James Blackburn’s Game Recap
UNC Wilmington vs Campbell (November 6, 2018)
With most of the country tuning into the Champions Classic which featured heavyweights Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State, and Kansas on the opening night of college basketball, I found myself in Buies Creek, NC to check out Campbell play host to CAA openant UNCW. Campbell prevailed 97-93 in OT in what was as entertaining of a game as you could find anywhere. Campbell jumped out to a 10-0 lead out of the gate but UNCW used some hot outside shooting to get back in it and only trailed by 1 at the half. Campbell used a 1-2-1-1 3⁄4 court zone press most of the game which caused 18 turnovers by Wilmington. The game featured multiple lead changes and plenty of highlights.
The game featured two unheralded stars in college basketball in Campbell’s PG Chris Clemons and Wilmington’s big man Devontae Cacok. Clemons lead the country (NCAA D1) in scoring last season at 24.0 ppg and Cacok was the nation’s leading rebounder grabbing 13.5 boards a game.
Neither player disappointed tonight as Clemons scored a game high 44 points including all 15 of his teams points in the extra session while Cacok grabbed a 13 rebounds while also chipping in 19 points himself. Clemons is a strong and explosive bucket getter and despite his height (5’9”) he has no trouble finishing in traffic. He can create his own shot at will and has deep range on his 3. Cacok rebounds everything with 2 hands on both ends inside and outside his area. He has improved his post game from last season and loves to go a fall away shot over his right shoulder. Both players should be successful pros across the water next year.
As impressed as I was with both Clemons and Cacok, it was senior PF Andrew Eudy for the home team Camels who might of been the most impressive. Eudy scored 21 points on 8-11 from the field including 5-6 from distance, grabbed 9 rebounds, dished out a team best 5 assists, while also chipping in 2 blocks and a steal in 37 minutes of floor time. Eudy has a great feel for the game and has the ability to score with his back to the basket with either hand. He is an underrated athlete and a tremendous passer.
Both teams will be in action again on Friday as UNCW will try to bounce back as they return home to take on Stanford, while Campbell will stay at home to battle Coastal Carolina.