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The 2005-06 Old Dominion University men's basketball schedule will feature games against nine teams who participated in post-season play in 2005.

Heading the schedule for the defending CAA Champions will be the season opening Paradise Jam tournament in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, where ODU will open against the University of Georgia. The University of Wisconsin is also in the field. The Monarchs will host a Bracket Busters game on Feb. 18, along with home dates against DePaul, Virginia Tech and East Carolina in the Constant Center.

Alabama-Birmingham and Richmond have been added as road games with return dates to ODU the following season.

"The upcoming schedule is a very ambitious undertaking," said ODU head coach Blaine Taylor, the 2005 CAA and Virginia Coach of the Year. "This year's slate presents a fun and demanding experience for our team, program and fans."

The three NCAA teams from a year ago are Wisconsin, UAB and Eastern Kentucky. DePaul, Virginia Tech, and CAA rivals Drexel, VCU, Hofstra and newest league member Northeastern competed in the NIT. Wisconsin was a number-six seed, while UAB was an 11th seed, advancing to the second round with a win over LSU.

The Paradise Jam tournament field will be split into two divisions with ODU opening against Georgia on Nov. 18, then play Fordham on Nov. 19th. After a day off, ODU will play either Wisconsin, Eastern Kentucky or Norfolk State on Nov. 21st, depending on the results of the first two games and a tournament point system. The tournament will be held at the UVI Sports and Fitness Center. The last time ODU and Georgia played was in the 1981 NIT first round, in Athens, GA. which paired
future NBA veterans Mark West (ODU) and Dominique Wilkins.

The Feb. 18th Bracket Busters game will be ODU's first in this event. The opponent will be announced on Jan. 29. Six games will be televised on ESPN/ESPN2 and the remainder on ESPNU or ESPN Classic.

The Monarchs will play DePaul coached by Jerry Wainwright on Dec.17th in the Constant Center. Before going to DePaul Wainwright served as head coach at UNCW and Richmond. ACC member Virginia Tech comes to the Constant Center on Dec. 30 and East Carolina of Conference USA visits on Dec. 3.

Former Sun Belt rival UAB returns to the ODU schedule for a Dec. 22nd date which is the first meeting between the two since the 1990-91 season. The Blazers are members of Conference USA. ODU travels to Richmond of the Atlantic 10 on Dec. 19th for the first meeting since the 2000-01 season. ODU will play VMI from the Big South on Nov. 30 in Lexington, VA.

This year, with the addition of Northeastern (Boston), and Georgia State (Atlanta) the CAA will again have an 18-game league schedule. ODU will play George Mason, Drexel, Georgia State, VCU, Hofstra, William and Mary and James Madison twice, while Towson, Northeastern, Delaware and UNC Wilmington will be played once.

The Monarchs open their home schedule on Nov. 26th against Mount. St. Mary's coached by former ODU assistant Milan Brown., and assisted by Brion Dunlap ('98). Mt. St. Mary's is a member of the Northeast Conference.

ODU opens CAA league play on Dec. 7 at home against George Mason followed by the first league road game on Dec. 10 against Drexel, in Philadelphia. The Monarchs will play Northeastern at home on Jan. 7 and play Georgia State on Jan. 12 in Atlanta, and at ODU on Feb. 15. The CAA tournament will again be in Richmond, March 3-6.

The Monarchs will play the University of Saskatchewan (Canada) in an exhibition game on Nov. 2, followed by an exhibition contest against Virginia State of the CIAA on Nov 12.

"We certainly have a tremendous challenge awaiting us right out of the gate with the St. Thomas tournament," adds Taylor. "As we work from there through the non-conference schedule our team will need to grow and climb through the challenges of December. We are looking at one of the strongest league races in years with the CAA being one of a very few conferences that had five teams in post season play and six in the RPI top 100."

The Monarchs return four starters including CAA Player of the Year, Tournament MVP, Honorable Mention All-American and CAA Male Scholar Athlete of the Year Alex Loughton (Perth, Australia). ODU also returns All-CAA selections Isaiah Hunter and Arnaud Dahi (Ivory Coast, Africa), along with CAA All-Tournament selection Drew Williamson (Burlington, NC.). The Monarchs welcome two-time All-State and "Mr. Basketball" runner-up Jonathan Adams, a 6-6 forward from Baylor High School in Chattanooga, TN. ODU lost only one senior from last year's school record 28-6 team.

For more information, contact the Athletic Public Relations Office at 683-3372 or check the ODU sports Web site at http://www.odusports.com.

This article was posted on: August 15, 2005

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Telephone: 757-683-3114

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