Randolph-Macon, Guilford Round Out Top Three
FOREST, Va. --- Roanoke College is one of three teams to earn first place votes in the ODAC Men's Basketball Preseason Poll as the Maroons top the annual coaches' survey with 137 points powered by seven top nods. Randolph-Macon College and Guilford College evenly split the remaining first place votes as the pair round out the top-three. The Yellow Jackets picked up 127 tallies, while the Quakers earned 121 markers.
Virginia Wesleyan University and reigning ODAC champion Emory & Henry College also cracked the 100-point mark and are separated by just one point for the next two positions. The Marlins collected 105 points with the Wasps chiming in with 104 tallies.
RELATED: Men's Basketball Virtual Guide
A regular season that featured considerable movement in the league table throughout its four-month slate led to a slightly unconventional tournament in 2018 with the field's second and fourth seeded teams -- Roanoke and Emory & Henry College, respectively -- playing for the title. The Maroons made their way to the conference's final game with wins over seventh-seeded University of Lynchburg (then Lynchburg College), 87-75, and third-seeded Washington and Lee University, 82-72. The Wasps took down 12th-seeded Randolph College, 82-69, in the quarterfinals before a Chase Branscomb jumper and Jarris Hendricks free throw gave E&H a 78-76 triumph in the semifinals.
The score proved equally as tight in the title game, although it didn't start like that as E&H led by as many as 12 at 18-6 just six minutes into the contest. Roanoke methodically worked its way back into the game and eventually took a 40-38 edge into halftime. Both teams enjoyed small cushions no greater than nine points in the second frame, with the Maroons enjoying a 70-68 edge with less than a minute to play before Colin Molden's three-pointer with 0:27 on the clock gave E&H a lead it would not surrender. Branscomb made one free throw down the stretch and Josh Freund's last-ditch effort to steal the result for Roanoke from 35-feet away caromed off the iron.
The 72-70 win for E&H was historic as it marked the program's first-ever ODAC crown. The Wasps had appeared in six previous conference championship games.
RELATED: ODAC Tournament Site | 2018 Tournament Results
Emory & Henry continued its season in the NCAA Division III Tournament as the lone representative from the ODAC. It was the Wasps first appearance on the national stage since reaching the sectional finals (final 16) in 1993. Unfortunately, their stay in 2018 would last just one game as E&H fell to Franklin & Marshall College, 73-59, in first round action at Christopher Newport University.
RELATED: 2018 NCAA Tournament Bracket
ODAC teams certainly won't be short on talent in 2018-19 as 13 of the 18 All-ODAC selections are back on league rosters. Four teams have two honorees back each. Guilford features All-ODAC First Team point-forward Marcus Curry as well as All-ODAC Second Team wing-forward Carson Long. Roanoke welcomes back reigning ODAC Player of the Year, center Josh Freund, who is a Fourth Team Preseason All-American by D3hoops.com. He's joined by second team guard C.J. Miles.
Washington and Lee is led by first team point guard Devin Kearns and All-ODAC Third Team forward Roy McMillan. Emory & Henry opens its repeat bid behind second team forward Alic Wynn and Molden, who earned a third team spot last season.
Lynchburg returns the remaining first teamer in forward Connor Schroeder. Randolph-Macon forward Montese Adams and Virginia Wesleyan wing Lamont Steward rounds out the second team returners. Guard Dimetri Chambers is back for Bridgewater College after earning All-ODAC Rookie of the Year laurels in addition to a spot on the third team. He's joined by Hampden-Sydney guard Malik Crute as a third team returner.
RELATED: 2018 All-ODAC Men's Basketball Awards
The 2018-19 season kicks off a week early with non-conference play the weekend of November 8-11. The first conference matchup takes place Saturday, November 17, and will continue throughout the schedule.
The ODAC Tournament undergoes a bit of a change in 2019. The overall field will be pared down to 10 teams. The top six seeds will advance to the Salem Civic Center in Salem, Va., for the quarterfinals, while seeds 7-10 will compete in two first rounds games with the two winners rounding out the quarterfinals. First round games at the #7 and #8 seeds are set for Monday, February 18. The quarterfinals will be competed Thursday, February 21, followed by the semifinals on Saturday, February 23. The conference champion will be crowned on Sunday, February 24.
RELATED: 2018-19 ODAC Men's Basketball Schedule
Listed below is the 2018-19 ODAC Men's Basketball Preseason Poll. For more information on ODAC men's basketball, visit any of the participating school's websites, or go to the ODAC's home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com and view the men's basketball virtual guide. The virtual guide and this release will be updated with interviews featuring the ODAC's head coaches from media day.
Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook and follow @odacathletics on Twitter and Instagram.
2018-19 ODAC MEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON POLL
(#) Denotes First Place Votes
|1. Roanoke College (7)||137 pts.|
|2. Randolph-Macon College (3)||127 pts.|
|3. Guilford College (3)||121 pts.|
|4. Virginia Wesleyan University||105 pts.|
|5. Emory & Henry College||104 pts.|
|6. Washington and Lee University||94 pts.|
|7. University of Lynchburg||87 pts.|
|8. Bridgewater College||64 pts.|
|9. Hampden-Sydney College||53 pts.|
|10. Randolph College||35 pts.|
|11. Eastern Mennonite University||31 pts.|
|11. Shenandoah University||31 pts.|
|13. Ferrum College||25 pts.|