#14- The UNC-Greensboro Spartans
The UNC-Greensboro Spartans are coming off a decent season in which they won 14 games and finished with a 7-9 conference record. Head Coach Wes Miller will be looking to go for more in his fourth season at the helm of the program. The Spartans have a big negative however in the loss of all-conference forward Kyle Cain, who decided to go pro after his junior season. They do feature a young team though, which will be eager to improve. The roster features only 2 seniors, so a successful campaign this season could be a huge building block towards the future. However, Tyrone Outlaw and Jordan Potts, reserves who played significant minutes last season, also left the program as transfers. So while UNCG has a wealth of young talent, several key players will be gone. The Spartans will have a chance to prove themselves against in-state opponents UNC-W, High Point, Elon, ECU, and UNC. They also have a matchup with Indiana before hitting conference play.
Tevon Saddler (So.) G- Saddler will without a doubt be the premier player this season for UNCG. He won Freshman of the year honors in the SoCon last season, and looks to step into a leadership role now that Cain is gone. He averaged 12.5 PPG last season but needs to improve on a .395 shooting %.
Kayel Locke (Jr.) F- Locke was the third leading scorer last season for the Spartans behind Saddler and Cain with 11.6 PPG. He also chipped in 4.4 rebounds. He has a nice skillset but needs to improve from the outside and defensively to make an impact. His growth over the offseason will go a long way to determining how far this team goes.
Prediction- Had they returned their full arsenal from last season, I think we might be looking at a tournament team. However, with the loss of 3 key players, I see the Spartans putting up an 8-8 conference season and remaining right around where they were to cap off last year. I think this team is one year away from something good, but they just aren’t quite there yet.