ODU ANNOUNCES 2006-07 MEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
Aug. 24, 2006
NORFOLK, Va. -- The 2006-07 Old Dominion University men's basketball schedule will feature the season opening Cox Communications Classic, a Bracket Buster game and six teams who competed in last year's NCAA tournament. In all, ODU will play games opponents from nine different conferences along with 18 games in the CAA, the nation's eighth strongest league from a year ago.
"The schedule is always an exercise in diligence and patience," said Taylor. "Upon completion I want to thank Jim Corrigan for his endless chasing details and Athletic Director Jim Jarrett for his tireless support. Many thanks are also in order to Cox Communications who helped make the tip-off tournament a reality."
"I am excited about the continued growth of our schedule," said ODU Athletic Director Jim Jarrett. "In addition to the tough CAA schedule, having opponents like Georgetown, Virginia Tech, Richmond, UAB and the Cox Classic will create exciting games both home and away. I commend Blaine and his staff for putting together such an attractive slate. I also want to thank Cox Communications for their support."
ODU will open the season with the three-day Cox Communications Classic at the Constant Convocation Center, Nov. 10-12. Clemson, coached by ODU Hall of Famer Oliver Purnell along with, Monmouth, champion of the Northeast Conference and Arkansas State of the Sun Belt will compete in the round-robin, two-game per day event.
The six NCAA foes of a year ago, include CAA rival George Mason who reached the Final Four, UNC Wilmington (the CAA tournament champion), Georgetown, (who reached the Sweet 16), Monmouth from the Northeast, Winthrop from the Big South and UAB of Conference USA. NIT teams from a year ago include Clemson and CAA rival Hofstra, who ODU defeated in the quarterfinals to advance to the semi-finals at Madison Square Garden.
Georgetown, coached by BCA Coach-of-the-Year John Thompson III returns to the Monarchs schedule for the first time since 1979. The schools have played twice, both coming in the old ECAC North-South Tournament. ODU won 80-58 in 1977 at McDonough gym and the Hoyas won, 73-52 in 1979 at the University of Richmond Robins Center. The game is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 19 in Washington, DC. Georgetown returns to the Constant Center in the 2007-08 season.
ODU will host Richmond from the Atlantic 10 on Nov. 25th. It will be the Spiders first game in Norfolk since 2001. Former Sun Belt Conference rival UAB returns to ODU on Dec. 18th for the first time since 1991. The Blazers have competed in the NCAA's each of the last three years, and are coached this year by former Indiana coach Mike Davis.
The Monarchs will open the regular season at home with Florida Atlantic of the Atlantic Sun on Nov. 17, South Carolina State from the MEAC on Dec. 16 and perennial Big South power Winthrop on Dec. 29 in the first ever meeting with these teams.
On the road, ODU will play Marist, last year's Bracket Buster opponent on Nov. 29, Virginia Tech on Dec. 6, giving the Monarchs two ACC opponents.
The Monarchs will play an 18-game league schedule, opening at home on Dec. 2 against James Madison. ODU will play JMU, Drexel, Georgia State, VCU, Hofstra, George Mason, and William and Mary twice, while Towson, Northeastern, Delaware and UNC Wilmington once. ODU hosts George Mason on Jan. 6th, Hofstra on Feb. 14th and VCU on Feb. 10. The CAA tournament will again be held at the Richmond Coliseum, March 2-5.
This year's Bracket Buster weekend is Feb. 17th with the opponent to be named at a later date. ODU will play two exhibition contests against Division II schools in Virginia State of the CIAA on Oct. 31 and Barton College from Wilson, NC. on Nov 6.
"There are certainly many highlights on our schedule, but I think it is very easy to miss a few things like the strength of our opening game against Monmouth, our post Christmas game with Winthrop, and our return game at Marist for instance. While the schedule is an exciting thing to soak up, what's thrilling to me is people are now recognizing they are coming to the Constant Center to see us play as their first ambition, regardless of the opponent," continued Taylor. "The CAA race is a can't miss proposition. A great example is the fact we sold out a game against the last place team, last season."
The Monarchs return three starters including senior point guard Drew Williamson who has led the CAA in the best assist/turnover ratio the past two seasons, 6-7 senior forward Arnaud Dahi, who has ranked in the top ten of the CAA in both field goal percentage and three throw percentage, and 6-4 junior guard Brian Henderson who led ODU in three-point field goal percentage at .395. Also returning is 6-7 senior forward Valdas Vasylius, who started eight games last year and played for his native Lithuania this summer.
The Monarchs four recruits include Metro 4A Player of the Year Marsharee Neely, a 6-2 guard from Page High School in Greensboro, NC., 6-8, 215 pound forward Keyon Carter a first team All-Country selection from Dwyer High School in Palm Beach County, FL., 6-9, 220 pound forward Gerald Lee from Korihait, Finland and member of the Finnish under-national 20 team, and 6-8 240 pound post player Frank Hassell, an All-Region selection from nearby Chesapeake, VA.
"As our group returns to campus, I feel there has been a real strong intent that the strength of our program is something out players take great pride in, said Taylor. "While we have a few holes to fill and a slightly smaller bulls eye on our back, our ambition and belief is as strong as ever."
Season tickets are on sale now through the athletic ticket office at 683-5484 and season ticket renewals are currently being taken online at odusports.com.
The sixth annual Hoopsclub golf tournament will be Aug. 29th at the Bayville Golf Club in Virginia Beach. For more information please call Mark Benson at 683-5696.