Game #9-184: Old Dominion Monarchs at Charleston CougarsDecember 18, 2012 7:30 pm
Carolina First Center
If you looked at a schedule at the beginning of the season and saw that Old Dominion was facing the College of Charleston, you would probably think that it would be a very quality mid-major matchup. On one side you had Old Dominion, who has made postseason appearances in the past eight seasons and has had great success under Blaine Taylor. ODU is in its last year in the Colonial Athletic Association before it heads off to Conference USA for football-related reasons.
One school taking their place is the College of Charleston Cougars, who will join the CAA next year. Charleston, who is always a perennial power in the Southern Conference, has only had one losing season since joining the DI ranks and have always played well at home knocking off high-quality opposition.
The seasons of both teams have not gotten off to the best starts though. Since this is the last year Old Dominion is in the CAA, they are ineligible for the conference tournament. The only chance ODU would have at getting into the NCAA Tournament would be as an at-large. Any chances of that happening are long gone as the Monarchs opened the season with a horrendous 1-9 start. I know Kent Bazemore was a big part of the Monarch squad last year, but I did not think his loss in addition to some other key players would have such a negative effect on the team.
While Charleston has not had quite that bad of a start, they have run into some troubles as of late. The Cougars were headed in the right direction after a big road win at Baylor, but they followed that up with a miserable performance against Louisville
Some thought the Cougars could get the bad taste out of their mouth with a visit from Division II Anderson, but they ended up getting Black Lined
in a game that was never close. Injuries have been a part of this with Trent Wiedeman missing most of the season and Andrew Lawrence also dealing with some nagging ailments.
What was on paper before the season a very strong matchup was now a meeting of two teams that were trying to stop the negative momentum. A road win for Old Dominion would be a positive heading towards the conference season where they could at least shoot for a regular-season crown and leave their old rivals with a bitter feeling. Charleston had the chance to stop its mini-slide with both Lawrence and Wiedeman back in the lineup.
Charleston is well known for some really good cuisine with some really good chefs. Since there is so much competition, there are always new places opening up every few months. I was hoping to get to go to any number of places before the Louisville game, but it was packed everywhere I tried. I knew if I left work early, I would be able to choose wherever I wanted to go, especially with a bunch of students gone on break.