Buffs' team loaded with  fresh faces

Photo by Kristen Luther
Buff Nate Tincher gets blocked during Milligan’s opening game on Monday.

By Seth Butler
STAR Correspondent

  It's once again a rebuilding year for Tony Wallingford's Milligan College Buffaloes.
  Following a 15-17 record in 2003-04, a campaign in which they also recorded a 13-11 record in the Appalachian Athletic Conference, the rebuilding work began toward the 2004-05 season with nine additions made to the 15-man roster for the Buffaloes.
  And the hard work has paid off for Wallingford, as the AAC coaches have picked his Buffaloes squad to finish fourth in the conference. Union College was the top pick in the preseason poll, receiving three first place votes and 123 points. Bluefield was second with two first place votes and 121 points. King College was third with six first place votes and 120 points.
  Only four seniors return for Wallingford, whose overall record stands at 474-220 after 21 seasons as a head coach, and 322-200 after 16 years at the helm of Milligan College.
  The key players for the Buffaloes this season will figure to be Craig Emmert, a 6-foot-5, 195 forward, and Scott Ferguson, a 5-foot-9 guard out of Louisville, Kentucky. Emmert and Ferguson are the only two returning starters, out of five returning lettermen for the Buffaloes.
  Both Emmert and Ferguson will have a tough time filling the void left by Jonathan Harris and Michael Morrell, two of the cogs of last year's squad which scored 72 points per game. The top three Milligan point scorers from a year are gone, which sees all but 22 of those 72 points per game return.
  Also returning for Milligan College are 6-foot-4 senior forward Todd Davis, who started only part-time a season ago, and 6-foot-2 Jordan Simmons, the transfer from Tusculum College in 2002.
  Figuring to definitely factor into the Buffaloes rotation at some point are a junior transfer, a sophomore and a pair of freshman. Javan Martin is a 6-foot-2 junior guard who is transferring from Lee University, while the sophomore, Nick Tuggle, from Cordova, originally planned to walk on at East Tennessee State University before those plans deteriorated, bringing the 6-foot-6 guard to Milligan College.
  Wallingford also snagged a pair of incoming freshmen in the form of Anthony Wilhelm and Harvey Bell.
  Wilhelm is a 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Petoskey, Michigan who could potentially maneuver his way into the lineup for the Buffaloes.
  Bell, the 6-foot-6, 235 pound product of Boiling Springs High School in Spartanburg, South Carolina, looks to find early playing time at the forward position, giving the Buffaloes another option down low at the post.
  The 2004-05 schedule looks to be yet another challenging schedule for the Buffaloes, which opened on November 8 by hosting Cincinnati Christian University which results in a win, 71-53.
  The early test for Milligan comes on Nov 20, when they travel to take on the pre-season AAC favorite, Union, in their fifth game of the season.
  Two days later, Milligan travels to Wofford, of the Southern Conference. Also, on Dec. 18, the Buffaloes square off with another Southern Conference foe, the Houston Fancher led Appalachian State Mountaineers in Boone, North Carolina.
  Also, Milligan will take on King College at Steve Lacy Fieldhouse on Dec. 1, followed by a visit from Bluefield on Dec. 7. Union College will visit on Jan. 22, with the Buffaloes traveling to King on Jan. 25, and to Bluefield on Feb. 1.
  Milligan College also will participate in the Disney Sports Challenge in Orlando, Florida, Dec 21 and 22. There, the Buffaloes will lock horns with Robert Morris, located in Chicago, a perennial NAIA national power.