Stretch run for ODU, with eyes on top 4 finish in C-USA

NORFOLK (WAVY) — Five regular season games remain on Old Dominion’s basketball schedule before next month’s conference tournament in Birmingham.

The Monarchs season has seen its up and downs, from a crushing home loss to Florida Atlantic, to a blowout road win against UAB. With only two seniors on the roster, coach Jeff Jones has had to lean on his younger players. Lately it’s been the sophomore trio of B.J. Stith, Ahmad Caver and Zoran Talley.

“The game at UAB was probably as complete a win that we’ve had in some time,” Jones said. “Ahmad played well, B.J. was really in stretches, Talley down the stretch had four field goals in a row. We’re seeing them grow, now we need to see that consistency.”

When ODU plays Charlotte on Saturday night at the Ted Constant Center, it will be the Monarchs first game in a week. It will also be a rematch from a game earlier in the season that ODU lost on a last second shot.

“I can guarantee our guys have not forgotten about the Charlotte loss down there, I don’t think they need any extra motivation.”

The top four teams in the league receive a first-round bye in the Conference USA Tournament. ODU is in third place as it winds down a regular season in a league that takes teams from Norfolk to El Paso.

“It’s tougher than it is in other leagues with the distance you travel and the difficulty getting to some of the locales,” Jones said. “The travel is not easy, it is what it is, everybody has to deal with it.”

ODU has three straight games at home beginning Saturday night against Charlotte before closing out the regular season at UTEP and UTSA.