ODU takes on William & Mary in a Virginia rivalry on Tuesday night. ODU is now in Conference USA, but was formerly in the CAA. where the Tribe resides. Last season, the Monarchs knocked off the Tribe, 71-53 at home.
ODU is in a slumpHead coach Jeff Jones won the 500th game of his career after his Monarchs defeated Northeastern, 76-69 on Nov. 16. But since then, Old Dominion has dropped four straight games over James Madison (80-78), George Mason (60-63), Washington State (66-50) and Loyola-Chicago (68-61). In the last four games, the Monarchs have averaged just 60.5 points per game. Offense was an issue against Loyola-Chicago in the seventh-place game of the Cayman Islands Classic on Nov. 27. Malik Curry led the Monarchs with 21 points and shot 10-of-16 from the floor, while Jon Reece added 10 points and six boards off the bench.
ODU shot 47.2% from the floor, but made just 4 of 16 from beyond the arc. On the season, the Monarchs are averaging just 64.4 points per game (305th) on 40.5% shooting from the field (301) and 31.9% from beyond the arc (226). They are also struggling from the free throw line (60.9%), but they are outrebounding their opponents by 5.3 per game.
Defense is Jones' and ODU's calling card. They are giving up 65.4 points per game on 40.8% shooting from the field and 35.1% from beyond the arc (265th). Xavier Green leads the Monarch with 15.8 points per game on 39.5% shooting and adds 5.1 rebounds.
Size mattersWilliam & Mary has gone from being a finesse team to just beating people up under new coach Dane Fischer. His squad has understandably struggled with a transition of a new head guy replacing long-time coach Tony Shaver. The Tribe started the season off well, winning their first four games of the season (High Point, American, Wofford, Hampton) and then fell to Oklahoma (75-70), Stanford (81-50), before beating Morehead State on Nov. 26 (95-84).
On Saturday, the Tribe fell at Buffalo, 88-77. Defensively, William & Mary struggled, allowing the Bulls to shoot 54.8% from the field and 10-of-23 from beyond the arc (43.5%). William & Mary also turned the ball over 18 times, despite shooting 50% from the field. Nathan Knight (6-10, 245) led the Tribe with 30 points and 10 boards, while Luke Loewe added 16 points.
Nathan Knight named #CAAHoops Player of the Week for the 4️⃣th time in his career.— William & Mary Tribe Men's Basketball (@WMTribeMBB) December 2, 2019
📰 https://t.co/ASuJ4lq5a3#GoTribe | #OurStateOurTribe pic.twitter.com/PimGnvXgAL
With so many players leaving or graduating after Shaver left, Fischer had to add a bunch of transfers. One of them is 7-1 Andy Van Vliet from Wisconsin, though he was a Shaver transfer, having sat out last season. Van Vliet is averaging 14.3 points and 9.1 rebounds (15-38 3pt) to give the Tribe one of the tallest tandems in mid-major basketball. Knight is the team's star, averaging 21.1 points and 10.2 rebounds with 1.5 blocks.
Defensively, they do need work as they are allowing 74.8 points per game and 44% from the field. The offense though is typical William & Mary as they shoot 49.4% from the field (26th) and 39.8% (25th) from beyond the arc.
Trends from Covers.com ODU is:
- 1-6 ATS last 7 road games.
- 0-4 ATS last 4 non-conference games.
William & Mary is:
- 5-1 ATS last 6 home games.
- 4-0 ATS last 4 after an ATS loss.