Cougars Open Canada Tour With 71-64 Loss To Elite Phase One
TORONTO, Ontario, Canada - Junior forward Anthony Thomas (Winston-Salem, N.C.) scored a team-high 20 points as College of Charleston fell 71-64 to Elite Phase One in the first game of its four-day preseason foreign tour of the Great White North on Thursday night at Ryerson University's Kerr Hall Gymnasium.
Thomas, a JUCO transfer from Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, went 8-of-20 from the field with two three-pointers in his unofficial Cougar debut.
Sophomore big man Adjehi Baru (Abidjan, Ivory Coast) and redshirt junior forward Willis Hall (Charlotte, N.C.), who missed the 2011-12 season recovering from a preseason ACL injury, were the other CofC players in double figures with 12 and 11 points respectively.
Junior forward Trent Wiedeman (Suwanee, Ga.), who underwent ankle surgery in the off-season, also saw 32 minutes of action contributing nine points and seven rebounds. Junior guard/forward Nori Johnson (Greer, S.C.) added nine points, while sophomore point guard Anthony Stitt (Charlotte, N.C.) had three points, six rebounds and six assists with one turnover.
"It was a great game," CofC Head Coach Doug Wojcik said. "We knew the competition would be tough against Canadian pro players who played collegiately in the U.S. We didn't shoot the ball really well (38.8 percent) and they beat us from the free throw line tonight (17-of-21). But, we were able to accomplish a lot on the floor and everyone on our travel roster played some minutes."
Denham Brown, a former standout at Connecticut, was the leading scorer for the Cougars' opponents with 17 points. The Elite Phase One roster also included NC State alum Alex Johnson (11 points) and former UCLA and Oklahoma standout Ryan Wright (15 points).
Wojcik recruited Wright when he was an assistant at Michigan State under head coach Tom Izzo and named his nine-year-old son, Denham Wojcik, after UConn's Brown.
As a team, CofC outrebounded Elite Phase One, 38-27, and shot 57 percent from long range (4-of-7).
The Cougars will take on A-Game Hoops tomorrow in their second Canadian exhibition game slated for 7 p.m. (ET) at Kerr Hall Gymnasium.