ODU Anounces 2011-12 Men's Basketball Schedule
Sept. 7, 2011
NORFOLK, VA--The 2011-12 Old Dominion University men's basketball schedule will feature 15 teams who competed in national post season play last year, including seven in the NCAA tournament field and two Final Four squads. The Colonial Athletic Association sent three teams to the NCAA field, including the two-time defending league champion Monarchs.
The NCAA teams include Final Four participants Kentucky and CAA Rival VCU. Richmond, who reached the round of 16, third rounder and CAA rival George Mason as well as Missouri, Penn State, and Long Island.
"I commend Coach Taylor and Coach Corrigan on constructing another extremely challenging and competitive schedule for our student-athletes and fans. Of our 33 games scheduled, 18 are at home and eight of those occur on a weekend day. ODU will start off with seven of nine games in November at home where we are always benefit from a great home court advantage, and we finish with a perfectly balanced schedule of home and away games each of the last two months of the season. ODU only leaves the Commonwealth once in November and just twice in February which is reflective of being a big-time college basketball program. I also like the fact that we continue to play all the in-state CAA rivals twice this season. " - ODU Athletic Director Dr. Wood Selig.
The Monarchs will host Missouri, Northern Iowa, Vermont, East Carolina and LIU who all competed in national post season play last season. ODU is the winningest Division I team in the Commonwealth of Virginia the last seven years and boasts a 173-67 (.721) record. ODU has also won five CAA titles, more than any current league member.
"As we do traditionally, a very challenging slate of games awaits our players, program and followers, many 20-game winners which will pose a challenge that will provide many experiences. Our team has typically climbed a hill during the season taking the twists and turns as they come in the trail. It will be very entertaining to see how our team stands up to the ever present challenges and grow as we go. The fact that we will be adding players to our roster during the course of the season adds to the potential of experiences of our group. - ODU Head Coach Blaine Taylor
The Monarchs will open the regular season at home on Nov. 12 against Northern Iowa where the Monarchs averaged 7,745 fans which included five sellouts and nine games over 8,000. UNI reached the CIT quarterfinals last year and were NCAA quarterfinalists in 2010. The Monarchs will host Missouri at the Constant Center on Dec. 30th which will be televised live on ESPNU. East Carolina, who played in the CIT last year, visits the Constant Center on Nov. 23rd.
On the road, ODU will compete in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-off Tournament which will include home games against Long Island on Nov. 14 and Vermont on Nov. 23rd. ODU will play two games at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. against South Florida on Saturday, Nov. 19 and either Kentucky or Penn State on Sunday, Nov. 20th. Penn State and LIU were both in last year's NCAA Tournament while the Wildcats reached the national semi-finals before losing to eventual national champion Connecticut.
ODU and LIU have played seven times with the last meeting in 1990-91. The Monarchs and Kentucky played in the 1991-92 NCAA first round in Worcester, MA, while ODU played Penn State twice in the 1991-92 regular season and former Sun Belt Conference rival South Florida was last on the Monarchs schedule in 1995-96.
The Monarchs will travel to Fairfield on Dec. 8 or 9, Central Florida on Dec. 17 and Richmond on Dec. 20. Fairfield reached the second round of the NIT, while Central Florida reached the CBI semi-finals. This will be ODU's first ever game against the Stags, while ODU last played UCF in 1999-00 season in a tournament in Greenville, SC. The annual ESPN Bracketbuster game is schedule for Feb. 18th.
In all, the CAA sent five teams to post season play last year. ODU opens CAA play on Dec. 3 in Boston against Northeastern. The Monarchs first home league game will be on Jan. 4 against George Mason.
ODU will host William and Mary on Jan. 28, James Madison on Feb. 1 and VCU on Feb. 11. JMU and Hofstra both played in the CBI tournament last season. This year, ODU will play VCU, W&M, JMU, George Mason, UNCW, Towson and Northeastern twice.
"As always, it takes a a cooperative and cohesive effort to produce a schedule. Our philosophical compatibility with our leadership in regards to our schedule makes it a more productive process that starts with Dr. Wood Selig and ends with Jim Corrigan who handles many of the day-to-day details of our schedule." - ODU Head Coach Blaine Taylor.
Under the direction of head coach Blaine Taylor, ODU has won two straight Colonial Athletic Association titles, and 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 Collegeinsider.com 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.
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 last year. 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 Collegeinsider.com 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.
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