Previewing UNC Wilmington

After taking a few days off to celebrate the holidays, the Tar Heels (6-1) regroup in Myrtle Beach to battle UNC Wilmington on Sunday. Tip-off at the Convention Center is scheduled for 1 p.m. and will be broadcast regionally by Raycom/Jefferson-Pilot. [Pictured: UNCW's leading scorer Ed Spencer]

North Carolina (6-1) vs. UNC Wilmington (4-3)
Convention Center, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Sunday, 1 p.m., R/J-P

UNCW Pregame Notes

* Season to Date: The Seahawks have looked mediocre thus far this season, coming off of a great 2002-03 effort which ended in the first round of the NCAA Tournament when Maryland's Drew Nicholas hit a desperation three at the buzzer. Wins over Marshall, Jacksonville, Campbell and UNC Asheville this year have been offset by losses to East Tennessee State, William & Mary and Charleston.

* After the Storm: With the graduation of sharpshooter Brett Blizzard, the Seahawks are trying to establish roles and find their identity. Blizzard was the heartbeat of the program, leading UNCW to four consecutive postseason appearances, including three NCAA berths, while establishing an astounding 31 school records. Who will carry the torch now? So far, it's been a group effort. The Seahawks have had six different leading scorers in seven games. Though no one has emerged as the go-to scorer (especially from long range), guard Ed Spencer has been the most consistent scorer (11.5 ppg). John Goldsberry hasn't gotten on track offensively yet (5.3 ppg), but he's the team's floor leader on both ends of the court (3.3 apg, 1.8 spg).

* Bottomless Bench: With only one player averaging double-digits in points, and none averaging more than 4.0 rebounds, it requires guesswork to know who will be the big contributer each game. A total of 11 players have appeared in every game, while the whole 14 have averaged 7.8 or more minutes per game. The surplus of wing guards and wing forwards have enabled the Seahawks to try a variety of lineups and rotations.

* Rookie Honors: When Jerry Wainwright left for Richmond, first-year head coach Brad Brownell had some pretty big shoes to fill in 2002-03. And the 34-year-old filled them quite nicely, leading the Seahawks to a school-record 21 regular season wins, and earning the conference's Coach of the Year honors.

* Remember Me?: Junior Halston Lane will be familiar to Carolina fans. He played two seasons at Georgia Tech, averaging more than six points per game, before transferring to UNCW.

* Matchup History: This will be the first-ever game between UNC and UNC Wilmington.

Location: Wilmington, N.C.
Enrollment: 10,800
Conference: Colonial
Nickname: Seahawks
Colors: Green (Teal), Gold & Navy Blue
Head Coach: Brad Brownell
Record at UNCW: 28-10

Probable Starting Lineup: 
   John Goldsberry (6-3, G, So.) – 5.3 ppg, 3.3 apg
   Ed Spencer (6-2, G, Jr.) – 11.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg
   Joel Justus (6-6, G, Sr.) – 3.7 ppg, 1.7 rpg
   Taylor Lay (6-7, F, So.) – 5.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg
   Aaron Coombs (6-11, C, Jr.) – 6.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg
Key Reserves: 
   Halston Lane (6-6, G, Jr.) – 8.2 ppg
   Anthony Terrell (6-7, F, Sr.) – 7.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg
   Dave Noel (6-2, G, Fr.) – 7.5 ppg, 2.3 apg
   T.J. Carter (6-3, G, Fr.) – 4.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg
   Beckham Wyrick (6-6, F, So.) – 3.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg
   Mitch Laue (6-7, F, So.) – 3.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg
   Andy Gunn (6-4, G, Sr.) – 2.3 ppg


Photo Gallery

Goldsberry ... Spencer

Coombs ... Terrell

Justus ... Brownell

(Photos by John Domoney and Getty Images.)

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