THURSDAY, JANUARY 02, 2003
Dolphins Prepare To Open Conference Play Against Troy State

Jan. 2, 2003

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

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Troy St. Trojans (9-3, 0-0) at JU Dolphins (4-7, 0-0)
Jan. 4, 2002 * 12:00 p.m.
Swisher Gymnasium (1,500) * Jacksonville, Fla.

Game Day Quick Facts...

TV: Fox Sports South/Sunshine Network (Barry Milligan, play-by-play; Mark Wise, color)

Radio: ESPN 1460 AM (Cole Pepper, play-by-play; Nate Stewart, color) The Dolphin Pregame Show begins at 11:45 a.m.

Series Record: JU leads 7-3 Last Meeting: Troy St. defeated JU, 76-61; Jan. 29, 2002 in Troy, Ala.

Last Game: JU fell to UNC Wilmington, 81-62; Troy St. defeated Alabama St., 81-61. Both games were on Monday, Dec. 30.

Up Next: The Dolphins host Mercer on Monday, Jan. 6, at 7 p.m. Troy St. plays at Stetson on Monday at 7 p.m.

DOLPHIN NOTABLES...

Atlantic Sun Play ... The Dolphins are beginning their fifth season as a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference. JU, which is 2-2 in A-Sun openers, was picked to win the South Division by league head coaches and the media. The conference has split into two divisions for one season because of an unbalanced schedule.

Sheppard Hits Milestone ... Senior point guard Kevin Sheppard hit yet another milestone on Monday night with his 22-point performance against UNC Wilmington. Sheppard became the 23rd player in JU history to score 1,000 career points - the first since Micah Ross in 1998. He eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau on his second of back-to-back three-pointers midway through the second half. Sheppard also ranks seventh all-time at JU with 341 career assists and seventh all-time with 116 career steals.

Novitsky Plays At Last ... After more than a year and a half without playing, redshirt freshman Brian Novitsky finally saw his first collegiate action on Monday night. The 6-foot-4 wing has battled constant foot injuries since high school, which caused him to sit out his freshman season and miss the first 10 games this year. Novitsky played only two minutes against UNCW, but got his first career rebound and hit his first career basket.

Durham Delivers ... Head coach Hugh Durham is just five wins shy of becoming the 11th active coach with 600 career victories. Durham has led the Dolphins to back-to-back 18-win seasons, while 12 of the 18 players who have completed their eligibility at JU in the last five seasons have graduated (three are still in school completing their degrees).