SALEM, Va. – Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) men’s basketball coaches selected Guilford College third in their annual preseason poll. The rankings were released by the league Thursday at the annual ODAC Men’s Basketball Media Day at the Salem Civic Center, which also hosts the league’s postseason tournament.
Virginia Wesleyan College received eight of the 12 first-place votes for 117 points overall. Roanoke College was tabbed second with two first-place votes and 108 points. Guilford received one first-place vote and 89 points. Hampden-Sydney College also received a first-place vote and stands seventh with 70 points. Defending league champion Lynchburg College received 84 points good for fourth place.
Tom Palombo starts his 14th season on the Quakers’ sidelines with 11 letter winners back from last year’s 16-10 team that finished 11-5 in the ODAC. Guilford will miss 2015-16 Second Team All-ODAC forward Will Freeman ’16 from last year’s, team but returns third-team all-league pick Zachary Houston (Hickory, N.C./St. Stephen’s). The senior guard is a two-year starter who led the league in assists (4.8 apg.), rebounds (7.8 rpg.) and minutes (36.3 mpg.). He also won the ODAC’s Farm Bureau Insurance Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. The Quakers welcome back the ODAC’s reigning Rookie of the Year in 6-5 forward Alston Thompson (Durham, N.C./Durham Academy). Thompson averaged 9.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game in his initial college season.
After 14 starts last season, forward Carson Long (Pilot Mountain, N.C./East Surry) (8.6 ppg.) will likely have a more active role as a sophomore. The lineup is also bolstered by the return of 6-4 swingman Dominique Henderson (Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek (Catawba)), who missed the first 13 games of last season due to injury, but averaged 9.0 points per game in 13 outings.
Guilford will host its annual Meet the Team Night November 2 at 7:00 p.m. before officially opening its 110th recorded basketball season November 16 versus Greensboro College at the Greensboro Coliseum.
2016-17 ODAC MEN’S BASKETBALL PRESEASON POLL
(#) Denotes First Place Votes
1. Virginia Wesleyan College (8) 117
2. Roanoke College (2) 108
3. Guilford College (1) 89
4. Lynchburg College 84
5. Emory & Henry College 79
6. Randolph-Macon College 73
7. Hampden-Sydney College (1) 70
8. Eastern Mennonite University 53
9. Washington and Lee University 47
10. Bridgewater College 32
11. Shenandoah University 24
12. Randolph College 16