Old Dominion (1-2) at Cleveland State (2-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 17, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Wolstein Center (13,610) -- Cleveland, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: ODU 1-2, CSU 1-0. Away Record: ODU 0-0, CSU 0-1. Neutral Record: ODU 0-0, CSU 1-0. Conference Record: ODU 0-0, CSU 0-0. Series Record: ODU leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Old Dominion Monarchs pay a visit to the Wolstein Center to take on the Cleveland State Vikings in a non-conference matchup this weekend.
Old Dominion went 1-2 as the host school of last week's Liberty Tax Classic. The Monarchs' lone victory came last Saturday against Morgan State, although they followed that up with a 79-70 loss to tournament champion UTSA the following day. Beginning today, the Monarchs will play three of their next four contests on the road.
Cleveland State returns only one starter from last year's squad that won 22 games and finished second in the Horizon League. The team opened the 2012-13 season with a 43-point win over Grambling, followed by an overtime victory against Bowling Green. However, the Vikings are coming off Tuesday night's lopsided 77-47 setback at fifth-ranked Michigan in the NIT Season Tip-Off North Regional Championship game.
ODU notched a 74-63 win over the Vikings in Norfolk during the 2010-11 season, which was the only previous meeting between these two schools.
The Monarchs have been a postseason fixture for the better part of the last decade, but their season has gotten off to a rough start. This is the team's final year as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association before moving to Conference USA next season. The freshman tandem of Keenan Palmore and Aaron Bacote figures to be a key part of ODU's future, and they showed why in the Liberty Classic. Palmore was named to the all-tournament squad and is tied for the team-lead with 10.0 points per game to go along with a team-best 7.7 rebounds. Palmore has also been active on the defensive end, notching eight steals in three games. Bacote scored a team-high 15 points in the third-round game against UTSA, as he shot 5-of-7 from the floor and hit a pair of 3- pointers. Senior center DeShawn Painter (10.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg) finished with only six points on 2-of-7 shooting after scoring 12 points in each of the first two games.
Four of Cleveland State's five starters are averaging double figures through three games, with sophomore Marlin Mason the lone exception, averaging 9.0 points. While Mason has struggled a bit with his offensive game, shooting just 8-of-23 (.348) from the field, he has notched a team-high seven steals and paces the Vikings with 7.3 rebounds per tilt. Charlie Lee, Tim Kamczyc and Anton Grady are all averaging 13 points, while Sebastian Douglas is scoring 10.0 ppg. The entire starting five has gotten involved on the boards, as CSU is +1.7 in rebounding margin to go along with a +2.3 turnover margin. However, the Vikes were simply no match for Michigan on Tuesday, as the Wolverines shot a blistering 64 percent from the floor in the first half en route to a commanding 42-14 halftime lead. Grady led the way with 15 points in the loss.
Despite a lot of turnover from last season's roster, and Tuesday's rout at the hands of national contender Michigan, the Vikings have been a pleasant surprise in the early going. Meanwhile, ODU has been unusually suspect.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cleveland State 75, Old Dominion 70
11/17 10:33:40 ET