UNC Asheville vs Winthrop Preview and Prediction
UNC Asheville vs Winthrop Preview
Two teams are headed in different directions as we get into the jam-packed schedule that is conference play. UNC Asheville (2-17, 0-5) hosted Winthrop to open conference play on Jan. 4th but lost, 80-65, a loss that has become the norm for UNCA fans this season.
The Bulldogs have lost seven in a row and would be on a 17-game losing streak if it weren’t for having a Division III opponent (Milligan) on the schedule.
The Winthrop Eagles (12-6, 4-1) are looking for another Big South crown as they currently sit second-place in the conference behind undefeated Radford.
Both teams are playing their third game in the last six days.
Try to stop the Eagles
Winthrop currently leads the Big South Conference in scoring (86.4 ppg), defensive rebounds (30.5), assists per game (15.7), and three-point field goals per game (12.3). Winthrop has led the Big South in scoring, scoring margin and three-point field goals per game the last two seasons. Nych Smith‘s 17.2 ppg ranks 5th in the league while Josh Ferguson ranks third in rebounds per game (7.7). Smith is also 5thin field goal percentage and 4th in free throw percentage. Austin Awad ranks 5th in the league in threes per game at 2.3 and Bjorn Broman is 11th at 2.1.
UNCA is young, very young
On the year, 73 percent (2,788 of 3,800) of UNC Asheville’s total minutes as a team have been played by freshmen. The top four in minutes for the Bulldogs are all freshmen (DeVon Baker, Tajion Jones, Coty Jude and Cress Worthy). In league play, 770 of 1,000 minutes (77 percent) have been logged by freshmen.
G 0 Nych Smith (5-10, Sr., 16.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 3.7 apg)
G 3 Michael Anumba (6-5, Fr., 7.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.8 apg)
G 13 Bjorn Broman (6-0, Sr., 10.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.0 apg)
G 21 Kyle Zunic (6-2, So., 10.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.4 apg)
F 25 Josh Ferguson (6-8, Jr., 11.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.2 apg)
G 3 Tajion Jones (6-5, Fr., 9.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.5 apg)
G 4 L.J. Thorpe (6-5, Fr., 8.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.6 apg)
G 20 DeVon Baker (6-2, Fr., 16.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.9 apg)
F 0 Donovan Gilmore (6-8, Sr., 3.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 0.4 apg)
F 22 Coty June (6-9, Fr., 9.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 0.9 apg)
Winthrop holds a 42-36 advantage, including six straight wins at home.
LINE: -21.5 Winthrop
Dan’s Bet: -21.5 Winthrop
Score Prediction: Winthrop 81 UNC Asheville 59