May 9, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT
With UNCW having won just nine games in 2013-14, it’s safe to say that new head coach Kevin Keatts will have his work cut out for him as he looks to make the Seahawks a contender in the Colonial Athletic Association. Forward Cedrick Williams, who averaged a team-best 11.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game last season, will be a senior next season but he’s also the lone player to averaged double figures in 2013-14.
Those two factors, the lack of production outside of Williams and the fact that he has just one season remaining, make the addition of former Jacksonville guard Jarvis Haywood a very important one for Keatts. News of Haywood’s decision to join the UNCW program was reported by Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com.
As a sophomore the 6-foot-4 Haywood averaged 16.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game, earning second team All-Atlantic Sun honors as a result. Haywood shot 50.9% from the field, 41.3% from three and 74.1% from the foul line, and of the 26 games in which he played the guard reached double figures in 23. Haywood scored a season-high 29 points in a loss at North Florida on January 17, shooting 11-for-16 from the field.
UNCW struggled offensively last season, ranking eighth in the CAA in scoring offense and ninth (last) in field goal percentage. Haywood won’t be able to play in 2014-15 due to NCAA transfer rules, but he’ll help the Seahawks offensively when he becomes eligible the following season.
Keatts has also landed commitments from 2014 point guards Malik Pugh and Jordon Talley, with the latter making his decision to join the program Thursday.
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