It’s that time of the year, where you realize you may not be able to find your white or silver ODU shirt.
ODU Football shared this on Facebook today which is encouraging. Stripe the Stadium is back! Split must be half blue and half white meaning that there’s a chance you may be wearing a white shirt to three different games this season.
The Monarchs went 6-0 at home (barely) against an all FCS schedule last season with the help of three onsides kicks, two goal line stands and a clutch punt return from Aaron Evans.
This season all but one game is against FBS competition with the home opener against Hampton.
Today former James Madison QB Michael Birdsong won his transfer appeal and now has a broader range of regional schools to choose from. He had previously been blocked by incoming head coach Everett Withers from transferring to Old Dominion, Liberty, Appalachian State and Charlotte. Only Charlotte remains blocked because they are a scheduled opponent for JMU this season.
Birdsong has a scheduled visit this weekend at Marshall and still has interest in ODU as well.
Let’s face it, last season’s ODU team was short. Richard Ross, who was recruited to play small forward was the starting center and Dimitri Batten at 6’3 was often defending power forwards and did so admirably.
The average height of that team, not including Anton Larsen who rarely played, was 6’4.
In recent weeks Jeff Jones has announced the signings of 6’7 Zoran Talley, 6’8 Javonte Douglas and 6’9 Jonathan Arledge. Those guys are wing players, with very long arms.
If you add 6’2 Trey Freeman and 6’8 Nik Biberaj to the equation, next season’s ODU roster averages out to above 6’6. That is a two inch height improvement across the board which is unheard of.
ODU could go from being the shortest team in Conference USA to the longest. It gets better. The following season 6’6 Aaron Carver and 6’7 Brandan Stith join the program as players with extensive wing spans as well and play above their listed height.
Size does matter, at least according to stat guru Ken Pomeroy.
Tennessee was expected to hire Mike White of Louisiana Tech according to some insiders. Those guys can never be trusted, instead they hired another Conference USA coach after White turned them down.
Donnie Tyndall parlayed two NIT seasons at Southern Mississippi into a five year eight million dollar contract at Tennessee. No word yet on if he will still crusade for C-USA to receive further at large consideration in the future.
Tyndall is a good coach and a proper fit for Tennessee. He was losing a ton of production at Southern Miss to graduation, making it an easier decision.
One season of Conference USA clearly proved that to be successful you need to have a forward who can step away from the basket. The Monarchs have recently upgraded in that department.
Today ODU announced that Jonathan Arledge, a 6’9 graduate transfer from George Mason, will be eligible immediately next season at Old Dominion. He spent four years and three seasons in Fairfax and will have one season of eligibility at ODU.
Arledge missed nearly all of this past season dealing with the lingering effects of an injury sustained in an offseason car accident. His back was apparently in good enough condition for ODU to take a gamble on the versatile forward.
The Monarchs were one of the best turnaround stories last season under Jeff Jones, going from 5-25 to 18-18 in his first season. This was with an eight man rotation consisting of two starting post players that are 6’6. In the short time after the season, Jones has gained commitments from 6’8 JUCO Javonte Douglas, 6’7 wing Zoran Talley and now the 6’9 Arledge. The Monarchs may be one commitment, and they have one remaining, from going from the smallest to largest team in Conference USA.
Arledge closed his junior year strong and was poised to have a monster senior season at George Mason. His final game at the Constant Center, as an opponent, he went for 21 point and 7 rebounds which included a 9-9 performance from the free throw line. His very next game he posted a double double (15,11) against the talented Delaware frontcourt led by Jamelle Hagins. He would reach double figures in six of his last seven full games at George Mason.
Bobby Wilder and staff are out to a fast start and protecting the home turf. The first two 2015 verbals are secondary weapons from Virginia Beach and the Monarchs are still on the attack.
I caught up with Andy Hilton of recruit757.com and he answered a few questions about ODU’s growing presence in the Hampton Roads area.
odubb: With Jamez Brickhouse (Bayside) and now DJ Davis (Salem) becoming the first two ODU 2015 verbal commitments, could there be a domino effect locally this year?
Andy Hilton: ODU’s presence is so strong with local recruits that I wouldn’t expect any local commitments to create a big wave of higher level signings unless players start successfully recruiting other players. Mike London and UVA have tapped into that in the last few recruiting classes. Local recruits sold themselves on the idea of making UVA a championship program with a backbone of talent from The 757. Instead of casting a broader net in the region, Old Dominion seems to be narrowing their search regionally. They are being more particular than ever about the players they’re bringing on.
If D.J. Davis could convince Trevon Hill to commit to ODU, that would be huge. I don’t see any big dominos falling in ODU’s favor at this point. The coaching staff will earn every commitment that they get, and that’s a good thing.
All signs are pointing towards Michael White leaving Louisiana Tech to replace Cuonzo Martin as the next head coach at Tennessee. White (37) is the son of Duke Athletic Director Kevin White and a rising star in the game.
He has amassed a record of 74-31 in three seasons at La Tech, including 56-15 and two NIT appearances over the past two seasons. Next season’s La Tech team was projected to be his best yet with the return of Raheem Appleby with Kenneth Smith, Alex Hamilton, Michale Kyser and a strong recruiting class.
White has SEC ties, he was a point guard at Ole Miss and later an assistant with the Rebels for seven seasons.