#49 Old Dominion Monarchs: College Basketball 111 in 111

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Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Blaine Taylor has built the Old Dominion Monarchs into highly competitive mid-major program.  ODU has made the NCAA Tournament four of the past seven seasons and have a .750 winning percentage in the Colonial Athletic Association during that span.  The Monarchs do lose four starters from last year but should still be a threat to win the CAA and head back to the Big Dance.

OLD DOMINION MONARCHS
Last Season: T-2nd, 14-4 in CAA, 27-7 overall
Predicted CAA Finish: 2nd

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Chris Cooper (Sr)/Anton Larsen (So)
F: Nick Wright (Jr)/Nayquan Mitchell (Jr)/Richard Ross (Fr)/Jason Pimental (Fr)
G/F: Kent Bazemore (Sr)/Donte Hill (So)
G: Trian Iliadis (Sr)/Dimitri Batten (Fr)
PG: Marquel De Lancey (Sr)/Breon Key (Fr)

Gone: F/C-Frank Hassell, F-Keyon Carter, G/F-Ben Finney, PG-Darius James, PG-Josh Hicks (transfer)

2011-2012 Outlook:
Senior wing Kent Bazemore is the only starter back and will be ODU’s go-to scorer a year after finishing second on the team in points per game.  He must provide the leadership in the backcourt since it loses a lot of experience with four-year starters Darius James and Ben Finney graduating.

Despite just scoring six points a night, Trian Iliadas is the second highest returning scorer.  He was the first guard off the bench last season and figures to move into the starting line-up.  That could change once Clemson transfer Donte Hill becomes eligible after the first semester since Hill offers more versatility on the wing.  Until Hill is able to suit up, redshirt freshman Demitri Batten will be the only reserve on the wing.

Marquel De Lancey has served as the back-up to James at the point for the past two seasons and will finally get his shot to be a starter.  He is more of a pure point guard and has not shown a real knack for scoring.  Freshman Breon Key will serve as the back-up.  He brings good size and length to the floor and is also a capable outside shooter.

Chris Cooper figures to follow in the recent line of talented post players like Gerald Lee and Frank Hassell.  Cooper is a force on the boards and a solid shot blocker who served as the team’s sixth man a year ago.  Besides Cooper, a lot of uncertainty surrounds the frontcourt.

Nick Wright saw limited playing time last while seven-footer Antone Larsen was used sparingly.  They are the only returning players with any sort of Division I experience.  Redshirt freshman “The Teflon Don” Richard Ross (that’s not really his nickname but if you are a hip-hop fan, you get it), JUCO transfer Nayquann Mitchell, and true freshman Jason Pimental will all try to work themselves into the mix.

In losing a lot of veteran players, this will be somewhat of a transition season for Old Dominion.  Still, Taylor should be able to keep the Monarchs in the CAA championship hunt due to their relentless style of defense.

kent bazemore odu

Player to Watch: Kent Bazemore
Not only is Bazemore ODU’s most dangerous offensive weapon, but he is also the CAA’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year partially due to his pestering length.  He can handle the rock, get to the basket, and was the team’s top three point shooter last season connecting on 40.8% of his triple tries.  Needing to take on a bigger role this season as the lone returning starter, Bazemore figures to be a CAA Player of the Year candidate.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/12 vs. Northern Iowa
11/19 vs. South Florida (Hall of Fame Tournament)
11/20 vs. Kentucky/Penn State (Hall of Fame Tournament)
12/9 at Farifield
12/17 at Central Florida
12/20 at Richmond
12/30 vs. Missouri
2/18 vs. TBA (ESPN BracketBuster)

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#50 VCU Rams
#51 Kent State Golden Flashes
#52 Arkansas Razorbacks
#53 St. John’s Red Storm
#54 Northwestern Wildcats
#55 Georgetown Hoyas
#56 Miami Hurricanes
#57 Nevada Wolfpack
#58 Detroit Titans
#59 UCF Knights
#60 Long Beach State 49ers
#61 Virginia Tech Hokies
#62 Clemson Tigers
#63 New Mexico State Aggies
#64 Tennessee Volunteers
#65 Iona Gaels
#66 Murray State Racers
#67 N.C. State Wolfpack
#68 Fairfield Stags
#69 George Washingon Colonials
#70 Indiana State Sycamores
#71 Oklahoma State Cowboys
#72 Indiana Hoosiers
#73 UAB Blazers
#74 Iowa State Cyclones
#75 Creighton Bluejays
#76 USC Trojans
#77 Weber State Wildcats
#78 Maryland Terrapins
#79 Tulsa Golden Hurricane
#80 Minnesota Golden Gophers
#81 Western Michigan Broncos
#82 Dayton Flyers
#83 Stanford Cardinal
#84 Yale Bulldogs

#85 Georgia Bulldogs
#86 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#87 Richmond Spiders
#88 Ball State Cardinals
#89 Utah State Aggies
#90 Arizona State Sun Devils
#91 Marshall Thundering Herd
#92 Oregon State Beavers
#93 Washington State Cougars
#94 Iowa Hawkeyes
#95 Ole Miss Rebels
#96 Nebraska Cornhuskers
#97 Oklahoma Sooners
#98 South Florida Bulls
#99 LSU Tigers
#100 Colorado Buffaloes
#101 DePaul Blue Demons
#102 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#103 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#104 Seton Hall Pirates
#105 Providence Friars
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 South Carolina Gamecocks
#108 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#109 Penn State Nittany Lions
#110 Boston College Eagles
#111 Utah Utes

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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