ODU will play in Hall of Fame basketball tournament

Old Dominion will join Kentucky, Penn State, Long Island and four other teams in the 2011 Basketball Hall of Fame's Tip-Off Tournament, to be held Nov. 19-20 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

In addition to those four NCAA tournament qualifiers from last season, the two four-team brackets will also include Marist, Radford, South Florida and 2011 NIT participant Vermont.

ODU will face South Florida, coming off a 10-23 season, in the first round, Kentucky or Penn State the following day.

Long Island faces Radford and Vermont takes on Marist in Bracket 1. Four of the eight games at Mohegan Sun, to be announced later, will be televised by ESPN.

"This is a great opportunity for our program to again play on a national stage against a strong field, which includes teams from the SEC, Big Ten (and) the Big East, along with Vermont and Long Island, who had great seasons," ODU coach Blaine Taylor said in a release. " … This tournament has a lot of history and will be a good challenge for our young squad."

ODU loses four seniors from last year's team, including leader scorer and rebounder Frank Hassell.

Last season, the Monarchs defeated St. Peter's, Clemson and Xavier to win the Paradise Jam tournament in November in the Virgin Islands.

In addition to the games at Mohegan Sun Arena, ODU, Penn State, Kentucky and South Florida will each host two on-campus games as part of the tournament, to be held between Nov. 11 and Nov. 23.

Uncasville is about an hour's drive from the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

"The participating schools are rich in basketball tradition, and we look forward to welcoming each of them to this exciting tournament and the Basketball Hall of Fame in November," John L. Doleva, president and CEO of the hall, said in a release.

Melinda Waldrop covers local colleges for the Daily Press. Her blog is at dailypress.com/sports

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