Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Game #1 - UNC Wilmington Seahawks

To open the 2020-21 season, the Cats travel to Ashville's Kimmel Arena to face the UNC Wilmington Seahawks. UNCW was picked to finish 8th (of 10 teams) in the recent coaches poll of CAA teams. The Seahawks were picked eighth behind Hofstra, Delaware, Drexel, Towson, Elon, Charleston, and Northeastern, while junior forward Jaylen Sims was named honorable mention all-conference.

When: Wednesday, November 25, 2020, at 4:00 pm
Where: Kimmel Arena, Asheville, NC
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
-announcers: Daniel Hooker, play by play - Jeff Bryson, color
TV/video: ESPN+
-announcers: Kyle Rush (Play by Play), Raul Hunt (Color Analyst)
Conference: Colonial Athletic Association
Nickname: Seahawks
Mascot: Sammy C. Hawk
Colors:  Navy, Teal, Gold
Students: 17,499
Fan Message Board: Hawk's Nest

The Series: The Cats are 4-2 against the Seahawks, the two teams last played in 1997, with the Cats losing to UNCW in Fayetteville, NC by a final score of 60-72

Game Notes:   Western Carolina     -     UNCW

Picked to finish 8th in the CAA, CBS preseason rankings listed the Seahawks at #325 out of 357 teams in their preseason rankings (the Cats are ranked 180). Massey ranks the Seahawks at #274 and the Cats at #171. The Seahawks went 10-22 in the 2019-20 season and finished ninth during the CAA regular season before former assistant coach Takayo Siddle was named to take over the program on March 2020. Siddle comes to UNCW after working under former UNCW head coach Kevin Keatts at NC State. This game opens the season for both teams.

6-foot-9, Ian Steere transferred to UNCW earlier this year from St. John’s and has been ruled eligible by the NCAA to play in the 2020-21 season for UNCW. The Seahawks lost three players off last season’s roster, but only has four players entering their third year with the program -- Jaylen Sims; Ty Gadsden, who’s missed 19 games over two seasons because of injuries; Jay Estimé, who was out all but five games a year ago with injury; and walk-on Brent Jenkins.

First-year head coach Siddle wants to re-implement the "RunDefendWin" philosophy that worked well during his previous time at UNCW under Kevin Keatts, but it’s a big change from C.B. McGrath, whose defense wasn’t built around high-energy pressure and turnovers.

The Seahawks have three point guards -- Gadsden, sophomore Shykeim Phillips, and freshman JaJuan Carr from Pender High. There’s a logjam for the off-guard and wing positions with six other interchangeable parts: senior Mike Okauru and Estimé, juniors Sims and Brian Tolefree, sophomore Jake Boggs, and freshman Jamahri Harvey.

WCU Probable Starters:


Join the conversation and leave a comment below