CofC Cougars Begin Second Half Of SoCon Play at Wofford

COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON (13-7, 5-3 SoCon) vs. WOFFORD (8-12, 2-5 SoCon)

Game #21

January 26, 2013 7:00 p.m. (ET)

Benjamin Johnson Arena (3,500)

at Spartanburg, S.C.

Television: MyTV Charleston/ESPN3

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

Series History: Wofford Leads 76-53

Last Meeting: Wofford def. CofC, 68-59, on Jan. 28, 2012 in Charleston, S.C.

Internet: WatchESPN.com

Twitter: @CofCBasketball

THE COACHES

College of Charleston: Doug Wojcik

First Year at CofC: 13-7 (.650)

Eighth Year Overall: 153-99 (.607)

Wofford: Mike Young

11th Year at Wofford: 164-165 (.498)

11th Year Overall: 164-165 (.498)

RADIO (College of Charleston Radio Network)

Play-By-Play: Everett German

Color Analyst: Danny Johnson

TELEVISION (MyTV Charleston/ESPN3)

Play-By-Play: Jeff McCarragher

Color Analyst: John Kresse

College of Charleston Cougars men's basketball


GAME PREVIEW

The College of Charleston men’s basketball team (13-7, 5-3 SoCon) will begin the second half of Southern Conference play with a road trip to Wofford (8-12, 2-5 SoCon) for a battle between two of the league’s top defensive ballclubs on Saturday, Jan. 26 at Benjamin Johnson Arena in Spartanburg, S.C. Tipoff between the Cougars and Terriers is set for 7 p.m. (ET) and the game will be televised locally on MyTV Charleston and carried nationally on ESPN3/WatchESPN.com. CofC positioned itself back in the league race with a 69-54 win over crosstown rival The Citadel on Jan. 24 to improve to 5-3 against conference foes this season. The Cougars are currently second in the South Division standings behind current leader Davidson (7-1), who owns a two-game advantage over CofC, Elon (5-2), Samford (5-2) and Western Carolina (5-3). They look to restore and revive the same ‘Road Warriors’ mentality that successfully jump-started the year with an undefeated 6-0 road record, before their difficult two-game stretch last weekend at Georgia Southern and Davidson.

A LOOK AT WOFFORD

Wofford is one of the youngest teams in the league with the graduation of three significant starters in Brad Loesing, Kevin Giltner and Drew Crowell. The Terriers’ 14-man roster is currently comprised of 12 underclassmen including leading scorer Karl Cochran, who ranks fourth in the league in scoring averaging 16.1 points per game as a sophomore. Wofford got back on the winning track with a 63-50 home victory over rival Furman on Jan. 24, which ended a three-game losing skid and gave the team its second league win of the season. During its non-conference slate, the Terriers earned a marquee road win at Xavier (56-55) on Dec. 22.

PROJECTED COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON STARTERS

#22 Anthony Stitt, G, 6-1, 180, So. (10.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 3.0 apg, 33.0 min)

#4 Andrew Lawrence, G, 6-1, 185, Sr. (14.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 4.1 apg, 31.4 min)

#3 Anthony Thomas, F, 6-7, 207, Jr. (8.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.6 apg, 28.5 min)

#53 Willis Hall, F, 6-6, 235, RS-Jr. (7.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 0.8 apg, 24.2 min)

#1 Adjehi Baru, F, 6-9, 225, So. (10.2 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 0.5 apg, 32.6 min)

PROJECTED WOFFORD STARTERS

#11 Indiana Faithfull, G, 6-2, 200, So. (3.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 3.4 apg, 21.8 min)

#2 Karl Cochran, G, 6-1, 170, So. (16.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.6 apg, 30.1 min)

#32 Spencer Collins, G, 6-4, 200, Fr. (11.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 0.9 apg, 27.1 min)

#34 Lee Skinner, F, 6-6, 212, So. (11.0 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.8 apg, 34.7 min)

#14 Aerris Smith, F, 6-8, 250, Jr. (3.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 0.2 apg, 23.7 min)

INSIDE THE SERIES

Wofford leads 76-53 in the all-time series with College of Charleston and has won the last three-straight meetings between the two schools including a 68-59 road win on Jan. 28, 2012 at TD Arena. However, the Cougars still command a 22-8 mark versus the Terriers since joining the Southern Conference in 1998. Last season, Wofford avenged a sweep of the series by the Cougars in 2010-11 by winning the regular-season series in 2011-12.

LAST 10 GAMES IN THE SERIES

L, 59-68 at Charleston, S.C. on 1/28/12 (-9)

L, 58-75 at Spartanburg, S.C. on 1/5/12 (-17)

L, 67-77 at Chattanooga, Tenn.^ on 3/7/11 (-10)

W, 79-54 at Charleston, S.C. on 2/3/11 (+25)

W, 77-73 at Spartanburg, S.C. on 1/8/11 (-4)

L, 68-74 at Spartanburg, S.C. on 2/25/10 (-6)

W, 70-68 at Charleston, S.C. on 1/22/10 (+2)

W, 86-84 at Charleston, S.C. on 2/26/09 (+2)

W, 65-63 at Spartanburg, S.C. on 1/15/09 (+2)

L, 66-67 at Spartanburg, S.C. on 1/28/08 (-1)

^ SoCon Tournament

DEFENSIVE STATE OF MIND

Both CofC and Wofford bring a defensive mindset to the floor that not only leads the Southern Conference, but ranks among the top 75 in the NCAA team statistical rankings as of Jan. 24. The Cougars currently rank No. 20 in the nation in three-point field goal percentage defense holding opponents to a 28.7 accuracy from three-point land this season, while the Terriers are 62nd (30.7%). In scoring defense, Wofford (44th, 59.8 ppg) and CofC (73rd, 61.9 ppg) are No. 1 and No. 2 in the league.

Category                    CofC (SoCon/NCAA)                        Wofford (SoCon/NCAA)

Scoring Defense        61.9 ppg (2nd/73rd)                        59.8 ppg (1st/44th)

FG% Defense             40.8% (2nd/108th)               43.3% (4th/220th)

3PT FG% Defense     28.7% (1st/20th)                   30.7% (2nd/62nd)

COUGAR SIDEBARS

Coach Wojcik has never faced Wofford in his eight years as a Division I head coach. He is now 5-4 lifetime versus Southern Conference opponents with wins over Elon, Furman, Chattanooga and The Citadel (twice) this season.

When it comes to the Coaching Fraternity it is like six degrees of separation. Wojcik previously coached alongside former Wofford associate head coach Jimmy Allen, who spent two seasons with the Terriers, under Don DeVoe at Wojcik’s alma mater Navy in 1990-99 and 1996-02 respectively. Additionally, Wojcik was coached in high school (Central Catholic High School in Wheeling, W. Va.) by the late Skip Prosser, whose son, Mark Prosser, coached at Wofford from 2008-10, and is now an assistant coach at Winthrop.

Wofford Associate Head Coach Paul Harrision previously served as a graduate assistant coach at CofC from 1996-98 under legendary head coach John Kresse. During those two seasons, the team compiled a 53-9 overall record. The Cougars won two TAAC Championships and made two trips to the NCAA Tournament in 1997 and 1998. He later returned to CofC for two seasons from 1999-01 as the Cougars won a pair of SoCon South Division titles.

During his time at Michigan State under head coach Tom Izzo from 2003-05, Coach Wojcik helped recruit Isaiah Dahlman (2006-10) to East Lansing from Braham Area High School in Braham, Minn. Dahlman, is the brother of former Wofford All-American and all-time leading scorer Noah Dahlman. Wojcik fondly remembers taking a private plane with Izzo to a high school game to see Isaiah Dahlman play. What made the recruiting trip even special was that both were able to take and share the experience with their sons, Steven Izzo and Paxson Wojcik.

THE CITADEL RECAP

CofC 69, The Citadel 54

For the 16th time this year, CofC used the starting lineup of sophomore Anthony Stitt, senior Andrew Lawrence, junior Anthony Thomas, redshirt junior Willis Hall and sophomore forward Adjehi Baru (12-4).

With the win, the Cougars claimed their sixth-straight victory in the crosstown rivalry series over the Bulldogs in both teams’ last regular-season meeting in conference play as CofC moves to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) next season. They have now swept The Citadel three years in a row in the regular-season series.

Willis Hall led all CofC scorers with 14 points which marked his sixth time this season to reach double figures in scoring.

Adjehi Baru turned in his 10th career double-figure rebounding game, eighth of the season, with a game-high 12 rebounds.

Andrew Lawrence extended his double-digit scoring streak to four-straight games with 12 points. He has now registered 1,027 career points to date.

CofC outrebounded The Citadel, 48-29, its largest rebound margin of the season (+19) versus an opponent. The Cougars previously outboarded Auburn (+16) on Nov. 16 and Chattanooga (+16) on Jan. 12. In both teams’ first meeting, the Cougars won the board war, 36-33 (+3), on Jan. 14.

COUGAR SOUND BITES

“Mike (Young) is a great coach. He’s had a lot of success. Give him and (Former Head Coach) Richard Johnson a lot of credit. There’s a lot of continuity there at Wofford and they’ve been there for a long time. He’s a really good defensive coach. Statistically both of our two teams are probably the two best defensive teams in the league. I think things will be really hard-fought on Saturday night. They run a lot of sets, so there’s no way for us to know everything they’re going to run. We just have to play good, solid defense based on our principles.” – CofC Head Coach Doug Wojcik on his first road trip to Wofford and how the Cougars will prepare for the matchup on Saturday

“One nice thing about Southern Conference travel is that you don’t feel like you’re going on the road to catch a plane and travel 1,000 miles away. We’re really comfortable being on the bus and travelling as a group. We’ve done it quite a bit now. We would certainly like to start another streak. We were 6-0 and we dropped two last week which was tough. We’re becoming a healthier team though and I think everyone sees their role. When you have a happy team, you can do good things.” – Coach Wojcik on returning to the road for league play

“Going into Spartanburg, you can’t ever overlook those guys (Wofford). They are a lot like Davidson and Elon. They are going to play defense really well, rebound the ball and be physical. You can’t go in there thinking anything and have to play your own game. They always have a good home crowd and I have no doubt in my mind that they’ll be ready to play us on Saturday.” – Redshirt Junior Forward Willis Hall on traveling to Wofford

“That was one of the toughest stretches of the year for us. But, we’re going to go in there with the mindset that we always have on the road – that we are road warriors. If we can keep that mindset and match their physicality and energy, we will be fine on Saturday.” – Sophomore Guard Anthony Stitt on returning to the road after a tough two-game stretch last weekend

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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