UNC WILMINGTON SEAHAWKS
2011-12 Record: 2-5 (0-0 CAA)
2010-11 Record: 13-18 (7-11 CAA)
2010-11 RPI: 218
Guy you’ll want to heckle: Keith Rendleman, Jr., F (11.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg in 2010-11)
The skinny: It wasn’t long ago that this was one of the hottest rivalries in the CAA. Between 2000 and 2006, the Seahawks won four league championships. At about the same time, VCU was building its program under Jeff Capel.
However, the VCU program continued its ascent following the 2005-06 season, while the bottom dropped out at UNCW. The Seahawks have just one winning record the last five years. In the meantime, the Rams have won nine of 10 in the series, including victories of 34, 29 and 18 points.
Veteran Coach Buzz Peterson took over in 2010-11 with hopes of resurrecting the wayward ‘Hawks. He signed a talented recruiting class of eight freshmen, including high-scoring guard Adam Smith, an early favorite for CAA Rookie of the Year. The Seahawks also boast one of the league’s best big men in 6-foot-8 Keith Rendleman. There are 12 freshmen and sophomores on this year’s team, so if Peterson looks more tired than usual, you know why.
About UNCW: Here are my favorite things about UNC Wilmington. First, it’s on the beach. I shouldn’t have to explain that. Secondly, Dawson’s Creek was filmed in town. Finally, the best player in school history was named Brett Blizzard. Not only is that a great name for a guy who plays hoops at the beach, but it also sounds like the alter ego of a comic book character. Considering his 2,000-plus career points, he might be a superhero.
Fast fact: John Calipari is a UNCW alum. The school has spent the last 30 years wondering “what if”.