JMU's Rowe knows visit to UVA will bring 'buzz'

HARRISONBURG, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- For the Virginia men's basketball team, early November's game at home against James Madison is a chance to extend the program's run of success against an in-state opponent not far from Charlottesville.

But for the Dukes, the game will carry a lot more weight.

"Any game like this is going to create buzz," said JMU men's basketball coach Louis Rowe.

JMU officially announced its November 10 visit to John Paul Jones Arena when rolling out the Dukes' full non-conference men's basketball schedule last week. It will be the first meeting between the two programs since UVA swept a home-and-home series to open the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons. The Wahoos are 10-0 all-time against JMU.

UVA will enter this season's meeting with the Dukes as the reigning NCAA champion, after winning the program's first-ever national championship in April.

"I know it's going to be a tough game, tremendous coach. And obviously, at the time we were talking playing the game, we didn't know they were going to be national champs, which adds to it," Rowe said. "But no, tremendous coach, great program. It's a program I've kind of watched from afar. So to get a chance to challenge yourself against a program like that -- and obviously the buzz of them coming off the national championship -- it's good for our guys."

Rowe is entering his fourth season as head coach at JMU. The Dukes went 14-19 last year, with a roster that featured five sophomores and three freshmen. Four of last season's starters will be back, led by third-team All-CAA guard Matt Lewis, a rising junior, and CAA All-Rookie team guard Deshon Parker.

"It's time for those guys to be challenged. They want games like that," Rowe said of the Dukes' visit to UVA. "Understanding what the challenge is. Our league is really tough, and we have some really, really good players in our league. So it's good to go outside of our league and challenge ourselves in the non-conference as much as possible."