The ODAC coaches took notice of the success head coach Melvin Felix had in his first season at the helm and selected the EMU Runnin Royals seventh in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Preseason Poll.
The Royals received 60 points, which was three points ahead of No. 8 Randolph and eight ahead of Hampden-Sydney. In front of EMU are Lynchburg and Washington and Lee who tied for fifth with 97 points, while reigning ODAC Champion Guilford sits atop the poll with 136 points.
The men finished 10-16 last year earning a trip to the ODAC Tournament as the tenth seed before falling in the first round.
Despite the departure of eight contributing seniors from a year ago, the Royals return a group of young players looking to step into new roles around returning starters Tim Jones (Forestville, Md./Central) and Jamel Howard (Leesburg, Va./Tuscarora). As a sophomore, Jones averaged 12.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game as EMU's point guard. Howard and junior forward DJ Hill (Woodbridge. Va./Hylton) both averaged over 20 minutes per game last season providing versatility on both sides of the court.
The Royals start their season earlier than in previous years, heading to D-I James Madison University for an exhibition on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 4:00pm. It's the fourth time in the past five seasons that Eastern Mennonite has played at JMU.
2019-20 ODAC MEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON POLL
(#) Denotes First Place Votes
1. Guilford College (6 pts.) -- 136 points
2. Randolph-Macon College (4) -- 131 points
2. Virginia Wesleyan University (3) -- 131 points
4. Roanoke College -- 107 points
5. University of Lynchburg -- 97 points
5. Washington and Lee University -- 97 points
7. Eastern Mennonite University -- 60 points
8. Randolph College -- 57 points
9. Hampden-Sydney College -- 52 points
10. Emory & Henry College -- 40 points
10. Ferrum College -- 40 points
12. Shenandoah University -- 34 points
13. Bridgewater College -- 32 points