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@ # 23 Furman - Saturday, 4 PM
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Seahawk Nation 08 Online
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@ # 23 Furman - Saturday, 4 PM
[Image: Furman.gif]

The Paladins take their perfect 10-0 record into a 2-game homestand that begins tonight (Dec 11) against Charleston Southern and finishes with the Seahawks on Saturday. They've already knocked off Villanova and Loyola-Chicago in road games this season, and were rewarded with a # 23 ranking in the AP Poll this week, moving up from # 25 the previous week.

Much like Campbell, a diminutive guard leads the scoring attack for Furman. Junior shooting guard Jordan Lyons ranks 50th in the nation in scoring (20.2 ppg), doing most of his damage from the perimeter, where he's shooting .369.

The other star on the team will be the focus of Cacok all night, senior forward Matt Rafferty. The 6-8 big man is a pure interior force, averaging 17.9 ppg and 9.1 rpg, while collecting a highly impressive 3.3 "stocks" (blocks + steals) per contest. He's also dished well out of the post, adding 4.2 assists per game.

Joining Rafferty in the post is sophomore forward Clay Mounce. At 6-7, 200 lbs, Mounce is a bit of a stretch 4, shooting 15-32 (.469) from three this season. Like Rafferty, he's also been a force on defense, averaging 2.2 "stocks" of his own in the 2018-19 campaign.

The other starters for Furman are a pair of underclassmen, 5-11 sophomore point guard Alex Hunter and 6-8 freshman forward Noah Gurley. Hunter leads the team in assists (4.3 apg) and is 2nd on the team in steals (1.3 spg). His A/TO ratio is also a highly impressive 4.3, which ranks 11th in the nation, just behind Duke's Tre Jones and ahead of Gonzaga's Josh Perkins. Gurley, meanwhile, adds some versatility to the lineup with his height and length. He's 4th on the team in scoring (8.4 ppg) while adding 4.1 rebounds per contest and 1.0 steals.

Furman doesn't seem to have a true "6th man", but they do have four bench options that have averaged over 10 minutes per contest. 6-5 sophomore guard Tre Clark has been the most impressive, averaging 5.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and shooting .537 from the field. He provides size that the Paladins' starting guards lack. He's been a liability from the free throw line, however, where he's shooting a paltry .467.

Furman's entire roster are home grown products for head coach Bob Richey, who was a Paladin assistant coach for 6 years before moving into the head job the last 2 seasons. There are no transfers on the 2018-19 squad. Thus, being able to hire a coach in house and build a Top 25 team on the strength of the program's recruiting speaks to its continuity and health in the past, present, and future. Furman won 23 games just 2 seasons ago and reached the CIT for the 2nd straight season. This year's squad appears to be no worse than an NIT squad as they get ready to battle UNCG and other strong SoCon teams for the league title.

Furman is averaging 83.4 points, which ranks 36th in the country. And they've paired this with a defense allowing only 66.0 points, which is tied for 61st nationally. That gives them a +17.4 scoring margin, which ranks tied for 21st. Granted, they have amassed these numbers while playing the nation's # 311 schedule vs. D-I, and also have played 3 regular season contests against non-DI opponents. But given their quality wins so far, that doesn't mean their performance has been "flukey". It just means that some more data is needed to decide if Furman truly belongs amongst the elite.

According to Kenpom.com, when adjusting for schedule, Furman's efficiency ratings place them # 123 in offense, # 103 in defense, and # 115 overall. So we'll see if the Paladins can keep it up through the grueling SoCon schedule. And yes, the SoCon IS difficult this year; they rank 10th amongst conferences in RPI this season, which could potentially put them in multiple bid range if some things break their way.
12-11-2018 09:46 AM
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Gary Miller Offline
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RE: @ # 23 Furman - Saturday, 4 PM
Just watched Furman take down Charleston Southern 77-69. They're long/athletic and love to shoot the 3, but they're definitely beatable. They did have trouble breaking the press... I know that's something McGrath has been trying to implement with this seasons team, it will be interesting to see if that's apart of his game plan Saturday. Really hope the guys can embrace the opportunity they have, because it's a legitimate chance to beat a ranked team on the road. I think it will ultimately come down to whether or not our 3 point defense has improved. We've already lost two key games (GWU & Davidson) due to poor 3 point defense. There's no excuse for that to be our demise again. Cacok has to be smart, he's going to be the best player on the court and we need him out there as much as possible. I know he wants to redeem himself after a poor performance versus UNC, and this is a great opportunity for that. McGrath has the talent to get this done, he needs to put his players in the best position to succeed and get a result. I don't know if I can handle another "moral victory" at this point. WINGS UP!
12-11-2018 09:49 PM
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geezerhawkdad Offline
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RE: @ # 23 Furman - Saturday, 4 PM
Furman is 11-0, but 3 of their wins are against non-D1 competition. Their game against Charleston Southern drew 2210.

Furman was really good from 1971 to 1980. They won 6 Southern Conference Tournament Championships and won a game in the 1974 Tournament. They have not returned to the NCAA Tournament since 1980.
12-11-2018 10:09 PM
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Seahawk Nation 08 Online
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RE: @ # 23 Furman - Saturday, 4 PM
Furman actually dropped in Ken Pomeroy's rankings after beating CSU. They're now # 117 overall: # 127 in offense and # 105 in defense.

We sit at # 201 overall: # 132 in offense and # 290 in defense.
(This post was last modified: 12-12-2018 10:49 AM by Seahawk Nation 08.)
12-12-2018 10:49 AM
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geezerhawkdad Offline
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RE: @ # 23 Furman - Saturday, 4 PM
Furman used to give away food from the concession stands to try to increase attendance at their games. If you went to 2 games there, you were prepared the second time and got your money's worth.
12-13-2018 01:44 AM
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82hawk Offline
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RE: @ # 23 Furman - Saturday, 4 PM
Waiting on the Hawks' to beat a team that they really shouldn't on paper under McGrath. It's Furman for goodness sakes. I know they are top 25, but they aren't a powerhouse team that should have players far superior to ours based on recruiting.

Time to outcoach the other team and come up with a strategy to WIN, regardless of ranking or expectations. Until you beat teams you shouldn't you never become a winning team or the team expected to win.

The time is now.
12-13-2018 01:50 PM
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Seahawk Nation 08 Online
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RE: @ # 23 Furman - Saturday, 4 PM
(12-13-2018 01:50 PM)82hawk Wrote:  Waiting on the Hawks' to beat a team that they really shouldn't on paper under McGrath. It's Furman for goodness sakes. I know they are top 25, but they aren't a powerhouse team that should have players far superior to ours based on recruiting.

Time to outcoach the other team and come up with a strategy to WIN, regardless of ranking or expectations. Until you beat teams you shouldn't you never become a winning team or the team expected to win.

The time is now.

Agreed. They may be ranked in the Top 25, and in many ways they deserve that. They've beaten everyone on their schedule. But they're not worlds better than us, and I certainly don't think they're going to finish in the Top 25.

This would be a very meaningful win for the McGrath era if we can get it.
(This post was last modified: 12-13-2018 02:47 PM by Seahawk Nation 08.)
12-13-2018 02:46 PM
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82hawk Offline
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RE: @ # 23 Furman - Saturday, 4 PM
Jacksonville HS football team will be playing for the 3A state championship at Keenan/UNC. I'll be there and will catch UNCW on the radio on the way home. They'll play powerhouse Charlotte Catholic who moved dowwn from 4A a two years ago and won the championship last year over Havelock. Lock down defensive team that also controls the clock with their running game.
12-13-2018 06:30 PM
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SEA33HAWK Offline
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RE: @ # 23 Furman - Saturday, 4 PM
(12-13-2018 06:30 PM)82hawk Wrote:  Jacksonville HS football team will be playing for the 3A state championship at Keenan/UNC. I'll be there and will catch UNCW on the radio on the way home. They'll play powerhouse Charlotte Catholic who moved dowwn from 4A a two years ago and won the championship last year over Havelock. Lock down defensive team that also controls the clock with their running game.

New Hanover won the 3AA title last year.
(This post was last modified: 12-13-2018 06:35 PM by SEA33HAWK.)
12-13-2018 06:32 PM
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EvanJ Offline
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RE: @ # 23 Furman - Saturday, 4 PM
(12-11-2018 10:09 PM)geezerhawkdad Wrote:  Furman was really good from 1971 to 1980. They won 6 Southern Conference Tournament Championships and won a game in the 1974 Tournament. They have not returned to the NCAA Tournament since 1980.
I wonder if that's a record for longest time from a team's last NCAA Tournament appearance to their first time ranked (excluding teams who have never been ranked).

I wonder when the last time a CAA team won at an undefeated ranked team was.
12-14-2018 02:12 PM
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RE: @ # 23 Furman - Saturday, 4 PM
https://uncwsports.com/news/2018/12/11/furman.aspx

Seahawks Back On Floor Vs. No. 23 Furman

WILMINGTON, North Carolina – The UNCW men's basketball team ventures out of the state of North Carolina for the first time this season when the Seahawks take on 23rd-ranked Furman early Saturday at intimate Timmons Arena in Greenville, S.C.

The Seahawks, 4-6, face a tall task in the Paladins, who stand a perfect 11-0 and remain one of nine unbeatens in all of NCAA Division I hoops. The 11-0 mark includes three wins in overtime that featured a combined 45 lead changes. On top of that, opposing clubs must overcome tight surroundings in the on-campus venue.

UNCW Head Coach C.B. McGrath and his club stand 2-3 away from Trask Coliseum this season, but have only played a pair of true road games at North Carolina and Campbell. Saturday's clash with the Paladins is the second of four consecutive pre-Christmas road tilts to conclude the non-conference schedule for the Seahawks.

Saturday's 4 p.m. matchup promises to be a high scoring affair. The Seahawks are averaging 80.7 points per game and the Paladins are collecting a robust 82.8 points each outing.

"Furman is playing great as a team," said McGrath. "The entire country knows about Furman basketball because they're being successful. They play as a team. When I watch them, not one single kid cares about how many points he scores. They care about helping their team win a game. It's worked out well for them.

"They run good stuff offensively. They try to get out on transition and score. If not, they have guys around the perimeter who can make three's. It's not going to be a different system that we have to get ready for."

Live Seahawk Digital Network (SDN) coverage of the UNCW-FU contest starts at 3:45 p.m. with Mike Vaccaro, the "Voice of the Seahawks," on the call. Visit UNCWsports.com/SDN for live audio coverage.

A radio broadcast of the game may be heard on 95.9 FM "The Breeze" | WKXB HD 2 – 95.9 FM and 99.9 HD2 and live stats are available at UNCWStats.com.

THE STORYLINES

UNBLEMISHED AT THE TOP: Joining Furman in the ranks of the unbeaten are Buffalo, Houston, Kansas, Michigan, Nevada, St. John's, Texas Tech and Virginia. The group includes teams from eight different conferences.

TIMMONS TIME: The Paladins have not lost on their home floor this season in six tries. Furman's average home attendance is 1,519 fans.

THE SERIES: The Seahawks and Paladins have only met twice, splitting the two contests at Trask Coliseum. The two clubs played for the first time on Dec. 30, 2011, and the Seahawks earned a 72-61 verdict. Furman turned the tables last season with a 90-84 decision on Dec. 17, 2017, in Wilmington.

SEAHAWKS VS. SoCON: The Seahawks have played eight of the current 10 members of the Southern Conference and compiled a 21-18 record against the group. UNCW fell, 82-61, to UNCG in the third game of the new season in its lone battle with a SoCon opponent.

IN THE BOOKS: The Seahawks are returning to action following a 10-day hiatus for end-of-the-semester exams. UNCW last played on Dec. 5 at nationally-ranked North Carolina.

BATTLE OF THE BIGS: Saturday's tip features two talented inside players in UNCW's Devontae Cacok and Furman's Matt Rafferty. Cacok is averaging a double-double of 14.9 points and 11.7 rebounds, while Rafferty counters with 17.5 points and 9.5 boards. Cacok ranks fourth nationally in rebounding with his 11.7 per game clip.

NEXT UP: The Seahawks continue their non-conference schedule with a pair of games in Georgia next week, visiting former CAA rival Georgia State on Wednesday, Dec. 19, in Atlanta before moving down to Macon for a Friday, Dec. 21, matchup at Mercer.

EVERYTHING SEAHAWKS: For more information on the UNCW men's basketball team, visit UNCWsports.com and click on the men's basketball button. Additional information is also available on UNCW's social media channels: Facebook (UNCW Men's Basketball), Twitter (@UNCWmenshoops), Instagram (UNCWBasketball).
12-14-2018 03:48 PM
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billthebighawksfan Offline
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RE: @ # 23 Furman - Saturday, 4 PM
Furman is only favored by like 10 or so which seems reasonable. If UNCW plays well, there's no reason this game can't be competive. The key is TEAM. There's nothing better than team ball, nothing. It's fun for the players,fans and coaches.
12-14-2018 10:47 PM
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solohawks Offline
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RE: @ # 23 Furman - Saturday, 4 PM
Reminder ESPN+ has a 7 day free trial. If you sign up tomorrow before game time you can watch the next 3 games for free
12-14-2018 11:19 PM
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Proff Offline
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RE: @ # 23 Furman - Saturday, 4 PM
We are 10.5 dogs with over/under at 152.

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12-15-2018 10:49 AM
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RE: @ # 23 Furman - Saturday, 4 PM
Over/under has moved to 154. Spread still the same.

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12-15-2018 12:40 PM
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Proff Offline
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RE: @ # 23 Furman - Saturday, 4 PM
Right now neither team looks like much. Exam break rust?

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12-15-2018 04:21 PM
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solohawks Offline
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RE: @ # 23 Furman - Saturday, 4 PM
That was my thoughts Prof. Our offense is very sluggish so far
12-15-2018 04:24 PM
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RE: @ # 23 Furman - Saturday, 4 PM
7 turnovers in 12 minutes
12-15-2018 04:28 PM
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RE: @ # 23 Furman - Saturday, 4 PM
Looks like furman has gotten rid of their rust - not so us thus far.

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12-15-2018 04:29 PM
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RE: @ # 23 Furman - Saturday, 4 PM
This is brutal to watch....
12-15-2018 04:37 PM
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