By: Matthew Terry
It’s UNC-Wilmington’s world, we’re all living in it. Coming off an exciting overtime win in the championship of the 2016 CAA tournament over Hofstra, UNC-Wilmington looks to repeat this year. Kevin Keatts and the Seahawks return their three top scorers from the 2015-16 season, including the Preseason CAA Player of the Year, Chris Flemmings, who averaged 16.2 ppg and 5.8 rpg last year. Along with those players, the Seahawks have added 6’8 freshman Matt Elmore, who averaged 22.0 points and 15.4 rebounds last season for Dixon H.S. in Holly Ridge, NC.
One of UNCW’s top challengers for the CAA title is the William & Mary Tribe. The Tribe return plenty of offensive talent, from F Omar Prewitt (17.8 ppg) to PG David Cohn (9.6 ppg), but their defensive inefficiencies may be their downfall, even with two-time Defensive Player of the Year, Terry Tarpley. W&M will be a fun team to watch as they attempt to reach their first ever NCAA tournament.
A sleeper team to watch out for in the CAA is the Charleston Cougars. With 2015-16 Rookie of the Year Jarrell Brantley headlining a team that returns all five starters from last year, along with gaining guard Joe Chealey, who missed all of last season with an injury after having a sophomore year that included averaging 12.4 ppg.