Three-Game SoCon Homestand Begins With Furman
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON (9-4, 1-0 SoCon) vs. FURMAN (3-9, 0-1 SoCon)
January 5, 2013 • 5:00 p.m. (ET)
TD Arena/John Kresse Court (5,100)
at Charleston, S.C.
Television: MyTV Charleston/ESPN3
Radio: College of Charleston Radio Network (ESPN Radio 910 AM)
Series History: Furman Leads 41-38
Last Meeting: Furman def. CofC, 69-63, on Jan. 26, 2012 in Charleston, S.C.
Internet: Free Live Statistics at www.CofCSports.com
College of Charleston: Doug Wojcik
First Year at CofC: 9-4 (.692)
Eighth Year Overall: 149-96 (.608)
Furman: Jeff Jackson
Seventh Year at Furman: 81-116 (.411)
10th Year Overall: 102-176 (.367)
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
Riding its second four-game win streak of the season, the College of Charleston men's basketball team (9-4, 1-0 SoCon) returns home for a three-game Southern Conference homestand beginning with South Division foe Furman (3-9, 0-1 SoCon) on Saturday, Jan. 5 at TD Arena. Game time between the Cougars and Paladins is set for 5 p.m. (ET) and the contest will be televised live locally on MyTV Charleston and carried nationally on ESPN3/WatchESPN.com. CofC has won eight of its last 10 games including two recent road victories at 2012 NCAA Tournament participant Vermont (62-50) on Dec. 29 and Marist (85-75) on Dec. 31. The Cougars have benefited from their two-headed, monster guard duo of senior Andrew Lawrence (43 points) and sophomore Anthony Stitt (38 points), who have combined for 55 percent of the team's overall scoring in their last two wins. They hope to translate this year's road success into the second part of the season, home and away, where it is now 'go' time from here-on-out as each conference team looks to position themselves well in the regular season for the postseason tournament in March in Asheville, N.C.
THE BOOK ON FURMAN
Furman is searching for its first league win after an initial setback to Western Carolina (65-79) in both team's conference opener back on Nov. 28. The Paladins went 1-5 in the month of December with a home victory over Presbyterian (81-57) on Dec. 9. They are currently on a tough, five-game road swing with previous stops at Auburn (SEC), Wake Forest (ACC) and SMU (C-USA) during the holiday break. Furman was picked to finish fifth in the South Division in the preseason coaches poll and return three starters including the team's leading scorer and rebounder, Colin Reddick, who is averaging 10.7 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.
WATCH MYTV CHARLESTON
Local affiliate MyTV Charleston can be viewed locally over the air on Channel 36.1, on Channel 36 for DirecTV, Dish Network and AT&T U-verse subscribers as well as Channel 13 for Comcast, Knology and Time Warner cable subscribers in the Charleston, South Carolina, television market. MyTV Charleston also reaches as far as the Orangeburg, Walterboro and Georgetown areas.
ESPN3 is ESPN's live multi-screen sports network, a 24/7 destination that delivers thousands of global sports events annually and accessible online via WatchESPN.com. It is currently available to approximately 70 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks. It is also accessible through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold level members and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app through an affiliated provider.
PROJECTED COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON STARTERS
#22 Anthony Stitt, G, 6-1, 180, So. (11.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.7 apg, 32.8 min)
#4 Andrew Lawrence, G, 6-1, 185, Sr. (14.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 4.0 apg, 29.9 min)
#3 Anthony Thomas, F, 6-7, 207, Jr. (7.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.5 apg, 29.5 min)
#53 Willis Hall, F, 6-6, 235, RS-Jr. (7.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 0.8 apg, 23.7 min)
#1 Adjehi Baru, F, 6-9, 225, So. (9.4 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 0.6 apg, 33.6 min)
PROJECTED FURMAN STARTERS
#14 Stephen Croone, G, 6-1, 170, Fr. (8.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 4.2 apg, 28.3 min)
#22 Bobby Austin, G, 6-3, 200, Sr. (5.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.5 apg, 27.7 min)
#15 Bryant Irwin, F, 6-7, 220, Sr. (8.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.4 apg, 23.8 min)
#30 Kendrec Ferrara, F, 6-9, 225, Fr. (6.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 0.5 apg, 22.6 min)
#43 Colin Reddick, F, 6-9, 240, Sr. (10.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.8 apg, 26.4 min)
Furman holds a three-game advantage in the all-time series with College of Charleston, 41-38. However, the Cougars have closed in on the series with a 25-4 mark against the Paladins since joining the Southern Conference in 1999. Last season, Furman ended a nine-game, four-year losing skid in the series with a 69-63 victory on CofC's home court on Jan. 26, 2012 in Charleston, S.C.
LAST 10 GAMES IN THE SERIES
L, 63-69 at Charleston, S.C. on 1/26/12 (-6)
W, 66-43 at Greenville, S.C. on 1/7/12 (+23)
W, 63-58 at *Chattanooga, Tenn. on 3/6/11 (+5)
W, 73-54 at Charleston, S.C. on 2/5/11 (+19)
W, 76-72 at Greenville, S.C. on 1/6/11 (+4)
W, 69-66 at Greenville, S.C. on 2/27/10 (+3)
W, 92-80 at Charleston, S.C. on 1/21/10 (+12)
W, 69-58 at Charleston, S.C. on 2/28/09 (+11)
W, 78-71 at Greenville, S.C. on 1/17/09 (+7)
W, 77-59 at Charleston, S.C. on 3/1/08 (+18)
LAWRENCE EARNS SOCON PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
Andrew Lawrence was tabbed Southern Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for all games played Dec. 18 through Jan. 1, as announced by the league office on Jan. 2. It marked his first career weekly honor as he led the Cougars to a 4-0 record over the holiday break with wins over Old Dominion (76-65) on Dec. 18, Coastal Carolina (60-51) on Dec. 22, Vermont and Marist. Lawrence led the team in scoring with two 20-point outings in back-to-back road games at Vermont (21 points) and at Marist (season-high tying 22 points). He averaged a team-leading 16.8 points and 2.5 steals per game, while controlling the ball well with a team-best 2.25 assist-to-turnover ratio (18-8). Lawrence currently ranks 12th in the SoCon in scoring (14.0 ppg), third in assists (4.0 apg), third in steals (1.6 spg) and seventh in made three-pointers per game (2.0 avg).
First-year CofC Head Coach Doug Wojcik is one win away from his 150th career victory. Wojcik celebrated his 100th career win in a 60-52 home victory against Southern Miss in Conference USA play as the head coach at the University of Tulsa on Feb. 20, 2010 in Tulsa, Okla. He became only the sixth Tulsa coach to accomplish that feat, and the third fastest behind Nolan Richardson and Ken Hayes.
FINE TUNING THE INTANGIBLES
In their last two outings, the Cougars minimized their turnovers to just 10 per game, including a season-low eight at Vermont on Dec. 29, and saw the results of taking care of the basketball on the offensive end of the floor - a season-high 85-point scoring output at Marist on Dec. 31. CofC is 6-1 this season when making 15-or-less errors in a ballgame. The Cougars have also been taking advantage of charity shooting an improved 68.7 percent from the free throw line in comparison to their season average of 64.0 percent.
"The big factor for us right now is that we are taking care of the basketball. On the Vermont-Marist swing, we only had 10 turnovers per game and you can really live with those numbers. Obviously, Anthony Stitt's shot selection has been terrific. He has raised his overall field-goal percentage from 37 percent to 46 percent, playing the most minutes on the team (32.8) and taking the most shots (52-of-112). Our free throw shooting has really increased over the last four games, while taking care of the ball and shooting the ball pretty well. Those factors right there have really allowed us to be where we are at." - CofC Head Coach Doug Wojcik
CATEGORY OVERALL LAST FOUR GAMES
Points 62.4 70.8
FG% 44.8 48.5
3PT% 39.2 40.5
FT% 64.0 68.7
Assists 10.9 13.0
Turnovers 16.0 12.3
Steals 3.9 5.5
• Coach Wojcik has never faced Furman in his eight years as a Division I head coach. Prior to taking over the helm of the CofC program, Wojcik had only faced a team from the Southern Conference once - a close 89-86 setback in Tulsa's home opener to Appalachian State (0-1) in 2010-11. He is currently 1-0 in league play with a 56-54 win at Elon in the team's SoCon opener on Dec. 1.
• Wojcik knows two members of the Furman coaching staff well in head coach Jeff Jackson and first-year assistant coach Shammond Williams. Jackson used to be an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Stanford under former head coach Mike Montgomery from 1994-97 and when Wojcik was an assistant coach at his alma mater, Navy, the Midshipmen played at New Hampshire - Jackson's first head coaching gig prior to Furman.
• Meanwhile, Wojcik and Williams share North Carolina ties as Wojcik served an assistant coach in Chapel Hill from 2000-03 and met the former NBA veteran and Tar Heel guard on several occasions. Navy even played No. 1-ranked UNC, with the all-star cast of Williams, Vince Carter, Rasheed Wallace and Antawn Jamison, in the NCAA Tournament in Hartford in 1998.
• CofC junior combination guard/forward Nori Johnson is a Fork Union Military Academy alum (2009-10) as is Furman assistant coach Shammond Williams (1993-94). Both played for legendary head coach Fletcher Arritt. Johnson is currently coming off the bench and contributing 5.4 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.
"Shammond was one of my role models growing up when he played at Fork Union and then started at UNC. He is someone I talk to all of the time. I'm excited to play against him on Saturday." - Nori Johnson
• Anthony Stitt, then a freshman, made his first career start in a 66-43 road win at Furman on Jan. 7, 2012. He scored 14 points in his debut in the starting lineup versus the Paladins.
CofC 85, Marist 75
• For the ninth time this year, the Cougars went with the starting lineup of sophomore Anthony Stitt, senior Andrew Lawrence, junior Anthony Thomas, redshirt junior Willis Hall and sophomore forward Adjehi Baru (8-1).
• With the win, CofC leads 1-0 in the all-time series with Marist. It was the Cougars' first game in the state of New York since 2007. They have now won their last three-straight contests in the Empire State.
• The Cougars extended their road win streak (5-0) to five consecutive games which is tied as the most road wins in the nation with Bucknell (5-2). Of the 21 schools in the country who remain unbeaten this season on the road, CofC has the most victories among those road teams.
• For the second-straight contest, Andrew Lawrence led the team in scoring with 22 points to mark his fifth career 20-point game. He had 17 first-half points and now has tabulated 927 career points to date.
• Willis Hall made a career-high three blocked shots against Marist. He also led the Cougars for the fifth time this season in the rebounding column. Hall recorded his fourth career double-double with 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
• Anthony Stitt turned in 19 points to extend his double-digit scoring streak to three games in a row.
• CofC shot 51.8 percent (29-of-56) from the floor which marked the third time this season in which the Cougars shot better than 50 percent from the field next to wins over Towson (56.3%) on Nov. 9 and Old Dominion (53.1%) on Dec. 18.
• The Cougars have now minimized their turnovers in back-to-back games with a season-low eight at Vermont on Dec. 29 and 12 at Marist, which is tied as the second-fewest of the season next to 12 versus Boston College on Nov. 18.
• CofC outrebounded its 10th opponent of the season, 40-26 (+14). It was the second-largest rebound margin of the season next to the Auburn game (+16) on Nov. 16.
COUGAR SOUND BITES
"I reminded the kids that they beat us at home last year, 69-63. Furman has a two-game edge in the series, even though it's a long-time series. We can't win a championship, if we don't take care of our business, particularly at home. I think our approach has been terrific over the holiday break. It really worked out well for us, but the road trip did take some things out of us. Since we've been back, we've gotten some much-needed rest and have been practicing really well in preparation for Saturday's game." - CofC Head Coach Doug Wojcik on returning to conference play this weekend against Furman coming off a successful 2-0 road trip to Vermont and Marist
"You really can't prepare a team and your staff any more than what the ESPN Charleston Classic does for you and what we just did up in Vermont and Marist. Even though that was a Saturday-Monday swing, it's no different than a Thursday-Saturday swing like we will see in the conference. It will be good for us to get back into a routine with school starting back up next week. We will have one weekend here and one weekend away from here-on-out. The next two weeks are pretty big for us. We have three at home and then three on the road at The Citadel, at Georgia Southern and at Davidson. We have a lot going on in the next 14 days." - Coach Wojcik on the conference schedule and quick turnaround between games from now until March
"Turnovers have been a big part of our weakness this season. We continue to cut back on our mistakes which have allowed us to have more opportunities on offense. That has really helped us, as we move forward into conference play. If we can keep limiting our turnovers, we will get in a groove offensively and our defense will stay solid. As for conference play, you can't really sleep on anyone. At any given moment, any team can play harder than you. We know Furman is a good team. They beat us last year at home. We have to make sure we play our game and try to make them play our style of game on Saturday." - Sophomore guard Anthony Stitt on the team limiting their turnovers over the last four games and starting back conference play against Furman
"Furman has a freshman point guard, a couple of seniors and really good big men inside. Despite their current record, they are not going to lay down and fold to anyone. They will come out and play hard and we have to be prepared to defend them on Saturday." - Junior guard/forward Nori Johnson on scouting Furman