April 22, 2012

More On Serbia's Dimitrije Cabarkapa

HARRISONBURG - The biggest piece - in a literal sense, anyway - of James Madison's basketball recruiting class is now officially on board.

JMU completed its 2012 recruiting season Thursday when it received a letter of intent from Dimitrije Cabarkapa, a 6-foot-10, 230-pound forward from Serbia who verbally committed to JMU in February.

Basketball coach Matt Brady said the 2012 class is the "best combination of student-athletes we've brought in in my time here."

Cabarkapa joins high school players Ron Curry (Haddon Township, N.J.), Charles Cooke (Trenton, N.J.) and Andre Nation (Plant City, Fla.), guards who signed their NCAA-mandated letters in November

"These young guys are eager to be a part of our program and are excited about being in the CAA," said Brady, who will enter the fifth and final year of his contract next fall. "They're all very good students."
And, Brady says, they can all play.

While the Dukes bring back eight players with meaningful game experience, the freshmen project to infuse some energy and depth to a team that often looked listless in the midst of an injury-plagued 12-20 season.

JMU's front line, which lost power forward Rayshawn Goins to a shoulder injury before the season began, was unproductive last year. The newest Duke could be valuable for his size alone.

"We think he's got this really interesting blend of size, strength and skill, and burgeoning skills," Brady said of Cabarkapa. "I think his skills have a chance to become significantly better. He's not raw, but he's got a tremendous amount of untapped potential.

"…We're planning on him being in the rotation. It may work out that he isn't. But hopefully that's because we stay healthy."

Brady is most impressed with Cabarkapa's work ethic and desire to improve. The coach said he learned about the little-known recruit through an acquaintance in Europe. JMU coaches then watched the 19-year-old prospect last February while he was in Richmond for a skills academy.

Cabarkapa told the DN-R last month that he plans to study health and nutrition science or kinesiology at JMU.

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