Winthrop Men's Basketball 2020 NCAA Tournament Capsule


Winthrop Eagles

Big South (24-10, 15-3)

This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for Winthrop. Unfortunately for the rest of the Big South, it did not work out that way. The Eagles won a share of the conference title, their third in the last five years, and cruised through the conference tournament to earn their 12th NCAA Tournament appearance since 1999.
Big Wins: 11/11 at St. Mary’s (61-59), 1/20 at Radford (61-56), 3/6 Gardner-Webb (78-66)
Bad Losses: 11/21 Tennessee Tech (58-61), 2/13 at Gardner-Webb (70-74), 2/22 Hampton (81-87)
Coach:  Pat Kelsey
Why They Can Surprise:
Winthrop will score a lot of points. They have eight players who average at least 6.7 points per game and the team as a whole ranks sixth in the nation in scoring offense with 81.3 points per game. Hunter Hale will often lead the way after averaging 13.9 points per game. However, just about anybody can lead this team in scoring on any given day and that can make them extremely difficult to defend. D.J. Burns and Chase Claxton are solid in the paint and fellow forward Josh Ferguson is the second most prolific outside shooter on the team. Chandler Vaudrin is always a threat to score as well, but the 6-7 guard also averages 5.8 assists and 5.8 rebounds per game.
Why They Can Disappoint:
As good as the offense can be, the defense can be very disappointing. The Eagles are going to give up points just with their style of play, but a more talented offense than they are used to seeing will be able to get plenty of open looks. And then it comes down to Winthrop keeping up. And one place they will lose out on some points is at the free-throw line. The Eagles are very aggressive offensively and get to the charity stripe on a regular basis and only five teams have taken more free-throws than the Eagles. However, the team ranks 338th in nation in free-throw percentage. They cannot afford to leave that many points on the floor and expect to win a game in the NCAA Tournament.
Probable Starters:
Chandler Vaudrin, Junior, Guard, 9.3 ppg, 5.8 apg, 5.8 rpg
Hunter Hale, Junior, Guard, 13.9 ppg, 1.8 apg
Kyle Zunic, Junior, Guard, 5.5 ppg, 1.9 apg
Michael Anumba, Sophomore, Guard, 6.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg
Josh Ferguson, Senior, Forward, 11.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg
Key Role Players:
D.J. Burns, Freshman, Forward, 11.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg
Chase Claxton, Freshman, Forward, 6.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg
Russell Jones, Freshman, Guard, 7.3 ppg, 2.4 apg
Charles Falden, Junior, Guard, 6.7 ppg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 81.3 (6th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 71.5 (235, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.2 (46, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.6 (218, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.5 (21, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.6 (110, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 63.6 (338, 11)
Rebound Margin: 7.7 (8, 1)
Assists Per Game: 15.9 (15, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.9 (242, 9)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2017NCAARound of 64 loss to Butler
2010NCAAOpening Round loss to Arkansas-Pine Bluff
2008NCAARound of 64 loss to Washington State
2007NCAARound of 64 win over Notre Dame
2007NCAARound of 32 loss to Oregon
2006NCAARound of 64 loss to Tennessee
2005NCAARound of 64 loss to Gonzaga
2001NCAAOpening Round loss to Northwestern State
*all team stats through 3/8