COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team gets set to tip-off the 2018-19 basketball season this Friday before hitting the road on Sunday.
ODU has their home-opener on Friday against Wayne State with tip-off set for 8 p.m. at Alumni Hall before traveling to play Ashland on Sunday at 3 p.m.
About Ohio Dominican
Head coach Dan Evans enters his sixth season on Sunbury Road coming into the season with a 59-79 overall record where the team has improved on their win total each season in his tenure.
A year ago, the Panthers won the Great Midwest Athletic Conference tournament championship on their way to the school's first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history.
Coming off a 21-11 record a year ago, ODU brings back a veteran core of five players that averaged at least 11 minutes per game including the top two scorers.
Hasan Varence (Queens, New York) led the Panther offense a year ago averaging 14.2 points per game along with 9.8 rebounds per game. Varence notched 11 double-doubles a year ago on his way to being named to the all-conference second team. The junior forward also shot 48.5% in the 30.2 minutes a night.
Junior guard Sam Hickey (Toledo, Ohio) was second on the team in scoring a year ago coming off the bench in 19 of 20 games where he averaged 12.0 points per game. Hickey played 22.1 minutes per night where he also averaged 3.1 rebounds.
Also in the backcourt for the Panthers is senior Ryan Hoyng (Celina, Ohio) who started 13 games a year ago averaging 5.6 points for ODU shooting 46% from the floor.
Fellow senior Ben Casanova (Sylvania, Ohio) joins Varence in the front court for the Panthers. A year ago, the 6-6 forward played 20 minutes a night scoring 4.7 points while grabbing 4.3 rebounds per game.
About Wayne State
Head coach David Greer comes into his 18th season with a 239-220 record as the head coach of the Warriors.
Last year, the Warriors finished their season with a 15-11 record while averaging 69.8 points per game and giving up 69.0.
The Warriors look to replace their top four scorers from a year ago, among them, three 1,000 point scorers that graduated.
Leading that charge for WSU is Latin Davis Jr. who averaged 7.3 points per game a year ago and Karim Murray who averaged four points.
Head coach John Ellenwood enters his 11th season as head coach of the Eagles who finished the 2017-18 season with a 20-10 overall record.
This season, the Eagles are projected to win the GLIAC South as they received 10 first place votes.
Ashland lost a pair of 1,000 point scorers from last years team but return three starters from last year's squad.
Senior guard Ben Haraway is back for his final year starting the year with over 1,000 points.
Alongside Haraway is center Drew Noble as they both return to lead the Eagle offense this season. Both players picked up all-conference nods a year ago. Noble averaged 14 points a game for the Eagles while Haraway averaged 13.
The third returning starter for the Eagles is guard Aaron Thompson who led the Eagles on the defensive end.
Ashland also brought in a pair of recruits from Bowling Green State University to solidify the rotation.
A year ago when the Panthers and Eagles matched up, Ashland defeated ODU by a score of 64-56.