HARRISONBURG -- James Madison will likely enter the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament without one of its best players as sophomore swingman Darius Banks recovers to an injury to his left hand sustained Thursday in a loss to Elon.

Banks, who averages 12.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, missed Saturday's loss to William & Mary after an X-ray shortly before the game revealed the injury was “more than a sprain” according to JMU coach Louis Rowe.

Rowe said Tuesday Banks hadn't officially been ruled out, but it was a “longshot” Banks would be able to play during the conference tournament this weekend in North Charleston, S.C.

JMU, the No. 8 seed, opens 4 p.m. Saturday against ninth-seeded Towson. The winner faces top-seeded Hofstra in Sunday's quarterfinals.

Banks, who was wearing a cast that extended about six inches up his wrist before the Dukes practice Tuesday, leads the CAA in 3-point field goal percentage, shooting 48.6 percent behind the arc and is second in the league at 1.8 steals per game.

“He's shooting with one hand under the basket, just because he really wants to be around this team,” Rowe said. “There's a lot of scenarios maybe involving surgery, or whatever. But if I had to guess, there's a chance he plays, but it's a longshot. We'll see. I'm trying to prepare, prepare, prepare, and then we'll know on Friday if he can go or not.”

Contact Shane Mettlen at 574-6244 or smettlen@dnronline.com. Follow Shane on Twitter: @Shane_DNRSports

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