Championship Monday: Cougars To Battle Davidson On ESPN2
#3 COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON (24-9) vs. #1 DAVIDSON (25-7)
2013 Southern Conference Men’s Basketball Championship Game
March 11, 2013 • 7:00 p.m. (ET)
U.S. Cellular Center (7,674)
at Asheville, N.C.
Radio: College of Charleston Radio Network (ESPN Radio 910 AM)
Series History: Davidson Leads 52-14
Last Meeting: Davidson def. CofC, 75-59, on Feb. 14, 2013 in Charleston, S.C.
Internet: Free Live Statistics at www.SoConSports.com
College of Charleston: Doug Wojcik
First Year at CofC: 24-9 (.727)
Eighth Year Overall: 164-101 (.619)
Davidson: Bob McKillop
24th Year at Davidson: 451-278 (.619)
24th Year Overall: 451-278 (.619)
RADIO (College of Charleston Radio Network)
Play-By-Play: Jeff McCarragher
Color Analyst: Everett German
Play-By-Play: Dave Lamont
Color Analyst: Bob Wenzel
It seems only fitting that the two best teams in the league will vie for the Southern Conference crown on Championship Monday. Top-seeded Davidson (25-7) enters the contest as one of the top scoring offenses (73.7 ppg) in the country and is a program that has danced five times in the last decade and a half under the dean of SoCon head coaches in Bob McKillop. The other, third-seeded College of Charleston (24-9) boasts one of the top scoring defenses (61.3 ppg) in the nation and is looking to make a return to the NCAA Tournament after a 14-year absence since their last appearance in 1999 under legendary head coach John Kresse. Both teams will battle before a national television audience on ESPN2 for the league’s automatic bid on Monday, March 11 at 7 p.m. (ET) at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, N.C. This will be the sixth all-time appearance in the title game for CofC next to 1999, 2000, 2007, 2009 and 2011. First-year head coach Doug Wojcik was appointed as the Cougars’ new head coach last April and has continued to build on the basketball legacies left behind by Kresse and former head coach Bobby Cremins. A defensive mastermind, his CofC squad has held opponents this season to a 40 percent accuracy from the floor and 29.7 percent accuracy from beyond the arc – both marks that are tops in the league and rank among the top 60 in the NCAA rankings. Three seniors, Andrew Lawrence, Matt Sundberg and Bart Benton, also wish to leave their mark on the program in the last SoCon hurrah as CofC moves to the Colonial Athletic Association on July 1.
DAVIDSON AT GLANCE
The Wildcats are on a roll having won their last 16 consecutive games which is currently the longest winning streak in the nation. Davidson is led by SoCon Player of the Year Jake Cohen who is averaging a team-best 14.9 points and 1.6 blocks per game. The Wildcats advanced to the title game with a close 65-62 (+3) decision over fourth-seeded Appalachian State in the semifinals on March 10. It was one of only three contests in their current winning stretch decided by six points or less next to regular-season road wins at Western Carolina (+5) on Jan. 24 and at Elon (+6) on Feb. 27. Davidson has not lost a game in nearly two months since a 70-57 upset by Georgia Southern on Feb. 14 – its lone league loss of the season (17-1).
COUGARS IN SOCON TOURNAMENT PLAY
The Cougars are 21-13 all-time in Southern Conference Tournament play. CofC is 1-4 in the finals and last faced Davidson (L, 65-72) in the championship game in the 2007 Tournament held at the North Charleston Coliseum in North Charleston, S.C. The Cougars have gone 1-2 versus the Wildcats in postseason tournament competition defeating the then-No. 1 South seed Davidson in the semifinals (59-52) as the No. 3 South seed playing four games in four days in the 2009 Tournament held in Chattanooga, Tenn.
ON THE DEUCE
College of Charleston will make its 12th all-time appearance on ESPN2 since the 2005-06 season. Play-by-play announcer Dave Lamont and color analyst Bob Wenzel will handle the call live from the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, N.C. CofC is 0-2 this season in games played on ESPNU (St. John’s and Louisville) and last defeated Tennessee out of the SEC on national television on the deuce (71-65) on Dec. 15, 2011 at TD Arena.
COUGARS ON THE AIRWAVES
Fans can listen to all CofC men’s basketball games throughout the 2012-13 postseason 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 U.S. Cellular Center on the College of Charleston Radio Network.
PROJECTED COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON STARTERS
#22 Anthony Stitt, G, 6-1, 180, So. (10.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.3 apg, 32.8 min)
#4 Andrew Lawrence, G, 6-1, 185, Sr. (13.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.7 apg, 32.2 min)
#3 Anthony Thomas, F, 6-7, 207, Jr. (8.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.6 apg, 29.0 min)
#53 Willis Hall, F, 6-6, 235, RS-Jr. (7.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 0.8 apg, 24.6 min)
#1 Adjehi Baru, F, 6-9, 225, So. (9.6 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 0.6 apg, 30.7 min)
PROJECTED DAVIDSON STARTERS
#12 Nik Cochran, G, 6-3, 188, Sr. (9.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.3 apg, 30.7 min)
#5 JP Kuhlman, G, 6-4, 195, Sr. (7.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.7 apg, 29.6 min)
#35 Chris Czerapowicz, G, 6-7, 200, Jr. (9.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 0.5 apg, 25.3 min)
#24 De’Mon Brooks, F, 6-7, 227, Jr. (13.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 0.7 apg, 26.5 min)
#15 Jake Cohen, F, 6-10, 235, Sr. (14.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 25.7 min)
Davidson leads 52-14 in the all-time series with College of Charleston. The Wildcats have won four of the last five meetings between the two South Division rivals in which two of the last three have been decided by nine points or less. Davidson claimed the regular-season series sweep this year. CofC last defeated the Wildcats, 86-78, on its home court on Feb. 11, 2012 at TD Arena in Charleston, S.C.
LAST EIGHT GAMES IN THE SERIES
L, 59-75 in Charleston, S.C. on 2/14/13 (-16)
L, 68-77 in Davidson, N.C. on 1/19/13 (-9)
W, 86-78 in Charleston, S.C. on 2/11/12 (+8)
L, 69-87 in Davidson, N.C. on 1/19/12 (-18)
L, 64-75 in Davidson, N.C. on 1/29/11 (-11)
W, 82-73 in Charleston, S.C. on 12/2/10 (+9)
L, 71-86 in Davidson, N.C. on 1/28/10 (-15)
W, 67-55 in Charleston, S.C. on 12/5/09 (+12)
In its inaugural season in the SoCon, College of Charleston won its first and only tournament title in 1999 with a 77-57 victory over Appalachian State to make its fourth all-time appearance in the Big Dance. The Cougars enjoyed one of the most successful seasons in school history with a 28-3 overall record and a 19-0 mark in league play (16-0), including the tournament (3-0). CofC became the first team in the history of the SoCon to go 19-0 against league competition and finished the year ranked No. 16 nationally in the final Associated Press Top 25 Poll.
GOING FOR WIN NO. 25
The Cougars are one win away from turning in their 16th all-time 25-win campaign in school history since 1972. CofC last compiled a 26-11 record advancing all the way to the NIT quarterfinals in 2010-11 under former head coach Bobby Cremins.
COFC IN THE LAST THREE GAMES
Over the last three games, the Cougars have started off slow in the first half, but exploded offensively in the second half of play. CofC scored 51 second-half points at Furman in its regular-season finale on March 2 – its highest offensive output in a single half this year with contributions from its bench. In fact, the Cougars are 10-0 this season when scoring 40-or-more points in the second half including non-conference wins over Boston College in the ESPN Charleston Classic on Nov. 18, Old Dominion on Dec. 18 and at Marist on Dec. 31.
SECOND-HALF OUTPUT FINAL SCORE
51 points at Furman 74 (seventh-highest scoring mark of season)
47 points vs. Western Carolina 78 (fifth-highest scoring mark of season)
43 points vs. Elon 68
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF CHARITY
With a season average of 65.9 percent from the free throw line entering the SoCon Tournament, the Cougars have taken advantage of charity in postseason play shooting an impressive 82.8 percent combined against Western Carolina in the quarterfinals and Elon in the semifinals. CofC has made every shot count going 48-of-58 in its last two games. The Cougars’ best free-throw performance this season was on the road at Big South Conference Tournament runner-up and intercity rival Charleston Southern (86.7%) on Nov. 28.
LAST TWO GAMES FROM THE FREE THROW LINE
vs. Western Carolina 29-of-35 (82.9%)
vs. Elon 19-of-23 (82.6%)
HIGH-SCORING = WINNING
The Cougars scored 78 points in their quarterfinal game against Western Carolina on March 9 and 68 points in their semifinal game versus Elon on March 10. They are 22-1 when scoring 60-or-more points in a ballgame this season with the lone loss – a 77-68 setback at Davidson on Jan. 19 in Davidson, N.C.
MEN IN BLACK
Black jerseys have been a hit this season, especially on the road, where CofC compiled the second-most road victories in the country with an 11-2 mark. Call it somewhat of a Linus blanket, but the #RoadWarriors are 6-1 this year when donning black ever since a 79-50 road victory at Wofford on Jan. 26. The Cougars first unveiled their new Nike alternate jerseys versus St. John’s in the opening round of the ESPN Charleston Classic (L, 53-64) on Nov. 15.
O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!
Senior point guard and team captain Andrew Lawrence (London, England) earned his first career nod on the All-Southern Conference Team on March 5. He continues to climb the CofC all-time career lists in scoring, assists and three-point field goals made. Lawrence has totaled 1,186 career points to date which ranks 24th-best in program history. He also ranks seventh all-time in career three-pointers made (205) and 10th all-time in career assists (387). The two-time Bob Cousy Award candidate and 2012 London Olympian turned in his second-straight 100+ assist season (116) and has scored in double figures in 12 of the team’s last 13 contests including 19 versus Elon in the semifinals.
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) – 205
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. Andrew Lawrence (2009-Present) – 387
COFC ALL-TIME CAREER SCORING
1. Andrew Goudelock (2007-11) – 2,571
2. Ken Gustafson (1971-75) – 2,135
3. Greg Mack (1981-85) – 1,901
4. Sam Meade (1970-74) – 1,812
5. Thaddeous Delaney (1994-97) – 1,564
6. Dontaye Draper (2003-07) – 1,541
7. Jeff Bolton (1999-02) – 1,527
8. Marion Busby (1992-95) – 1,504
9. Tony White, Jr. (2007-10) – 1,499
10. Steven Johnson (1984-88) – 1,456
11. Ron Theis (1972-76) – 1,414
12. Donavan Monroe (2007-11) – 1,382
13. Ahdonus Cofer (1988-92) – 1,330
14. Pat Harrington (1977-81) – 1,307
15. Antwaine Wiggins (2007-12) – 1,306
16. Tony Mitchell (2001-05) – 1,280
17. Jermaine Johnson (2006-09) – 1,276
18. Jody Lumpkin (1998-01) – 1,269
19. Sedric Webber (1996-99) – 1,267
20. Stacy Harris (1994-97) – 1,257
21. John Drafts (1974-78) – 1,241
22. Thomas Mobley (2000-04) – 1,218
23. Mike Beckett (1988-92) – 1,204
24. Andrew Lawrence (2009-Present) – 1,186
25. Jermel President (1996-99) – 1,175
• Coach Wojcik is 0-2 lifetime against Davidson in his eight years as a Division I head coach. This will mark the third time he has taken a team to the championship game of a postseason conference tournament. Wojcik, who previously was the head coach at the University of Tulsa from 2005-12, led the Golden Hurricane to two Conference USA championship games in 2008 and 2009 (lost both to Memphis). He is now 11-7 all-time in league postseason tournament games going 9-7 in the C-USA and 2-0 in the SoCon.
• CofC’s Andrew Lawrence (London, England) and Davidson’s Ali Mackay (North Berwick, Scotland) were both teammates on the Under-20 Great Britain National Team in the summer of 2010. Lawrence, a senior, was a member of the Great Britain Olympic Team in 2012, while Mackay, a sophomore, last played internationally in the U-20 European Championships in 2011.
• Redshirt junior forward Willis Hall is one of three Queen City natives on the 2012-13 CofC roster next to sophomore guard Anthony Stitt and redshirt sophomore center David Wishon. Hall attended Charlotte Christian School and broke former Davidson All-American’s Stephen Curry’s career scoring record (1,440) with 1,545 points, while Stitt was rated the No. 46 point guard in the Class of 2011 by ESPN College Basketball Recruiting and the No. 1 point guard in the state of North Carolina out of David W. Butler High School. Wishon is redshirting this year after transferring from the University of Tulsa. He previously attended prep school at Fork Union Academy and played one season of basketball at First Assembly (N.C.) High School after three years at Concord (N.C.) High School.
CofC 68, Elon 60
• For the 27th time this season, CofC went with the starting five of sophomore Anthony Stitt, senior Andrew Lawrence, junior Anthony Thomas, redshirt junior Willis Hall and sophomore forward Adjehi Baru (22-5).
• With the win, the Cougars are now 2-1 all-time versus Elon in Southern Conference Tournament games and 13-5 in the all-time series having now won six of the last seven meetings between the two schools.
• Willis Hall registered his fifth career double-double, third of the season, with 16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds against Elon. He has grabbed double-digit boards on eight occasions this year including in two of the last three games.
• Andrew Lawrence turned in a team-high 19 points including a 7-of-9 performance from the free throw line against Elon. He currently has tabulated 1,186 career points to date which moved him into the top 25 all-time in career scoring in the CofC record books. He surpassed former greats in Jermel President (1,175) and Wes Champion (1,171) and now ranks 24th-best in program history.
• Anthony Thomas scored in double figures for the second consecutive contest with 10 points against Elon next to a career-high 18 versus Western Carolina in the quarterfinals on March 9.
COUGAR SOUND BITES
“The two best teams in the league are in the finals. I’ve been in Charleston 10 months now and I know we value that relationship and that rivalry. Give App State credit. They played a pretty darn good game for a long period of time. Davidson is a very good team and the defending (SoCon) champs. They have experience and are very similar to Elon. We will try to get our rest and get ready to go (Monday night).” – CofC Head Coach Doug Wojcik on the rivalry with Davidson and playing the program’s last game as a member of the Southern Conference
“I don’t agree with us needing to play a perfect game. We just have to go out and play hard. We have to stick to our principles and play how we have been playing. It will be a tough, physical game, but it’s something we look forward to. We like that challenge. It’s big time for us to play in the final game. I’m really proud of everyone and their contributions of helping us get this far. It’s also great for me, being a senior, to have an opportunity to go out on top. We hope to get it done tomorrow.” – Senior Point Guard Andrew Lawrence on playing Davidson in the finals
“It’s a big-time opportunity for us. Davidson is another great team. We are looking forward to it. It’s the championship. We have been working all year for this. It’s a big day – the biggest day of the year. We will come out ready to give it our all. Of course, it’s sentimental (being the last SoCon game), but it’s still a game, still 40 minutes and still a 10-foot rim. We are going to handle it the same way we handle a game every day. We will come out and defend and give it all we have. It’s the same grind day-in and day-out. Hopefully, we can take care of business (on Monday night).” – Redshirt Junior Forward Willis Hall on playing in the championship game
“Obviously, there is no such thing as a ‘perfect game.’ We are going to have to be disciplined and stay focused. Davidson is like Elon. They are one of those teams, where you may be up by four and that’s it. You are not going to go up 10, 15 or 20 on them. They are going to keep fighting and keep coming at you. That is something we will have to be prepared for mentally and physically.” – Hall on how to defend Davidson, who is currently on a 16-game win streak and only lost one regular-season SoCon game