The Old Dominion Monarchs open their 2012-13 season against Division II member Mount Olive on Thursday night in an exhibition match. The game will be held at 7 p.m. inside the Ted Constant Convocation Center.
ODU returns five players from last year’s 22-14 team that finished fourth in the CAA. Behind the direction of the school’s all-time leader in wins, Blaine Taylor, ODU advanced to the quarterfinals of the Collegeinsider.com postseason tournament. Nick Wright, Donte Hill and Dimitri Batten combined to average 24 points last year and will most likely be thrust into the starting lineup this season.
NC State transfer DeShawn Painter will be opposite fellow senior forward Wright down low for the Monarchs. Freshman guards Aaron Bacote and Keenan Palmore have had good practices in the off season and are expected to have a big impact to Taylor’s group this season. Palmore is expected to carry much of the ball handling burden for the team and could start at the point position.
Mount Olive is a part of the Conference Carolinas League and was picked to finish third this season. They return two starters from a 21-8 team that reached the conference championship. Junior point guard Dory Hines will be a player to watch for the Trojans as he was the 2011 Conference Carolinas Co-Freshman of the Year. Last year, Hines ranked 10th in the NCAA DII with 6.0 assists per game. He also averaged 5.8 points and 6.1 rebounds. The Trojans returning leading scorer is forward Mahamed Ibrahim as he averaged 9.8 per game. They are coached by Joey Higginbotham.
Tickets for the game are $16 and $13 for faculty, staff, military, and senior citizens. Monarch fans can also follow the game on the ODUSports.com gamecast.