Courtesy: Chris Crouch The new-look Seahawks play their second exhibition game Sunday vs. Methodist
WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Four days after a thorough demolition of NCAA Division II Belmont Abbey, the UNCW Seahawks entertain D-III Methodist Sunday in their second and final men’s basketball tune-up for the upcoming 2013-14 season.
Coach Buzz Peterson’s club clobbered the Crusaders, 101-51, in the most lopsided exhibition win in the program’s history. Now it’s time for some finishing touches before embarking on a challenging two-game season-opening swing to the country’s heartland.
“You’re always leery about that first exhibition game,” Peterson said, “but I thought our guys did a tremendous job. I loved the way we competed and shared the basketball.
“We don’t know much about Methodist. I’m sure we’ll get a good fight from them. This just gives us an opportunity to work on some different things. We’ll see how the flow of the game goes.”
The Seahawks coasted to their 25th consecutive exhibition victory with Wednesday’s triumph over Belmont Abbey to hike their all-time exhibition record to 42-5. UNCW has not lost an exhibition game since being surprised, 71-57, by the Court Authority on Dec. 12, 1998.
Methodist went 9-15 one year ago and finished with a 6-8 mark in the USA South Athletic Conference. Longtime coach David Smith has compiled a 163-181 record and captured four regular season conference championships, two tournament titles and two trips to the D-III national tournament with the Monarchs.
Smith’s club was picked to finish fifth in the USA South preseason poll, but returns all five starters along with seven newcomers. Senior Bryan Hockaday and sophomores Brandon Monk and Keemon Ingram are key players for Methodist, the alma mater of UNCW assistant coach Andre Gray.
Hockaday, a 6-6, 225-pound forward, earned Honorable Mention All-Conference honors last season and is the team’s top returning scorer (11.0 ppg) and rebounder (8.1 rpg). Monk averaged 8.3 ppg as a freshman and played in all 24 games, while Ingram was the club’s second leading scorer with 8.9 ppg and shot a league-leading 47.1 percent from three-point range.
Following Sunday’s tilt with Methodist, the Seahawks leave Thursday for a Midwest swing to Iowa and Iowa State. UNCW faces Iowa in Iowa City on Friday (9:30 p.m. EST) and takes on Iowa State in Ames on Sunday (1:00 p.m. EST).
UNCW, 10-20 one year ago in Buzz Peterson's third season in the Port City, was picked to finish eighth in the league at the Colonial Athletic Association's annual Media Day.
For the fourth straight year, every UNCW basketball game may be heard on Sunny 104.5 FM, with the pre-game show 30 minutes before tip-off. Mike Vaccaro and Danny Dahl will provide the call.