Men's Basketball: Whitman Salutes Four Seniors Friday Night

News Release Date:
Thursday, February 16, 2012

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Whitman College seniors J.P. Alvarez, David Michaels, Brandon Shaw and D.J. Wright will be honored prior to the start of warm-ups for the Friday night men's basketball game in Sherwood Center.

The game against Willamette, which caps the regular season, starts at 8 p.m.

David Michaels

Michaels, a 6-foot-7 forward, has enjoyed a monster senior season, leading Whitman in scoring (19.6 ppg) and rebounding (6.0 rpg) as well as steals (30) and blocked shots (13). He is the second-leading scorer in the Northwest Conference, and he ranks among the league leaders in field goal, 3-point and free throw shooting.

In NWC games only, Michaels is scoring a conference-best 22.1 points per outing. For the season as a whole, he is No. 2 in the conference in 3-point accuracy, trailing only teammate Drew Raher.

David Michaels

Late in January, Michaels became the first Whitman player to earn a spot on the National Team of the Week, as chosen by the website. He was so honored after scoring 71 points in two NWC road victories. He erupted for a career-high 40 points in one of those games, scoring 22 straight points for Whitman during one nine-minute span.

Michaels is a three-time winner this season of the NWC's Student Athlete of the Week award for men's basketball.

A year ago as a junior, Michaels finished with the second-highest field goal percentage (78-126, 61.9%) in the NWC. He has shot above 50 percent in each of his four seasons; for his career, he is 331 of 589 from the floor, which computes to a 56.2 percent shooting percentage.

Michaels needs 16 points in Friday's game, or in next week's conference playoffs, to become the 21st player in the history of Whitman men's basketball to score 1,000 career points. He also needs just nine rebounds to reach 500 for his career. His career numbers include 96 steals, 76 assists and 48 blocked shots.

Brandon Shaw

Shaw, a 6-foot-2 guard, has played in 99 games in his four seasons, racking up a total of 1,307 points, which ranks him ninth on Whitman's all-time career scoring list.

His career numbers also include 354 rebounds, 228 assists and 169 steals. He is shooting a career-high 54.8 percent from the floor this season.

Brandon Shaw

Shaw was named to the All-NWC First Team a year ago after averaging 14.4 points per game and topping the NWC in steals for a second straight season. He earned All-NWC Honorable Mention recognition as a sophomore, when he averaged 15.9 points and 3.7 rebounds.

Memorable games for Shaw include his 18-point night against the Washington University Bears to start this season and the 16 points and seven rebounds he contributed to a victory over Calvin in December. 

A year ago, Shaw scored 13 of Whitman's 17 points in overtime to spark a victory at George Fox. He finished that game with 26 points, marking the second time in three seasons that he scored 26 points in the Bruins gym.

Shaw started his sophomore season with 24 points, six steals and four assists in a game against NCAA Division I Eastern Washington University. He picked up an NWC Player of the Week award as a freshman when he averaged 18 points while collecting 11 rebounds, 11 steals and 10 assists in three tournament games.

J.P. Alvarez

Alvarez, a 6-foot-4 guard-forward, has played in 65 games in his four seasons at Whitman.

J.P. Alvarez

Filling a reserve role, Alvarez has scored 174 career points and grabbed 82 career rebounds. His career numbers also include 25 assists, 23 three-point baskets and 20 steals.

One of his most memorable games came a year ago in a victory over Multnomah Bible College, when he contributed 16 points in just 13 minutes on the floor. He was five of seven from the floor in that game, including three of four from the 3-point line.

Alvarez hit all three of his 3-point attempts and scored 11 points in his second game as collegian. His best scoring night as a freshman came against Walla Walla University, when he combined 15 points with five rebounds and two assists.

D.J. Wright

Wright, a 6-foot-5 forward, has played in 38 games since joining the roster a year ago at the semester break.

D.J. Wright

He played his first two seasons at Walla Walla Community College, where he hit seven of eight 3-points shots, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked six shots in his final game.

In his brief time at Whitman, Wright has grabbed 62 rebounds, scored 40 points, picked off 19 steals and handed out 17 assists.

Wright has made his biggest contributions on the backboards this season, grabbing a season-high seven rebounds in a game against George Fox.

Wright collected six rebounds in the season-opener against Washington University, and he contributed to an victory over Pacific with six points, three boards and a blocked shot.

He also picked off four steals to go with three rebounds in an early season victory over Northwestern.

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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902;