The UNCW Seahawks are looking to rebound in the CAA standings after suffering through an NCAA-mandated postseason ban last season. Buzz Peterson can use some playmakers after uber-loyal star forward Keith Rendleman finally used up his eligibility.
Rendleman led the Seahawks in just about every category possible last season, save assists per game. That honor went to Chris Dixon (pictured), who made sure to get the ball to Rendleman as much as possible, and backed the big man up with 9.8 points per game. Dixon spend his first collegiate season at Alabama in 2009 before redshirting and heading off to junior college, then ending up in Wilmington.
Ben Eblen, Dixon’s former teammate in Tuscaloosa, actually played three seasons as a backup at ‘Bama, graduated, and decided to play out his final season of eligibility at UNCW, where the two will be reunited in the upcoming season.
Brian Mull of the Wilmington Star-News found out what Eblen will bring to the table.
After graduating from Alabama last December, Eblen spent the spring at home in Isle of Palms, S.C. He liked what Dixon told him about the program and the area, and felt he could help the Seahawks turn around.
“I really like to get after it on the defensive end, keep pressure on the other team’s guards,” Eblen said. “And put offensive pressure on the other team.”
Peterson plans to play the two together, with either capable of pushing the tempo to create scoring opportunities.
This isn’t Eblen’s first look at the CAA, either. He initially committed to Anthony Grant when he, and VCU, were in the Colonial. When Grant left for Alabama, Eblen went with him.
It’s tough to tell who will come out on top in a CAA decimated by realignment, but the Seahawks have to like their chances of an improved showing with an experience backcourt duo in place.