2012-2013 CAA Team Previews: Old Dominion Monarchs
Last Season: (22-14, 3-15), 4th in CAA
Key Losses: This year, the Monarchs are losing three starters from last season due to graduation. First, 6-5 G/F Kent Bazemore averaged 15.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists during his senior campaign. Bazemore led the team in scoring and rebounding and also earned CAA Defensive Player of the Year and 1st Team All-CAA honors and is now under contract with the Golden State Warriors. Next, 6-9 F Chris Cooper averaged a double double of 10.5 points and 10.1 rebounds to go along with 1.3 blocks per game. Cooper was named to the All-CAA 2nd Team. 6-3 G Trian Iliadis also contributed nightly for the Monarchs to the tune of 8.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists per contest as well.
Key Additions: Despite losing a talented group of seniors, Old Dominion may have scored a very formidable replacement. 6-9 F Deshawn Painter has transferred to ODU from NC State and the NCAA approved his waiver to make him eligible to play for the Monarchs this year. During the 2011-2012 season for the Wolfpack, Painter averaged 6.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 0.6 blocks per contest. In addition to Painter, the Monarchs will add a freshman class consisting of 6-1 G Ambrose Mosley, 6-1 G Kenan Palmore, 6-9 C Ekene Anachebe, 6-3 G Deion Clark, 6-5 G Aaron Bacote and 6-9 F Stuart McEwen.
Coach: Entering his 12th season at Old Dominion, Blaine Taylor brings a career 237-124 record as the leader of the Monarchs. Taylor, the winningest coach in school history, has taken his teams to eight straight national post-season appearances. Just 22 wins shy of 400 career collegiate wins, Taylor’s Monarch teams have averaged 24.3 wins per season over the last 8 years under his guidance.
Player to Watch: 6-4 G Donte Hill. After transferring from Clemson University, Hill had a very excellent sophomore season for the Monarchs in 2011-2012. Hill scored 7.8 points, grabbed 3.7 rebounds and dished 2.0 assists per game for Old Dominion and looks to improve on those numbers in the absence of Bazemore. This winter, expect Hill to take a leadership role on the court and in the locker room for the Monarchs and he should find himself on one of the post-season CAA Teams come March.
Prediction: Similar to Georgia State, Old Dominion will play a CAA league schedule but will not be eligible for the conference tournament. The Monarchs will be joining Conference USA in 2013-2014 but will most likely try to go out of the CAA with a bang. In order to compete in the postseason, the Monarchs have to qualify at large for the NCAA Tournament or be invited NIT or CBI tournaments. Don’t expect the Monarchs to have something to hope for on Selection Sunday, but they will be able to compete in the CAA.
Jake Fischer is the CAA Correspondent for the Arena Pulse at Rant Sports. Make sure to follow Jake on Twitter @fischsportsline.