A ghost supposedly haunts the University of Montevallo.
Edmund King, who came with his family and 15 slaves to Alabama in 1817, built a home on what would become campus. It's said that he buried his gold to keep it from Union forces during the final stages of the Civil War.
In life King wandered the house, the orchard and the nearby cemetery with a lantern. Now, people claim to see lights in the King House, which the school no longer uses. Or they see the curtains move. Or they see a ghostly figure carrying a lantern.
"They say he still stalks the grounds looking for his gold," Montevallo's basketball coach, Danny Young, said. "We've had treasure hunters come down and try to find it."
Two questions came to mind: How tall is the ghost? And does he have any eligibility left?
Young, who will lead Montevallo into an exhibition game at Kentucky Monday night, laughed. "I need anybody with really good size," he said.
Whatever happens in Rupp Arena, Young expects the evening to long live in the memories of his players and Montevallo fans.
"For us, it's the experience," he said of the exhibition's meaning. "Our guys will never experience that at this level. The crowd, the excitement and everything that goes with it."
Young is not kidding about the chance for an unforgettable experience. Montevallo's average home attendance last season was 716. And it's not lack of success that hurts attendance. The Falcons have been to the Division II NCAA Tournament eight times in the last 10 years, including a loss to Bellarmine in the 2012 national championship game.
"A lot doesn't start down here till Alabama is done playing football," Young quipped.
Montevallo, a small (enrollment 3,200) public liberal arts school, is about 30 miles south of both Tuscaloosa and Birmingham. Students flock to those cities many weekends, which turns the campus into an — ahem — ghost town.
Guard Troran Brown (18.4 ppg) has been named a Pre-Season Division II All-American and the Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year. He and Ryan May (10.1 ppg) form the backcourt that Young hopes can continue the program's history of success.
"I kind of have a set way to do things and I try to recruit the guys who can do the things I want to do," said Young, who has an 11-year record of 226-97 at Montevallo. "I like to get up and down. By the end of the day, I think I'm a little bit of a control freak."
Young credits UK Deputy Athletics Director Dewayne Peevy for making Montevallo an exhibition opponent. Peevy is a graduate of Montevallo.
Young, who played for former NBA standout Paul Westphal at Grand Canyon, led Montevallo against Purdue and Ole Miss last season. The Falcons lost both games by competitive scores of 70-61 and 77-62, respectively.
Another Peach Belt Conference team, Pembroke, played well at N.C. State in a 96-85 loss earlier this pre-season. That gives Young hope his team can make a good showing as does Southern Indiana's 83-68 loss to Indiana.
Young just hopes Montevallo does better than Kentucky Wesleyan's 115-67 loss at Louisville or Pittsburgh State's 97-57 loss at Kansas. In terms of competitive basketball, that would be giving up the ghost.
Exhibition: Montevallo at UK
When: 7 p.m.
TV: WKYT-27 and Fox Sports South
Radio: WLAP-AM 630, WBUL-FM 98.1
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr.
00 Marcus Lee F 6-9 215 Fr.
1 James Young G 6-6 215 Fr.
2 Aaron Harrison G 6-6 218 Fr.
3 Jarrod Polson G 6-2 182 Sr.
4 Jon Hood G 6-7 215 Sr.
5 Andrew Harrison G 6-6 215 Fr.
13 Sam Malone G 5-11 185 Jr.
15 Willie Cauley-Stein F 7-0 244 So.
21 Tod Lanter G 6-2 190 Jr.
22 Alex Poythress F 6-8 239 So.
24 EJ Floreal G 6-3 195 Fr.
25 Dominique Hawkins G 6-0 193 Fr.
30 Julius Randle F 6-9 250 Fr.
32 Brian Long G 5-9 155 Jr.
35 Derek Willis F 6-9 205 Fr.
44 Dakari Johnson C 7-0 265 Fr.
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr.
3 Shykeem Jackson G 6-1 Jr.
4 Larry Slaughter F 6-8 Jr.
5 Darius Stowers G 6-3 Jr.
10 Kimani Key G 6-2 So.
15 Seth Aderhold G 6-0 Fr.
20 Cam Wiehe G 6-0 Fr.
21 Silas Mills F 6-8 Sr.
22 Ryan May G 6-0 Jr.
24 Ed’Lexus Collier G 6-4 Jr.
25 Troran Brown G 6-2 Jr.
32 Orlando Brazier C 6-7 Sr.
33 Ryan Carroll G 6-2 Fr.
35 Ibrahim Johnson F 6-7 So.
50 Broderick Day F 6-7 Jr.