October 24, 2011

Hoops Earns #23 Preseason Ranking

HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA-Excitement is brewing for basketball season as the Tigers have just been named the #23 team in the nation in D3hoops.com's Preseason Poll. The news comes recently after junior forward and 2010 ODAC Rookie of the Year Harrison George (Raleigh, NC/Leesville) was named a Fourth Team Preseason All-American.

"While we are excited to be mentioned among the Preseason Top-25, we are more concerned with the final ranking," commented head coach Dee Vick. "We have a chance to be very good with a blend of productive, experienced players and several promising newcomers."

The Tigers return nearly every contributor - including four starters - from last season's 17-10 team. The Tigers had a strong finish to the 2010-11 season, winning seven of their last eight regular season games. The late season streak included two wins over nationally ranked opponents in #19 Ferrum (87-83) and #6 Virginia Wesleyan (80-71).

Led by senior captains Ben Jessee (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) and Ru White (Chesterfield, VA/L.C. Bird), the Tigers will seek an ODAC-record 11th conference championship. It will be no easy task, however, as ODAC-rival Virginia Wesleyan has earned D3hoop.com's top spot. Randolph-Macon and Eastern Mennonite are also both receiving votes.

"The ODAC will always remain our top focus," added Vick. "Our league has proven that if you can finish in the top two or three then you will likely have a shot at the post season."

As a conference, the ODAC has risen to national prominence placing two teams in the tournament last season and four teams in the 2010 Tournament. In 2010, three reached the Sweet Sixteen and two were in the Final Four.

Hampden-Sydney will hit the hardwood November 18-19 in the Huntingdon College Classic. The Tigers will face LaGrange on the 18th and Huntingdon on the 19th.

To view the entire preseason poll, click here.