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NORFOLK, VA—The ODU Monarchs hit the hardwood Friday night against the Vikings of Elizabeth City State in an exhibition game at 7 p.m.  in the Ted Constant Convocation Center. 

The contest will be a reunion with ODU assistant coaches John Richardson and Lamar Barrett along with ECSU head coach Shawn Walker who were all college teammates there and helped lead the Vikings to the 1994 NCAA Tournament. Tickets are $16 per person and ODU students are admitted free with their ID.

Walker, who is entering his 12th season as the Elizabeth City head coach scored 1,461 career points and was the 1992 NCAA Division II free throw champion.  In 2007, he became only the third coach in CIAA history to lead his alma mater to a conference championship.  Leading the Viking returnees is 5-8 junior guard Glenn Patterson (7.3 ppg) and last year’s second leading rebounder 6-6 sophomore Dominique Byrd (7.0 ppg/ 5.4 rpg). Gone from the Vikings is 2013 CIAA Player of the Year and All-American Angelo Sharpless (20.5 ppg/8.8 rpg).

The Monarchs begin a new era in 2013-14 with new head coach Jeff Jones and the inaugural season in Conference USA.

ODU returns six lettermen from last year’s squad which included sophomore guard Keenan Palmore (8.2 ppg/3.0 rpg) who earned All-CAA Rookie honors last year; 6-4 sophomore guard Aaron Bacote (7.8 ppg/2.5 rpg); 6-6 red-shirt junior Richard Ross (7.3 ppg/5.7 rpg); 6  3 red-shirt junior guard Dimitri Batten (10.3 ppg/2.7 rpg); and 6-4 sophomore guard Deion Clark (6.2 ppg/2.7 rpg) who is recovering from a knee injury.   The Monarchs lone senior with be 7-0 Anton Larsen (1.7 ppg/1.9 rpg). Also returning is 6-0 sophomore guard Martin Shaw.

The Monarchs have six newcomers including: 6-1 red-shirt freshman guard Ambrose Mosley from Jacksonville, Fl.; 6-7 freshman forward Denzell Taylor from New Jersey power St. Benedict’s Prep; and 6-2 freshman guard Jordan Baker from Virginia high school power Hampton. 

The Monarchs will also have three transfers in 6-7 junior Joe Ebondo from Garden City Community College while 6-2 junior guard and Virginia Beach, Va. native Trey Freeman from Campbell University and 6-8 junior forward Nik Biberaj from Christopher Newport University will be sitting out this season.

ODU opens the regular season next Friday night, Nov. 8 at the Constant Center against Missouri State from the Missouri Valley Conference.

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