The local Division I college basketball season starts off with a slew of games Friday, highlighted by the Liberty Tax Classic at ODU's Constant Center and a doubleheader at William and Mary.
ODU hosts three teams and the round-robin event has games Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Monarchs open against Holy Cross at 7:15 p.m. Friday, coached by Hampton native Milan Brown, and face
Old Dominion paid an outfit called Basketball Travelers $225,000, according to athletic business manager Ken Brown, to organize the event. The three-day event is classified by the
Versatile junior Donte Hill told the Virginian-Pilot that the Monarchs have to treat every game like a tournament game, without the possibility of a conference tournament and automatic NCAA berth. ODU plays an ambitious non-conference schedule that includes games against Virginia,
William and Mary and Hampton play at Kaplan Arena at 7:30 p.m. after the Tribe women open their season against
W&M returns three starters, led by forward Tim Rusthoven, as well as all-rookie selection Marcus Thornton and forward Kyle Gaillard, sidelined all of last season with an injury.
Hampton, too, was hampered by injuries in a 12-21 season that included a 1-13 road record. The
The Tribe women aim to improve on a 10-20 season in which they lost 15 of their last 17 games. They return four starters, led by double-figure scorers Emily Correal, Janine Aldridge and Jackie McKenna.
ODU's women open their season on the road Friday at Virginia Tech. The Lady Monarchs, in their second year under coach Karen Barefoot, come off an 11-21 season, the program's worst since 1990-91 (5-21).