NCAA March Madness Preview – UNC-Wilmington Seahawks

UNC-Wilmington Seahawks

CAA (29-5, 15-3)

 by Joel Welser

When Coach Kevin Keatts arrived at UNC Wilmington, the Seahawks had not had a winning season in eight years. Two years ago he took his team to the CIT and last year the Seahawks exceeded all expectations and reached the NCAA Tournament. Once there, the Seahawks gave Duke a lot of trouble in the First Round, eventually falling 93-85.

Big Wins: 11/20 East Tennessee State (68-59), 12/10 at St. Bonaventure (81-80), 12/31 at Towson (76-67)

Bad Losses: 1/28 at William & Mary (78-96), 2/2 Charleston (66-67), 2/11 at Elon (76-77)

Coach: Kevin Keatts

Why They Can Surprise:

UNC Wilmington can beat anybody on any given day because of their potent outside shooting. The team ranks 21st in nation in three-pointers made and the four starters on the perimeter are all major shooting threats. C.J. Bryce is the top scorer on the team, averaging 17.6 points per game. He has not had a consistent year shooting the ball, but he will score in other ways. Chris Flemmings and Denzel Ingram are both dynamic scorers who can attack the basket and consistently hit three-pointers. Flemmings is also a solid rebounder on the wing, while Ingram runs the point. Ingram is also a huge reason why the Seahawks do such a superb job of taking care of the ball. Ambrose Mosley is mostly a pure shooter and having so many quality shooters is why the Seahawks can score a ton of points.

Why They Can Disappoint:

The defense has been a concern all season. The Seahawks allow the opposition to shoot 47.7 percent from the floor and it is extremely tough to beat a good team that shoots that well from the floor. Part of the problem defensively is the lack of size and depth in the frontcourt. Devontae Cacok has had a very good sophomore season, averaging 12.3 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks, but he can only do so much. Senior center Chuck Ogbodo can eat up a few minutes here and there, but overall this is a very small team. It was a small team last year too when they nearly beat Duke, so this is a group that can make up for losing the rebounding battle by taking care of the ball and hitting three-pointers.

Probable Starters:

Denzel Ingram, Senior, Guard, 14.5 ppg, 5.4 apg

Ambrose Mosley, Senior, Guard, 8.1 ppg, 1.2 apg

Chris Flemmings, Senior, Guard, 15.8 ppg, 2.1 apg, 5.5 rpg

C.J. Bryce, Sophomore, Guard, 17.6 ppg, 3.0 apg, 5.5 rpg

Devontae Cacok, Sophomore, Forward, 12.3 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 1.3 bpg

Key Role Players:

Chuck Ogbodo, Senior, Center, 1.6 ppg, 2.0 rpg

Jordon Talley, Junior, Guard, 7.8 ppg, 2.6 apg

By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 85.4 (10th in nation, 1st in conference)

Scoring Defense: 75.1 (248, 7)

Field-Goal Percentage: 48.1 (25, 2)

Field-Goal Defense: 47.7 (333, 10)

Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.6 (21, 2)

Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.5 (111, 4)

Free-Throw Percentage: 69.6 (194, 3)

Rebound Margin: 2.0 (117, 3)

Assists Per Game: 16.2 (33, 2)

Turnovers Per Game: 10.3 (10, 1)

Recent Postseason Appearances:

2016    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Duke

2015    CIT First Round loss to Sam Houston State

*all team stats through 3/5

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