Brevard, N.C. - The Tornados men’s basketball team opens up postseason play on Wednesday, March 3rd, as Brevard will host their 2010 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference quarterfinal opponent Wingate in Boshamer Gymnasium at 7 p.m.
In just their second season as full members of the South Atlantic Conference and NCAA Division II, the Brevard College men’s basketball team, coached by Michael Jones, went 18-9, 10-6 in conference play to clinch the third-seed in the tournament.
The contributions of the Tornados senior class and the play of junior guard Josh Roper were one of the main components to the Tornados play this season as Brevard improved by six games over last season’s total, including finishing the season with winning records at home, on the road and at neutral sites.
Roper led the Tornados in scoring on the season, finishing up the regular season fourth in the conference with 19.9 points per game, while also finishing among the leaders in rebounding, assists, free throw percentage and steals. The junior from Charlotte, N.C. also recorded the Brevard single game scoring record with 41 points against Erskine on January 18th, which is tied for the seventh-best single game performance in South Atlantic Conference history.
Senior forward Jonathan Whitson also guided the Tornados offense, carrying the team down on the blocks for most of the season in averaging 17.9 points per game and finishing second in the conference in rebounds at 8.1 per game. Whitson, the Brevard College career scoring and rebounding leader at 1,961 points and 904 rebounds, has over 40 double-doubles in his illustrious career at Brevard and set a school record this season, hitting 14 straight free throws against Wingate on January 16th.
Other top performers for Brevard include senior center Sam Carlisle, senior guard/forward Nathan Whitmire and senior guard Darin Dellinger.
Carlisle has taken over the paint in the second half of the season for the Tornados in averaging 11.3 points per game and finishing up the season third in the SAC in rebounding at 7.4. Whitmire has come on strong as well for Brevard over the last few weeks, setting new career highs against Catawba with 22 points and six steals against the Indians, scoring in double figures in each of Brevard’s last three games.
Dellinger has provided the steady hand in the offense on the season. The Brevard College All-Time assist leader at 227 in his career as a Tornado, Dellinger has handed out seven helpers in three games this season and is among the leaders in assists per game on the year with 3.67 per game.
Traveling to Brevard in the quarterfinals will be the sixth-seeded Wingate Bulldogs who come into the contest with a record of 14-13, 7-9 in conference play. Wingate is currently 5-7 on the road this season, with one of the wins coming in Brevard on February 13th.
All five Wingate starters are in double figures for the season, led by freshman forward Odell Turner at 11.9 points per game. Jaime Vaughn, Paidrick Matilus and Larry Staley are also averaging over 11 points per game, while Quan Alexander rounds out the group at 10.7.
Turner also leads the Bulldogs in averaging 7.0 rebounds in the year, finishing fifth in the South Atlantic Conference in the category.
The Tornados and Bulldogs split the regular season series at 1-1 with Brevard winning in Wingate, N.C., 88-87, while the Bulldogs returned the favor, defeating the Tornados 93-81 in Boshamer Gymnasium.
Game time is set for 7 p.m. and South Atlantic Conference ticket prices for the quarterfinal games are $6 for all adults and booster club members (All-Sports passes are void for the South Atlantic Conference tournament), and $3 for children, students and college students with ID.