Western Carolina had a solid 13-14 season, winning 19 games. They were playing their best at the end of the season in the Southern Conference Tournament, knocking off conference champ Davidson before falling in the tournament title game to Wofford. A win would have resulted in just the second trip to the NCAA tournament for the program.
It was a solid run to end the season, but can the Catamounts build off of it? The program returns only half of their top 8 scorers from last season. Their top two scorers from last season have departed, leaving only one returning player who averaged double figures (James Sinclair/11.8 ppg). Head Coach Larry Hunter returns for his 10th season with the school. After only averaging 11 wins his first three seasons, the program has averaged 17 wins per season. They have been solid, but postseason play has been elusive, with the program only playing in the CBI during Hunter's tenure. However, Hunter appears to have the confidence of his AD as the school awarded him a contract extension in June.
With Davidson exiting the conference to join the A-10, the Southern Conference appears to be wide open this season. Perhaps Western Carolina can fill that vacuum, and prove that their run to the tournament championship a year ago wasn’t a fluke.