Chapel Hill, N.C. - Dean E. Smith Center
9 p.m., ESPNU
Series History: This is the third straight year that the two schools have played each other and the third meeting overall. On Nov. 29, 2003, hometown hero Jawad Williams' late three-pointer and 24 total points prevented an upset in Cleveland and the Tar Heels survived, 82-76. Last season was a much different story, as the Dec. 30, 2004 game was out of reach for the Vikings shortly after the Smith Center tipoff. Six Tar Heels scored in double-digits in the 107-64 rout.
Preseason Expectations: Few expect head coach Mike Garland to have much success in his third season at Cleveland State. Three starters are gone from last season's 9-17 squad, and they just so happen to be the three players who saw the most minutes last season -- including leading scorer and rebounder Omari Westley. The Vikings are picked to finish eighth in the Horizon League this season.
Glass Half Full, Bench Completely Full: Despite the personnel losses, Garland has an optimistic outlook on the season. CSU lost some key players, but Garland says the improved depth will more than make up for it. In fact, he's got 18 players on the bench, 14 of which will be available Tuesday night.
Most Touted: Raheem Moss, a 6-5 junior, earned the most preseason recognition as a second team All-Horizon League selection. He averaged 12.8 points last season, doing most of his damage from beyond the arc, shooting 39.9 percent.
Tough Start: The Vikings opened their season at home on Saturday against Florida A&M with a disappointing result. CSU committed 22 turnovers and shot 10-of-31 on three-pointers in the 68-66 loss. "We weren't patient enough," said junior point guard Victor Morris. "Sometimes teams play zone to trick you into taking the 3." Morris led the team with 16 points (3-6 3pt), while Frashon McGee and Raheem Moss both had 11 points and 6 boards. One of last season's top perimeter shooters, Steve Gansey, struggled with a 2-of-13 (1-9 3pt) shooting night.
Background Location: Cleveland, Ohio Enrollment: 16,326 Conference: Horizon League Nickname: Vikings Colors: Teal, Forest Green & White Head Coach: Mike Garland Record at CSU: 13-45
Projected Starters (with 04-05 stats): 3 Victor Morris (6-1, 188, Jr.) – 5.1 ppg, 2.0 apg 32 Steve Gansey (6-3, 195, So.) – 5.3 ppg 34 Raheem Moss (6-5, 223, Jr.) - 12.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg 33 Frashon McGee (6-7, 240, Sr.) – 5.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg 21 Patrick Tatham (6-8, 230, Jr.) - 8.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg Key Reserves: 35 J'Nathan Bullock (6-5, 240, Fr.) – Flint (Mich.) Northern 3 Carlos English (5-8, 157, Jr.) – Flint (Mich.) Mott C.C. 11 Bahaadar Russell (6-2, 160, Fr.) – Phoenix (Az.) S. Mtn. 30 Justin Henderson (6-8, 260, Sr.) – 4.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg 45 Renard Fields (6-7, 204, Fr.) – Chatham (Va.) Hargrave