Team preview: Western Carolina

Blue Ribbon Yearbook previews the 2006-07 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 27, 2006, 3:45 PM ET
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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

COACH AND PROGRAM

Most insiders knew what to expect when Larry Hunter took over at Western Carolina last season. His years at Ohio University and then as an assistant at NC State were successful largely because of the Princeton offense, and the Catamounts bought into that system last year.

It worked, by and large, in that the Cats improved their win total by five and they were consistently competitive in the league. And they fired up three-pointers like never before, setting a school record for attempted and made threes.

Hunter's assessment: "We probably did the most we could to maximize our ability."

Naturally, that system shaped the way Hunter recruited, and he's brought in a class of seven newcomers -- six freshmen and a junior college transfer -- who fit his style. They'll have to replace the contributions of two top players, Corey Muirhead (12.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and 6-10 David Berghoefer (11.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg), the team's only true big man.

"We are adding some very talented players," Hunter said. "We just tried to recruit the best basketball players we could, that were versatile, in the 6-5 to 6-8 range, and we put no premium on getting a real big guy, but just good basketball players. And I think we accomplished that."

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