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Yellow Jackets Top ODAC Men's Basketball Preseason Poll

Yellow Jackets Top ODAC Men's Basketball Preseason Poll

FOREST, Va. --- Basketball was the first ODAC sport in action in January following a long layoff due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now it returns to its traditional footprint with the 2021-22 season kicking off on Friday, November 5. Randolph-Macon College men's basketball finished off last season as the #1 team in NCAA Division III and they start the new campaign in that same spot along with topping the ODAC Men's Basketball Preseason Poll.

Randolph-Macon collected 121 points powered by 11 first place votes to lead the annual chart. Roanoke College earned the remaining top nod on the way to 102 markers. Virginia Wesleyan University sits third with 98 tallies, while the University of Lynchburg chimes in fourth with 94 points. Guilford College rounds out the top-five with 88 points from the league's head coaches.

In the sections below, we look back to what we saw during the late winter and spring season and take a look at what to expect entering the new campaign. Be sure to check out the capsules at the bottom of this page for a more targeted view at each squad entering the new season.

2020-21 ODAC TOURNAMENT | BRACKET

  • For the first time in more than 30 years, the ODAC Tournament was competed all on-campus with eight teams qualifying for postseason play
  • Teams needed to have played at least four league games to earn the highest seeds with the remainder of the field filled at-large by those active
  • Randolph-Macon and Lynchburg played for the league title in the Hill City
  • The fifth-seeded Yellow Jackets earned an 80-49 win at #4 Bridgewater in the quarterfinals, and then went to top-seeded Roanoke and earned a 77-71 victory in the semifinals
  • Third-seeded Lynchburg claimed a 79-77 triumph over #6 Eastern Mennonite, and then found itself in another tight contest at #2 Ferrum; it took overtime for the Hornets to post a 66-62 win
  • In the title game, Lynchburg led 33-31 at the break, but Randolph-Macon out-scored the Hornets, 39-29, in the second frame to claim the program's second straight and eighth overall ODAC title via a 70-62 score line
  • All-American and three-time ODAC Player of the Year Buzz Anthony led the way with 20 points that included a 9-of-9 showing from the line to go with five rebounds and five assists; Ian Robertson hit four three-pointers off the bench for 14 points to go with seven rebounds
  • T.C. Thacker led Lynchburg with 19 points, 14 rebounds, and two blocked shots, while Tharon Suggs tacked on 11 markers with five boards and four assists

  • 2021-22 Preseason Interview | ODAC Men's Basketball Group #1
    November 04, 2021
    Four of the ODAC men's basketball coaches join the ODAC office to talk about the upcoming season. This format is normally conducted in person in Salem as part of one of two ODAC media sessions with the Rotary Club of Salem, Va. This group features head coaches Steven Enright from Bridgewater, Caleb Kimbrough from Hampden-Sydney, Josh Merkel from Randolph-Macon, and Clay Nunley from Roanoke.
  • 2021-22 Preseason Interview | ODAC Men's Basketball Group #2
    November 04, 2021
    Four of the ODAC men's basketball coaches join the ODAC office to talk about the upcoming season. This format is normally conducted in person in Salem as part of one of two ODAC media sessions with the Rotary Club of Salem, Va. This group features head coaches Adam Walsh from Shenandoah, Dave Macedo from Virginia Wesleyan, Tyler Sanborn from Ferrum, and Tom Palombo from Guilford.
  • 2021-22 Preseason Interview | ODAC Men's Basketball Group #3
    November 04, 2021
    Four of the ODAC men's basketball coaches join the ODAC office to talk about the upcoming season. This format is normally conducted in person in Salem as part of one of two ODAC media sessions with the Rotary Club of Salem, Va. This group features head coaches Melvin Felix from Eastern Mennonite, Hilliary Scott from Lynchburg, Pete Hamilton from Randolph, and Chris McHugh from Washington and Lee.

NATIONAL SCENE
ODAC teams and players are well-represented on the national preseason charts published by D3hoops.comRandolph-Macon is #1 in the Top-25 Preseason Poll having picked up 19 first place votes (of 25) and 618 points following last year's 12-0 run. Roanoke is slotted 20th on the chart, while Virginia Wesleyan (47) and Lynchburg (8) are receiving votes towards the poll.

Randolph-Macon guard Buzz Anthony was tabbed a First Team Preseason All-American, while forward Miles Mallory was selected to the second team. Lynchburg big man T.C. Thacker appears on the honorable mention team.

RETURNING ALL-ODAC TALENT | 2020-21 ALL-ODAC MEN'S BASKETBALL AWARDS
Due to the uneven number of games played by ODAC teams in 2020-21, the ODAC men's basketball coaches selected one large All-ODAC Team of 19 players rather than differentiate between the conference's traditional three award-team framework. A total of 13 All-ODAC standouts return with four special award winners. R-MC's Buzz Anthony, winner of three straight Kurt Axe Memorial Player of the Year awards, is back for another season for four-time reigning Bob Johnson Coach of the Year, Josh Merkel. Roanoke forward Justin Kuthan returns after earning ODAC Rookie of the Year laurels. Ferrum guard Kajuan Madden-McAfee is also back after picking up ODAC/Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete awards. He, Anthony, and Lynchburg's T.C. Thacker earned Academic All-American status from CoSIDA.

Returning from the 2020-21 All-ODAC Team...

  • Tim Jones -- PG, Eastern Mennonite
  • Kajuan Madden-McAfee -- G, Ferrum
  • Jorden Davis -- G, Guilford
  • Liam Ward -- F, Guilford
  • Jake Hahn -- F, Hampden-Sydney
  • Tharon Suggs -- G, Lynchburg
  • T.C. Thacker -- F, Lynchburg
  • Buzz Anthony -- G, Randolph-Macon
  • Miles Mallory -- F, Randolph-Macon
  • Ian Robertson -- F, Randolph-Macon
  • Kasey Draper -- G, Roanoke
  • Efosa Edosomwan -- G, Roanoke
  • Tim Fisher -- F, Virginia Wesleyan
  • Tyree Golston -- G, Virginia Wesleyan

THE 2021-22 SCHEDULE AND TOURNAMENT

  • The 2021-22 campaign returns to its traditional split season format beginning on Friday, November 5; this in itself is a few days earlier than in previous seasons with the NCAA start date of November 8 falling on a Monday; special rules permit games across the Division to start on Friday, 11/5
  • ODAC teams will play as many as nine non-conference games in addition to 16 ODAC contests (25 total regular season games permitted)
  • ODAC teams will play each league team once and five twice with eight home and eight away outings
  • The top-10 teams by ODAC record in the league standings will qualify for the ODAC Tournament
  • The first round is slated for Monday, February 21 at the #7 and #8 seeds
  • The two winners will join Seeds 1-6 at the Salem Civic Center for the conference's traditional tournament framework that features four quarterfinal games on Thursday, February 24, both semifinal contests on Saturday, February 26, and the championship on Sunday, February 27
  • The NCAA Tournament, which has not been competed since March 2019, will be announced the following Monday on www.ncaa.com

For more information on ODAC men's basketball, visit the websites of any of the participating schools, or go to the ODAC's home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com.  Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook and follow @odacathletics on Twitter and Instagram.

2021 ODAC MEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON POLL
(#) denotes first place votes

1. Randolph-Macon College (11) 121 pts.
2. Roanoke College (1) 102 pts.
3. Virginia Wesleyan University 98 pts.
4. University of Lynchburg 94 pts.
5. Guilford College 88 pts.
6. Washington and Lee University 66 pts.
7. Ferrum College 58 pts.
8. Hampden-Sydney College 57 pts.
9. Bridgewater College 42 pts.
10. Randolph College 28 pts.
11. Eastern Mennonite University 27 pts.
12. Shenandoah University 11 pts.

2021-22 ODAC Men's Basketball Preview Capsules

  • Bridgewater College Eagles
  • Eastern Mennonite University Royals
  • Ferrum College Panthers
  • Guilford College Quakers
  • Hampden-Sydney College Tigers
  • University of Lynchburg Hornets
  • Randolph College WildCats
  • Randolph-Macon College Yellow Jackets
  • Roanoke College Maroons
  • Shenandoah University Hornets
  • Virginia Wesleyan University Marlins
  • Washington and Lee University Generals