GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Guilford men’s basketball team opens its 2020-21 schedule on Sunday, Feb. 7th, when it heads to Lynchburg, Va., for a clash with ODAC rival Randolph for a 2 p.m. contest. The game marks the first of the slate for the Quakers, who open the season with three straight road tilts.
Tom Palombo begins his 18th season as the head coach of the Quakers, who finished off the 2019-20 season with an 18-8 overall record and 10-6 mark in ODAC play. Guilford reached the ODAC Quarterfinals a season ago before falling by a 73-66 margin to Roanoke in Salem, Va. As for Palombo, he surpassed the 400-win mark in his men’s basketball coaching career during the course of the 2019-20 season, improving his career record to 419-209 in 23 years as a head coach.
“The guys are really excited about the opportunity to play a game,” said Palombo. “We are grateful Guilford College has allowed us this opportunity to begin playing and we cherish every moment we get to spend together as a team. ”
Palombo returns four of his five leading scorers from last year, including junior Jorden Davis, who scored 317 points (12.7 ppg) and started all 25 games. Davis knocked down the second-most 3-pointers on the team (40), while converting 99-of-126 free throw attempts (78.6 FT%), which led the way for Guilford.
Junior Liam Ward also returns for Guilford after a season where he averaged 11.6 points per game in 26 starts. Ward had the second-most made field goals on the team (121), nine off the pace set by senior Kyler Gregory, who led the way with 344 points (130 FGs) in 700 minutes of action. Ward was also active on the boards with 176 rebounds, pulling down 128 defensively, while leading the team with 10 blocks.
Sophomore Tyler Dearman will also be an instrumental asset in the Quakers’ offense averaging 10.1 points per game in 2019-20. Dearman was a major perimeter threat, finishing the season with a team-high 49 3-pointers, as he hit the third-most field goals (98) on the team.
Palombo will have the luxury of Redshirt Senior Jaylen Gore in the lineup as well, returning from a season where he averaged 8.1 points and 2.0 assists per game. Gore finished off the season with 210 points, which came by hitting 75-of-195 from the floor, along with a team-high 102 assists. He had at least four assists in 13 games for Guilford, including a single-game season-high of nine assists in the 95-50 victory over Eastern Mennonite.
Randolph enters the game with a 1-2 record, posting a win in its clash against Bridgewater on Wednesday, Feb. 3 by a 91-81 margin. Three Wildcats are averaging double figure points, including Justin Dula (15.7), CJ Loving (15.0) and Danny Bickey (13.0). Dula leads the team in field goals made (18) and total rebounds (36), while loving is tops in free throw conversions (15). The top 3-pointer shooter for Randolph is Bickey, who has converted 6-of-22 from beyond the arc.
For more information on Guilford athletics check out www.guilfordquakers.com.