Defensive Battle With Georgia Southern Up Next For Cougars

COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON (18-8, 10-4 SoCon) vs. GEORGIA SOUTHERN (11-15, 5-8 SoCon)

Game #27

February 16, 2013 4:00 p.m. (ET)

TD Arena/John Kresse Court (5,100)

at Charleston, S.C.

Television: SoCon Network/ESPN3

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

Series History: CofC Leads 27-19

Last Meeting: Georgia Southern def. CofC, 51-47, on Jan. 17, 2013 in Statesboro, Ga.

Internet: Free Live Statistics at www.CofCSports.com

Twitter: @CofCBasketball

THE COACHES

College of Charleston: Doug Wojcik

First Year at CofC: 18-8 (.692)

Eighth Year Overall: 158-100 (.612)

Georgia Southern: Charlton Young

Fourth Year at GSU: 40-80 (.333)

Fourth Year Overall: 40-80 (.333)

RADIO (College of Charleston Radio Network)

Play-By-Play: Jeff McCarragher

Color Analyst: Everett German

TELEVISION (SoCon Network/ESPN3)

Play-By-Play: Darren Goldwater

Color Analyst: Dean Keener

College of Charleston Cougars basketball


GAME PREVIEW

Southern Conference play continues for the College of Charleston men’s basketball team (18-8, 10-4 SoCon) as it goes up against its second-straight South Division rival in Georgia Southern (11-15, 5-8 SoCon) on Saturday, Feb. 16 at TD Arena. Tipoff between the Cougars and Eagles is slated for 4 p.m. (ET) and the game will be carried nationally on the SoCon Network via ESPN3. CofC looks to bounce back from a 75-59 setback to Davidson on Feb. 14, which snapped a season-best six-game win streak. Over the last couple of years, a rivalry has developed with Georgia Southern and fans should expect a defensive battle between the two schools on Saturday. In both teams’ first meeting of the season, the Cougars were held to their lowest offensive output of the season in a single game (47 points), while both squads combined for only 33 total points at halftime (20-13) on Jan. 17 in Statesboro, Ga. CofC hopes to redeem itself from that 51-47 road loss as the conference regular-season race winds down.

A LOOK AT THE EAGLES

Georgia Southern has gone 3-3 in its last six-game stretch of the season including a 78-57 victory at The Citadel on Feb. 14, to start off its two-game road swing through the Lowcountry. Prior to the win against the Bulldogs, each of the Eagles’ contests had been decided by nine points or less after going 0-2 last week on their home court versus North Division foes in Appalachian State (L, 86-91) in overtime on Feb. 7 and Western Carolina (L, 62-71) on Feb. 9. GSU is led in both the scoring and rebounding columns by preseason All-SoCon Team selection Eric Ferguson, who is averaging 14.3 points and 6.7 rebounds a game this season.

COFC ATHLETICS HALL OF FAME WEEKEND

The Cougars celebrate College of Charleston Athletics Hall of Fame weekend as three former student-athletes and one former administrator were selected for membership into the exclusive club earlier this year by the selection committee. The 2013 Induction Class includes former men’s basketball star and 13-year NBA veteran Anthony Johnson (1994-97), former Director of Athletics Jerry Baker (1991-07), former sailing All-American Kara Shadwick-Museler (1992-95) and former men’s soccer All-American defender Luiz Vieira (1987-90). The four will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at a special reception and brunch held on Saturday, prior to the men’s and women’s basketball games at TD Arena. Johnson, who was CofC’s first NBA Draft pick, still remains the school’s all-time career assists leader with 520.

PROJECTED COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON STARTERS

#22 Anthony Stitt, G, 6-1, 180, So. (10.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 3.2 apg, 32.5 min)

#4 Andrew Lawrence, G, 6-1, 185, Sr. (13.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.9 apg, 31.8 min)

#3 Anthony Thomas, F, 6-7, 207, Jr. (8.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.7 apg, 28.9 min)

#53 Willis Hall, F, 6-6, 235, RS-Jr. (7.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 0.7 apg, 23.4 min)

#1 Adjehi Baru, F, 6-9, 225, So. (9.8 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 0.6 apg, 31.5 min)

PROJECTED GEORGIA SOUTHERN STARTERS

#12 Brian Holmes, G, 6-1, 185, Jr. (4.0 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 1.7 apg, 18.5 min)

#24 C.J. Reed, G, 6-3, 191, Sr. (12.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.8 apg, 34.1 min)

#0 Cleon Roberts, G, 6-5, 177, Fr. (8.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.1 apg, 26.3 min)

#10 Marvin Baynham, F, 6-6, 215, Jr. (4.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.5 apg, 18.3 min)

#32 Cameron Baskerville, F, 6-7, 230, Sr. (4.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 0.3 apg, 17.7 min)

SERIES HISTORY

CofC holds an eight-game advantage in the all-time series with Georgia Southern, 27-19. The Eagles have won two of the last three meetings between the two schools which have all come down-to-the-wire. Six of the last seven contests have been decided by nine points or less.

LAST EIGHT GAMES IN THE SERIES

L, 47-51 in Statesboro, Ga. on 1/17/13 (-4)

W, 58-53 in Charleston, S.C. on 2/23/12 (+5)

L, 58-64 in Statesboro, Ga. on 1/21/12 (-6)

W, 65-61 in Statesboro, Ga. on 1/26/11 (+4)

W, 92-84 in Charleston, S.C. on 12/4/10 (+8)

W, 90-72 in Statesboro, Ga. on 1/30/10 (+18)

W, 68-59 in Charleston, S.C. on 12/3/10 (+9)

W, 81-68 in Statesboro, Ga. on 2/19/09 (+13)

ON THE DEFENSE

CofC Head Coach Doug Wojcik has turned his CofC squad into one of the best defensive ballclubs in the SoCon as he did as the head coach at Tulsa from 2005-12. The Golden Hurricane were one of Conference USA’s top defensive teams and ranked among the top defenses in the country. The Cougars currently rank No. 76 nationally in scoring defense holding opponents to an average of 62.1 points per game and No. 35 nationally in three-point field-goal percentage defense (30.1%). In conference play, CofC has limited opponents to just 61.3 points a game.

Category                    2011-12 Season        Now

Scoring Defense        68.3 ppg                    62.1 ppg (76th in nation, 2nd in SoCon)

FG% Defense             42.0%                         41.0% (99th in nation, 2nd in SoCon)

3PT FG% Defense     32.0%                         30.1% (35th in nation, 1st in SoCon)

Blocks                         3.7 avg                        4.5 avg (58th in nation, 1st in SoCon)

“You can’t really change or add things in a short period of time. We will just rely on our defensive principles in a short, quick turnaround between games. We responded well after the home loss to Samford as we rebounded and bounced back against Chattanooga two days later. We will basically use the same formula to be ready for a 4 p.m. game tomorrow against Georgia Southern.” – Coach Wojcik on rebounding from the Davidson loss

LAWRENCE WATCH

Senior point guard Andrew Lawrence (London, England) continues to climb the CofC all-time career lists in scoring, assists and three-point field goals made. He has currently totaled 1,098 career points to date which ranks 28th-best in program history. The two-time Bob Cousy Award candidate and 2012 London Olympian is seven assists away from turning in his second-straight 100+ assist season (93). He is also 13 shy of breaking into the top 10 all-time with 364 career assists to date.

COFC ALL-TIME CAREER THREE-POINTERS MADE

1. Andrew Goudelock (2007-11) – 396

2. Marion Busby (1992-96) – 220

3. Tony White, Jr. (2006-10) – 219

4. Tony Mitchell (2001-05) – 216

5. Troy Wheless (1999-03) – 208

6. Dontaye Draper (2003-07) – 207

7. Andrew Lawrence (2009-Present) – 193

8. Antwaine Wiggins (2007-12) – 174

9. Jeff Bolton (1998-02) – 166

10. Thomas Mobley (2001-04) – 158

COFC ALL-TIME CAREER ASSISTS

1. Anthony Johnson (1993-97) – 520

2. A.J. Harris (1999-03) – 514

3. Mike Beckett (1988-92) – 431

4T. Mark McClam (1978-82) – 428

4T. Shane McCravy (1996-99) – 428

6. Andrew Goudelock (2007-11) – 424

7. Dontaye Draper (2003-07) – 392

8.  Marion Busby (1992-95) – 390

9. Ed Nierstedt (1981-86) – 389

10. Ron Theis (1972-76) – 376

11. Andrew Lawrence (2009-Present) – 364

COUGAR SIDEBARS

Coach Wojcik is 0-1 lifetime against Georgia Southern in his eight years as a Division I head coach. He has compiled a 10-5 record versus Southern Conference opponents with wins over Elon, Furman, Chattanooga (twice), The Citadel (twice), Wofford, Appalachian State, UNCG and Samford this season.

Both Coach Wojcik and Georgia Southern Head Coach Charlton Young led their alma maters to NCAA Tournament appearances as players. A former starting point guard, Wojcik (1983-86) led Navy to three-straight NCAA berths alongside David Robinson including all the way to the East Regional Final in 1986, while Young (1989-93), also a point guard, led Georgia Southern to the 1992 NCAA Tournament – the program’s last trip to the Big Dance.

Like the Davidson series, this will mark the last time the Cougars will face Georgia Southern in regular-season play as CofC moves to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) on July 1. The Eagles last swept the regular-season series between the two schools during the 2005-06 campaign as the Cougars have won 11 of the last 15 meetings since then.

Junior forward and Peach State native Trent Wiedeman played with Georgia Southern junior guard Tré Bussey in the 2010 GACA North-South All-Star Classic. Wiedeman starred at Greater Atlanta Christian, while Bussey was a standout at Lithia Springs High School.

DAVIDSON RECAP

Davidson 75, CofC 59

For the 22nd time this season, CofC used the starting lineup of sophomore Anthony Stitt, senior Andrew Lawrence, junior Anthony Thomas, redshirt junior Willis Hall and sophomore forward Adjehi Baru (17-5).

Davidson improved to 52-14 in the all-time series and swept the regular-season series between the two schools for the first time since the 2007-08 campaign. It was only the Wildcats’ second-ever win at TD Arena having last won on Charleston’s home court in a 79-75 road victory on Dec. 29, 2008.

Andrew Lawrence turned in a team-high tying 10 points and has now totaled 1,098 career points to date which ranks 28th all-time in school history.

For the second-straight game, junior forward Trent Wiedeman came off the bench and contributed a team-high tying 10 points along with six rebounds in only 14 minutes of action versus the Wildcats.

Junior reserve forward/guard Nori Johnson brought down a season-high six rebounds which was tied as the second-most by a CofC player against Davidson in the ballgame.

Davidson drained an opponent season-high tying 10 three-pointers in the contest (10-of-24) next to 10 threes by Boston College in the ESPN Charleston Classic on Nov. 18. CofC entered the game as the No. 22-ranked team in the nation holding opponents to a 29.4 percent accuracy from beyond the arc this season.

The Cougars outrebounded the Wildcats, 36-35, their third loss against a SoCon opponent when outboarding them this season.

COUGAR SOUND BITES

“At the end of the day, we didn’t shoot the ball particularly well and didn’t handle their changing defenses well. As much of a good rebounding team that we are, we really didn’t secure the ball and rebound the ball well down the stretch. They (Georgia Southern) are a team that has a lot of length. They are more athletic than people realize. We certainly have to exceed their energy, exceed their confidence from last night’s win at The Citadel and handle their ball screens.” – CofC Head Coach Doug Wojcik on the team’s first go-around with Georgia Southern on the road

“We need to shoot the ball better. I thought we had some really critical turnovers in our last game against them. We can’t panic and have poise. They do change defenses a lot and you can’t let change of defense affect you. You still have to attack the defense. I do believe we are a different team since then. Trent (Wiedeman) is in much better shape than when we played them down there. Hopefully, we will share the basketball better tomorrow.” – Coach Wojcik on keys to Saturday’s matchup with Georgia Southern

“Since the Georgia Southern and Davidson road trip, we’ve improved our ability to finish games as a team. We have been able to keep a team down and not have a team come back on us, like we did at Samford last week. We’ve made big strides since the last time we played Georgia Southern. It will be a key point and focus in our game tomorrow night. Our team has matured. We are starting to get into a flow and we are playing team basketball.” – Sophomore guard Anthony Stitt on how the team has improved since the 0-2 road trip to Georgia Southern and Davidson last month

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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