North Carolina Central Men's Basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament Capsule

North Carolina Central Eagles

MEAC (19-15, 9-7)

Coach LeVelle Moton has led North Carolina Central to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last five years. Last year the Eagles fell to UC Davis in the First Four and the Eagles will hope to advance a little bit further in 2018. But NCCU lost all five starters from that team and were not expected to be a contender in the MEAC. And they weren’t, finishing with just a 9-7 conference record. But they were ready for the conference tournament and picked up some of their biggest wins of the year during their run in Norfolk.
Big Wins: 11/26 at SEMO (77-70), 3/8 vs Savannah State (58-56), 3/10 vs Hampton (71-63)
Bad Losses: 1/20 at Howard (78-84), 2/10 at Florida A&M (56-65), 2/24 at South Carolina State (79-102)
Coach: LeVelle Moton
Why They Can Surprise:
With Raasean Davis, Pablos Rivas, Zacarry Douglas and Dominique Reid, North Carolina Central has some size on the roster. Davis, a 6-9, 240 pound center, averages 15.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. He is a very good interior scorer and the team’s top shot blocking threat. Pablo Rivas is only 6-6, but he is a massive presence off the bench with his ability to shoot the ball and help out on the glass. Douglas and Reid will not do too much scoring, but both are tough rebounders and a big reason why the Eagles rank first in the MEAC in rebound margin.
Why They Can Disappoint:
In order to win a tournament game, North Carolina Central will need to connect on some three-pointers. Outside of Rivas and freshman wing Reggie Gardner, this is not much of a shooting team. Gardner will hoist up a lot of long balls. If they are falling, this offense can be extremely dangerous. If not, the slashers and big guys in the paint will find it difficult to create room to score efficiently and effectively.
Probable Starters:
Jordan Perkins, Freshman, Guard, 8.4 ppg, 5.4 apg
John Guerra, Junior, Guard/Forward, 3.4 ppg, 1.6 rpg
Reggie Gardner, Jr., Freshman, Guard/Forward, 11.2 ppg, 1.6 apg
Zacarry Douglas, Junior, Forward, 4.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg
Raasean Davis, Junior, Center, 15.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.0 bpg
Key Role Players:
Larry McKnight, Jr., Junior, Guard/Forward, 6.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg
Pablo Rivas, Senior, Forward, 11.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.0 bpg
Dominique Reid, Senior, Forward/Center 4.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.5 (188th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.8 (132, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.1 (61, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.7 (101, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.4 (294, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.7 (196, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.7 (277, 11)
Rebound Margin: 4.5 (51, 1)
Assists Per Game: 15.7 (56, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.1 (283, 7)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2017    NCAA Opening Round loss to UC Davis
2015    NIT     First Round loss to Miami (FL)
2014    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Iowa State
*all team stats through 3/4