-to-back contests he would be named the Sun Belt Conference’s Player of the Week. Since the upset win over the Spartans, James Madison has remained undefeated earning them a spot in the AP Poll.

The Dukes are coached by Mark Byington who enters his fourth season with the program. In his first three years under the helm, Byington posted three consecutive winning seasons. James Madison had not had a stretch of three winning seasons since 1992-95. Last year the Dukes notched 22 wins in their first campaign in the Sun Belt. Coach Byington and his staff set program records for total points, rebounds, steals, and steals per game.

So far this season, JMU’s forwards have led the team. Terrence Edwards Jr. through nine games is averaging a team-high 17.9 points per game. Through the first five games of the season, Edwards Jr. had four 20-point-plus contests. JMU’s second scoring option has been T.J. Bickerstaff. The Atlanta, Ga. native, in December, is shooting 79 percent from the field.

James Madison by the Numbers

  • 17.4: The Dukes are averaging the most assists in the Sun Belt
  • 57.7% JMU has the 19th-best effective field goal percentage in the country
  • 94.1: James Madison is producing the most points per game at the Division I level
  • 7: Coach Bylington’s squad is one of seven teams to remain undefeated this season
  • 23: Noah Freidel has made the second-most threes in the Sun Belt

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