Cougars Trek To New England For Two-Game Road Swing
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON (7-4, 1-0 SoCon) vs. VERMONT (7-4, 0-0 America East)
December 29, 2012 • 2:00 p.m. (ET)
Patrick Gymnasium (4,003)
at Burlington, Vt.
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON vs. MARIST (4-8, 1-1 MAAC)
December 31, 2012 • 4:00 p.m. (ET)
McCann Arena (3,000)
at Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Radio: College of Charleston Radio Network (ESPN Radio 910 AM)
Series History vs. Vermont: CofC Leads 1-0
Series History vs. Marist: First Meeting
Last Meeting: CofC def. Vermont, 85-70, on Feb. 19, 2011 in Charleston, S.C.
Internet: Free Live Video and Live Statistics at www.uvmathletics.com
College of Charleston: Doug Wojcik
First Year at CofC: 7-4 (.636)
Eighth Year Overall: 147-96 (.605)
Vermont: John Becker
Second Year at Vermont: 31-16 (.660)
Fourth Year Overall: 37-59 (.385)
Marist: Chuck Martin
Fifth Year at Marist: 35-105 (.250)
Fifth Year Overall: 35-105 (.250)
RADIO (College of Charleston Radio Network)
Play-By-Play: Jeff McCarragher
Color Analyst: Everett German
The College of Charleston men's basketball team (7-4, 1-0 SoCon) gears up for a post-holiday, two-game road swing through scenic New England this weekend. Several inches of snow and colder winter temperatures are expected as the Cougars' first pit stop sends them to Vermont (7-4, 0-0 America East) for a 2011 ESPN BracketBusters rematch on Saturday, Dec. 29 at 2 p.m. (ET) at Patrick Gymnasium in Burlington, Vt. Two days later, CofC will trek to Marist (4-8, 1-1 MAAC) for a first-time New Year's Eve meeting between the two schools on Monday, Dec. 31 at 4 p.m. (ET) at McCann Arena in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. The Cougars are currently on a two-game win streak and have won six of their last eight contests with wins over Old Dominion (76-65) on Dec. 18 and Coastal Carolina (60-51) on Dec. 22. Defensively, they lead the Southern Conference and rank among the top 15 teams in the country holding opponents to a mere 27.0 percent accuracy from the three-point line this season. CofC will play in one of the toughest home-court environments in the nation as Vermont is 47-12 (.797) at their home venue over the last four years.
A LOOK AT VERMONT
Vermont has won three of its last four contests including a 76-62 win over Fairleigh Dickinson, prior to the holiday break on Dec. 22. The Catamounts shot 58.2 percent against FDU, their second-highest percentage from the floor this season. Tabbed as the preseason favorites to win the America East Conference title, they are coming off a banner year making the program's fifth all-time NCAA Tournament appearance and compiling a 24-12 overall record in 2011-12. UVM went on to beat Lamar (71-59) in the NCAA First Four held in Dayton, Ohio, but had its postseason run halted by top-seeded North Carolina in the second round. Vermont is 3-1 on its home court this season with its lone loss coming against Towson (64-68) on Dec. 5, a squad in which CofC beat in its season opener (75-58) on Nov. 9.
MARIST AT A GLANCE
Marist will look to snap a two-game losing skid after dropping a 10-point decision at Hartford (L, 46-56) on Dec. 22. Like CofC, the Red Foxes have played a tough non-conference slate with the likes of BCS teams in West Virginia, Vanderbilt and Clemson. They return two preseason All-Metro Atlantic Conference Team performers in sophomore forward Chavaughn Lewis (second team) and senior guard Devin Price (third team). Marist was picked to finish eighth in the MAAC preseason coaches poll after finishing with a 14-18 overall record in 2011-12.
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 Vermont and Marist on the College of Charleston Radio Network.
LIVE VIDEO AVAILABLE
Saturday's game against Vermont will be streamed live online via CatamounTV through a free video link available at: www.nsnsports.net/UVM, while Monday's game at Marist will be streamed live online via a pay-per-view option on the Red Fox Network at: www.goredfoxes.com.
A LITTLE NORTHERN EXPOSURE
The Cougars will play their first-ever game in the state of Vermont in the 103-year history of the program. Other than competing in the Great Alaska Shootout in 1996, the furthest north CofC has ever played in the continental U.S., and particularly on the East Coast, was a road game at Holy Cross (W, 93-84) in 2010 in Worcester, Mass., and a road contest at UMass (L, 40-52) in 1998 in Amherst, Mass. As for the Empire State, the Cougars last played in the state of New York at Fordham (W, 73-68) on Nov. 24, 2007 in Bronx, N.Y.
PROJECTED COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON STARTERS
#22 Anthony Stitt, G, 6-1, 180, So. (10.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.8 apg, 32.8 min)
#4 Andrew Lawrence, G, 6-1, 185, Sr. (12.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.9 apg, 28.8 min)
#3 Anthony Thomas, F, 6-7, 207, Jr. (8.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.5 apg, 29.9 min)
#53 Willis Hall, F, 6-6, 235, RS-Jr. (7.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 0.8 apg, 22.0 min)
#1 Adjehi Baru, F, 6-9, 225, So. (9.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 0.5 apg, 34.2 min)
PROJECTED VERMONT STARTERS
#12 Sandro Carissimo, G, 6-2, 170, Jr. (9.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.8 apg, 29.0 min)
#21 Candon Rusin, G, 6-4, 190, Jr. (7.8 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 0.5 apg, 22.8 min)
#1 Brian Voelkel, F, 6-6, 210, Jr. (6.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 3.9 apg, 30.5 min)
#2 Luke Apfeld, F, 6-7, 215, Jr. (11.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 0.7 apg, 25.6 min)
#32 Ethan O'Day, F, 6-9, 205, Fr. (5.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 0.4 apg, 20.6 min)
PROJECTED MARIST STARTERS
#11 Isaiah Morton, G, 5-8, 170, So. (7.1 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 3.0 apg, 28.8 min)
#0 Devin Price, G, 6-1, 170, Sr. (14.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.5 apg, 35.8 min)
#40 Chavaughn Lewis, F, 6-5, 185, So. (12.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.1 apg, 32.3 min)
#20 Jay Bowie, F, 6-5, 210, Jr. (7.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 0.8 apg, 23.9 min)
#50 Adam Kemp, C, 6-10, 235, Jr. (7.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 0.3 apg, 25.1 min)
The road has been very kind to the Cougars this season. Of their 11 games to date, three have been away from the friendly confines of TD Arena as CofC beat Baylor (+4) on Nov. 24, Charleston Southern (+5) on Nov. 28 and Elon (+2) in its league opener on Dec. 1 for a perfect 3-0 record. On the road, the Cougars are shooting 47.2 percent from the floor, 47.8 percent from beyond the arc and 68.6 percent from the charity stripe - all percentages higher than their overall season averages in all three categories. They are even outrebounding opponents by a +6.3 margin.
CATEGORY OVERALL ROAD
FG% 43.8 47.2
3PT% 37.6 47.8
FT% 63.5 68.6
Rebound Margin +4.6 +6.3
Andrew Goudelock scored 24 points, Willis Hall had 22 and Donavan Monroe added 20 to lead College of Charleston to an 85-70 victory over Vermont on Feb. 19, 2011 at TD Arena. The Cougars won their sixth straight by using a 25-0 first-half run to help snap Vermont's 10-game winning streak. College of Charleston led 14-11 when it scored the next 25 points for a 39-11 advantage, holding the Catamounts scoreless for 6:08. Hall scored 11 points, including seven in a row, during the outburst. The Cougars had 21 assists, only eight turnovers and outscored Vermont 24-9 off turnovers. They also shot 54.8 percent from the floor (34-of-62). Evan Fjeld scored 17 points and had nine rebounds, Joey Accaoui had 16 points and Brendan Bald added 15 points for the Catamounts. Brian Voelkel added 10 rebounds for Vermont.
COUGARS AGAINST THE AMERICA EAST
CofC is an undefeated 7-0 all-time against opponents hailing from the America East Conference including previous meetings with Vermont (1-0), Maryland-Baltimore County (3-0) and Stony Brook (3-0). Prior to their 2011 ESPN BracketBusters matchup with UVM, the Cougars last faced an America East squad in the home-hosted CofC State Farm Classic held at John Kresse Arena on Dec. 29, 2002. There, they claimed a 78-57 victory over UMBC.
COUGARS AGAINST THE MAAC
The Cougars are 4-2 all-time versus opponents from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference including prior contests with Canisius (2-0), Rider (1-1) and Saint Peter's. CofC's last meeting with a MAAC school was a 72-67 victory over Rider in the CofC Classic on Dec. 30, 2005.
• Coach Wojcik has never faced Vermont or Marist in his eight years as a Division I head coach - nor has one his Tulsa or CofC squads played a school from the America East or MAAC.
• In the 2011 ESPN BracketBusters game, three CofC players hit the 20-point mark including a career-high 22 points from redshirt junior Willis Hall, then a sophomore.
• Vermont is one of four opponents on this year's schedule who reached the Big Dance a year ago. CofC is 1-1 against 2012 NCAA Tournament teams this season with a marquee road win at 2012 NCAA Elite Eight participant Baylor (63-59) on Nov. 24 and a loss to NCAA Final Four participant Louisville (80-38) on Dec. 4. The Cougars will face-off against defending Southern Conference Tournament champion Davidson on Jan. 19 in league play.
• Coach Wojcik, who is the all-time winningest coach at the University of Tulsa with 140 career victories, and Marist Head Coach Chuck Martin have Conference USA ties. Prior to Marist, Martin was an assistant coach at Memphis under former head coach John Calipari from 2006-08 and at St. John's under former head coach Norm Roberts from 2004-06.
FALL SIGNEES UPDATE
During the fall signing period, CofC inked two impact players to complete the 2013-14 signing class for first-year head coach Doug Wojcik and his staff. The Cougars signed 6-foot-7, 225-pound power forward Terrance O'Donohue out of Norcross High School in Norcross, Ga., and 6-foot-3, 180-pound point guard Joseph Chealey (pronounced CHEE-lee) out of Apopka High School in Apopka, Fla. O'Donohue is currently sidelined with a minor knee injury and will most likely make his season debut versus Duluth High School on Jan. 4, 2013. Meanwhile, Chealey is averaging 21 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals per game. His team has posted an 11-2 record and are playing this week in the Arrow Force Christmas Tournament at Seminole High School.
COASTAL CAROLINA RECAP
CofC 60, Coastal Carolina 51
• For the seventh time this season, the Cougars went with the starting five of sophomore Anthony Stitt, senior Andrew Lawrence, junior Anthony Thomas, redshirt junior Willis Hall and sophomore forward Adjehi Baru (6-1).
• With the win, CofC now leads 34-12 in the all-time series with Coastal Carolina and has won the last three-straight meetings between the two in-state, coastal schools.
• Anthony Stitt recorded a season-high 22 points just one point shy of his career high. It marked his third 20-point game of his career. He also dished out a season-and game-high seven assists with one turnover.
• The Cougars outrebounded the Chanticleers, 37-28. It marked the ninth time this season out of 11 contests CofC won the rebounding battle.
• Junior Nori Johnson came off the bench and contributed eight points and three rebounds in only 14 minutes of action.
• Junior Trent Wiedeman did not play against Coastal Carolina sidelined with an ankle sprain suffered in the Old Dominion game on Dec. 18.
• The CofC defense held Coastal to its second-fewest first-half points of the season with 19 first-half points and 20.0 percent (2-of-10) shooting from beyond the arc. The Cougars also held leading scorer Anthony Raffa to zero points in the contest. Raffa is currently the Big South Conference's top scoring leader and was ranked among the top 10 NCAA scoring leaders coming into the game averaging 20.9 points per game.
COUGAR SOUND BITES
"That's the thing about (ESPN) BracketBusters, you really don't know who you will play and how that pay back game will go a year or two later. We've been home for a month now. It will be a good road trip for us. We are out of school and it's a good time to travel. We are looking forward to it and so far, we have been a very good road team this year. Vermont has had two very impressive wins at Northeastern and at Harvard. They have six juniors and two seniors. They are an experienced and pattern team. They run a lot of flex and ball screens. We just need to do a really good job of adhering to what we want to do defensively and stick to what our defensive game plan is. It's a good matchup for us. Hopefully, our defensive discipline will match and exceed their offensive discipline." - CofC Head Coach Doug Wojcik on the return trip to Vermont
"I like traveling with our guys. We have been a terrific road team. They have been fun to be around and have been a very relaxed team on the road. Relaxed means confidence to me. There is nothing wrong with seeing another part of the country, because it's part of the student-athlete and college basketball experience. We have a couple of boosters coming on the trip with us to Vermont and we will have a nice drive down to Poughkeepsie on Sunday. Hopefully, the weather cooperates with us." - Coach Wojcik on the Cougars' success on the road this season and traveling to a different part of the country during the holiday break
"There are two entire years that separate both. Vermont has some of the same personnel, but is a very different team than when we played them. You have to take this as a new game. We had two pretty good days of preparation to get ready for this game. We want to continue to be a good road team. It's one of our goals this season. With the right approach, we hope to go up there and handle business." - Redshirt Junior Forward Willis Hall on being one of four players on the team who played against Vermont in 2011 and the difference between the two meetings
"We just have to keep our focus and continue our success on the road. We try to build and get better every time we touch the court and we just had two good days of practice. Vermont is a really good team. They have great personnel and run a flex offense. We don't take anyone lightly. We will look to stick to our game plan, defend them, play our game on offense, and hopefully, come out with the victory. I've never been to that part of the country, especially experiencing nine-degree weather. It was nice to go home for Christmas. As a team, we needed the time home to gather our minds and get ready for the second half of the season." - Sophomore Guard Anthony Stitt on traveling on the road to Vermont and the time off during the holiday break