Background Location: Mount Olive, N.C. Enrollment: Main campus: 700, All campuses: 2,500 Conference: Carolinas-Virginia (NCAA, Division II) Nickname: Trojans Colors: Forest Green and White Head Coach: Bill Clingan Record at MOC: 224-167 (14 years) Last Year: 23-8 (15-5, C-V)
Probable Starters: Melvin Creddle (6-1, 180, Jr.) – Newark, N.J./Cisco JC Maurice Horton (6-0, 170, Jr.) - 8.2 ppg, 1.9 apg Victor Young (6-2, 190, Jr.) – 8.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg Elijah Rouse (6-3, 200, So.) – 3.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg Sharome Holloway (6-8, 205, Sr.) – 8.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg Key Reserves: Chris Bartley (6-5, 245, So.) - 4.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg Elton Coffield (6-4, 170, So.) - 8.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg Moise Tchankeu (6-8, 250, So.) - Yaounde, Cameroon/EOSCPregame Notes
* The Trojans played at UNC Wilmington last weekend, losing 62-46. They shot 17 percent from the floor in the first half (4-24 FG) and couldn't recover. Center Sharome Holloway led Mt. Olive with 12 points, 11 boards and 3 blocks. Victor Young added 12 points.
* They are coming off their best season in program history -- most wins (23), first-ever national ranking (No. 20) and first-ever NCAA Tournament berth (first-round loss to Alderson-Broaddus).
* Despite the record season, Mt. Olive's most memorable moment last year was a play that reached the national spotlight. Marcus West's 80-foot shot at the buzzer knocked off then-undefeated and nationally fourth-ranked Pfeiffer, 108-105. The Shot was No. 1 on ESPN Sportscenter's Top 10 Plays of the Day and was also aired on CNN Headline News and Fox Sports Net.
* The team lost five key players to graduation, including West, an All-American. Center Sharome Holloway is the top returning starter, as the lean post player averaged 8.1 points and 5.4 boards before missing the last month of the season with a wrist injury. "Sharome has the ability to run the court and play defense, and his quickness should help lead us throughout the season," said head coach Bill Clingan.
* Another name to watch is guard Maurice Horton, who has moved from point to the shooting guard slot and will shoulder more of the team's scoring load. "Maurice is as quick and athletic as anyone in our league and his abilities really shined through at the conference tournament last year," said Clingan.
Horton ...... Holloway
(Thanks to David Shulimson and Mt. Olive College for their assistance with photos and info.)