CofC Cougars Prepare For Second North Division Foe In Chattanooga

COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON (10-5, 2-1 SoCon) vs. CHATTANOOGA (7-9, 2-1 SoCon)

Game #16

January 12, 2013 4:00 p.m. (ET)

TD Arena/John Kresse Court (5,100)

at Charleston, S.C.

Television: None

Radio: College of Charleston Radio Network (ESPN Radio 910 AM)

Series History: CofC Leads 16-11

Last Meeting: CofC def. Chattanooga, 87-85 (2OT), on Dec. 3, 2011 in Charleston, S.C.

Internet: Free Live Statistics at www.CofCSports.com

Twitter: @CofCBasketball

THE COACHES

College of Charleston: Doug Wojcik

First Year at CofC: 10-5 (.667)

Eighth Year Overall: 150-97 (.607)

Chattanooga: John Shulman

Ninth Year at UTC: 139-136 (.505)

Ninth Year Overall: 139-136 (.505)

RADIO (College of Charleston Radio Network)

Play-By-Play: Jeff McCarragher

Color Analyst: Everett German

TELEVISION (None)

College of Charleston Cougars Men's Basketball


GAME PREVIEW

The College of Charleston men’s basketball team (10-5, 2-1 SoCon) will have a quick one-day turnaround to prepare for its second North Division foe in the course of three short days in Chattanooga (7-9, 2-1 SoCon) on Saturday, Jan. 12 at TD Arena. Game time between the Cougars and Mocs is set for 4 p.m. (ET). CofC will look to bounce back from its first Southern Conference loss of the season to Samford (62-57) on Jan. 10, which snapped a season-best, five-game winning streak dating back to a non-conference home win over Old Dominion on Dec. 18. Chattanooga has always been a dangerous team to play with both teams developing an outside-of-division rivalry after meeting in the finals and first round of the SoCon Tournament in 2009 and 2010 respectively. The journey through league play will only get tougher for CofC as its next three-game lineup will come in less than a week’s time beginning with a trip cross-town to The Citadel on Jan. 14 followed by two tough road trips to Georgia Southern on Jan. 17 and to preseason favorite Davidson on Jan. 19. However, the road to redemption, may be on the road, where the Cougars are an undefeated 5-0 on the season.

SCOUTING CHATTANOOGA

Chattanooga is currently on the tail end of a four-game road swing in which it has converted into a current 2-1 record with a 70-65 victory at The Citadel on Jan. 10. The Mocs were picked to finish fifth in the North Division in the preseason coaches poll. Nine of their 14 players on the roster are underclassmen including freshman guard Gee McGhee, who has started and played in all 16 games this year averaging 9.9 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. Three of UTC’s losses this season have come against BCS opponents on the road at Kansas (L, 55-69) on Nov. 15, at LSU (L, 67-80) on Dec. 11 and at Georgia Tech (L, 58-74) on Jan. 2. The Mocs currently rank No. 61 in the nation in rebounds per game (38.4).

COUGARS ON THE AIRWAVES

Fans can listen to all CofC men’s basketball games throughout the 2012-13 season on ESPN Radio 910 AM in Charleston or via a live audio link at: www.charlestonsportsradio.com. Voice of the Cougars Jeff McCarragher and color analyst Everett German will call the action live from TD Arena on the College of Charleston Radio Network.

30TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF 1983 NAIA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE

As part of CofC Basketball Alumni Weekend, the Cougars will celebrate the 30th year anniversary of their 1983 NAIA National Championship title won under the tutelage of legendary head coach John Kresse. CofC will welcome back All-District 6 Team member and NAIA National Tournament MVP Steve Yetman as well as District 6 Player of the Year Greg Mack. Other key members of the 1983 team include Keith Coleman, Stuart Schuck, Bob Killian, Richard Monsees, Ron Carter, Ed Carroll, Mike Bosch, William Coleman, T.C. Sabbs, John Brett, assistant coach Tim Orvin, assistant coach Ken Stibler and manager Billy Guilford. The Cougars finished the 1982-83 regular-season ranked No. 14 nationally in the NAIA National Poll and compiled a 33-5 overall record which still stands today as the most victories in a single season in program history. CofC defeated Chaminade by one point in the NAIA semifinals (66-65), the same season Chaminade pulled the upset of the year by beating Ralph Sampson and top-ranked Virginia, and Kresse later earned career win No. 100 in the national title game with a 57-53 victory over West Virginia Wesleyan on March 19, 1983 at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Mo.

JOIN THE LEGENDS

CofC fans are welcome to attend the “Legends Game” which will be held prior to the Chattanooga game and will feature Cougar Basketball all-time greats such as Anthony Johnson, Thad Delaney, Sedric Webber, Troy Wheless, Greg Mack, John Brett, Pat King and Stacy Harris. The alumni game will be played from 1:45-2:45 p.m. (ET) on the main floor of TD Arena. Doors will open at approximately 1:30 p.m. and the event is free to the public. Coach Kresse will coach one set of the alumni squads with former head coach Bobby Cremins, while former head coach Fred Daniels and CofC Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance and former player Otto German will coach together on the other alumni sideline.

PROJECTED COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON STARTERS

#22 Anthony Stitt, G, 6-1, 180, So. (11.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.4 apg, 33.5 min)

#4 Andrew Lawrence, G, 6-1, 185, Sr. (13.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.8 apg, 30.8 min)

#3 Anthony Thomas, F, 6-7, 207, Jr. (7.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.3 apg, 28.3 min)

#53 Willis Hall, F, 6-6, 235, RS-Jr. (7.0 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 0.7 apg, 24.5 min)

#1 Adjehi Baru, F, 6-9, 225, So. (9.8 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 0.5 apg, 33.5 min)

PROJECTED CHATTANOOGA STARTERS

#11 Ronrico White, G, 6-3, 170, So. (9.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.0 apg, 26.1 min)

#12 Gee McGhee, G, 6-5, 200, Fr. (9.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.4 apg, 28.7 min)

#22 Farad Cobb, G, 6-0, 160, Fr. (6.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.6 apg, 20.0 min)

#30 Z. Mason, F, 6-5, 238, Jr. (13.7 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 0.8 apg, 25.9 min)

#20 Drazen Zlovaric, F, 6-9, 220, Sr. (9.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 0.5 apg, 24.4 min)

SERIES NOTES

The Cougars lead 16-11 in the all-time series with Chattanooga. They have won four out of the last five meetings with the Mocs including both squads’ last meeting in Charleston – a close 87-85 double-overtime victory in favor of CofC on its home court on Dec. 3, 2011. In fact, the last two contests in the series between the two North and South Division rivals have been decided by three points or less.

LAST EIGHT GAMES IN THE SERIES

W, 87-85 (2OT) at Charleston, S.C. on 12/3/11 (+2)

L, 88-91 at Chattanooga, Tenn. on 1/17/11 (-3)

W, 96-69 at Charlotte, N.C.^ on 3/6/10 (+27)

W, 86-74 at Charleston, S.C. on 2/4/10 (+12)

W, 90-66 at Chattanooga, Tenn. on 1/16/10 (+24)

L, 69-80 at Chattanooga, Tenn.^ on 3/9/09 (-11)

W, 86-77 at Chattanooga, Tenn. on 2/23/09 (+9)

W, 79-73 at Charleston, S.C. on 2/14/08 (+6)

^SoCon Tournament

DOUBLE TROUBLE

Sophomore big man Adjehi Baru currently leads the Southern Conference in rebounds per game (9.0 ppg) which currently ranks No. 46 nationally among NCAA Division I rebounding leaders as of Jan. 10. He has really developed over the course of his freshman and sophomore seasons. Baru is also tied for third in the league with three double-double performances this year including his most recent 18-point and 11-rebound output against Samford on Jan. 10. He also turned in 16 points and 14 rebounds versus No. 5-ranked Louisville on Dec. 4 and 11 points and 14 rebounds against NCAA Division II Anderson University on Dec. 13.

BARU BY THE NUMBERS

Category                    2011-12         Current Season

Scoring                  7.8 ppg        9.8 ppg

Rebounding           6.3 rpg         9.0 rpg

FG%                      49.1%          48.3%

Blocks                    0.7 bpg        1.3 bpg

Minutes Played        26.7 min      33.5 min

Double-Doubles       1                 3

COUGAR SIDEBARS

Coach Wojcik has never faced Chattanooga in his eight years as a Division I head coach, but is now 2-2 lifetime versus Southern Conference opponents. Prior to taking over the helm of the CofC program, Wojcik had only faced a team from the league once – a home loss at Tulsa to Appalachian State (0-1) in 2010-11. He is currently 2-1 versus league foes in his first year and CofC’s final year in the SoCon.

Chattanooga sophomore guard Ronrico White is the younger brother of Tony White, Jr., who starred for the Cougars from 2006-10. The older White still ranks ninth all-time in career scoring in the CofC record books with 1,499 points (sixth all-time in CofC Division I history). Both attended high school at Bearden High School in Knoxville, Tenn., and are the sons of Tony White, Sr., who played collegiately at Tennessee from 1983-87 and was selected by the Chicago Bulls with the 10th pick in the second round of the 1987 NBA Draft.

Last year, Andrew Lawrence scored a game-high 25 points to lead the Cougars in the scoring column for the first time of his career against the Mocs. It marked his first career 20-point outing. Lawrence also played a previous career-high of 44 minutes with five assists with no turnovers and made a team-high four steals versus UTC. Trent Wiedeman recorded a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Anthony Stitt, then a freshman, came off the bench and hit two key three-pointers in the second half and ended the overtime thriller with 20 points.

SAMFORD RECAP

Samford 62, CofC 57

For the 11th time this season, CofC went with the starting lineup of sophomore Anthony Stitt, senior Andrew Lawrence, junior Anthony Thomas, redshirt junior Willis Hall and sophomore forward Adjehi Baru (9-2).

Samford claimed its first-ever victory in program history over the Cougars in 13 tries since both teams first met in Trans America Athletic Conference (TAAC) play in 1993-94. CofC still leads the all-time series 12-1 and 5-1 since the Bulldogs joined the Southern Conference in 2008-09.

Adjehi Baru registered his fourth career double-double and third of the season with a game-high 18 points and 11 rebounds. He also went to the charity stripe 10 times in the ballgame and converted a career-best eight free throws.

Andrew Lawrence scored in double figures for the fourth consecutive contest with 14 points in 37 minutes of action against the Bulldogs. He has now tabulated 954 career points to date and is 46 shy of the 1,000th career point mark.

CofC shot a season-low 32 percent in the first half from the floor (8-of-25) against Samford next to its previous low of 32.3 percent in the first half against St. John’s in the first round of the ESPN Charleston Classic on Nov. 15. They countered that percentage by shooting an improved 56.5 percent in the second half of play.

The Cougars trailed at halftime for only the fifth time this season and are now 1-4 when doing so this season.

All three of CofC’s SoCon games have been decided by five points or less including at Elon (+2) on Dec. 1, against Furman (+4) on Jan. 5 and versus Samford (-5) on Jan. 10.

Coming into the game, the Cougars ranked No. 15 in the nation and tops in the league holding opponents to just 27.8 percent from beyond the arc. Samford shot an opponent season-high 50 percent (8-of-16) from three-point land against CofC.

COUGAR SOUND BITES

“We have a tough one on Saturday. I think Chat is playing really well right now. They are very athletic. They have guards who can shoot it and post players who post really hard. We have to do a good job against them. We basically get four points out of the four position against Samford and they get 18. We have to play better at every position and take care of the ball. We can’t drive in there and have six charges. It’s a quick and tough turnaround, but we have to stay positive and move forward.” – CofC Head Coach Doug Wojcik on the quick turnaround between each of the games this week and preparing for Chattanooga

“I’ve never been 5-0 on the road to start the season as a coach. My Tulsa teams – we were very good home teams. I don’t have an answer for it, but I wish I did.” – Coach Wojcik on why his team plays well on the road in comparison to playing at home this season

“We have a really tough team coming in here on Saturday in Chattanooga. We have to be right back at it and have short-term memory (of the loss to Samford) to a certain extent, because you have to get through these games. When they come in, we have to be really hungry. I think that’s we have lacked – hunger, especially in the first half against Samford. I expect us to come out hungry in Saturday’s game. Yes, we have been struggling at home, but we are a ‘grind-it-out’ team this year. Even on the road, we are not blowing teams out. We are grinding out wins and that’s the style of our play this year. We still have a lot of confidence in ourselves. The Samford game hurt, but we expect to play well and better on Saturday.” – Senior Point Guard Andrew Lawrence on the tough stretch of three SoCon games in five days

“We just have to play together in our next game and move forward from the Samford loss. We will start watching film to prepare for our next game against Chattanooga and know we can’t let any team slide (past us). We know every team will be tough.” – Sophomore Forward Adjehi Baru on moving on from the loss to Samford and prepare for two more league games in the course of the next four days

Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson

About the Author:

Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson is the founder and Editor of Beach Carolina Magazine. Living along the coast of North Carolina, Mike has a passion for the beach and loves to bring news and events of the Carolinas to others around the world.

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