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Falcons Look to Fly High as Men's Basketball Season Tips-Off on Sunday in Highway 52 Shootout

Photo By: Jon GardinerPhoto By: Jon Gardiner

MISENHEIMER, N.C. – The 2009-10 Pfeiffer men’s basketball team may be short in stature, but has quickness and energy reminiscent of many Pfeiffer teams in the past. Eight of the top thirteen players on this year’s squad are 5’10” or smaller, but this has never been a factor for a program that has led Division I and II in scoring over four of the last seven seasons, including last year when they averaged 98.8 points per game.

Four returners and a host of newcomers will lead the Falcons into action this season and it starts with 6’6” post player Chris Woods (Thomasville, NC). Woods averaged 16 points and eight rebounds in just half the game (19.9 minutes) as Pfeiffer routinely rotates twelve different players in and out. Woods, who was named to the All-Conference team had 29 points and nine rebounds vs. Barton and 32 points vs. Queens on 13-of-16 shooting. He shot 63% from the field and over 70% for a six game stretch at the end of last year.

 Junior Jeff Pettiway (Edgewood, MD) returns after shooting almost 50% from the 3-point line a year ago, averaging just over 11 points per game. Davon Gilliard (Charleston, SC) shot 50% from the field and 43% from the 3-point line while averaging nine points per game in an injury plagued season. Senior Athalie Rivera (Baltimore, MD), standing 6’5’’, is a wrecking ball who was second to Woods in rebounding a year ago.

A trio of transfer point guards and trio of freshman lead the group of newcomers who hope to return Pfeiffer to a national championship contender. Kierre Jordan (Atlanta, GA), Yuki Yamaguchi (Tokyo, Japan), and Chase Miller (Fairfax, VA) are the three point guards who bring quickness and intelligence to a team that is in great need of both. Jordan led his high school team to back-to-back state championships, a 29-game winning streak and was named to the all-state team. Yamaguchi, also a junior, was the region’s top assist man both years at Otero Junior College in Colorado. He also broke the free throw record at Otero and led the region in that category as well (89.4%).

Chase Miller (Fairfax, VA) played 32 minutes a game at Southern New Hampshire, leading the team in assists, free throw percentage and brings a point guard mentality with the ability to shoot the three-ball. Miller made the NE-10 All-Tournament team as a freshman and was second in the league in free throw shooting.

The freshmen are led by 6’9” Antonio Kalpic (Sibenik, Croatia), who played last year at Wesleyan Christian Academy in High Point, NC. Kalpic is clearly a Division I player with inside and out skills. State champion James Morse (Arundel, MD) led Thorton Academy to the championship while earning MVP honors in the championship game. Morse was also named All-State and Runner-Up Mr. Basketball in Maryland.

 Josh Humphrey (Matthews, NC), standing 6’5’’, is a prolific scorer and played his high school ball at Butler averaging 20 points per game before playing a Prep School year at Massanutten, where he averaged 14 points and eight rebounds Sophomore Isaac Carr (Irwinton,GA/Northern Oklahoma JC) and juniors Jovonte Eaford (Orlando, FL, Cape Fear, CC) and Andrew Pughsley (Roanoke VA), have each had outstanding preseason workouts and have moved ahead of several returners and will contribute immediately.

The regular season opens with a pair of tournaments, the inaugural Highway 52 Shootout featuring three local schools Catawba, Livingstone and Pfeiffer beginning Sunday in Misenheimer. Pfeiffer will turn right back around and play two teams from last year’s NCAA Tournament, USC-Aiken and Catawba in a tournament in Salisbury on November 21st and 22nd, followed by a full Conference Carolinas 20-game schedule.

“This has been a fun and challenging pre-season and I am anxious to get to work on November 15th,” stated head coach Dave Davis. “We are inexperienced, but we have a group who believes in the “Pfeiffer Way” and will have a chance to be a very good club once we learn how to play at Pfeiffer speed. Our returners are very disappointed in our 16 win season (the worst in Davis’ 13 years) last year and have comeback hungry and ready to improve. We have seven players capable of playing the point guard spot which is the way I like it. {Antonio} Kalpic gives us size we have not had since Damien Argrett when we won 59 games in two seasons. {Chris} Woods is as good a player as there is in small college basketball and our guards are competitive, have work ethic and can really score the basketball.”   

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