Defending ODAC champion Guilford College opens the season as the odds on favorite to top the conference preseason poll upon its announcement at men's basketball media day in Salem. The Quakers will have plenty of competition with the ODAC ranks as difficult as ever. Still, Guilford was the lone team to earn a spot in last season's NCAA Tournament. This could be the season multiple conference squads dot the national field come March.
Guilford's path to the national stage began with a 63-53 triumph over Hampden-Sydney in the ODAC quarterfinals. The semifinals proved a nail-biter as the Quakers recovered from an eight-point halftime deficit to punch its ticket to the league title game with a 67-64 victory over Virginia Wesleyan. Their opponents, Emory & Henry, toppled Roanoke College, 81-62, before running into its own tight contest against Washington and Lee. E&H, which trailed by six at the break, churned out a 69-67 decision over the Generals.
The title game featured an even first half in scoreline, but the Quakers owned an eight-point lead on several occasions before eventually peaking at a nine-point advantage. The Wasps closed the opening 20 minutes on a run, sending the game to the intermission at 29-all. The second frame was tight for the first 10 minutes with Guilford maintaining an edge of four points or fewer over that span. E&H stayed within reach until the final minutes where Guilford's lead grew to 10 points, eventually resulting in a 63-53 Guilford win for the program's third overall crown and first since 2010.
Guilford's stay in the national field that featured an original 64 entrants lasted two games. The Quakers headed to Marietta, Ohio, for first and second round action in Ban Johnson Arena at Marietta College. Guilford took a liking to the neutral site in its first game, thumping Thomas More College, 74-54, and setting up a date with the host Pioneers. Marietta took advantage of its friendly confines with an 88-64 win to eliminate the Quakers.
There will be plenty opportunity for new players to make a name for themselves in 2017-18 with just eight all-conference honorees returning to league rosters. Still, the list of returners is accomplished. Reigning ODAC Coach of the Year Tom Palombo returns two All-ODAC standouts including first team forward Carson Long and third team big man Alston Thompson. Guilford is the lone school returning mutliple all-conference performers.
Just one other first team choice is back this season with Washington and Lee post Clayton Murtha joining Long. Roanoke guard C.J. Miles leads a trio from the second team that includes Randolph-Macon forward Daniel Noe and Lynchburg College forward Connor Schroeder. Thompson is joined by two other third team returners in Randolph College guard Ryan Fields and Eastern Mennonite University guard RaShawn Latimer.
The remaining award winner from last season is Emory & Henry guard Colin Molden, who returns after securing ODAC Rookie of the Year laurels.
Two new head coaches take over the reins at member schools. Adam Walsh is the new head man at Shenandoah University following a seven-year run at Centenary College (La.). Washington and Lee University also features a new mentor with 2009 alum Chris McHugh taking over the lead chair from Adam Hutchinson, for whom McHugh played.
The 2017-18 season kicks off on Wednesay, November 15, with eight league schools in action versus non-conference opponents. The first ODAC game is slated for Sunday, November 26, with several more on tap before a break surrounding the holiday season.
For more information on ODAC men's basketball, visit any of the participating school's websites, or look thru this virtual guide. The virtual media guide will be updated with interviews featuring the ODAC's head coaches from media day (afternoon/evening of October 26).
2017-18 ODAC Men's BasketballVirtual Guide
2017 ODAC MBB Media Day - Bridgewater
Head coach Shawn Postiglione joined us to talk about his Eagles and the rest of the ODAC entering the 2017-18 season.
2017 ODAC MBB Media Day - Eastern Mennonite
Head coach Kirby Dean joined us to talk about his Royals and the rest of the ODAC entering the 2017-18 season.
2017 ODAC MBB Media Day - Emory & Henry
Head coach David Willson joined us to talk about his Wasps and the rest of the ODAC entering the 2017-18 campaign.
2017 ODAC MBB Media Day - Guilford
Head coach Tom Palombo joined us to talk about his Quakers and the rest of the ODAC entering the 2017-18 season.
2017 ODAC MBB Media Day - Hampden-Sydney
Assistant coach Kevin Leatherwood joined us to talk about the Tigers and the rest of the ODAC entering the 2017-18 season.
2017 ODAC MBB Media Day - Lynchburg
Head coach Hilliary Scott joined us to talk about his Hornets and the rest of the ODAC entering the 2017-18 season.
2017 ODAC MBB Media Day - Randolph
Head coach Pete Hamilton joined us to talk about his WildCats and the rest of the ODAC entering the 2017-18 season.
2017 ODAC MBB Media Day - Randolph-Macon
Head coach Josh Merkel joined us to talk about his Yellow Jackets at the rest of the ODAC entering the 2017-18 campaign.
2017 ODAC MBB Media Day - Roanoke
Head coach Clay Nunley joined us to talk about his Maroons and the rest of the ODAC entering the 2017-18 season.
2017 ODAC MBB Media Day - Shenandoah
Head coach Adam Walsh joined us to talk about his Hornets and the rest of the ODAC entering the 2017-18 season.
2017 ODAC MBB Media Day - Virginia Wesleyan
Head coach Dave Macedo joined us to talk about his Marlins and the rest of the ODAC entering the 2017-18 season.
2017 ODAC MBB Media Day - Washington and Lee
Head coach Chris McHugh joined us to talk about his Generals and the rest of the ODAC entering the 2017-18 season.
Bridgewater College Eagles
Eastern Mennonite University Royals
Emory & Henry College Wasps
Guilford College Quakers
Hampden-Sydney College Tigers
Lynchburg College Hornets
Randolph College WildCats
Randolph-Macon College Yellow Jackets
Roanoke College Maroons
Shenandoah University Hornets
Virginia Wesleyan University Marlins
Washington and Lee University Generals
2016-17 ODAC Men's Basketball Statistical Leaders
|Individual Offense Leaders|