COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team tips off their season this weekend with a pair of GLIAC foes in Wayne State (Mich.) and Ashland.
The contest with the Warriors is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Detroit before the Panthers have their home-opener with the Eagles on Sunday with tip at 3 p.m. in Alumni Hall.
About Ohio Dominican
Head Coach Kelly Winter enters his first season at the helm after serving as an assistant the last five years within the ODU program. Winter will lead a veteran lineup that has 11 returners that includes seven players that played in at least 10 games a year ago.
Leading the way for the Panthers will be seniors Hasan Varence (Queens, New York) and Sam Hickey (Toledo, Ohio). A year ago, Varence led the country in defensive rebounds per game grabbing 9.6 per contest and a total of 12.5 rebounds per game while averaging 16.2 points per game. Hickey led the team in scoring, pouring in 16.9 points per game on 43.6% shooting. The pair were the first juniors in program history to amass the 1,000 point mark with Varence having 1,192 career points to Hickey's 1,185.
Junior Michael Scott (Hebron, Kentucky) will lead the backcourt as the point guard this season as he led the Panthers in assists per game with 4.1 dimes a season ago in his 23.3 minutes per game. Sophomore Arius Jones (Lansing, Mich.) will join Scott and Hickey in the backcourt this season. Jones played 27 of the 28 games a season ago, playing a key bench role playing 18.9 minutes per game.
Joining Varence in the front court for the Panthers is junior Matt King (Mason, Ohio) who played in all 28 games a year ago, starting half of them, averaging 6.6 points and 3.6 rebounds a year ago.
About Wayne State
Wayne State adds four transfers to a team that went 8-17 overall a year ago. The Warriors are projected to finish sixth in the south division of the GLIAC this season.
Wayne St. brings back the team's leading scorer in Darian Owens-White from a year ago who averaged 16.7 points per game along with Karim Murray who averaged 11.4 points per game and seven rebounds per night. The Warriors averaged 72.7 points per game on 43.7% shooting a year ago while giving up 77.5 points on 45.3% shooting.
Head Coach David Greer enters his 19th season at Wayne St. with a 247-237 overall record. The Warriors have an 8-4 all-time series record against ODU including a 5-1 mark in Detroit. A year ago, ODU handled the Warriors in Alumni Hall by a final score of 92-79.
Ashland comes into the season ranked No. 19 in the NABC Division II Coaches' Poll after a 23-7 record a season ago. The Eagles were projected to finish second in the GLIAC South division after finishing last year with a 15-5 record in the conference.
Ashland returns the Preseason GLIAC Player of the Year choice in Drew Noble to lead the way where he averaged 17.2 points per game and 6.4 rebounds a season ago. Aaron Thompson led the Eagles in rebounding a year ago at 9.4 per game with Rodrick Caldwell and Derek Koch also returning averaging 12.8 and 8.7 points per game as season ago, respectively.
Head Coach John Ellenwood enters his 11th season at the helm for Ashland with a career record of 171-110 at AU.
A year ago, the Eagles outlasted the Panthers 66-60 at home and currently hold a 13-3 edge in the overall series with the Panthers last win coming in an 80-78 triumph in 2017.