Brevard, N.C. - The 2008-09 Brevard College men's basketball team will get its first chance to perform for the public tomorrow, as the Tornados travel to Boiling Springs, N.C. to take on the Runnin’ Bulldogs of Gardner-Webb University. Tuesday's tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Paul Porter Arena on the Gardner-Webb campus.
“We are really excited about today and it is always fun for the guys to go to a Division I facility and compete against some Division I guys,” commented Head Coach Michael Jones.
Brevard, which finished last season 4-24 as provisional members of both the NCAA Division II and the South Atlantic Conference, returns all five starters from last year's team, as well as a solid group of returners, redshirts from last season and freshmen.
“We are entering both of our exhibition games with the thoughts of trying to win the ballgame,” continued Coach Jones. “We are going to be watching most importantly how our guys that have been in our system now for two and three years can use the system to their advantage.”
Leading the Tornado returning players is Second Team all-South Atlantic Conference selection Jonathan Whitson. Whitson led the team with 18 points and 7.9 rebounds per game last season and was named to the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association College Division All-State Second Team.
Last year starters Andrew Freeman, Joseph Chilton, Cody Siniard and Sean Ferretti also return, as well as sixth man Shane Galloway who averaged over close to 10 points a game off the bench for the Tornados.
Redshirt juniors Darin Dellinger, Nathan Whitmire and Sam Carlisle, who all redshirted last season, will see significant minutes this season. The trio, who practiced with the team all last season, are no strangers to the system and should step in and make an immediate impact this season.
Gardner-Webb was picked to finish third by the Big South Conference’s head coaches and media in their inaugural season in the Big South.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs (16-16 in 2007-2008, 9-7 Atlantic Sun Conference), were one point behind second-place pick Radford, and were 40 points ahead of fourth-place Liberty. Winthrop, winners of four consecutive Big South titles, was picked first – but only 14 votes in front of Gardner-Webb, which will be in its first season of competition in the Big South.
Gardner-Webb collected three first-place votes in what was a wide-open vote, as seven different teams collected at least one first-place vote in the balloting.
GWU junior guard Grayson Flittner (15.3 ppg) was named to the five-man preseason All-Big South Conference team. Flittner, who made a school and Atlantic Sun Conference record 107 three-point shots last season, is one of four starters returning for Coach Rick Scruggs’ team – and is one of two players to average at least 19 points per game in GWU’s five games against Big South schools last season (Aaron Linn).
The Sporting News also picked GWU to finish second in its inaugural Big South venture, and chose Aaron Linn as a member of its preseason All-League team. Linn, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound senior guard, averaged 12.5 points per game last season, and 19.6 points per game in the Bulldogs’ five outings against Big South teams.
Fans can follow tomorrow night's action via live statistics, which will be available on www.gwusports.com or at www.bctornados.com. To listen to the game live, you can tune into WSQL 1240 AM or visit www.bctornados.com to listen to the “Voice of the Tornados” Rob Walden call the action.
Brevard begins the regular season on Tuesday, November 18, at home against Warren Wilson College. The tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.
Click here for Game Notes