THE FLATS - In a tune up prior to the beginning of its second season under head coach Josh Pastner, Georgia Tech entertains Faulkner University, an NAIA program, on Nov. 2 at McCamish Pavilion. This is the first in a series of previews of the Yellow Jackets' non-conference opponents.
Location: Montgomery, Ala.
Conference: Southern States Athletic (NAIA)
Home arena: Tine W. Davis Gymnasium (1,200)
2016-17 Record: 17-13 overall, 12-8 in SSAC (5th)
Post-Season: lost to Loyola University in first round of SSAC Tournament, 92-79
All-time series record: first M=meeting
Head coach: Scott Sanderson (58-37)
Top scorer returning: Logan Jozwiak (13.7)
Top rebounder returning: Logan Jozwiak (6.3)
Quick preview for 2017-18
Fourth year head coach Scott Sanderson will have a tough time replacing senior Di'mar Hill, but Faulkner has a host of young talent as the team will look for other options offensively. The top offensive option is senior Logan Jozwiak's to lose. Behind Hill, he he was the leading returning scorer and was the leading rebounder (6.3 rpg) as a 6-foot-4 guard.
Rene Scott earned all-freshman SSAC honors and will be tasked with running the offense after recording 51 assists in his first collegiate year.
Quick recap of 2016-17
Led by NAIA All-American honorable mention Di'mar Hill, Faulkner found its stride after a 2-5 start, going 11-1 over its next 12 games. Finishing fifth in the super-competitive Southern States Athletic Conference with a 12-8 record and 17-13 mark overall, the Eagles were able to perform well for the second-straight year, however, they wouldn't be able to repeat as SSAC Tournament champions.
The shining moment of the season was when the Eagles ripped Bethel, 98-89, shooting a blistering 59 percent from the field and 56 percent from three-point range. But history would be made on the performance of Hill, who posted 42 points on 63 percent shooting and seven assists -- both career highs. His offensive production was the most by an Eagle in more than 14 years.
Greatest Program Accomplishment
The greatest stretch in program history began just before the millennium from 1999-03. Getting an at-large bid to the NAIA Tournament in 1999 and 2000 would launch a streak of five straight appearances for Faulkner. During that time, the Eagles won the Southern States regular-season championship three straight times (2001, 2002, 2003) and won the SSAC Tournament championship three times (1999, 2002, 2003).
The dream run by the Eagles would reach no bigger plateau than in 2001 when the team from Montgomery, Ala., went all the way to capture the NAIA National Championship. Captaining that team was NAIA Coach of the Year Jim Sanderson and Chuck Taylor MVP and NAIA All-American Paul Little.
Greatest Player in Program History
NAIA All-American and Chuck Taylor MVP Paul Little led Faulkner to its lone NAIA National Championship in 2001, cementing his place in the history of the Eagles' program. Alongside NAIA Coach of the Year Jim Sanderson, Little helped lead Faulkner to powerhouse status in the Southern States Athletic Conference and NAIA. His career-high of 43 points in 2003 was almost eclipsed only by Di'mar Hill (42 -- 2017).
Place to visit on campus or in the city
One of the top spots in Montgomery is the Rosa Parks Library and Museum. Filled with interactive activities, reenactments and information on the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and the Civil Rights era in Alabama. Located at the site of Rosa Parks' arrest in downtown Montgomery, the museum also features a number of historically significant artifacts including a city bus from 1955, original works of art and the original fingerprint arrest record of Parks.