Posted on: September 29, 2011 9:13 am
Edited on: September 29, 2011 10:04 am
By Jeff Goodman
It was the first time Blaine Taylor's four daughters had ever seen him without The Stache. And one of them is 31 years old.
"They looked at me like I was some strange serial killer," Old Dominion's head coach, known for his mustache, told CBSSports.com. "They were just staring at me funny."
They have gotten used to it - and so has, Taylor, who has no plans to bring it back. (Unfortunately, we have no photos, yet, of Taylor without The Stache.)
"I didn't cut it to grow it back," he said.
It's just one of the major changes Taylor has endured this offseason. He also dropped some excess baggage and will have a completely different core this season at ODU.
Four starters are gone off last year's team that won the CAA tournament - Frank Hassell, Ben Finney, Darius James Keyon Carter. The fifth, Kent Bazemore, will likely miss the first month of the season with a foot injury.
"Every guy on the team will be in a different role," Taylor said. "We're going to have to preach a little patience."
The team that will play in the Hall of Fame tournament in late-November will have a drastically different look than the one that will be on the court for CAA play in, say, February.
Bazemore, who is still in a boot, should be back at full-strength by the heart of CAA play. Richard Ross, a redshirt freshman forward, should be academically eligible in the second semester - and Clemson transfer Donte Hill will also be eligible.
"I'm invigorated by the changes," Taylor said. "We've been picked to win the league the last couple of years. We're picked off the pace this year and are literally a dark horse. I'm a big horse racing guy and a dark horse is one that people aren't talking about, but has the ability to surprise."
Taylor isn't ready to speculate on Bazemore's timetable, saying that he's still a "long ways off from working out."
Taylor said that guys like senior Chris Cooper and redshirt junior Nick Wright will need to step up along the frontline - and the same goes for senior guards Marquel De Lancey and Trian Iliadis.
"We've typically been a program that has gotten much better in January and February - even with a veteran team," he said.
But this team has a completely different look than its predecessors. It's almost as unrecognizable as the head coach without The Stache.
Posted on: August 17, 2011 4:42 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 5:39 pm
By Jeff Goodman
CAA Offseason Report
Delaware – Phil Martelli Jr. came from Niagara and took the spot opened when R.C. Kehoe left to become the head coach at Holy Family. Delaware will play at Villanova (11-18), at BU (11-30), vs. La Salle (12-19) and vs. Temple (12-30) in the non-conference. Malcolm Hawkins transferred out of the program while Carl Baptiste (St. Joe’s) came in and will sit out this year.
Drexel – The Dragons will play in the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands from Nov. 18-21. Bruiser Flint’s team has a non-league schedule that includes games at Rider (11-15), at St. Joe’s (11-30), vs. Bradley (12-17) and vs. Princeton (12-10).
George Mason – New coach Paul Hewitt has put together the following staff: Roland Houston (GW), Mike Wells (NBA), Chris Kreider (Georgia Southern) and retained director of basketball operations Scott Lombardi. The Patriots will play in the Preseason NIT (the Virginia Tech pod) and open against Florida International. Hewitt’s team will also have non-league games at Virginia (12-6), vs. Duquesne (12-21) and at College of Charleston (12-30). Luke Hancock (Louisville) and Rashad Whack (Mount St. Mary’s) left while George Mason added Anali Okoloji (Seton Hall).
Georgia State – Ron Hunter came over from IUPUI and assembled the following staff: Darryl LaBarrie, Everick Sullivan, Claude Pardue and Tony Bollier as the director of basketball operations. The Panthers will play in the Basketball Travelers Invitational at Washington along with Portland and FAU. Georgia State will also play Rhode Island (12-10) in a non-conference contest. Two players transferred out – Javonte Maynor and Harold Doby – while Manny Atkins has come in from Virginia Tech and will sit out this season. Jordan DeMercy will be eligible this year after transferring from Florida State.
Hofstra – Pat Sellars, formerly at UConn, has replaced Allen Griffin (Dayton). The Pride will be in the Legends Classic and also play home non-league games against Long Island (11-13), and Iona. Paul Bilbo (Mercyhurst), Roland Brown and Yves Jules (Fairleigh Dickinson) all transferred out while Jamal Coombs-McDaniel (UConn) and Taran Buie (Penn State) both came in. Stevie Mejia (URI) is also eligible after sitting out last season.
James Madison – Bill Phillips replaced Kevin Hargrove as the director of basketball operations. The Dukes will play in the Hoop Group Classic (11-22/25) and will also be at Central Florida’s Holiday Tournament, along with Rhode Island and Stetson, from 12-29/30. JMU will also play against Kent State (12-6) and at George Washington (12-22) in the non-conference schedule. Chad Jackson transferred to Northern Kentucky while A.J. Davis is eligible this season after transferring from Wyoming a year ago.
Northeastern – Bill Coen’s team will play at St. John’s (11-26), at N.C. State (12-22) and at home against Southern Illinois (11-19) in the non-conference. Alex Harris transferred out while Kashif Edwards, who averaged 12.4 points last season at Niagara, came in as a grad student and is eligible for this season.
Old Dominion – The biggest news of the offseason for the Monarchs is the missing ‘stache. Actually, coach Blaine Taylor got ride of his famous mustache. Drew Williamson replaced Joel Hines as the director of basketball operations and ODU added video coordinator Chris Kovensky. Old Dominion will be in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off (11-19/20) and also have a non-conference slate that includes games vs. Iowa (11-12), vs. Missouri (12-30) in Norfolk, at Richmond (12-20) and at Central Florida (12-17). Donte Hill becomes eligible on Dec. 17 after transferring in from Clemson last year.
Towson – New coach Pat Skerry hired Kevin Clark (Rhode Island), Luke Murray (Wagner), Kenny Johnson and Duane Simpkins as his director of basketball operations. The Tigers will play in the Mainland portion of the Maui Invitational and also have non-league contests at Kansas (11-11), at Michigan (11-14), vs. Oregon State (11-26), at UMass (11-30) and at Virginia (12-30). Isaiah Philmore (Xavier), Braxton Dupree, Dre Conner and Cephas Oglesby all left while Jerrelle Benimon (G’Town) and Mike Burwell (South Fla.) both transferred in.
UNC-Wilmington – Buzz Peterson’s team is currently in the Bahamas. Matt McMahon (Murray State) and Kevin Norris (FGCU) both left; Brooks Lee was promoted to assistant coach, Andre Gray was hired and the director of basketball operations spot remains open. The Seahawks will play at Maryland (11-13), at Dayton (11-19), vs. Marshall (11-22), vs. Davidson (11-26) and at Wake Forest (12-21) in the non-league. Matthew Wallace transferred out of the program.
VCU – Mike Jones (Radford) and Kyle Getter were replaced by Jamion Christian (William & Mary) and new director of basketball operations Mike Morrell (Charleston Southern). The Rams will play in the Charleston Classic and also have a non-league slate that includes games at Alabama (11-27), at Western Kentucky (11-23), vs. South Florida (11-30), at Akron (12-29), vs. UAB (12-20), vs. Richmond (12-10) and against George Washington on Dec. 4 in the BT&T Classic in D.C. Toby Veal left the program.
William & Mary – Kotie Kimble replaced Jamion Christian, who left for VCU. The Tribe will play in the Coaches vs. Cancer event and also have non-conference contests vs. Richmond (11-30), at Missouri (12-18) and vs. Iona (12-21).
Offseason reports: Big 12 | Pac-12 | Big Ten | ACC | Big East | SEC | A-10
Posted on: August 10, 2011 10:45 am
Edited on: August 10, 2011 12:03 pm
By Jeff Goodman
It’s set in stone for the next two years – and could go beyond. However, McDonnell’s term ends in a couple years – and you can’t serve consecutive terms in the state of Virginia.
In the 2012-13 campaign, Richmond will play George Mason and Virginia will face Old Dominion. The following year Virginia Tech and VCU will play for the first time since 1995 – and James Madison will play Hampton.
The games will be played at the Richmond Coliseum.
``He remembers an old tournament years ago (1976-1991) in the state which was run by the Richmond Times-Dispatch,” VCU athletic director Norwood Teague told CBSSports.com. ``And he wanted to bring something like that back.”
``We’re elated with the event,” Teague added.
My guess is that Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg and Virginia head man Tony Bennett aren’t jumping for joy, though, having to play dangerous mid-majors such as ODU and VCU.
Teague said that McDonnell attended the entire CAA tournament and was also at VCU’s NCAA tournament games en route to the Rams improbable Final Four run.
Posted on: June 6, 2011 4:50 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 4:52 pm
RALEIGH, N.C. – Some players rest on their laurels after rising up rankings and becoming high-major recruits.
Andrew White is not one of them.
“I now have to prove I’m as good as advertised,” White said last weekend at the Tournament of Champions.
White parlayed an impressive winter and spring into a top-100 ranking by many services, and the 6-foot-6 small forward from The Miller School (Va.) is making sure it stays that way.
He put his reputation on the line against fellow 2012 prospect T.J. Warren at the Ravenscroft School (N.C.) last week.
“I heard he played the same position as me, so I was looking forward to it,” White said. “It’s good to have the top players. It’s good to matchup with someone as good or better than you.”
While White struggled to defend Warren and also faded somewhat in the second half, his complete skill-set was on display.
His size and athleticism makes him a difficult matchup on the offensive end, as he runs the floor extremely well and attacks the basket with a purpose. White is improving his outside jumper, and is highly-effective with his mid-range game.
Since reclassifying to 2012, White has seen his recruitment skyrocket from mostly mid-majors to a smattering of schools at a variety of levels. He mentioned George Mason, Old Dominion, Connecticut, Virginia Tech, North Carolina State, Boston College, Providence, Utah, BYU and South Florida.
“I’m wide open,” White said.
While he holds at least 15 offers, he is still very motivated to make sure everyone knows he can compete at the highest level.
“Some schools passed up on me in 2011,” White said. “I’ve got to show I’m worthy of a place like that.”
Photo: Charlottesville Daily Progress
Posted on: March 17, 2011 3:17 pm
Edited on: March 17, 2011 3:31 pm
Posted by Jeff Borzello
It didn’t take long to get our first buzzer-beater of March Madness.
Butler continued to be the darling of the NCAA tournament, beating ninth-seeded Old Dominion, 60-58, on a lay-up at the buzzer by Matt Howard.
Will Pittsburgh be the next team to fall victim to the Bulldogs' magic?
Posted on: March 7, 2011 9:29 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2011 12:13 am
Richmond, VA -- The Old Dominion Monarchs (27-6, 15-4) played to their strengths in defeating their arch-rivals, the VCU Rams 70-65 In Richmond tonight. ODU senior forward Frank Hassell had 22 points, and the Monarchs as a team outrebounded VCU 34 to 21 The Rams came back from a large deficit in the second half to make the final score a close one, but ODU, predicted to be the CAA champions at season’s start, rebounded from a second-place regular season finish to claim the league’s auto bid.
Old Dominion’s Kent Bazemore had 14 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals, and reserve guard Trian Iliadis was 2-3 from deep to add 10 points. Bradford Burgess (19 points) and Jamie Skeen (18) led the Rams.
Record: (27-6, 15-4)
Team Colors: Slate blue, silver, cerulean blue
We’re Thinking: 8 seed
Kenpom Ranking: 53
Best Wins: Clemson, Xavier, Richmond, Cleveland State
Worst Loss: Delaware
Most recent tournament history: 2010 (beat Notre Dame, lost to Baylor in second round)
Posted on: March 1, 2011 1:47 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2011 1:00 pm
The CAA always seems like a league on the verge of something big. George Mason (16-2), Old Dominion (14-4) and Virginia Commonwealth (12-6) have each pulled major upsets in the Big Dance over the past decade, and this season, they’re joined in the league’s top four by Hofstra (14-4). Being in the top four is important. Those are the programs that get a first round bye in the CAA tournament, which commences on Friday. Mike Litos, who authored a book about George Mason’s run to the Final Four in 2006, has an immutable truism he applies to CAA teams: “You don’t want to play on Friday”.
The CAA tournament is always held at the Richmond Coliseum, dead in the middle of the state of Virginia. Five of the league’s 12 teams are from the surrounding area. Since 2000, only UNC-Wilmington has inserted itself into the round-robin of GMU, ODU and VCU when it comes to making the Big Dance.
Looking at this year’s top four finishers, George Mason has been the most complete team, while Old Dominion relies heavily on defense and the massive inside presence of Frank Hassell. VCU is very athletic and plays a high-pressure style that can throw opponents for a loop. Perhaps the most intriguing is Hofstra, which has come on like gangbusters under first-year head coach Mo Cassara, thanks to the stellar play of Charles Jenkins (right). Jenkins is so good, he’s already had his number retired at Hofstra.
Fans of league teams are calling for three CAA teams to make the Big Dance. Odds are, if the selection committee lets that happen, they’d get good-to-great games out of each team they let in. The CAA gets more televised Bracket Buster games than any other conference, and tends to win those high-profile matchups. League teams have also made a habit of beating the big boys anywhere at any time. Even fifth-place Drexel took down Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center this season.
Perhaps the time is ripe for a three-bid Colonial.
Title game: Monday, March 7, ESPN
KenPom.com rating: 13
Sagarin rating: 11
NCAA Tournament Bubble Teams: Drexel
Last NCAA Tournament Appearance:
George Mason: 2008 (68-50 loss to Notre Dame)
Old Dominion: 2010 (51-50 win over Notre Dame, 76-68 loss to Baylor in 2<sup>nd</sup> round)
Hofstra: 2001* (61-48 loss to UCLA)
Virginia Commonwealth: 2009 (65-64 loss to UCLA)
Drexel: 1996* (75-63 win over Memphis, 69-58 loss to Syracuse in 2<sup>nd</sup> round)
James Madison: 1994 (64-62 loss to Florida)
Delaware: 1999* (62-52 loss to Tennessee)
UNC-Wilmington: 2006 (88-85 OT loss to George Washington)
Georgia State: 2001** (50-49 OT win over Wisconsin, 79-60 loss to Maryland)
Northeastern: 2001* (101-66 loss to North Carolina)
William & Mary: N/A
Towson: 1991*** (97-86 loss to Ohio State)
**member of Atlantic Sun
***member of East Coast Conference
Photo: US Presswire
Posted on: January 31, 2011 9:03 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2011 10:48 pm
Posted by Matt Jones
One of my favorite events of the college basketball season is Bracket Buster Saturday, when fans of major conference teams get a chance to watch all of the best mid-majors in a series of created matchups designed to teams a chance to improve their March resumes. On Monday, ESPN announced the pairings that would get a national television showcase:
Friday, Feb. 18
With the possible exception of Kenneth Faried and Morehead State, the nationally televised portion of Bracket Buster Saturday generally includes all the right teams and virtually all the mid-majors with a chance to make March noise will be on our television sets that weekend. For those of you who prefer to have a weekend not dominated by mid-level college basketball or feel that you will have to “spend some time with my family,” here are the four can’t-miss games in order of importance:
Utah State at Saint Mary’s
Without question, the marquee pairing of the Bracket Buster weekend takes place in the Bay area suburb of Moraga, California, where the Gaels will host Utah State for a Saturday primetime affair. For both teams, this game represents the best chance remaining to get a resume-building win for March and a victory is extremely important. Utah State is currently 20-2 and ranked No. 21 in America, but it suffers from a serious lack of impressive wins. The Aggies only two games against solid opponents resulted in its two losses (BYU and Georgetown) and the most notable victory may be over a sub .500 Utah team. As for St. Mary’s, what looked like a solid at-large resume has taken a big hit with double-digit losses to Vanderbilt and Portland in the last ten days. If the Tournament was selected today, both Utah State and St. Mary’s would likely barely find themselves in the field, even if they slipped and were upset in the conference tournament. But success in a few weeks is not assured and for the winner of this feature game of Bracket Buster weekend, the margin of error for the rest of the regular season will be a bit greater.
George Mason at Northern Iowa
The battle of the last two mid-major teams to get the nation’s collective blood racing in March (Butler has joined Gonzaga in permanent non-mid major status in my book), represents the best chance for a team to win its way into at-large status of any game in the weekend. George Mason is locked in a three-way battle in the ultra competitive Colonial League with VCU and Old Dominon and the three teams are trading losses that will hurt on Selection Sunday. Thus, Mason likely needs a road victory in Cedar Falls in order to make its best case for a trip to Dayton as part of the “First Four” in March, not only for its team, but as a sign of the overall strength of the Colonial as well. As for Northern Iowa, the Panthers played their way back into the Missouri Valley race with a road win at Missouri State last week. While they likely need to end the season with an undefeated streak to get in the at-large discussion, the schedule does set up favorably to potentially pull off a surprising second straight MVC title run.
VCU at Wichita State
Virginia Commonwealth is on pace to get a rare at-large bid out of the Colonial, thanks to an impressive start in conference and a non-conference slate that includes a victory over UCLA. The Rams sit 10-1 in the Colonial and if they keep on the same pace, a win in heart of the Missouri Valley could be enough to ensure a trip to March Madness, regardless of what happens in the conference tournament. As for Wichita State, early season victories over Virginia and LSU, combined with competitive losses to UCONN and San Diego State, mean that the Shockers would be dancing if Selection Sunday were this weekend. They still have the heart of their Missouri Valley schedule ahead, including tough road games at Northern Iowa and Missouri State, meaning it is important to hold serve at home. Both teams in this game will likely be a part of the field of 68, but assuming they stay on their same path, the winner can go ahead and set up the camera shot for the CBS special with confidence.
Cleveland State at Old Dominion
Cleveland State is currently leading the Horizon League and is situated at 20-3, right on the bubble of contention for an at-large bid. The Vikings are led by the best player that no one ever mentions, Norris Cole, who is averaging 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists from the guard spot. The problem Cleveland State faces is its lack of top-quality victories over a non-Horizon opponent. A win at Old Dominion takes care of that weakness on its resume. As for the Monarchs, they sit third in the Colonial, but probably have the best set of wins of any participant in the Bracket Buster Weekend. Old Dominion has defeated Clemson, Xavier, Richmond and Dayton, while two of their five losses were to Georgetown and Missouri. If ODU gets anywhere close to the bubble, the Selection Committee will likely give them the nod, solely because of this out of conference work, and a victory over Cleveland State would only firm up their prospects even further.Photo: AP