Old Dominion Monarchs (1-1)
- Head Coach: Jeff Jones (6th Season)
- Top Performer: Ahmad Caver (23.0 PPG, 4.5 APG)
- Points For: 65.5 PPG (292nd)
- Points Against: 61.5 PPG (T-59th)
- Last Game/Streak: 79-64 Loss at St. Joe’s (1L)
It may be only mid-November but already, college basketball teams are beginning to play themselves onto the right-or-wrong side of the bubble.
And through just two contests for the Oregon State Beavers, the high preseason anticipations of potentially reaching the NCAA Tournament once again are slowly progressing into a realistic idea for head coach Wayne Tinkle’s side. That is, so long as the team’s early season form shows itself as no fluke, when Oregon State travels to the U.S. Virgin Islands to participate in the 2018 Paradise Jam.
The Beavers first opponent in the beautiful setting of the Virgin Islands will be Old Dominion, a squad who was picked to finish third in the C-USA Preseason Poll, behind Western Kentucky and Marshall, two possible teams to make the big dance in their own right. However, even that expectation may be low for the excitable Monarchs, who may be able to find cohesion on the offensive end and turn that into their calling card as the season progresses.
Led by a savvy trio of guards in the prolific Ahmad Caver (23.0 PPG), the do-it-all man B.J. Stith (12.0 PPG) and the developing Xavier Green (12.0 PPG), head coach Jeff Jones has the typical blueprint of a successful mid-major team in tow. Caver is the type of dynamic player who can go toe-to-toe with any talent in the country on any given night, while Stith and Green can play in both complimentary or more responsible roles.
Up front, seven foot Providence transfer Dajour Dickens (4.0 PPG) leads a mix of interchangeable (yet lengthy) pieces, who fill the void of much-needed size on a guard-heavy team. Don’t look for Dickens or fellow big men Elbert Robinson III (2.0 PPG) or Aaron Carver (1.0 PPG) to chip in more than simple put-backs throughout any game.
Old Dominion knows where it’s bread is buttered. It’s success lies within it’s guards.
To beat Oregon State, the Monarchs will have to get those strong contributions from those aforementioned guards and potentially, a breakthrough performance from a Marquis Godwin (9.0 PPG), a suitable 6’ 5” swingman who is trying to take a big leap in his second season with the squad.
However, if the Beavers continue to bring the tenacity on both ends of the floor that they’ve displayed through their wins over UC-Riverside and Wyoming, Oregon State has the depth chart to coast through the first round of the 2018 U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam.
Player To Watch
Ahmad Caver (Senior): Like Justin James in the Beavers’ last game against Wyoming, senior guard Ahmad Caver is the guy that everything on the Monarchs’ roster runs through. Caver will undoubtedly have the ball in his hands at all times and continuously be the lead decision maker for Jeff Jones’ squad. If Caver keeps the assist-to-turnover ratio on the right side of things, Old Dominion usually grows into a well-oiled machine. When he becomes a one-man show, the Monarchs have a tendency to slide in the wrong direction.
- Date: Friday, November 16th
- Time: 10:00 AM PT
- Location: University of the Virgin Islands Sports & Fitness Center (St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands)
- Coverage: FloHoops