ODU Opens Season With Monmouth In Cox Classic Friday Night

November 09, 2006
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Nov. 9, 2006

NORFOLK, VA-- The Old Dominion Monarchs open the 2006-07 season with the Cox Communications Classic. ODU will host Monmouth at 6:30 p.m. followed by Clemson and Arkansas State at 9:00. The tournament is Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

Last year, ODU was 24-10 and reached the NIT semi-finals.
Clemson (ACC) was 19-13 and reached the second round of the NIT.
Monmouth (NEC)was 19-15 and reached the NCAA tournament
Arkansas State (Sun Belt) was 12-18.

MONARCHS RETURNEES TO WATCH F Arnaud Dahi 6-7, Sr, 11.9 ppg/ 4.8 rpg F Valdas Vasylius, 6-7, Sr, 8.8 ppg/4.5 rpg F Jonathan Adams, 6-6, So, 1.2 ppg/ 2.5 rpg G Drew Williamson, 6-0, Sr, 7.3 ppg/ 4.8 apg G Brian Henderson, 6-4,Jr, 6.0 ppg/2.7 rpg C Sam Harris, 7-3, Jr, 1.1 ppg/ 1.0 rpg G Brandon Johnson, Jr, 3.5 ppg/ 2.5 rpg G Abdi Lidonde, Jr, 3.0 ppg/ 1.9 rpg G John Morris, Sr, 1.6 ppg/ 1.0 rpg

NOTES: Season Openers: ODU is 3-2 in season openers under Blaine Taylors direction. The Monarchs have won the last two, including a win over Georgia in last year's Paradise Jam tournament.

Blaine Taylor is only six wins shy of becoming the fifth ODU coach to reach 100 career wins at the school. He is 94-59 in five seasons at ODU and 236-124 in 12 total years as a collegiate head coach.

The Monarchs have five newcomers this season. They are Marsharee Neely, a 6-2 guard from Greensboro, NC; Gerald Lee, a 6-9, forward from Uusikaupunki, Finland; Frank Hassell, a 6-8 forward from Chesapeake, VA; and Keyon Carter, 6-8 Forward from Riviera Beach, Fl. ODU also has a walk-on, in 6-2,sophomore guard, Joshua Russell.

Monarch Captains: This year's captains are seniors Drew Williamson, Arnaud Dahi and John Morris.

Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell and assistant coach Frank Smith are alumni of ODU. Smith is ODU's all-time assist leader, while Purnell captained ODU's 1975 NCAA Division II National Championship team. He also coached ODU from 1991-94 taking the Monarchs to two NIT tournaments and one NCAA tournament. Both Purnell and SMith are in the ODU Sports Hall of Fame.

ODU is 1-0 vs. Clemson, but has never played the other two schools. The Monarchs defeated Clemson in South Carolina, 61-59 in double overtime in the second round of the 1979 NIT.

ODU and Arkansas State have something in common. ODU was a member of the Sun Belt from 1983 to 1991.

PLAYERS TO WATCH Clemson: Vernon Hamilton, 6-0, Sr, G, 12.0 ppg Cliff Hammonds, 6-3, Jr, G, 10.1 ppg James Mays, 6-9, Jr,F, 9.2 ppg

Arkansas State Isaac Wells, 6-8, Jr., F. 14.4 ppg Jim Jones, 6-3, Sr, G, 12.4 ppg

Monmouth Marques Alston, 6-4, Sr, F, 11.6 ppg Dejac Delic, 6-6, Sr, F, 12.3 ppg

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE Friday ODU vs. Monmouth 6:30 Clemson vs. Arkansas State 9:00

Saturday ODU vs. Arkansas State 4:00 Monmouth vs. Clemson 6:30

Sunday Arkansas State vs. Monmouth 2:00 ODU vs. Clemson 4:30

All games will be televised on Cox Cable channel 11. Announcers are John Castleberry and Lefty Driesell.

Tournament adult ticket books are $45 for all three days ($40 for early orders). Discount ticket books are $35 ($30 for early orders) for military and senior citizens. Individual session tickets are $20 for adults, discount of $15 for senior citizens, military, faculty /staff and youth 17 and under. Group s of 20 or more is $12.00. For ticket information please call the Constant Center box office at 757-683-4444