11/2 - Miami - W, 88-86
11/4 - Kentucky - L, 107-89
11/6 - Georgia Tech - L, 100-89
11/7 - Clemson - L, 85-68
11/8 - Georgia - L, 79-78 (OT)
11/10 - Vanderbilt - L, 80-48
11/12 - Duke - L, 105-69
11/13 - North Carolina
11/17 - Florida State
No. Name Pos. Ht. Previous School 2 Brandon Watkins G 6-1 Penn State 5 Donta Richardson G 6-2 Wyoming 10 Cedrick Hughey G 6-6 Washington State 11 Stan Blackmon G-F 6-6 Arkansas-Little Rock 12 Raymond Tutt G 6-5 UC Santa Barbara 21 Elvin Mimms F 6-5 Southern Miss 23 Ryan Fletcher F 6-9 Cincinnati 33 Ousmane Cisse F 6-8 St. Jude HS 44 Jason Jennings C 7-0 Arkansas State Coach: Bill Frieder
Projected Starters Brandon Watkins (6-1, G) - 13.7 pts, 2.6 ast, 3.6 to Donta Richardson (6-2, G) - 11.9 pts, 2.4 ast Elvin Mimms (6-5, F) - 11.7 pts, 6.1 reb, 2.0 stl Ousmane Cisse (6-8, F) - 8.0 pts, 3.7 reb, 2.7 blk Ryan Fletcher (6-9, F) - 11.3 pts, 3.0 reb Reserves Raymond Tutt (6-5, G) - 10.0 pts, 3.0 reb Stan Blackmon (6-6, F) - 10.3 pts, 4.6 reb, 44% 3pt Cedrick Hughey (6-6 G) - first game Jason Jennings (7-0, C) - 2.0 pts, 2.7 reb, 1.0 blk (Stats compiled by Inside Carolina)
Former Michigan and Arizona State coach Bill Frieder has assembled a group of former college standouts for a preseason exhibition tour. While the squad has an unimpressive record thus far, they have managed to hang with some tough teams.
Team Nike's two most impressive performances thus far have been its win over Miami and the one-point overtime loss to No. 11-ranked Georgia. Its worst showing? A 32-point loss to Vanderbilt on Monday.
Shooting Woes: Save for a strong half against Kentucky and a solid effort against Georgia Tech, shooting consistency has been a major downfall of the team. They were in a big slump over the last three games leading up to Duke, shooting 35 percent from the field and 22 percent on three-pointers. Their performance was so poor against Vanderbilt on Monday (28% FG) that Frieder offered a public apology after the game.
Beaten on the Boards: Despite a big frontline, Team Nike has been routinely dominated on the boards. Through the seven games, they have been outrebounded an average of 14 boards per game, and the numbers are even uglier on the offensive boards. Former Cincinnati bruiser Ryan Fletcher ('95-'00) has missed the last four games and his return, joined with Ousmane Cisse down low, could give the undersized Tar Heels some trouble. Former NBA Draft pick Jason Jennings, a seven-footer, has not had much of an impact.
Hello, Again: Two players on Team Nike have faced the Tar Heels before. Brandon Watkins has actually played UNC twice. As a sophomore, he contributed five assists and two points off the bench in Penn State's 2001 NCAA Tournament 2nd Round upset of Carolina. And in last season's opener, Watkins posted a team-high 24 points in an 85-55 loss to UNC. Donta Richardson's college career ended on the Smith Center floor, as his Wyoming team lost 90-74 to the Heels in the 2nd round of the 2003 NIT. He had a team-high 20 points in that game.
Who Are These Guys?: As for the other names on the roster ... Former Southern Miss high-flyer Elvin Mimms was the first overall pick in the 2002 CBA Draft. ... Jason Jennings transferred from Arkansas to Arkansas State in 1999 and was considered one of the top true centers coming out of college in the 2002 NBA Draft. Portland drafted him in the 2nd Round, but he didn't play last season and was released last month. ... Raymond Tutt averaged 26.7 points in the 1996-96 season for Cal-Santa Barbara, ranking fourth in the nation in PPG. ... Cedrick Hughey averaged 6.9 points and 4.6 rebounds as a senior last year at Washington State. ... Stan Blackmon was named to the 2001 All-Sun Belt team his senior year at Arkansas-Little Rock. He spent last season with the Texas Rim Rockers of the USBL.
Fletcher ...... Watkins
Cisse ...... Hughey