Previewing Saint Augustine's

Fitzgerald

North Carolina, ranked No. 2 in the country and featuring 11 scholarship underclassmen, will play its first of two preseason exhibitions Wednesday evening. The opponent is Division II Saint Augustine's and tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.

Game Info
Saint Augustine's @ North Carolina
Smith Center - Chapel Hill
7:30 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
General admission seating

St. Aug's Background
Location: Raleigh, N.C.
Enrollment: 1,400
Conference: CIAA (NCAA, Division II)
Nickname: Falcons
Colors: Blue & White
Head Coach: Thomas Hargrove Jr.  (122-93 - 9th year)
Last Year: 19-7 (11-5, CIAA)

Top Returners: 
   Antonio Fitzgerald (6-1, 180, Sr.)  - 22.2 ppg, 4.9 apg
   Nicholas King (6-7, 195, Sr.) – 20.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg
   Claude Neeley (6-3, 180, Sr.) – 19.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg

Others to Watch: 
   Barry Jones (6-2, 190, Sr.) – 8.0 ppg
   Deon Dixon (6-8, 200, Jr.) – 5.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg
   Carl Gervais (6-7, 200, Sr.) – 4.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg
   Terry Sumter (6-7, 255, Sr.) – 3.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg
   Jeff Sullivan (6-9, 230, Jr.) Okaloosa-Walton CC

Saint Aug's Notes

* St. Augustine's returns all five starters from a 19-7 squad that finished ranked No. 10 in the South Atlantic Region Poll.

* In terms of game tempo, head coach Thomas Hargrove Jr. is the CIAA version of Roy Williams. His high octane offense led the CIAA last season with 86.3 points per game.

* The names to know on this roster are referred to as "The Young Guns" -- Antonio Fitzgerald, Nicholas King and Claude Neeley. The three seniors were all-conference selections last season, the first time the school has placed three on the team in its history, and were the conference's top three scorers, while Neeley led the CIAA in rebounding.

* While each member of the trio is a prolific scorer, they play distinct roles on the team. Fitzgerald is the playmaker from the point guard spot, King is a smooth-shooting forward that crashes the boards and Neeley is an athletic wing that finishes on the break and is super-aggressive and surprisingly effective on the boards (leading the team in rebounding) despite his 6-3 size.

* The Falcons have three returning players who shot better than 40 percent from three-point range last season. King (43.2%), senior guard Barry Jones (41.2%) and Neeley (40.8%) are all long range threats.

* While the Tar Heels have one of their deepest frontlines in years, the St. Aug's frontcourt has only one player over 6-8, and it's newcomer Jeff Sullivan, a 6-9 230-pound JuCo transfer.

* Curious the route some of the Falcons' top players took to SAC? Fitzgerald earned all-state honors at GW-Danville High School (Va.) and attended Kilgore C.C. in Texas, where he was an Honorable Mention JuCo All-American. He signed with Boise State, but failed to qualify. Nicholas King was a two-time all-conference performer at Div. I Coppin State, leading the team in scoring in 2004-05, before transferring to St. Aug's.

* St. Aug's has one North Carolina native on its roster, junior forward Deon Dixon from Fayetteville (N.C.) 71st. He committed to Clemson and was supposed to be a part of its incoming freshman class in the fall of 2000, but didn't qualify.

* The Falcons did not play a Division I opponent last year, but will play two in exhibitions this season. After the game at UNC, St. Aug's will play at NC State next Tuesday.

* For the sake of comparison, North Carolina routed St. Aug's conference foe Fayetteville State by 36 points in the 2005-06 preseason. The Falcons beat FSU by eight and 13 points in their two matchups last season.

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