Charlotte, N.C. - Bobcats Arena
7 p.m., ESPN
* Torrell Martin is the Big South Preseason Player of the Year and a two-time Big South Tournament MVP. He's a big shooting guard at 6-5, 200 and is the team's top returning secorer, and is second in rebounds and three-point shooting.
* Craig Bradshaw, the 6-10, 242-pound center, played for New Zealand in the World Championships over the summer. He was the Eagles' leading rebounder (6.0), shotblocker (1.0) and shot 52% from the field last season.
* The floor general is Chris Gaynor, a 5-10 junior who has started every game in his college career. Last season he sported an impressive 3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio, while also leading the Eagles with 44-percent shooting from beyond the arc.
* Winthrop's season opener was an 89-46 rout of North Greenville. Most noteworthy was junior guard Michael Jenkins, who came off the bench to score 40 points on 12-of-18 three-point shooting. He only averaged 5.8 points a season ago.
* In the Eagles' first-round game of the NIT Tip-Off on Tuesday night they cruised by Iona, 57-38, holding their opponent to 31% shooting from the field. Martin had 11 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals.
* Through the first two games, Winthrop has played 10 players in double-digit minutes, and while the opponents have been lackluster, the Eagles' defense is allowing a mere 42 points per game and just 32% shooting, while outrebounding the two opponents by a +14.5 margin. By comparison, last year's Eagles squad allowed 61.2 points per game, held opponents to 40.1% shooting, had a +5.5 rebounding margin and averaged 9.6 steals per game.
* Head coach Gregg Marshall has been on the radar for a number of head coaching searches by higher profile programs the last few years, and he turned down an offer from the College of Charleston in the offseason.
* Winthrop and North Carolina have only played once before -- a 66-61 Tar Heel win in the 2000-2001 season opener in Chapel Hill. It was Matt Doherty's first game as UNC's head coach.
Background Location: Rock Hill, S.C. Enrollment: 6,600 Conference: Big South Nickname: Eagles Colors: Garnet & Gold Head Coach: Gregg Marshall Record at WU: 167-78 Last Year: 23-8 (13-3, 1st)
Projected Starters (with 05-06 stats): 10 Chris Gaynor (5-10, 160, Jr.) – 6.9 ppg, 4.5 apg 12 Torrell Martin (6-5, 202, Sr.) – 13.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg 3 Mantoris Robinson (6-5, 195, Fr.) - Matthews (N.C.) Butler/FUMA 33 Phillip Williams (6-8, 217, Sr.) - 5.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg 5 Craig Bradshaw (6-10, 242, Sr.) – 12.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg Key Reserves: 11 Michael Jenkins (6-3, 190, Jr.) – 5.8 ppg 31 Taj McCullough (6-7, 220, Jr.) – 4.2 ppg 24 DeAndre Adams (5-8, 158, So.) – 1.3 ppg, 2.0 apg 1 Antwon Harris (6-3, 200, Jr.) – Clarksville (Tenn.) Highland C.C. 21 Jason Killeen (6-10, 240, So.) – DNP - Medical Redshirt