ESPNU To Televise The ODU-Missouri Game At the Constant Center

August 31, 2011
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Aug. 31, 2011

NORFOLK, VA-- Old Dominion University athletic director Dr. Wood Selig announced today that ESPNU will televise the ODU-Missouri men's basketball game live from the Ted Constant Convocation Center, Dec. 30th at 7 p.m.

"ESPN continues to be a wonderful partner of the CAA. Coach Taylor continues to attract a challenging non-conference schedule that allows ODU tremendous national exposure. ESPNU reaches over 75 million homes so this is another wonderful opportunity to showcase our world class fans, facilities, and student-athletes." - Wood Selig. Last year, the Monarchs appeared on the ESPN network family six times, including exposures on ESPN2 for the Bracketbuster game against Cleveland State and ESPN for the CAA Championship game against VCU.

"We are delighted to see that our game with Missouri will be on national TV. The exposure of our institution, facility, program and fans to a national audience will be of great benefit and as usual, a lot of fun. For years we have seen a steady growth of exposure and recognition of ODU basketball. The fact cannot be lost that many entities contributed to this sort of opportunity and those commitments and efforts are greatly appreciated." - ODU head coach Blaine Taylor

Under the direction of head coach Blaine Taylor, ODU has won two straight Colonial Athletic Association titles, appeared in national post season play seven straight years, including four NCAA tournaments. ODU also reached the semifinals of the 2006 NIT and won the 2009 post season championship. The back-to-back 27 wins is the second most in ODU basketball history behind only the 28 wins in the 2005 season, all under Taylor, the school's winningest men's basketball coach. Taylor is 215-110 as he enters his 11th season at ODU. The 173-67 (.721) wins the past seven years is the best among Virginia's Division I schools at .721 percent. ODU has also won more CAA titles (5) than any current league member.

Last year, the Monarchs compiled a 27-7 record, won the CAA tournament championship, then advanced to their second straight NCAA tournament as a number nine seed, the highest since 1986. The Monarchs lost a heartbreaker at the buzzer to two-time NCAA Tournament finalist Butler, 60-58 in Washington, DC. ODU ranked among the nation's best in three team and three individual categories. The Monarchs were national champions in rebound margin (+11.7) after ranking third ODU was third nationally in scoring defense (58.4) after finishing sixth last year and ranked 36th (.404) nationally in field goal percentage defense.

The Monarchs lost three starters from last year's squad. Heading ODU's returnees are Kent Bazemore (6-5, Sr., 12.3 ppg./ 5.1 rpg), Second team All-CAA, CAA Defensive Player of the Year, the CAA's steal leader (2.2) and National Defensive Player of the Year; Chris Cooper (6-9, Sr. 5.0 ppg/ 5.5 rpg.), Trian Iliadis (6-3, Sr. 6.0 ppg/ 1.4 rpg.), the CAA Scholar Athlete of the Year, and played this summer for the Australian National University squad. The Monarchs will also be counting heavily on Marquel De Lancey (6-0, Sr., G, 1.9 ppg.), red-shirt junior Nick Wright (6-8, C., 1.3 ppg.), 7-0 red-shirt sophomore Anton Larsen (1.3 ppg.) as well as red-shirt freshmen Dimitri Batten (6-3,G) and Richard Ross (6-7, F). ODU's current senior class has won 79 games in three years and need 19 wins to break last years seniors record of 97.

ODU newcomers include 6-2 guard Breon Key, an All-Peninsula District selection from nearby Phoebus High School in Hampton, VA, and 6-8 forward Jason Pimentel, The Ocala County Player of the Year from Montverde Academy in Ocala, FL. ODU will also have 6-4 sophomore guard Donte Hill who transferred from Clemson. He was the Tidewater Conference Player of the Year at nearby Norfolk Collegiate, as well as Nayquann Mitchell, a 6-7 forward from Jamaica, NY and Lon Morris junior college in Jacksonville, TX.

Missouri returns all five starters from last year's 23-11 squad and will be under the direction of first year head coach Frank Haith, who took Miami (Fla.) to five post season tournaments in seven years. Mizzou's eight-member senior class is highlighted by the return of veteran standouts Laurence Bowers (6-7, Sr. 11.9 ppg), Marcus Denmon (6-3, Sr.,All-Big 12/16.9 ppg), Kim English(6-6, Sr. 10.0 ppg) and Steve Moore (6-9, Sr. 2.0 ppg), each of whom have contributed to 77 wins during their Tiger tenure. They helped Mizzou to a school record 31 wins and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight and have since been to back to back NCAA Tournaments in 2010 and 2011. As it stands, the fourth-year Tigers are just 23 wins shy of tying the school record for career wins and need 24 victories in 2011-12 to surpass the 100 wins by MU legends Jon Sundvold and Steve Stipanovich.

ODU and Missouri played in Columbia, MO. last year and this will be Missouri's second trip to Norfolk. The first was in 1989-90, which was played in the Norfolk Scope Arena.