Roanoke men entering ODAC Tournament with confidence

‘Just seeing the ball go through the net in January helped us out.’

SALEM, Va. – The men’s Old Dominion Athletic Conference tournament cranks up this week at the Salem Civic Center, with Roanoke College having earned the 5th seed. The Maroons closed out the regular season with a 9-7 conference record after defeating Bridgewater on Saturday.

The Maroons have been a balanced, unselfish team for much of the season. That was on display during a six-game win streak in January, when they had an average win margin of 16 points. it also helps to have the second-leading scorer in the conference in Kasey Draper. The former Northside Viking averages 20 points per game, recently joined the 1,000 point club and was named a 1st team All-ODAC selection on Wednesday.

“Just seeing the ball go through the net in January helped us out,” Draper said. “We got more motivation when we lost to Washington & Lee the first time and after that we started clicking more. But, overall I’d say we kept the course and shots started falling for us.”

“The league I thought was as strong as I could ever remember,” said head coach Clay Nunley. “Obviously the COVID year making a difference. We saw a lot of guys back in our league for a fifth year that wouldn’t normally be here. I thought all that added up to a strong schedule that I thought we handled well, by and large. A couple stretches in February we probably wish we could have back but overall, pleased.

No. 5 Roanoke will face No. 4 Washington & Lee in the quarterfinals of the tournament, 3 p.m. tipoff Thursday from the Salem Civic Center.

About the Author

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.

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