The independent news organization of Duke University

2019-20 Winthrop men's basketball preview

Winthrop Eagles

2018-19 record: 18-12, 10-6 in the Big South

Head coach: Pat Kelsey

Tenure at Winthrop: 8th season

Career coaching record: 139-83

Home court: Winthrop Coliseum

Starters: G Michael Anumba, G Kyle Zunic, F Josh Ferguson, F D.J. Burns, F Chandler Vaudin

Bench: G Russell Jones, G Josh Corbin, F Chase Claxton, G Jamal King, G Charles Falden

Overview: Winthrop will rely heavily on three returning players who were key pieces on last year’s team that finished the year ranked tenth in the nation in scoring offense with 83.3 points per game. Michael Anumba, Kyle Zunic and Josh Ferguson will be important cogs in this year’s lineup, which will also feature some new faces as six new freshmen arrived on campus in Rock Hill, S.C., this fall. 

The Eagles’ offense this season figures to closely match the approach from last year, in which they attempted 997 3-point attempts, which was good for third in the country. Ferguson, the team’s best all-around player, averaged 11.3 points per game last year while shooting over 40 percent from beyond the arc. With highly touted redshirt freshman D.J. Burns in the mix as well down low, Winthrop could dominate some teams in the post and even pose a challenge to some of the bigger programs on its schedule. 

One thing that needs to go right: Ferguson and Burns provide versatility in the post and the Eagles ride hot shooting to a Big South championship and berth in the NCAA tournament.

One thing that could go wrong: The team’s ferocious shooting clip can’t mask other deficiencies and the team bows out early in the conference tournament for the second year in a row. 

Comments