Previewing Winthrop
Inside Carolina
Posted Nov 15, 2006

A tough mid-major challenge stands between North Carolina and the NIT Semifinals in New York City. The Tar Heels' second round matchup Wednesday with Winthrop tips-off at the Bobcats Arena at 7 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN.

North Carolina (1-0) vs. Winthrop (2-0)
Charlotte, N.C. - Bobcats Arena
7 p.m., ESPN


* Winthrop returns four starters and five of its top six scorers from a squad that won the Big South and gave its high major opponents a heck of a challenge. Last season in non-conference play the Eagles beat Marquette and then lost a number of close contests -- to Alabama by three, to South Carolina by six, to Memphis by ten, and then were taken down by a buzzer-beater against No. 2-seeded Tennessee in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

* Torrell Martin is the Big South Preseason Player of the Year and a two-time Big South Tournament MVP. He's a big shooting guard at 6-5, 200 and is the team's top returning secorer, and is second in rebounds and three-point shooting.

* Craig Bradshaw, the 6-10, 242-pound center, played for New Zealand in the World Championships over the summer. He was the Eagles' leading rebounder (6.0), shotblocker (1.0) and shot 52% from the field last season.

* The floor general is Chris Gaynor, a 5-10 junior who has started every game in his college career. Last season he sported an impressive 3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio, while also leading the Eagles with 44-percent shooting from beyond the arc.

* Winthrop's season opener was an 89-46 rout of North Greenville. Most noteworthy was junior guard Michael Jenkins, who came off the bench to score 40 points on 12-of-18 three-point shooting. He only averaged 5.8 points a season ago.

* In the Eagles' first-round game of the NIT Tip-Off on Tuesday night they cruised by Iona, 57-38, holding their opponent to 31% shooting from the field. Martin had 11 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals.

* Through the first two games, Winthrop has played 10 players in double-digit minutes, and while the opponents have been lackluster, the Eagles' defense is allowing a mere 42 points per game and just 32% shooting, while outrebounding the two opponents by a +14.5 margin. By comparison, last year's Eagles squad allowed 61.2 points per game, held opponents to 40.1% shooting, had a +5.5 rebounding margin and averaged 9.6 steals per game.

* Head coach Gregg Marshall has been on the radar for a number of head coaching searches by higher profile programs the last few years, and he turned down an offer from the College of Charleston in the offseason.

* Winthrop and North Carolina have only played once before -- a 66-61 Tar Heel win in the 2000-2001 season opener in Chapel Hill. It was Matt Doherty's first game as UNC's head coach.

Location: Rock Hill, S.C.
Enrollment: 6,600
Conference: Big South
Nickname: Eagles
Colors: Garnet & Gold
Head Coach: Gregg Marshall
Record at WU: 167-78
Last Year: 23-8 (13-3, 1st)

Projected Starters (with 05-06 stats):
10 Chris Gaynor (5-10, 160, Jr.) – 6.9 ppg, 4.5 apg
12 Torrell Martin (6-5, 202, Sr.) – 13.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg
 3 Mantoris Robinson (6-5, 195, Fr.) - Matthews (N.C.) Butler/FUMA
33 Phillip Williams (6-8, 217, Sr.) - 5.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg
 5 Craig Bradshaw (6-10, 242, Sr.) – 12.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg

Key Reserves:
11 Michael Jenkins (6-3, 190, Jr.) – 5.8 ppg
31 Taj McCullough (6-7, 220, Jr.) – 4.2 ppg
24 DeAndre Adams (5-8, 158, So.) – 1.3 ppg, 2.0 apg
 1 Antwon Harris (6-3, 200, Jr.) – Clarksville (Tenn.) Highland C.C.
21 Jason Killeen (6-10, 240, So.) – DNP - Medical Redshirt

Winthrop Info
Roster & Bios

Related Stories
Brandan Wright Q&A (w/audio)
 -by  Nov 15, 2006
ICTV: UNC vs. Sacred Heart
 -by  Nov 15, 2006
UNC-SHU: Photo Gallery
 -by  Nov 14, 2006

Inside Carolina's Official Online Store:

Get the Inside Carolina Magazine!

The glossy, monthly magazine includes top-notch features, analysis and fantastic photos.



Subscribe today to the Inside Carolina Magazine, our glossy monthly publication covering Tar Heel sports!
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Basketball > North Carolina
[View My HotList]