Campbell visits Trask on Saturday in bounce-back opportunity for UNCW


Noah Powers/The Seahawk

Devontae Cacok slams one home

Noah Thomas, Sports Editor

Men’s basketball hosts Campbell on Saturday in Trask Coliseum. It will be the final home game for the Seahawks for nearly a full month, and UNCW wants to give its fans something to remember as many students depart for winter break in two weeks.

Coming off a 108-81 loss to Davidson on Tuesday, UNCW coach C.B. McGrath called the game “disappointing,” but there were a few bright spots.

“After watching the film, I told them the score didn’t look that close, but the mistakes we made were little and that made it balloon up to the margin it was,” he said.

Bouncing back

McGrath said in Thursday’s press conference with local media that he can’t change how his team operates on a game-by-game basis just to prepare for the next opponent, citing it would be too inconsistent for his players.

He said knowing the Seahawks won’t be facing another team with the three-point shooting ability Davidson displayed was a relief. But Campbell presents a different challenge.

“I do know they’ve got a little guy who takes a lot of shots and he’s the focal point of their offense,” McGrath said. “That will be a little different. I have heard they do not shoot as many threes as Davidson and Devontae Cacok won’t be guarding a great three-point shooter.”

The Seahawks aren’t too worried about how they performed against the Wildcats this week. To a point, it was more about Davidson doing more things right than UNCW did things wrong.

“I didn’t think we played great, and I was shocked when I watched the tape that I really liked our pace,” McGrath said. “I thought our pace of play was good. When I was watching as the game unfolded, I was thinking we didn’t play at our pace offensively – but looking back on it, I thought we did.”

Roll Humps

The “little guy” Campbell touts is one of the nation’s best scoring guards. Chris Clemons, who ranked second in the country in scoring a year ago, is already leading the Fighting Camels with 33 points per game through two outings this season.

The 5-foot-9 junior makes up for his lack of size with an explosive first step toward the rim and stellar shooting ability (Clemons has converted on 50 percent of his shots from the field this season).

Jordon Talley will be tasked with guarding Clemons. Four inches taller, Talley stands a chance to guard the perimeter and limit one of the Big South’s biggest talents.

The prediction

Saturday is a good chance for UNCW to bounce back from a disappointing loss on the road. The Seahawks didn’t play poorly overall, but their defense was outmatched by Davidson’s offensive attack.

Campbell doesn’t possess the same all-around potency in its scoring. Clemons is the highlight for the Camels, but it’s worth noting they may rely on him too much at some points. In their season opener against Penn. State, Clemons posted 39 of his team’s 75 points.

If the Seahawks can do what they do best – speed up the pace of play and attack the rim through Cacok – they can get a win back in their early non-conference schedule.

Final score: UNCW 85, Campbell 77

Sports Editor Noah Thomas can be found on Twitter @NoahILM. Any tips or suggestions should be forwarded via email to [email protected] For video updates from The Seahawk, subscribe to our YouTube channel.