Dolphins Pride Returns To The Hardwood

Dolphin pride on the hardwood is back. JU recently completed back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1995 with an 18-12 overall mark in 2001-02. The Dolphins also won 18 games last season (18-10), marking the most wins (36) in consecutive seasons at JU in 15 years. JU finished in a tie for fourth in the Atlantic Sun Conference with a 12-8 record, which ties the school record for conference wins (12-6 in 1994-95) and gives JU 23 conference victories in the last two seasons - an accomplishment that has only happened one other time in 54 years of basketball at JU (1993-94 & 1994-95).

The Dolphins also spent two weeks in the college Mid-Major Top-25 Poll during the season (No. 22/23) and posted the most road wins (7) at JU since 1973-74. Junior point guard Kevin Sheppard earned Second-Team All-Atlantic Sun honors after averaging 13.5 points and a team-best 4.1 assists per game, while Jeff Howard, Riley Didion and Brian Novitsky were A-Sun Academic Honor Roll selections for the fall semester.

However, despite all of the success this season, JU was not satisfied with a first-round loss to eventual conference champion Florida Atlantic in the A-Sun Tournament. As the JU basketball program has steadily improved in the last three seasons, the Dolphins have raised their level of expectations, and the team's goals are much loftier than in years past.

"We have established high goals here. We want to win the Atlantic Sun Championship and advance to NCAA postseason play," says head coach Hugh Durham, who has spearheaded JU's resurgence in basketball since his arrival in 1997. "We certainly can take pride in some of the success we have had in the past two seasons, but we are stretching ourselves to accomplish the lofty goals we have set. We didn't accomplish them this year, but we'll continue to set the bar higher and try again next season."