Previewing UNCW

The Tar Heels close out 2013 by hosting UNC Wilmington on New Year's Eve. Tuesday's tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. and the game will be televised by ESPNU.

North Carolina (9-3) vs. UNC Wilmington (6-8)
Chapel Hill, N.C. -- Dean E. Smith Center
Tuesday, 5 p.m.
ESPNU (Roy Philpott & Bob Valvano)


"It's a game where I think there's no pressure. Nobody is thinking we can win. We can go in there and work hard, and, maybe, some good things will happen for us, we can get some confidence and carry it over to the game against James Madison." – UNCW head coach Buzz Peterson


Season to Date: UNCW enters Tuesday's contest with a 6-8 record. The Seahawks lost their first two games of the season to Iowa and Iowa State by a combined 76 points before winning six of their next nine games, including a 70-68 victory at East Carolina on Dec. 1. Buzz Peterson's squad has since lost three straight games, including a 75-61 loss at UNC Asheville on Saturday.

Post Production: Junior Cedrick Williams leads the Seahawks in scoring 14.1 points and grabbing 7.2 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-9, 225-pounder, who will be making his 60th career start at UNC, is shooting 55.6 percent from the floor and 78.0 percent from the free throw line. He's also averaging 2.0 blocks per contest this season.

Tough Making Ends Meet: UNCW is shooting 41.6 percent from the floor – good for 288th nationally – to go along with a 42.7 field goal percentage defense mark (149th). According to UNCW's sports information department, the Seahawks are shooting at a 38.6 percent clip before halftime. Even more problematic is UNCW's 38.7 percent shooting on the road this season. Six teams have shot better than 46 percent against the Seahawks, including their last three opponents (48.0, 49.1, 50.0).

Off the Mark from Deep: The Seahawks are shooting just 23.7 percent from 3-point range this season, including 22.0 percent (28-of-127) over their last nine games. Senior Tanner Milson is knocking down 38.7 percent of his 3-point attempts (24-of-62), while the rest of the team is converting 17.8 percent (28-of-157).

Charitable Deductions: Tuesday's game will feature a pair of teams that have struggled mightily from the free throw line this season. After converting 71.1 percent of its free throws through its first eight games, UNCW has made just 62.0 percent (80-of-129) over its past six contests. UNC is shooting 61.8 percent from the charity stripe on the season.

Familiar Face: Peterson, who was a member of UNC's 1982 national championship team, is in his fourth year at UNCW. His first three teams in Wilmington finished with 13-18, 10-21 and 10-20 records, respectively. Peterson has also served as head coach at Coastal Carolina, Tennessee, Tulsa and Appalachian State. The Asheville, N.C. native helped UNC to a 115-22 record during his career, including four ACC titles.

History Not on Their Side: The Seahawks are 2-35 all-time against ACC teams, including a 1-29 mark on the road. UNCW's lone victory on ACC soil was a 96-84 win at N.C. State on Dec. 1, 1992.

Last Meeting: The fourth-ranked Tar Heels defeated the Seahawks, 96-75, on Dec. 28, 2004 in Chapel Hill. Jawad Williams led all scorers with 25 points as UNC jumped out to a 19-3 lead and coasted to victory. Current Clemson head coach Brad Brownell was coaching UNCW at the time.

Series History: UNC leads the series with UNCW, 2-0.

Projected Starters:
5 Ben Eblen (6-1, 185, Sr.) - 4.8 ppg, 3.7 apg
10 Freddie Jackson (6-4, 185, Jr.) - 7.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg
24 Addison Spruill (6-4, 225, Jr.) - 12.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg
33 Shane Reybold (6-8, 238, Sr.) - 3.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg
40 Cedrick Williams (6-9, 225, Jr.) - 14.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg

Top Reserves:
12 Tanner Milson (6-2, 190, Sr.) - 6.9 ppg, 1.5 apg
1 Chris Dixon (6-0, 190, Sr.) - 5.2 ppg, 1.4 apg

Location: Wilmington, N.C.
Enrollment: 12,500
Conference: Colonial
Nickname: Seahawks
Colors: Teal, Gold & Navy
Head Coach: Buzz Peterson (4th season, 39-65 overall)

Roster & Bios

(Photos by Chris Crouch/UNCW Athletics)

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