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UNCW hoops programs greet fans at eighth-annual Tip-Off Luncheon

McGrath, Barefoot took center stage in the event

A+panoramic+view+of+the+Buffalo+Wild+Wings+on+Racine+Drive+in+Wilmington%2C+the+site+of+Monday%27s+eighth-annual+UNCW+Basketball+Tip-Off+Luncheon.
A panoramic view of the Buffalo Wild Wings on Racine Drive in Wilmington, the site of Monday's eighth-annual UNCW Basketball Tip-Off Luncheon.

A panoramic view of the Buffalo Wild Wings on Racine Drive in Wilmington, the site of Monday's eighth-annual UNCW Basketball Tip-Off Luncheon.

Brandon Sans/The Seahawk

Brandon Sans/The Seahawk

A panoramic view of the Buffalo Wild Wings on Racine Drive in Wilmington, the site of Monday's eighth-annual UNCW Basketball Tip-Off Luncheon.

Brandon Sans, Assistant Sports Editor

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Fans were introduced to the new coaches and players of both UNC Wilmington basketball programs at the school’s eighth-annual Tip-Off Luncheon on Monday.

There wasn’t a single empty seat at the Buffalo Wild Wings-hosted event as new men’s coach C.B. McGrath and women’s coach Karen Barefoot spoke to the crowd about their respective programs roster and outlook for the year.

Men’s basketball

After spending two decades as an assistant under North Carolina coach Roy Williams, McGrath took the microphone himself and spoke to the crowd about the new Seahawks.

“As every experience, I’ve had since I became the head coach, I’m overwhelmed by the support,” said McGrath. “[The fans] obviously care deeply about UNCW.”

Aside from freshman Jeffery Gary and Jay Estime, the team is composed of players transferring in or players who will play for a new coach for the first time in their collegiate careers.

“Every drill that I introduce is the first time they’ve seen it,” said McGrath. “Every drill I do is the first time my staff has coached it.”

Being that Williams’ system is the only one McGrath has coached, the Seahawks will play a similar style to the Tar Heels when they take the floor this year. Though UNCW has played fast-paced in the past, it will be a forward-oriented system under McGrath.

McGrath did confirm he and Williams have agreed to a home-and-home series in the future between UNCW and UNC. A contract is expected to be finalized in the coming months.

Women’s basketball

Barefoot began her team introductions by holding a basketball where each player and coach wrote a word describing an ability they add to the team that makes it better. As an example, Barefoot told the crowd her word:

Believe.

“That’s all we have to do. We have to have that next play mentality of being able to make mistakes,” said Barefoot. “You aren’t going to make every shot, but can you get back on defense? Can you play together like sisters and communicate? We’ve been doing that for six practices.”

Barefoot continued to infuse energy and support for the program within the community by stressing the importance of fan involvement for the team this year. She invited fans to sit in on practices, a newfound level of transparency for the program.

“I’ve got a great staff and a great team that is committed to getting it done,” said Barefoot. “Six months from today, we want to be that team that nobody wants to play.”

Assistant Sports Editor Brandon Sans can be found on Twitter @Bsans10. Any tips or suggestions should be forwarded via email to uncwseahawksports@gmail.com. For video updates from The Seahawk, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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UNCW hoops programs greet fans at eighth-annual Tip-Off Luncheon