Local Sports from The Courier
Thursday, February 07, 2013College Basketball: Former UF star Pfeifer proving beneficial as assistant
Dustin Pfeifer is in his first season as a graduate assistant with the University of Findlay men's basketball team.
On a Wednesday afternoon inside Croy Gymnasium, the former Oiler was wearing an orange jersey and participating in practice.
Pfeifer was the first NCAA Division II All-American in program history and ranks 10th all-time in points scored (1,590) and No. 1 in assists (171) and steals (92).
Having played overseas after wrapping up his collegiate career in 2006, he understands what it takes to play at a high level. His presence on the coaching staff has proven beneficial to freshman point guard Alphonso Baity and junior floor general Sean Samsel.
"I try to point out the little things that can enhance their games," Pfeifer said. "I'll offer them advice on what a team is going to do or how to guard a certain player. I do what I can to help them develop as players."
Baity (4.6 ppg, 35 rebounds, 29 assists, 13 steals) has started the last five games and noted Pfeifer's advice has been beneficial.
"Playing against someone who is better than you and who has been through it before has made me better," Baity said. "He's quick and if you can guard him, you can be successful guarding anyone."
Samsel (3.5 ppg, 49 assists, 19 steals) has made strides as well.
"They can look to (Pfeifer) him if they have questions and he does a good job of talking to them about the effort you need to play with and how to handle their roles as point guards," UF head coach Charlies Ernst said.
Pfeifer won't be able to put on a uniform tonight when the Oilers head to Columbus for a 5:30 p.m. Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference encounter against Ohio Dominican, but he will be doing what he can from the bench.
The Oilers (13-6, 10-5 GLIAC) lost 56-51 to Hillsdale College on Saturday, their fourth loss by five points or less.
Ernst said most of the focus this week has been on playing with added energy and making every possession count.
"These are the games that are determined not by a chess match, but simply by which teams are getting better and feel like they have something to play for," Ernst said. "It's about playing at a high level effortwise."
The Panthers (4-16, 1-14) were beaten 97-58 by the Oilers in their last meeting and Ohio Dominican has lost 15 of its last 16 games.
Three of its last four games have been decided by six points or less, including a 98-92 loss to Tiffin on Saturday. Sophomore center Bobby Stauffer (11.9 ppg, 7.0 rpg) scored 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Senior guard Morgan Jones (16.7 ppg) leads the team in scoring.
"This is a game Ohio Dominican has circled on their calendar," Ernst said. "This is a game for them that can change their season and give them something to talk about and build on in the offseason."
Although the Oilers have struggled at times offensively, averaging 71.8 ppg and shooting just 42.3 percent from the floor, their defense has been solid allowing only 63.3 points per outing and holding its last 11 opponents to under 70 points.
Separately, the Findlay women's team is gunning for its fifth consecutive win when it plays Ohio Dominican at 7:30 p.m.
The Oilers (15-4, 12-3) are in second place in the division and overall in the conference after winning seven of their last eight games.
The Panthers (5-13, 2-13) have dropped seven of eight, including a 67-50 loss to Tiffin on Saturday. They were beaten 67-37 by the Oilers in the first meeting and are led by sophomore guard Kacee Hockenberry (15.0 ppg) and junior forward Katelyn Stuckey (10.4 ppg).
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