Team preview: Western Carolina

Blue Ribbon Yearbook previews the 2005-06 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: November 4, 2005, 11:02 PM ET
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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

Five losing seasons and the inability to break through to the top half of the league prompted Western Carolina to bring in a new head coach, Larry Hunter, who is one of the most experienced "new" coaches the Southern Conference will ever see.

The former N.C. State assistant and head coach of Division III Wittenberg and Ohio University has 509 wins to his credit, with 23 winning seasons over 25 years.

He'll have a tough job succeeding Steve Shurina, who had the Catamounts poised to step up in the league on a couple of occasions, only to lose the momentum a season later. The new staff took over late in the game last May, and Hunter's outlook on the season was an unusual one.

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