Previewing Pfeiffer

North Carolina will play Division II Pfeiffer University on Saturday in what is sure to be a fast-paced final exhibition game of the preseason. Tip-off at the Smith Center is scheduled for 5 p.m. and the general admission event is sold out.

Pfeiffer Background
Location: Misenheimer, N.C.
Enrollment: 2,150
Conference: CVAC (NCAA, Division II)
Nickname: Falcons
Colors: Black & Gold
Head Coach: Dave Davis  (212-83 - 11th year)
Last Year: 18-11 (12-8, CVAC)

Top Returners: 
    5 DeMario Grier (6-1, 180, Sr.)  - 19.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg
    4 Tavares Cooper  (6-3, 220, Sr.) – 15.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg

Others to Watch: 
   32 Logan Call (6-6, 185, So.)  - 6.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg
   33 Robert McGriff  (6-2, 185, So.) – 4.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg
   14 Derek Moore (5-10, 190, Jr.) – 3.5 ppg
   11 Cortland Thomas (6-0, 165, Jr.) Reading Area CC
   22 Thomas Carr (6-1, 170, Jr.) Shepherd University

Pfeiffer Notes

* If the Falcons are known for one thing, it's a high-octane offense. They averaged 92.0 points per game last season and led the nation in forcing 25 turnovers per game. In fact, Pfeiffer has been atop Division I and II in scoring four of the last six years. And the team does it with a large rotation, averaging about 11 players seeing significant minutes. Last season's leading scorer did so in less than 20 minutes per game.

* Pfeiffer played a preseason exhibition at Purdue last season and led by as many as 15 points early in the second half before poor shooting doomed the Falcons.

* DeMario Grier scored 27 points in that game at Purdue, and he's Pfeiffer's top returning scorer at 19.7 points per game. Grier was named Second Team All-American by Street & Smith this preseason. His cousin is recent Minnesota star Vincent Grier.

* The Falcons are expecting even bigger numbers this year out of Tavares Cooper, a rugged 6-3, 220-pound with low post skills and shooting range. An injury slowed him last season after some big performances early on.

* Pfeiffer returns four starters from a year ago, but the big personnel losses were at the true point guard spot. The Falcons' two leading assist men from a year ago are gone, so they'll look to transfers Cortland Thomas and Thomas Carr to help fill that playmaking role.

* Who will guard Tar Heel big men like Tyler Hansbrough and Brandan Wright? The tallest player on the Falcons' roster is 6-6 sophomore Logan Call and he only weighs 185 pounds. The next tallest? 6-4 freshman Terrance Grigg. No player on last year's team had more than 5 blocks -- total -- on the season. Pfeiffer relies on the up-tempo pace for its offense, rather than a half-court post presence, yet the team managed to lead the nation in offensive rebounding last season with more than 15 per game.

* There is a heavy North Carolina presence on the team, with a total of nine N.C. natives on the roster. Grier starred at Charlotte (N.C.) Harding, Derek Moore is from Hillsborough (N.C.) Cedar Ridge and Marcus Hodges led Wakefield (N.C.) High to the 4-A state title earlier this year.

* Head coach Dave Davis, who is entering his 11th season, has tutored a number of up-and-coming coaches in his career. Having served under former Pfeiffer coach Bobby Lutz (now at Charlotte), Davis' list of former assistant coaches inclues seven D-I staff members -- most notably Purdue head man Matt Painter and top Charlotte assistant Rob Moxley.

Inside Carolina Top Stories