The Master's College has a large task today in the NAIA men's basketball tournament.
The Mustangs play a Campbellsville (Ky.) team in the first round that goes between 6 feet 9 and 6-6 in the front line.
"They are very physical with some real athletic players and good shooters," said Coach Bob Oates of Master's (26-5).
Campbellsville (23-10), ranked No. 25 in the final NAIA poll, lost to No. 3-ranked Georgetown (Ky.), 73-65, in the Mid-South Conference tournament last week.
Master's, ranked No. 9 and seeded No. 8 in the tournament, lost twice to No. 1-ranked Life (Ga.) by a total of five points. Life, the defending NAIA champion, also is seeded No. 1.
"[Campbellsville is] bigger and more physical than Life," Oates said.
Master's also has a formidable front line, featuring 6-5 senior forward Joclin Julmist, 6-6 junior center Jacy Armbruster and 6-5 senior forward Reggie McFerren.
Campbellsville counters with 6-9 Tyrone Outlaw, who averages 16 points, 6-7 Marcus Williams and 6-6 Josh McKenzie, who each average more than 12 points.
Tiger point guard Montrelle Irvin leads the NAIA in assists with a 7.9 average. Donnie Hensley, who averages 11 points, is the other guard. Jermaine Kilgrove and Marco Kerdush are the top Tiger reserves, each averaging more than 10 points.
"This is the best chance we have out of the four years I've played," said 6-3 guard Joey Penberthy, who leads the Mustangs in scoring with a 20.3 average. "We've put in a lot of hard work to come in as the eighth seed. We know we can play with these teams."
Penberthy leads a balanced attack that includes Armbruster (16.3 average), McFerren (12.2) and Julmist (9.4).
Point guard Dominic Avila, a 6-1 junior, averages 6.8 points and 4.1 assists.
Top reserves for Master's are 5-8 junior Kenny Jackson (11.1 points, 4.2 assists), 6-3 freshman Brett DeVries (5.1 points) and 6-5 sophomore Bas Van Rhee (5.1 points, 4.6 rebounds).