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Return to the 2006-07 Top 144 Preview

July 20th, 2006

By Joel Welser

Broadcast Basketball

 

UNC Wilmington Seahawks

Overall Rank: #115

Conference Rank: #5 Colonial

 

2005-06: 25-8, 15-3, 1st (t)

2005-06 postseason: NCAA

 

Lost in the George Mason hoopla is the fact that UNC Wilmington tied the Patriots atop the Colonial Athletic Association and won the conference tournament.  But that was last year and this year will look a lot different for the Seahawks, starting at the top.  Head coach Brad Brownell left for the browner pastures of Wright State and Benny Moss, who spent the last six seasons as an assistant at Charlotte, will take over.

 

Who’s Out: Three starters are gone, most notably John Goldsberry.  It isn’t just his 11.2 points and 5.2 assists that will be missed, but the former CAA defensive player of the year leaves an air of uncertainty on the defensive end.  Beckham Wyrick and Mitch Laue combined to average 14.5 points and 9.9 rebounds.  Fellow forward Taylor Lay, who saw action in all 33 games, has also run out of eligibility.

 

Who’s In: The Seahawks are looking to add some depth on the perimeter with three incoming freshmen guards.  Montez Downey prepped at Oak Ridge Military Academy last year, where the versatile 6-5 guard averaged 21.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.4 assists.  Combo guard Darryl Felder is a solid shooter and has the quickness to get to the rim and shooting guard Charles Baker will join the Seahawks after a successful high school career in North Carolina.  There are minutes on the perimeter available and all three guards should get the chance to contribute.  Jeff Horowitz, a transfer from College of Charleston, brings another big body to the frontcourt.  Horowitz, who is 6-9 and tilts the scales at 235 pounds, averaged 3.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in eight starts two years ago for the Cougars.  While it is not quite official yet, Josh Sheets and Jonathan Malloy should be joining the Seahawks.  Sheets is a versatile wing and his long range shooting will be enjoyed in Wilmington for four years.  Malloy is a great athlete who can play solid defense.  There just might not be anywhere to put him during this campaign.

 

Who to Watch: It will be interesting to see how the backcourt reacts without Goldsberry.  Temi Soyebo should be starting at the point.  He’s quick and a good defender, but lacks a consistent jumpshot.  Junior Daniel Fountain will be vying for playing time running the show as well.  John David Gardner played just seven games before suffering an injury last year, yet has the potential to be a good shooting guard.  Gardner, who is still awaiting a ruling by the NCAA regarding a medical redshirt season, never really had a chance to show his stuff last season, but he will this year.  T.J. Carter is the star of the team and may end up starting at the three.  It would be a smaller lineup than last year, but Carter, even at 6-3, is athletic enough to perform on the wing. 

 

Final Projection: It’s never easy to lose a coach and three starters.  Despite the loss of Wyrick and Laue, the frontcourt has experienced players in Vladimir Kuljanin, Dejan Grkovic and former Demon Deacon, Todd Hendley.  The point guard spot and finding a third double digit scorer behind Carter and Hendley are the main issues.  However, there are plenty of options for both of those concerns.  If those questions are answered, the Seahawks will compete with anybody in the conference.  If not, fans will look back at March 2006 with a sense of nostalgia. 

 

Projected Post-season Tournament: none

 

Projected Starting Five:

John David Gardner, Freshman, Guard, 2.4 points per game

Temi Soyebo, Senior, Guard, 3.2 points per game

T.J. Carter, Senior, Guard, 13.6 points per game

Todd Hendley, Junior, Forward, 10.5 points per game

Vladimir Kuljanin, Junior, Center, 6.1 points per game

116 UALR » Complete List » 114 Hawaii

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