Monarchs Celebrate Season at Big Blue BBQ

May 07, 2010
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

May 7, 2010

NORFOLK, VA-- Five Monarchs were honored with individual awards, and the entire squad were presented awards from the NCAA tournament at the annual Big Blue Bar-B-Q.

Ben Finney was named recipient of the Mark West Best Defensive award. Kent Bazemore was named the Cal Bowdler Most Improved while Darius James and Marsharee Neely were named the Paul Webb Best represents ODU award. The Most decorated Monarch was senior Gerald Lee as the team MVP.

The Old Dominion Monarchs compiled a 27-9 record, won the Colonial Athletic Association's regular season and tournament championship then advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament after beating sixth seeded Notre Dame, 51-50. It was ODU's first NCAA tournament win since 1995.

This was ODU's third NCAA appearance in six years and sixth straight national post season tournament appearance. The last six year's ODU is 146-60 for a .708 winning percentage, the most wins of any Virginia Division I team.

At home, ODU averaged 7,398 in 9 CAA games to lead the league. ODU also led in overall attendance at 6,995 in 15 home games. In going 15-0 at home, ODU's best ever at the Ted. The Monarchs also ranked fourth nationally with a current home winning streak of 23 games. Overall, ODU is 106-21 in the Constant Center, with its 100th win at the Ted on Jan. 16 against Drexel.

The 27 wins is the second most in ODU school history behind only the 2005 season, both under the direction of head coach Blaine Taylor who is 188-103 in nine seasons in Norfolk for a .646 winning percentage. Overall, Taylor is 330-168 in 16 years for a winning percentage of .663.

Playing one of the strongest schedule in school history, ODU defeated 11th ranked Georgetown, 61-57 along with Marshall and Charlotte. Despite a small stretch where the Monarchs lost to Missouri, Mississippi State and Richmond, ODU promptly compiled a 23-6 record from Dec. 5th on and were their traditionally tough 8-2 in January and 6-2 in February.

6-10 senior forward Gerald Lee led the Monarchs in scoring with a 14.4 points per game average. He shot .541 from the field, hit .759 from the free throw line to lead the team. Lee was named first team All-CAA, All-State and NABC District 10, and in leading the Monarchs to the CAA crown was selected the Tournament MVP.

Lee was also selected to the Lou Henson Mid Major All-American squad. He scored 12 points in the NABC College All-star game in Indianapolis and played in the prestigious Portsmouth Invitational. Lee completed his career with 1,624 career points which rank him 11th all-time at ODU. He was 22 points shy of Alex Loughton who ranks 10th and one point better than Kenny Gattison. Lee ranked second in field goal percentage and eighth in scoring.

The balanced scoring Monarchs had seven players who averaged between 5.5 points and 9.2 points per game. 6-8 Frank Hassell was second in scoring at 9.2 and field goal percentage at .540 and he led the team in rebounding at 6.7 which ranked him eighth in the CAA.

The 6-5 junior Ben Finney averaged 8.8 points per game and 5.8 rebounds per game. Finney was third on the team in assists with 89 and second in steals with 45. He was named third team All-CAA. Finney also ranked 15th in the CAA in steals, and 16th in rebounding.

Kent Bazemore averaged 8.4 points per game and tied for first in the CAA with 67 steals. He also handed out 3.2 assists per game. Bazemore was named to the CAA's All-Defensive squad and's All-American Defensive team.

Keyon Carter averaged 7.4 points per game, Darius James 7.0 and senior Marsharee Neely 5.5 points Per game. James tied Bazemore for the teams assist leadership at 3.2, while Neely was selected to play in the slam dunk contest in Indianapolis. The 6-8 Carter shot .347 percent from three point range. James ranked fourth in the CAA in assist/turnover ratio at 2.0, while Bazemore was seventh at 1.6.

Sophomore Trian Iliadis who averaged 3.1 points per game was named to the CAA's All-Academic team.

Lee, Finney, Hassell, Bazemore, James and Trian Iliadis are owners of a new school record of 36 games played in a single season, while Lee owns the new single season record for games started in a season of 36.

As a team, ODU led the CAA in scoring defense at 57.5, scoring margin at plus 9.6, rebound margin at plus 8.1, assists at 15.4. Ranked second in field goal percentage defense at .403, and three -point field goal percentage at .300, rebounding at 38.7, and steals at 7.8.