Little powers Faulkner into tournament

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 21, 2003

Former Pleasant Home Eagles Paul Little did not turn in his wings when he graduated from the Class 1A high school in rural south Alabama.

Rather than giving up in his wings, Little simply traded them in for a bigger pair and he his new wingspan has cast quite a shadow in the NAIA as a member of the Faulkner College Eagles.

Little was on a national championship team in 2001 when he played a key role in helping the Eagles nest atop NAIA Division I Men's Basketball.

Last season, the Faulkner Eagles came up short in their bid to repeat as national champions and return to the tournament with a vengeance in 2003 behind the best player in the conference in Little.

Little was named the Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference Player of the Year at a banquet last Wednesday.

The Eagles have had a nice regular season ending it with a 23-7 record and began the post-season with a No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.

Little has helped keep the Eagles flocked together and flying straight this season. He averaged 18.5 points per game in the regular season along with 9. 3 rebounds per contest.

The 6-6 senior forward was also third in the conference in field goal percentage shooting 58 percent from the field.

Little does not live up to his name when he takes the court. In fact, he is the opposite. Little is big for the Eagles with a school-record 18 double-doubles during the 2002-2003 regular season. He is also one of three Faulkner players averaging at least 10 points a game which allows him to be a team player.

The Eagles finished the regular season with a 14-4 conference record and ranked No. 14 in the NAIA Poll. Faulkner also shared the regular-season championship, its second consecutive title, with the AUM Senators.

Little had one game when he couldn't miss. He put up 43 points in a game at Brewton-Parker during the 2002-2003 season. No other player in the conference scored more than 33 points in a game this season.

The Eagles fly into the NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship Tournament fresh off another GACC Tournament Title.

The Eagles won the conference championship game by two points.

Faulkner outscored Reinhardt 73-71 in the conference championship game and Little earned another individual honor.

Little was named the GACC Tournament Most Valuable Player after leading the Eagles to its second consecutive regular-season and tournament titles.

Little played a key role in the title game scoring 25 points and pulling down 13 rebounds in the win.

Little teamed up with teammate Travis Williams to score 12 of the Eagles' final 13 points in the conference championship game.The Faulkner Eagles begin play in the 2003 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship Tournament on Wednesday, March 26.

The Eagles are slated to play Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) at 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Olivet Nazarene finished the regular season with a

record of 21-13.

The winner of the Faulkner-Oliver Nazarene game will play the winner of Wednesday's game between Azusa Pacific (Calif.) and John Brown (Ark.) at 10:45 a.m. on Friday, March 28.