North Carolina Central Eagles 2010 NCAA Mens Basketball Preview

By Joel Welser


<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />North Carolina Central Eagles

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference


2009-10: 7-22, 0-0

2009-10 postseason: none

Coach: LeVelle Moton (7-22 at North Carolina Central, 7-22 overall)


North Carolina Central played quite well down the stretch during their final season as an independent. The Eagles even knocked off a couple of Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opponents who they will now face in conference play. With the return of four starters and a whole slew of talented newcomers, Coach LeVelle Moton has this team poised to be relatively dangerous this year and possibly very dangerous in a couple more years.


Key Losses: G Vincent Davis, C T.J. Granger, F Dami Sapara, F Joshua Worhty


Key Newcomers:

Division I transfers will make the biggest impact this season, but some quality junior college transfers and incoming freshmen will battle for playing time as well. David Best redshirted last year but the 6-8, 250 pound sophomore will add some much needed toughness to the interior. Small forward Marvin Fitzerald, wing Marcus Graham and guard Tramar Beaman have also spent at least a year at the junior college level and have the experience to make this team extremely deep. That will allow Coach Moton to run up and down the floor this year…something that a lack of depth rarely allowed during the 2009-2010 campaign. Emanuel Chapman, Mike Wynn Jr., Jeremy Ingram and Tim Hobbs will likely have to bide their time, but there is a place in the rotation for those incoming freshmen if they can play consistently.



Jobs are up for grabs even with the return of four starters. Perhaps C.J. Wilkerson is the only returning player who should feel safe. During his first year with the program, the 6-3 guard led the team with 16.3 points per game and added 2.7 assists and 3.9 rebounds. Wilkerson’s ability to score from anywhere on the floor will make him one of the most dangerous players in the MEAC. Point guard Michael Glasker did a fine job running the show last season. He was a relatively consistent shooter and dished out 4.8 assists per contest. However, the turnover numbers were high and the 5-7 senior will battle it out for the starting job. Dwayne Sims was a part-time starter during his junior campaign and his 6-6 size makes him an attractive option on the wing, especially with his ability to hit the long ball. P.J. Taylor was a mid-season addition in 2010 and did not play too many minutes, but he had some big games and proved to have a knack for making the big play.



The frontcourt may not have as many weapons as the backcourt, but Nick Chasten had a fine sophomore campaign, averaging 10.0 points and 6.0 rebounds. At 6-7 and 216 pounds, Chasten has the size to be a major presence in the paint. Yet, Chasten can even step outside and hit the long ball, although he may be better off spending a little more time inside the arc. Dijon Manns would likely return to the starting lineup at the five spot if it was not for the influx of talented and experienced newcomers. Manns started 11 games last season and is the more traditional post player on the team. He barely averaged over 16 minutes per game during the 2009-2010 campaign, but he proved to be a capable scorer and defender.


Who to Watch:

Shooting guard Landon Clement, a transfer from UNC Greensboro could be starting from day one. The same can be said for South Florida transfer Justin Leemow at the point. Clement is a superb outside shooter and a proven commodity at this level. Leemow has some major experience in the Big East and should at least give NCCU a whole lot of depth on the perimeter. As important as those two players are, they dwarf in comparison to Kansas State transfer Dominique Sutton. The 6-5 forward may be eligible to play immediately pending an NCAA ruling and, if he is, there will certainly be a spot for him in the starting lineup. Sutton started 36 games for KSU last year and averaged 7.2 points and 5.8 rebounds.


Final Projection:

If Sutton is eligible, he may have to spend some time at the four spot. In the MEAC that should not be much of an issue. He does not lack the strength to battle in the paint. That would make this team a little small, but Wilkerson is a decent rebounder for a 6-3 wing and Clement can hit the glass hard. With four starters returning and Clement, Leemow and Sutton adding a load of talent, North Carolina Central should win more than four games this year.


Projected Post-season Tournament: none


Projected Starting Five:

Michael Glasker, Senior, Guard, 6.4 ppg

Landon Clement, Junior, Guard, DNP last season

C.J. Wilkerson, Senior, Guard, 16.3 ppg

Dominique Sutton, Senior, Forward, DNP last season

Nick Chasten, Junior, Forward, 10.0 ppg