UNC Wilmington Seahawks
Overall record: 1-1
Colnial Athletic Association record: 0-0
2006-07 record: 7-22
2006-07 RPI: 263
2006-07 Sagarin: 244
Series: Indiana leads, 2-0
TV: Tonight, 7 pm Big Ten Network
Playing Wilmington seems to be a good omen from the Hoosiers. Most IU fans will easily recall the most recent game against the Seahawks: a 76-67 win in the second round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament, which gave IU its only Sweet 16 appearance in the last 13 seasons and led to IU's appearance in the NCAA title game. Perhaps forgotten is a surprisingly close 73-72 IU win in Bloomington on December 12, 1986. IU won the NCAA championship that season, of course. Will this year's Hoosiers play on Monday night as well?
As the numbers above indicated, UNCW has declined last year, but has played in the NCAA tournament twice (losing in the first round of the NCAA in 2003 and 2006) since the departure of current DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright. Wainwright was replaced by highly regarded Brad Brownell, and Indiana native and DePauw grad who left voluntarily to take the Wright State job. Current coach Benny Moss is in his second season.
Wilmington is 1-1 this year, with a win over Charleston and a 16 point loss to Illinois State (IU's next opponent). The Seahawks return their three leading scorers from last season: guard Daniel Fountain, center Vladimir Kuljanin, and forward Todd Hendley. The Seahawks currently average 24 three point attempts per game, with leading scorer Fountain hitting 60 percent. Big man Kuljanin is shooting 72 percent from the field this season and is averaging 14.5 rebounds per game.
Last year, Wilmimington's pace was about average, and as would be expected for a 7-22 team, its offensive and defensive efficiency numbers were terrible. By the Pomeroy numbers, UNCW didn't do much of anything well last year. They didn't shoot well, didn't take care of the ball, didn't rebound well offensively, didn't play good defense, and didn't force turnovers. The only think UNCW did well was rebound about 70 percent of its opponents' missed shots, good enough for #33 nationally. UNCW has continued to rebound well this season, but this game should not be much of a test for the Hoosiers.