Scouting Report: UNC Wilmington Seahawks

On3 imageby:Brandon Ramsey12/02/23

BRamseyKSR

Coach Takayo Siddle will be at a high-major program sooner rather than later. The 37-year-old is one of the best up-and-coming coaches in the country. He is currently 63-31 as the boss of the UNC Wilmington Seahawks including a 51-19 mark in the last two seasons. The Coastal Athletic Conference is wide open this season, but Coach Siddle has a team that will certainly factor into the championship discussion.

With four starters and seven rotation players back from a team that nearly knocked off Charleston in the CAA Tournament championship game, the Seahawks have high expectations this season. So far they are 5-2 with losses coming to Appalachian State and East Carolina.

Defense has been the calling card of Coach Siddle’s success at UNC Wilmington. Known for applying ball pressure, their defense posted a Top 100 performance last season while specializing in forcing turnovers and taking away three-pointers. However, they haven’t been great in those categories this season. The Seahawks are nearly last in the country in steal percentage and are allowing opponents to shoot 34% from deep. That doesn’t bode well against a Kentucky team that doesn’t turn it over and is one of the best from beyond the arc. Trazarien White and Shykeim Phillips have led an improved offensive attack, but this is a team still trying to find their footing this season. The lack of early consistency is odd for a team 29th nationally in minutes continuity from last season.

As always, we have prepared a full, in-depth scouting report for Kentucky’s latest opponent. We will take a deep dive into the Seahawks’ personnel, break down their offensive and defensive schemes, and highlight the keys to the game for the ‘Cats. Let’s dive in and get to know more about the UNC Wilmington Seahawks.

UNC Wilmington Seahawks Personnel

Starters

#2 Shykeim Phillips: 6’2″ 190 lbs, Graduate Student Guard

14.0 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 2.6 apg

Primary ball handler. He is a NON-SHOOTER!!! Just 17-69 from 3 in 98 career games. 1-6 this season. He is looking to penetrate off of the dribble. No right-hand drives!!! You need to back up and stay between him and the basket. Do not get beat off of the dribble. You can closeout short to him on the perimeter. Help off of him when he doesn’t have it and then closeout short. Go UNDER the ballscreens and handoffs. We want to force him into shooting contested jump shots. Should not be allowing him to get all the way to the basket. Be in the gaps when he has the ball. You can come help some when he is driving it right. Athletic at the end of his drives. Get your hands up and make him score over you. Excellent defender. No right-hand drives! No layups!

#1 Donovan Newby: 6’1″ 185 lbs, Senior Guard

7.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.9 apg

SHOOTER!!! NO 3s!!! 19 of 28 shots have been 3s. Shooting 42.1% from 3. Need to be tight to him at all times to take him away from 3. Do not help off of him. Find him in transition. Get OVER the ballscreens and handoffs. CHASE off of downscreens and get OVER the flares. Be willing to switch anytime there is too much space to get out and take him away from 3. If you switch you need to switch aggressively to take him away from 3. Once you take him away from 3 he likes to drive it right and shoot the little floater or pull-up jump shot. Get your hands up and contest everything in the mid-range. Shouldn’t need to help much when he drives it. We are primarily worried about taking away his catch-and-shoot 3s. No 3s!

#5 Noah Ross: 6’7″ 205 lbs, Sophomore Guard/Forward

2.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 0.7 apg

Not very aggressive offensively. Primarily in there as a defender and to add some size on the perimeter. Shooter. Over half of his shots have been 3s. Shooting a better percentage from 3 than 2. He is hunting catch-and-shoot 3s. You can help off of him some, but tighten up to him as the ball is driven towards you. Pressure him when he has the ball on the perimeter. Not super comfortable handling it. If he isn’t dribbling you aren’t close enough. Try to make him turnover it over. If you take away his catch-and-shoot 3s and pressure him when he has the ball you can take him out of the game offensively. No catch-and-shoot 3s.

#3 Maleeck Harden-Hayes: 6’7″ 200 lbs, Graduate Student Forward

12.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 0.7 apg

Skilled pick-and-pop 4-man. Shooter! No 3s! Over half of his shots have been 3s. Shooting 41.2% from 3. Need to be tight to him at all times to take away his catch-and-shoot 3s. Tighten up to him as the ball is driven towards you. No help off of him. You need to SWITCH if he ballscreens to take away the pick-and-pop 3. Once you take away the initial catch-and-shoot 3s he is going to look to drive it right. Not really thinking about passing it when he drives. You can pick your spots to try and come take it off of him when he is driving it right. Pressure him on the perimeter. 5 assists to 9 turnovers. He would rather catch-and-shoot than have to handle it. Get him to turn it over. No pick-and-pop or catch-and-shoot 3s!

#21 Khamari McGriff: 6’9″ 210 lbs, Redshirt Sophomore Forward

2.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.6 apg

Lefty. Long and athletic. Plays the 5 for them. Not really looking to score. He is primarily in there to screen and defend. Will ballscreen and roll to the basket. Not really looking for it on the roll. Just stay lower than him and don’t give up a dunk. Don’t help up off of him at the rim and give up a dunk. Stunt and fake at the ball handler while staying between him and the basket. Left hand, right shoulder in the post. Be physical and get him off of the block. His percentages will go down the further off of the block you make him catch it. Stay down on the fakes, wall up, and make him score over you. Will crash the offensive glass hard. Box him out. No deep catches and right shoulder finishes. No dunks from too much help.

Bench

#13 Trazarien White: 6’7″ 190 lbs, Junior Forward

18.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.6 apg

Best all-around player. Very aggressive offensively. Much more of a right-hand driver than a shooter. Just 4-14 from 3 this season and is 24.1% for his career. NO RIGHT-HAND DRIVES!!! He is going to cross over left-to-right and play with it a bunch on the perimeter to try and shake you up for a right-hand drive. Give him a step or two and stay between him and the basket. You can help off of him when he doesn’t have it and then closeout short. Hop UNDER the ballscreens and handoffs. We will adjust if he makes a couple. Contest his mid-range jump shots. Be willing to come help when he is driving it right. We would rather make him give it up. Loves to use the shot fake to try and drive it by you. STAY DOWN! No right-hand drives. No layups!

#0 KJ Jenkins: 6’2″ 180 lbs, Graduate Student Guard

9.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 0.7 apg

SHOOTER!!! NO 3s!!! 39 of 57 shots have been 3s. Shooting a much higher percentage from 3 than he is from 2. You need to be tight to him at all times to take away the 3s. Absolutely no help off of him. Tighten up to him as the ball is driven towards you. Get OVER the ballscreens and handoffs. CHASE off of downscreens and get OVER the flares. Be willing to switch anytime there is too much space to get out and take him away from 3. If you switch you need to switch aggressively to take him away from 3. Once you take him away from 3 he likes to drive it right and shoot the little floater or pull-up jump shot. Get your hands up and contest everything in the mid-range. Shouldn’t need to over-help when he drives. Make him finish contested 2s. No 3s!!!

#30 Nick Farrar: 6’7″ 255 lbs, Senior Forward

7.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.7 apg

Lefty. Skilled 5-man. A lot of offense will run through him when he is in there. Sets high ballscreens and pops into space, handoff action, get action, etc. All-around good offensive player. Can dribble, pass, and shoot. Shooter! No pick-and-pop 3s! Shooting 43.8% from 3. Need to be very willing to switch if he ballscreens to take away the pick-and-pop 3s. If he rolls you down into the post we will just fight around in front and try to bring some help and/or switch back. Anybody can guard anybody for a possession. Left hand, right shoulder in the post. Be physical and get him off of the block. Uses shot fakes and step-throughs to come back left. Stay down, wall up, and make him score over you. Will face-up to drive it left. All left hand! No catch-and-shoot 3s!

#4 Nolan Hodge: 6’7″ 180 lbs, Sophomore Guard

4.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 0.7 apg

Long, athletic, backup wing. Willing shooter. 15 of 31 shots have been 3s. Need to play him as straight up as possible. Be there on the catch to contest the obvious catch-and-shoot and then bounce back to guard against the right-hand drive. You can pick your spots to get out there and really pressure him on the perimeter. Not super comfortable handling it. He would rather either catch-and-shoot or drive it in a straight line to his right against your closeout. Contest all jump shots. No uncontested catch-and-shoot 3s. No straight-line, right-hand drives.

#22 Shemar Rathan-Mayes: 5’11” 175 lbs, Senior Guard

3.3 ppg, 0.7 rpg, 0.9 apg

Backup point guard. Not super aggressive offensively. Primarily in there to facilitate. Capable shooter. 3-5 from 3 on the season, but more aggressive as a right-hand driver. No right-hand drives. We will still start by going OVER the ballscreens and handoffs so that we can pressure him more on the perimeter. Get him to turn it over. Use your length to really bother him. Do not bail him out by fouling when he drives it. Get your hands up and make him score over you. Stay down, wall up, and make him finish. Should not need to over-help when he drives it. Only help if you are coming to take it off of him. No uncontested 3s. No right-hand drives for a layup.

UNC Wilmington Seahawks Offense

Last season, a struggling offense is what kept the UNC Wilmington Seahawks from making the NCAA Tournament. They struggled to create open looks and didn’t make a high percentage of the ones they did get. Now, with their primary pieces returning and a little help for the transfer portal things have gotten better for Coach Siddle. However, this team’s two best offensive players are still non-shooters and that makes it very difficult to space the floor. They run a lot of halfcourt set plays that either get a high ballscreen for #2 Phillips or work to get #13 White in space on the perimeter. Their most potent lineups are when #30 Farrar is at the 5 because they can play more of a 5-out style with his skill and shooting ability. The Seahawks are going to grind it out much more than our last three opponents.


The key to our game plan defensively on Saturday afternoon will be going UNDER the ballscreens against #2 Phillips. First off, that keeps us between him and the basket as he is a driver, not a shooter. Secondly, going under helps us keep a guy on a guy and limit the amount of help we have to give at the point of the ballscreen. If we hop underneath we shouldn’t have to stunt at all off of #3 Harden-Hayes. We want NO HELP off of him.


Our guards have been disruptive enough on the ball this season to earn the right to pressure when they want out on the perimeter. However, with that comes the responsibility of accepting the consequences when you get smoked off of the dribble. #2 Phillips for the UNC Wilmington Seahawks is a non-shooter. You do not NEED to guard him out beyond the 3-point line. We want to go UNDER the ballscreens. Guarding him this far from the basket though makes that difficult. We should not be giving up right-handed drives and layups to Phillips!


Here is a look at the Seahawks’ halfcourt motion. When #30 Farrar is in it will be a lot more of a 5-out look as he can operate on the perimeter and stretch the floor. However, no matter who is at the 5, they will set a lot of ballscreens. Don’t get caught staring at the action like this when you are guarding someone like #0 Jenkins. We want to be tight to him at all times and that includes when he cuts to the basket like this. UNC Wilmington is much more skilled when they have Farrar in there at the 5.


Coach Siddle dials up some very creative set plays in the halfcourt. This possession starts from a Horns alignment and gets to a fake Flex screen into a handoff. Running the handoff at that angle makes it really hard to chase #0 Jenkins. As you see, the defender gets caught going up through which leads to a made 3. We want to stay tight and CHASE him at all times. Really good offensive action and execution from UNC Wilmington.


This halfcourt set begins with a staggered double to the corner which results in nothing for the Seahawks. However, #21 McGriff flashes to the elbow for a catch and gets into a two-man game with #2 Phillips. In a perfect world, we would either switch the downhill handoff or hop underneath. Forcing him into a contested two-point jumper outside of the paint is okay though. We will live with him taking as many of these shots as we want on Saturday evening.

UNC Wilmington Seahawks Defense

The primary thing to know about the UNC Wilmington Seahawks defensively is that they are going to press. It will typically be a man-to-man press that is primarily meant to slow you down, but they have mixed in some 1-2-2 at times as well. That fullcourt pressure will fall back to halfcourt man-to-man where they also look to heat up the ball handler but haven’t had a ton of success yet this season. They are undersized at the rim and are coming off of allowing 14 offensive rebounds in their loss to East Carolina. We must take care of the ball against their fullcourt press and then look to attack in the halfcourt. We should be able to get to the rim consistently off of the dribble against the Seahawks with an advantage in athleticism and size.

Keys to the Game

  • No 3s for #1 Newby, #3 Harden-Hayes, or #0 Jenkins. These are the guys we need to really try and take away from 3. You can help off the other guys but remain tight to these three. 5 or fewer combined 3s from this group.
  • No easy right-hand drives for #2 Phillips or #13 White. The UNC Wilmington Seahawks’ two best offensive players are non-shooters. You can closeout short, back up, go under screens, and stay between them and the basket. We should not be giving up straight-line, right-hand drives to these guys. Force them to take contested jump shots outside of the paint.
  • Dominate the glass. The Seahawks do not really look to offensive rebound. Additionally, they have been average at best in terms of defensive rebounding. Get back to being 77% or better on the defensive glass.
  • Shoot 75% or better from the free throw line.

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2024-03-02