2004-2005 Season Review
The 2004-05 season was a trying one for the Trevecca men’s basketball team, but the Trojans came together as a team to triumph over tragedy. Just a day prior to the start of classes at Trevecca, Robert Garrett – a 6’4” senior forward from Antioch, Tenn. – was killed in an auto accident while returning to school. The Trojans, however, used this tragedy as a way to come together, honor Robert and his family, and ultimately produce one of the best seasons of Trevecca Trojan basketball.
“It has been a year of overcoming obstacles on and off the court," Trevecca men's basketball Head Coach Sam Harris said. "Through athletics we prepare for life, this year we got to practice it first hand.”
Despite playing a very tough early schedule that included just two games at Moore Gym in their first fourteen contests, the Trojans came roaring out of the gates with a school record nine consecutive wins. It wasn’t just wins, but victories on the road at No. 11 Southern Polytechnic (99-91), No. 4 Mobile (75-66), and NAIA Division II power No. 9 MidAmerica Nazarene.
The streak ended with a loss at Spring Hill College, but the Trojans went on the road again and claimed a win over Olivet Nazarene and Purdue-Calumet.
When the first rankings of the season came out, Trevecca debuted at No. 6 despite not receiving any votes in the preseason poll. A tough loss to Urbana University dropped the Trojans to No. 10 in the next ranking, but the Trojans responded with two consecutive wins, without leading scorer Eric Price, over Tennessee Temple and Belhaven College to close out the first half of the season. Trevecca bounced up in the third ranking to No. 8.
The Trojans followed up with a win at Campbellsville, but fell to No. 4 Lindsey Wilson 52-50 the following day in Kentucky. Lambuth handed the Trojans a 70-69 loss, that would be the only time the Trojans would lose consecutive games all season.
Trevecca regrouped to win four in a row, including three in TranSouth Conference play. The most impressive was a win at No. 11 Union University 87-65. The streak vaulted Trevecca to No. 6 in the next NAIA poll.
A home loss to Lyon College dropped the Trojans to No. 10 in the polls, but Trevecca bounced back and avenged the one point loss to Lambuth with a 91-57 setback to the Eagles at Moore Gym. The win moved Trevecca back up to No. 8 in the next NAIA poll.
The Trojans went back on the road and ran their conference record to 4-1 with a win at No. 23 Cumberland University 77-74. With the win, Trevecca moved to No. 7 in the next NAIA poll.
The following Saturday’s game with Union brought another obstacle for the Trojans. Senior point guard Brandon Howard suffered a compound fracture of his right fibula and dislocated ankle, ending his season and career. The game was suspended with 9:02 remaining in the first half and the Trojans up 20-14 over Union.
In their first game without Howard, the Trojans responded to the adversity with a big road win at Freed-Hardeman 66-49. The celebration was short lived, however, as the Martin Methodist RedHawks came in to Nashville and upset the Trojans 77-76 in overtime. The loss resulted in the Trojans dropping to No. 12 in the following NAIA poll. It was the first time the Trojans were out of the top 10 all season.
The Trojans responded on Senior Day against Cumberland University. Trailing 75-71 with seven minutes remaining, the Trojans mounted a 12-0 run capped off by an Eric Price dunk to claim the victory.
Union returned to complete the suspended game from two weeks earlier and, now without Howard, the Trojans rolled to victory behind Eric Price, fellow senior Wesley Poe, and freshman Josh Helton. With the win Trevecca claimed a share of the TranSouth Conference Regular Season Championship with the 74-56 victory.
Trevecca earned home court advantage in the TranSouth Tournament because of their head-to-head wins over Union. The Trojans also moved up to No. 10 again in final regular season ranking. Trevecca didn’t take advantage of the home court advantage and lost in the semifinals against Lyon College.
The Trojans' regular season play was enough to earn their third trip to the National Tournament in the 37 year history of the men’s basketball program.
Trevecca earned a No. 16 seed in the NAIA Tournament and was pitted against unranked Lewis-Clark State University. In the first round, the Trojans downed Lewis-Clark State with a 79-71 win. The victory gave Trevecca a bid to the NAIA Tournament Sweet 16 Round to face top seeded Mountain State University.
Mountain State ended the Trojans season with an 88-65 Trevecca loss.
Despite the second round defeat, Trevecca was well represented with postseason awards on both the conference and national levels. Trevecca senior Eric Price was named to the NAIA All-American Second Team. In the conference, Price was named TranSouth Conference Player of the Year and a member of the All-TranSouth First Team.
Fellow senior Wesley Poe earned a repeat position on the NAIA All-American Honorable Mention Team while garnering All-TranSouth First Team honors for the second consecutive season. Poe finished his four year career at Trevecca with 862 rebounds (fifth all-time) and 1,420 points (eighth all-time). Poe also now holds school records with 617 career defensive rebounds and 146 career blocks.
Brandon Howard, whose season ended with an injury against Union in regular season play, was the third Trojan awarded a spot on the All-TranSouth First Team. Howard's career at Trevecca ends with a seventh all-time ranking with 396 career assists.
Collins Onyando, a freshman for Trevecca, was TranSouth Conference Freshman of the Year and was placed on the TranSouth All-Freshman team. In his first season as a Trojan, Onyando broke a school record with 57 blocks on the year.
Josh Helton joined Onyando on the All-Freshman Team while Jerod Perry was named to the All-TranSouth Second Team.
As a team, Trevecca broke school records for blocks in a season (132) and field goal percentage in one game (72.0%) against Wesley College.
Facing the tragic loss of a teammate, several devestating injuries, and one of the toughest conferences in the NAIA, the Trevecca Trojans showed true perserverance in the 2004-05 season. An overall record of 25-8 only begins to describe the success the Trojans fought for and earned in their continual pursuit of athletic excellence.