GUILFORD RANKED FIRST IN ODAC MEN’S BASKETBALL PRESEASON POLL
Greensboro, N.C. –Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) men’s basketball coaches picked Guilford College first in the league’s annual preseason poll Thursday. League officials released the 2009-10 poll at the annual media day at the Salem (Va.) Civic Center. The Quakers received 119 points and accumulated 10 first-place votes. Four-time national tournament veteran Virginia Wesleyan College earned the remaining first-place vote and tied for second placed with Randolph-Macon College with 103 total tallies.
Guilford returns this season after making a trip to the 2009 NCAA Division III National Championship Series, where it finished third in the country after defeating Franklin & Marshall College in the national consolation game. Despite graduating two senior starters, Guilford mentor and 2009 ODAC Coach of the Year Tom Palombo welcomes back a trio of talented stars. Returning to the fold is First Team All-Region and All-ODAC senior guard Clay Henson (Glen Alpine, N.C./Freedom), who averaged 18.8 points per game and earned a spot on the Division III Championship Series All-Tournament Team. Also returning for the Quakers is senior center Tyler Sanborn (Elkin, N.C./Elkin). Sanborn received fourth team All-America recognition from D3hoops.com after compiling an average of 15.4 points, 12.9 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. Sanborn registered 20 double-doubles last season and finished third among national rebounding leaders. Second Team All-ODAC pick Rhett Bonner (Yadkinville, N.C./ North Forsyth (Presbyterian)) is back as a senior guard, and averaged 16.5 points and 3.3 assists per game last season.
The Quakers begin the campaign with a home matchup against Methodist University Nov 17. This year’s slate also includes tournament appearances at the University of the South (Tenn.) and Marietta College (Ohio) as well three meetings with 2009 NCAA Tournament teams (Averett, Virginia Wesleyan and Maryville (Tenn.)). A day after the season opener, Guilford meets crosstown-rival Greensboro College in the Greensboro Coliseum, where the rivalry returns for the first time in two seasons.
Palombo brings a 117-53 Guilford record into his seventh season with the Quakers. The three-time Bob Johnson ODAC Coach of the Year has taken Guilford to the NCAA Tournament in each of the past three seasons, during which time Guilford has a 74-16 record. The Quakers won the 2008 ODAC Tournament title and regular-season league crowns in 2008 and 2009. Guilford opens the 2009-10 campaign Nov. 17 against visiting Methodist University at 7:00 p.m.
2009-10 ODAC Men’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses)
1. Guilford (10) 119
2. Virginia Wesleyan (1) 103
2. Randolph-Macon 103
3. Eastern Mennonite 83
4. Hampden-Sydney 80
5. Roanoke 63
6. Bridgewater 54
7. Washington and Lee 44
8. Emory & Henry 36
10. Randolph 24
11. Lynchburg 17
Guilford College Athletics