November 17, 2001
Want offense? Go to Catawba’s gymBy Ronnie Gallagher, The Salisbury Post
The football teams of Catawba College and Central Arkansas University promise to give sports fans in Rowan County a lot of offense this afternoon.
And just think. It will be nothing compared to the dizzying pace a couple of hours later on the same campus.
The plan is this. Tailgate before the football game, which starts at 1 p.m. When the game ends around 4:30, go back to the parking lot and keep tailgating until 7 p.m. Then, mosey over to Goodman Gym for the season opener in basketball between South Atlantic Conference preseason favorite Catawba and Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference contender — and Catawba neighbor — Pfeiffer.
Even though Catawba has loads of talent returning from last year’s 25-5 champion, Pfeiffer is not the type of team Jim Baker wants to open the season against.
Pfeiffer has rung up 46 victories over the last two seasons (including a 20-8 campaign last season) in the only way coach Dave Davis knows: running and chugging and sprinting.
Which usually leaves opponents huffing and puffing and doubling over.
“They press the whole time and like to get it up over 100 points,” said Baker. “I like to run too — but not everybody’s going to play like Pfeiffer.
“I wish we could open with somebody else. That style is hard to play. It’s a frantic type of basketball.”
Baker laughed at the people who told him to schedule Pfeiffer this year because the cupboard was bare in
“I knew better than that,” Baker said.
What he found out is that Davis has four Division I transfers, two Prop 48 kids and two junior college transfers.
“They’re going to be as talented as they’ve ever been,” Baker said.
But Davis knows the talent level at Catawba too.
“They’re a great team,” he said. “We lost our top eight guys and they bring back everybody, including Terrence Hamilton (from an injury). And they did quite well without him last year.”
Pfeiffer won’t be as tall as Catawba, thanks mainly to 6-foot-9 Alex Luyk and high-jumping 6-7 forward Brian Carter. They’ll battle former South star Damien Argrett, a freshman who has grown to 6-9 and, much to Davis’ glee, has shot-blocking ability.
The Catawba backcourt has Baker worried.
Projected starters Kevin Petty and Duke Phipps are ailing. Phipps has practiced, despite a groin injury and Petty has an injured left hand. Quentin Bryant is coming off a back injury.
And believe this. You definitely need guards against one of the most exciting teams in North Carolina, regardless of division.
Pfeiffer. Tyree Harris, a 6-1 transfer from Bethune Cookman, was unstoppable at times last season. Terrence McCutcheon is a 6-4 transfer from Nicholls State. He is listed as a forward, but c’mon, he has guard tendencies. He likes to shoot and he can definitely score from the outside.
Davis said first and foremost, he is glad this rivalry is continuing after a two-year hiatus. The teams are 25 miles apart and both Division II.
But he sounded a bit like Baker. He wishes they were playing later in the season.
“Our inexperience is still a problem,” he said. “But we’ll keep playing the Pfeiffer style and push the ball.”
Baker knows that. “They’ll give up two points to get three,” he said.
In other words, folks, get ready for some offense. It might just make the football game seem tame.