GREENSBORO, N.C. (11/1/10) -- Before Guilford College kicks off the 2010-2011 men's basketball season, the Quakers will play two top-tier opponents. On Tuesday, Nov. 2, Guilford will host the Italian Junior National Team in the Ragan-Brown Field House at 7:00 p.m. Three days later, Guilford travels down Interstate 40 to Winston-Salem, N.C., for a 7:00 p.m. exhibition with Wake Forest University.
The matchup against the Italian Junior National Team will be the third contest between the two teams since 2004. Guilford won the two previous contests, 74-60 in 2004, and 80-76 in 2005. The 2004 contest featured Danilo Gallinari, who now plays for the New York Knicks. Gallinari, one of only three Italians in the NBA, was held to only one point and went 0-6 from the floor after averaging 18.6 points per game in the 2004 European Championships. The Italian squad is comprised of the nation's top basketball players under 18 years of age and will play six games during its two-week American tour.
When the Quakers travel to the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, they will meet the NCAA Division I Demon Deacons for the first time since 1934. Before the 76-year hiatus, the Quakers and Deacons played regularly and Wake Forest holds a 24-7 edge in the series history. The rivalry dates back to one of Guilford's earliest recorded basketball matchups where the Quakers defeated the Deacons, 26-19, Feb. 6, 1906.
The exhibition games mark the first public appearance for the Quakers' new-look squad, which was picked fifth in the preseason Old Dominion Athletic Conference Coaches' Poll. Head coach Tom Palombo's team returns two starters and 11 letter winners from last year's 30-3 club that captured both the ODAC regular-season and tournament titles. Guilford has more wins over the past four years (104) than any other NCAA Division III team and has the eighth-best winning percentage (.846) among all NCAA basketball teams in that time. The Quakers have played in both of the past two Division III Tournament semifinals.
Guilford will host its annual Meet The Team Night, an intrasquad scrimmage, Nov. 9 in the Ragan-Brown Field House before opening the season in earnest Nov. 15 against Greensboro College at 8:00 p.m. in the Greensboro Coliseum.