In times past, a VCU/ODU matchup in which both teams were 4-1 reflected CAA conference records, not overall. The game was in January and we were mad because these two programs–and their history–were February-worthy tilts.
Blaine Taylor was a lightning rod, and we hated Alex Loughton, Gerald Lee, and Isaiah Hunter because they were so friggin’ good. I’ll never forgive Steve Gordon for ignoring Jeff Capel (and half the VCU bench) waving for a timeout. You know what I’m talking about.
If you’re honest with yourself, you loved VCU/ODU in the 2000s. So many great plays, great games, and great times. You even hold a special place for the losses because they made the wins so much sweeter. Those games were the essence of why we do what we do.
But this is December, the teams have moved to different conferences, and ODU head coach Jeff Jones is about as electric as packing tape. They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot.
And The Ted is sold out for tomorrow’s game. Swoon.
This is not your 5-26 ODU team. Jones has the Monarchs playing very good basketball. They’ve beaten both Richmond–who did you root for in that game?–and LSU. Old Dominion is 4-1 and dominated by guards.
Side note: ODUs only loss is against Illinois State, who VCU plays on Tuesday.
Trey Freeman is the main man. He averages about 20ppg and is solid with the basketball. He can shoot the three–6-16 on the year–but Freeman is more of a classic bucketmaker. Aaron Bacote, Ambrose Moseley,Keenan Palmore (and his ugly shot), and Jordan Baker complete a deep guard rotation. Moseley is 8-22 from three and Baker is 6-8 from three.
Down low ODU has Richard Ross on the Andrey Semenov Plan (re: he’s still there?). You know Ross for his athletic ability and nonstop glass-crashing. Oh, did we mentioned Jon Arledge is there? You know Arledge from his time with George Mason before transferring to ODU. That decision is like hating Kings Dominion and then driving to Busch Gardens. However Arledge is rebounding well this season.
Freeman’s going to need the Joseph Young Treatment, but here’s Shaka Smart earlier this morning:
Here’s what you need to know for tomorrow’s 2pm tip: Ken Pomeroy has VCU winning 68-65, with the Rams having a 62% chance of winning by any score. Keep that in mind. All those guys are gone now, but it will be a classic battle.