Montreat College
 2008-09 Men's Basketball Season Outlook

The Montreat Cavaliers Men's Basketball team looks to the new season with great excitement and anticipation.   Senior leaders Aaron Collazo, Kinard Barnett, Thomas Nicholson and Stephen Whiteside have graduated but a host of new talent has arrived in Montreat ready to make major contributions for the Cavs.

A great basketball tradition has been established at Montreat and this year's team looks to build on that foundation.   In the last four seasons, the Cavs are 63-24 in AAC games and have advanced to the conference tournament championship three of the last four years.   A solid group of veteran guards combined with athletic posts will lead the Cavaliers this year.

The 2008-09 schedule is as tough as ever with road games against NCAA Division I opponents UNC-Asheville, High Point, and Liberty University.   The Cavs will also play five games against local NCAA D-II institutions, North Greenville University (2), Mars Hill College (2) and Brevard College.

The AAC will be full of talented teams this year.     Bluefield College should be the team to beat as they return a very talented team again this season.   King College, Milligan College, Union College and UVA-Wise should also have very talented teams and will compete for the conference title in 2009.

The point guard position is wide-open as the Cavaliers graduated all three point guards from last year.   Junior Timmy Harper is excited about moving from the shooting guard position back to the spot that he played in high school.   Harper, Montreat's best perimeter defender, is also a much improved offensive player.     He will be joined at the point by freshman Terrell Mosely (Jacksonville, FL).   Mosely is a solid ball handler with the ability to knock down open jump shots.   He is also a strong defender and will play right away for the Cavaliers.

Senior Matt Johnson returns to the court after red-shirting last season.   Johnson is a pure shooter and will be one of Montreat's main threats behind the three-point line.  Johnson spent much of last year working on his defense and his hard work has certainly paid off.    Transfer sophomore, Rhett Hardin (Boiling Springs, SC), will add much needed depth at the guard position.   A crafty scorer, Hardin can shoot from deep and has the ability to draw fouls inside.  Playing both JV and varsity as a freshman for the Cavs, Tyler Buff (Cherryville, NC), is an excellent defender and will depth at all three guard positions.

Senior MJ Njoku will bring explosiveness and versatility to the Cavaliers.  Njoku is a phenomenal athlete and has the flexibility to play three positions.   Njoku is a strong guard that can post up smaller defenders or take bigger defenders out away from the basketball and shoot the "3".  Last season, Njoku lead the Cavaliers in scoring at over 13 points a game.   Njoku has grabbed four rebounds a game and shot just under 39% from behind the three-point arc. He scored a season-high 28 points against Tennessee Wesleyan in a tough loss at the AAC tournament.   Njoku was 13th in the NAIA last year in FG% shooting 56.6% from the floor.   

Sophomore Matt Rushing has returned to Montreat this fall in great shape and will find time at both forward positions.   Rushing is deceptively quick and brings lots of energy to the floor every night.  Rushing averaged four points and three rebounds last season and we expect those numbers to steady increase with more playing time. Freshman, Vince Dombrowski (Morganton, NC) joins the Cavs as an excellent stand-still shooter with great range.   He will find more time as his overall game develops and he has time to learn the Montreat system.

The power forward spot brings much talent and even more question marks for the upcoming season.  Junior Kevin Hanlon averaged 4 points and 2 rebounds after joining the Cavaliers at the break last season.  He brought instant offense off the bench last year shooting 50% from behind the three-point line. But Hanlon will start the year ineligible but the team is very hopeful for his return after the first semester.   Newcomers Austin Harrison (Greensboro, NC) and Dustin Harris (Marion, NC), join the Cavs this fall but will also have to sit first semester due to eligibility rules.  Harrison is a great athlete and has the ability to score inside or out.  Harris is a hard working post player who runs the floor very well.   Harris can battle inside with the big men or step outside hit the open jump shot.  Both can play multiple positions and both will play immediately after gaining their eligibility.

The center position should be much improved this season.   Sophomore Seth Moore returns for the Cavs after averaging five points and three rebounds in his first season at Montreat.  He will be joined in the block by freshman, Shane Williams (Kinston, Jamaica).  Williams played in high school ball at Victory Christian Center in Charlotte, NC.   He will bring high energy and athleticism to the post area.   Sophomore David Whitehead, will also play inside for the Cavaliers this season.   Whitehead will start for the JV and bring depth at both the power forward and center positions.

Junior Brian Adams brings size and toughness to the post for the Cavs.   At 6'8, 285lbs, Adams is the biggest player to play at Montreat in many years.   Brian has great footwork for a man his size and a very soft touch around the basket.   He, too, will start the season on the inactive list but the Cavaliers trust that he will be able to play second semester.

Coach Robinson is also very excited about the continuing work of his staff from last year. Montreat alum, Patrick Hanlon, will return for his second year as men's assistant basketball coach.  Hanlon played five years for Coach Robinson and has been a very important part of the success during his tenure as a Cavalier.   He will also take on the role as Head JV coach for the 2008-09 season.   Also returning for the Cav's coaching staff is Coach Rob Brendle, former head coach at Mayland Community College.   Coach Brendle has an enormous amount of recruiting experience and has extensive knowledge of the recruiting landscape in North Carolina and the surrounding states. 

Many long battles will be fought this season but the 2008-09 is committed to reaching their potential…..TOGETHER.

 2008-09 JV Men's Basketball Season Outlook

The Montreat Junior Varsity program in just it's forth season looks to improve on the success that the team had last season.    Even though the record 4-10 is not impressive, four of the ten losses were by single digits and the team's improvement was very evident.  The 2008-09 season will begin with much anticipation as three returning starters and a new group of young, talented players have joined the Cavaliers and are motivated to make their mark at Montreat College.

Sophomore David Whitehead will be the only returning post player and has already taken a leadership role for the Cavaliers this year.   At 6'4, Whitehead brings a major presence inside for the Cavaliers.    Whitehead the leading rebounder from last season brings toughness and experience to the front line of Montreat.   Whitehead is good around the basket with a large array of post moves.

A.J. Smith and Daniel Kennedy will bring energy and stability at the guard position for the Cavaliers this year.  Both players started for Montreat last season as freshmen. Smith is one of the best shooters on the team and was the leading scorer for the Cavaliers last season, with a couple of big games of 30 points. Kennedy who struggled last season with a knee injury is healthy and geared up for the season. Kennedy showed great improvement last year, and will play both of the guard positions for the Cavaliers. 

Freshmen Cameron Hayes (Marion Christian Academy) and Tyler Buff (Cherryville) will battle for time at the forward position.  Hayes is a great scorer with range, while Buff is one of the best defenders on the team.  Both will be relied on heavily to make an impact among the inexperience group.   Hayes averaged 20 plus points a game for his high school career at Marion Christian and Buff is a high energy player who will be repeatedly asked to guard the best player from the other team.

Danial Breedin (Mitchell High School), Daniel Davis (Enka High School) bring the ability to knock down jump shots and slash to the bucket.   Breedin is an excellent stand-still shooter.   Davis is a good defender and shooter.  Both guys will vie for time at the shooting guard and small forward positions.

High School teammates Trenton Claxton and Ricky Moore (North Lincolnton) will join Nico Humphrey and red shirts this season.   Claxton is an excellent athlete who attacks the goal.  Moore a high school football player brings a much needed toughness to the guard position.  All three will play a major role for the young Cavaliers in the future.

The 2008-09 JV schedule is highlighted by a trip to Chapel Hill to take on the Tar Heels JV, a home/home series with a very talented Caldwell Community College squad, and two games with rival Catawba Valley Community College. Overall, the basketball program is very excited about the JV team for this season and looks forward to seeing the talent develop throughout the year.

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