SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2009
Dolphins host Stetson on Senior Night
Monday night marks the final home game for three seniors on the JU men’s basketball team.

Marcus Allen, Evan Jefferson and Brian Gilbert will be honored for their contributions to the JU program before tipoff against Stetson in the home finale. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

Allen and Jefferson are the only two players left from head coach Cliff Warren’s first season that saw the Dolphins win a single game.

“These three young men have been major contributors to our program,” Warren said. “Each of them will graduate this year and we believe that they are better people, not just basketball players, after their career here.”

A year ago, Jefferson was honored on Senior Day as he was graduating from JU and wasn’t expecting to return for his final season of eligibility.

During the summer, Jefferson got the itch to return and went to work in the weight room and in the gym, becoming a more effective shooter from long range. With his hard work and effort, the three-year walk-on was awarded a scholarship for his final season.

Gilbert, whose parents are both JU graduates, decided to walk on to the JU team after two years at FCCJ.

His junior season saw him become an effective role player off the bench. With a strong work ethic in the summer, he also was awarded a scholarship for his final season – reprising his role off the bench and as a leader.

A four-year starter, Allen’s final home game is a send off after being the first recruit signed by Warren at JU.

He will leave JU ranked in the top five in games played, as well as a member of the prestigious 1,000-point club as he currently ranks 15th on the all-time scoring list.

While he is a potent scorer, he has also been a major force on the glass – pulling down 779 rebounds entering Monday’s game, which ranks eighth on the school’s all-time rebound list and is 11th all-time in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

BIG GAME: While Senior Night is always a big night, Monday’s game is a huge outing for the Dolphins in their chase for the Atlantic Sun Conference title. A win against the Hatters will insure that Saturday’s game at Belmont will be for at least a share of the A-Sun title. While the title hopes are on the line, a win would also clinch JU’s third straight winning season. The last time JU has three straight winning seasons was from 1993 to 1996.