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Men’s Basketball Garners National Attention

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Written by Alexis Barton

The Roanoke men’s basketball team has been off to a flying start this season. In their opening weeks of non-conference play, the Maroons dominated teams from all over the east coast. After beating Marietta, who was ranked #3 in the nation at the time, the Maroons got the confidence boost that they needed to kick off their season. The Maroons have remained undefeated as they head into a series of conference games. 

In what will be one of the most anticipated of their season, the Maroons will host the Randolph-Macon Yellow Jackets, who currently sit at the #3 seed in nationwide ranking for Division III. The Yellow Jackets have dominated the ODAC for the past several seasons, with most championships in 2021 and 2020. The Maroons have often trailed closely behind the Yellow Jackets, but this season may be their time to overtake the #1 spot in the conference. 

Currently, the Maroons sit at the #1 spot in the ODAC with a 6-0 overall record and 1-0 conference record. Randolph-Macon has a 7-1 overall record but is still undefeated in the conference. Though their record is slightly worse, technically speaking, the Yellow Jackets have still had an incredible run with their only loss being the result of a 1-point overtime game against Christopher Newport University. They have also won by similar margins compared to the Maroons, defeating their opponents by 10-20 points on a regular basis. 

Saturday’s game will be a matchup of two wildly talented teams, but two players in particular will be on display: Roanoke’s Kasey Draper and Randolph-Macon’s Buzz Anthony. Draper has been a key component of the Maroons’ offense since his freshman season in 2019-20, but he has only grown in his role since then. Draper currently sits at an average of 20.5 points per game, 0.1 more than Anthony. After 4 successful years with the Yellow Jackets, Anthony returned for a final season of eligibility to help lead his team to yet another successful season. Both of these players have proved to be excellent leaders in addition to star athletes. 

Only time will tell which team will come out on top, but it will surely be a spectacular display of athleticism. Be sure to come support the Maroons as they take on the Yellow Jackets and aim to move up in national rankings. Saturday, December 4th at 2 PM in the Cregger Center. Go Maroons!