Its the first time we've seen these Wildcats, they've got a combined 0-3 record against other Big 10 Teams, and they play in the America East conference, against teams like Maine, Brown, Vermont, etc. They will be playing Wisconsin later this year so they're not afraid to play with the big boys.
UNH seems to be building a program under the direction of 4th year coach Phil Rowe [UNH Photo-Right]. He's 21-63 over the first 3 years, but his team finished 4th in their conference last year with the best finish for the Wildcats since 1996.
So what should Cat fans expect tonight? -
The Starters: UNH starts 2 Frosh at Guard - 6-4 Ioannis Karalis (from Greece) [#12] and 6-3 Ronnie Dennis [#10]. Forwards are 6-8 Senior Jeff Senulis [#34] and 6-4 Junior Griffin Walker [#31]. The Center is 6-9 Junior Kyle Peterson [#45]. Off the Bench are 6-7 Soph Center Ben Sturgill [#0], 6-4 Soph Brady Catlett[ #35], and two Guards 5-11 Soph Roland Williams [#20] and 6-2 Frosh Jeremy Friel [#2].
The Big Gun: Appears to be forward Griffin Walker - he had 12 pts against Miami with 7 rebounds. Jeff Senulis pumped in 20 against Maine last January.
Supporting Cast: Jeff Senulis and Jeremy Friel, off the bench, were second on the team with 9 pts each. Senulis is the rebound leader with 12 in the first game. Other UNH Wildcats with double figure games include Peterson, Sturgill, and Williams.
One small note of interest, Freshman Guard Jeremy Friel is a walk-on. He's the youngest son of a previous UNH coach, and apparently is a long range bomber, all 9 points of his points Saturday came on 3s. Maybe he can have a halftime 3 point contest with our Evan Seacat.
Watch out: These Wildcats shot 40% from beyond the arc against Miami Saturday, sinking 10 - 3 pointers. Last February, the UNH Cats shot 17 for 23 from the arc - that's a .739 percentage! But the guy with all those 3s, Marcus Bullock isn't listed on the roster for the game.
Wrapping Up? These UNH Cats are giving up a couple of inches per man up front tonight. But they like to go outside (sound familiar?) and hit those 3 pointers. I'd expect NU's outside defense to get a real test tonight.
However, you have to expect Aaron Jennings to dominate in the middle, and the size matchup favors NU's subs so we might see Jennings get a little more rest tonight. Our Cats front line may have some trouble with Senulis but I doubt UNH will see a group of guards like TJ Parker, Jitim Young, Jim Maley et al.
Final Word: This is a long shot, but watch out for Jeremy Friel. He's a coach's kid which means he knows fundamentals. He's a walk-on, which means he has something to prove. He's a freshman, which means he's an unknown quantity.
I'd also watch Ioannis Karalis, #12. He scored 5, with 5 boards, and 4 assists. He's used to playing European basketball - that mixture of hoops and rugby they play over there. There should be a real European flavor in the game - with NU's EEC team, and Karalis on the court.
The UNH Wildcats are a team on the build. They're a little short but like to shoot from outside the arc and have shown an ability to make those shots in bunches. The NU Cats should win this, but I wouldn't take UNH lightly.
Go Cats - Beat 'em All!
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