College Basketball: UNC-Wilmington Assembling Quite the 2011 Recruiting Class
With the exception of a 20-13 season in 2007-2008, former UNC-Wilmington head coach Benny Moss struggled while leading the program, going 21-61 outside of the 2008 season before being fired this past January.
Moss was let go by the university on January 28th, leaving way for interim head coach Brooks Lee to finish the season. Lee went 2-8 down the stretch and the Seahawks finished the season at 9-22 overall, making it the third time in four years UNC-Wilmington failed to record 10 wins.
The program's recent struggles have led them to a man who has yet to coach a game at the university, but is already making a stir thanks to an increasing recruiting class that leads UNC-Wilmington fans to believe their future may be bright.
Buzz Peterson was hired as the new head basketball coach at UNC-Wilmington this past offseason and has already begun building towards a bright future. The Seahawks are just hoping he will stick around.
Peterson has had five previous stints as a head coach, including two at Appalachian State, none of which have lasted longer than four seasons. Peterson has made just one NCAA Tournament in his time, but was an NIT champion at Tulsa and despite his 61-59 record at Tennessee, has proved to be pretty successful overall.
Peterson left Appalachian State for a second time this past offseason, citing family reasons for the move, but has found a new home in Wilmington. Time has not been wasted, and Peterson has made quick work on the recruiting trails, scooping up talent from a wide range of eastern states.
Here's a look at the seven recruits already locked up:
A 6'7" small forward out of Chicago, Illinois. Hager has great size and strength on the wing and verbally committed to the Seahawks this past Sunday, October 10th. He chose UNC-Wilmington over Akron, Albany, Northwestern and Northern Illinois.
A 6'8" power forward who currently plays for the Hun School of Princeton (NJ). Sherwood also offered his verbal intentions to join the Seahawks in 2011 on Sunday, October 10th.
A 6'2" shooting guard and a native of the state of Georgia. Smith could be considered a lights-out shooter who can knock down shots from anywhere on the court. He currently plays at Fayette County (GA).
A 6'9" power forward out of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Williams is long, athletic and continuing to grow. The big man is a great shot-blocker and chose the Seahawks over Evansville and Murray State.
A 6'8" power forward out of Ashville, Ohio. Anderson is a solid post player. He can step out and knock down jumpers, as well as hang with the big bodies down low. He currently attends Teays Valley H.S. (OH).
A 6'3" point guard, also a native of Georgia. Simmons is the other Georgia guard in Peterson's class and like (Adam) Smith he can also shoot the lights out. Simmons chose Wilmington over SMU, Winthrop, East Carolina and Appalachian State.
A 6'3" shooting guard from Wilmington, North Carolina. The in-state and in-town talent of Freddie Jackson could prove to be the best in this class. He can get out in transition and is a very solid combo guard. He chose the Seahawks over in-conference rival Virginia Commonwealth.
Despite only having four seniors on this current season's roster, Peterson plans on bringing in an abundance of talent in 2011. It is unclear how Peterson will fair in his first season as head coach, but for a program that has not made the NCAA Tournament since 2006, Seahawk fans can begin to believe their future may be brightening.
This article was originally featured on The Arena Pulse
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