|Seahawks, Pirates Renew Long Rivalry|
UNCW Vs. East Carolina
THE TIP-OFF: The UNCW men’s basketball continues a span of three games in just five days today when the Seahawks open a four-game series with rival East Carolina in Greenville. The Seahawks are playing in Greenville for the first time since Dec. 22, 2007, and have compiled a 12-18 record in Greenville through the years.
THE COACHES: UNCW’s Buzz Peterson is in his 16th season with a 262-211 (.554) overall record and 37-64 (.366) mark in four seasons with the Seahawks. East Carolina’s Jeff Lebo is coaching his 16th season overall with a 273-201 (.576) record overall, including a 62-45 (.579) mark in four seasons with the Pirates.
THE PLAYERS: The probable starters for the Seahawks include Ben Eblen (6-1, 185, Gr., Guard), Addison Spruill (6-4, 225, Jr., Guard), Chris Dixon (6-0, 190, Sr., Guard), Shane Reybold (6-8, 238, Sr., Forward) and Cedrick Williams (6-9, 225, Jr., Forward). The probable starters for the Pirates include Paris Campbell (6-3, 185, Jr.), Prince Williams (6-5, 200, Soph.), Akeem Richmond (6-0, 180, Sr.), Michael Zangari (6-9, 230, Soph.), Caleb White (6-7, 190, Fr.).
JUMP BALL: UNCW continues a busy stretch today when the Seahawks renew their longtime rivalry with East Carolina. Coach Buzz Peterson’s club dropped its first home game of the season Friday night to Stephen F. Austin and will attempt to bounce back against the once-beaten Pirates at Minges Coliseum.
THE SERIES: Today is the 61st meeting between the two teams and the 31st pairing at Minges Coliseum. UNCW leads the overall series, 33-27, and has won seven of the last 10 games between the two schools.
ABOUT THE PIRATES: Defending CIT champion East Carolina is off to a quick start in 2013-14 with six victories in its first seven outings. The Pirates bring a two-game winning streak into third third home game of the campaign.
MINGES MANIA: UNCW stands 12-18 against ECU in Minges Coliseum through the years. The Seahawks nipped the Pirates, 71-67, in their last appearance in Greenville on Dec. 22, 2007, but have lost six of their last 10 games to the Pirates on their home floor.
TIP-INS: Today’s game features two of the six former North Carolina players now coaching on the NCAA Division I level in North Carolina – UNCW’s Buzz Peterson and ECU’s Jeff Lebo.
FACING CONFERENCE USA: The Seahawks have played nine of the 16 schools in Conference USA and compiled a 62-71 record against the group.
FACT OF THE GAME: During ECU’s 17-year membership in the CAA, the Seahawks went 26-11 (.702) against their bitter rivals. The two teams met three times in the CAA Tournament, with the Seahawks winning twice.
WALKING THE PLANK: UNCW’s Buzz Peterson has faced East Carolina three times - all as head coach at Appalachian State. The veteran coach lost his first game to the Pirates in Boone, N.C., on Nov. 25, 1996, but has won two straight over the Greenville club.
FAMILY TIES: Three members of the Seahawk athletic staff have ties to ECU. Director of Athletics Jimmy Bass served as Senior Associate A.D. for the Pirates, Director of Ticket Operations Haig Lea worked as Director of Ticket Sales in Greenville and Director of Major Gifts for Athletics Adam Keen served as Associate Director of the ECU’s Small Business Institute from 2007-2008.
ADDISON GETS AN “A”: Junior college transfer Addison Spruill has made a seamless transition to D-I hoops. The Pender High School graduate has reached double figures six times in nine games and led the team in scoring three times (Liberty, Marshall, Stephen F. Austin). He did not start in the season opener at Iowa, but has been in the opening lineup since.
TAR HEEL RECORD: UNCW owns an 200-217 (.479) record against 28 schools from the state of North Carolina. Coach Buzz Peterson has played 17 opponents from the state of North Carolina during his career and compiled a 29-26 record.
ON THE DEFENSE: The Seahawks have limited their last two opponents, Campbellsville and Stephen F. Austin, to 35.6 percent on 42-of-118 shooting, including 12-of-50 from deep.
HOW TO CATCH THE GAME: If you can’t make it to the game, there are several ways to follow the action. Twitter: @UNCWmenshoops; Live Stats: UNCWsports.com; Radio: Sunny 104.5 FM-Wilmington, N.C.; TV: WITN-TV/Greenville, N.C.
NEXT UP: The Seahawks play their second straight North Carolina foe on Tuesday when Campbell visits Trask Coliseum for a 7 p.m. tip-off.