Crusader seniors build program
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Crusader seniors build program

TIGERVILLE, SC- Five years after arriving at North Greenville University, head coach Chad Lister has built a winner, with the 2006-07 Crusaders posting the school’s first winning season since 1991. The transformation has largely been on the backs of four seniors who have improved the program’s win total in each of their four seasons in Tigerville. P.J. Schumacher (Waynesburg, PA—Waynesburg Central HS), Josh Burgess (Pickens, SC—Pickens HS), and Jordan Richmond (Russellville, AR—Russellville HS) entered as freshmen in 2003-04. Amonzo Gantt (Royston, GAFranklin County HS) joined the Crusaders in 2005-06 after transferring from Carson-Newman College.

In 2006-07, North Greenville posted a 16-13 record, the first winning campaign since 1991, with notable wins over Mars Hill College, Lincoln Memorial University, and local rival Anderson University.

This year’s senior class improved the program’s win total in each successive season in which they have played. Their freshman season, NGU won seven games. They improved to ten wins in 2004-05 and won 13 games in their junior season before jumping out to 16 wins this season.

“This class was our first real recruiting class and they are a special group of guys,” remarks Lister. “They came when things were not very good and have worked hard and increased our win total every year. I will always remember them as the cornerstone of what we are trying to build here.”

In 110 games as a Crusader, Schumacher has amassed over 1,264 points, ranking him 2nd on the school’s all-time list. His 290 career assists are good for fourth all-time at NGU, while his 84 career steals rank fifth. He has also pulled down 337 career rebounds. During his time at North Greenville, Schumacher has made 292 three-pointers, while shooting over 40% from behind the arc. In addition, he has made at least one three-pointer in 107 of his 110 career games, including a stretch of 77 consecutive games with a made three-point basket. He holds the NGU single-season records with 98 made-three-pointers and 247 attempted-three-pointers, as well as the single game records for makes and attempts after an eight-for-16 night from three-point land against Carson-Newman last season. This season he averages 12.0 points per game. His 46.4% shooting from three-point range ranks 18th in the nation. Schumacher’s career highs include 28 points in a win over Presbyterian as a sophomore, a nine-rebound night against Division I Gardner-Webb, and an eight-assist performance against Morris last season. He was the recipient of the 2003-04 Crusader Basketball Top Newcomer Award and the 2004-05 Crusader Basketball Leadership Award. In addition, he was named to the NCAA All-Independent Team last season.

Burgess averaged 5.8 points and 3.6 rebounds per game this season. In his career, he has played in 91 games, scoring 564 points and pulling down 344 rebounds. With over 220 career assists, he finishes his career ranked fifth all-time on the Crusader list. His career highs include a 21-point, 11-rebound performance against USC-Aiken last season and a 10-assist outing against Central State in last year’s NCAA Division II-Independent Tournament.

Richmond led the team with a 15.3 points per game scoring average, while pulling down 4.1 rebounds per game and shooting a team-high 56.7% from the field. In 97 career games, he has scored 1,027 career points, ranking him fourth all-time as a Crusader. He has also amassed 319 rebounds, 136 assists, and 57 steals in his career. His career highs include a 29-point performance against Palm Beach Atlantic in last season’s NCAA Division II-Independent Tournament and a nine-rebound night this season against Atlanta Christian. In addition, he has recorded five assists on three different occasions in his career. Last season, Richmond was named an NCCAA Scholar-Athlete and was selected to the NCAA Division II-Independent All-Tournament Team. He was also the recipient of the 2005-06 Crusader Basketball Leadership Award.

Gantt joined the Crusaders in 2005-06 after spending his first two years at Carson-Newman College, but in only 59 games over two seasons has found his way in to the NGU record books. He finishes his career with 849 points in a North Greenville jersey along with 554 rebounds, good for second on the all-time list. With 106 career steals, he ranks fourth all-time at NGU. He has also recorded 190 assists and 47 blocked shots in his two seasons. He averaged 14.9 points per game and his rebound average of 9.6 per game ranks 24th in all of NCAA Division II. He broke his own NGU single-season record for rebounds with 278 this season and the single-game record with 16 against UNC-Pembroke in 2005. His career highs include a 37-point performance this season against Lincoln Memorial, a 31-point performance against Morris, and an eight-assist game this year versus Allen. In 2005-06, he earned the Crusader Basketball Top Newcomer Award. Gantt was also named Student-Athlete of the Week on March 6th by the National Christian College Athletic Association.