Cougars Host Howard In Final Non-Conference Tune-Up
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON (7-7, 0-0 CAA) vs. HOWARD (3-13, 1-1 MEAC)
January 4, 2014 • 4:00 p.m. (ET)
TD Arena/John Kresse Court (5,100)
at Charleston, S.C.
Television: MyTV Charleston
Radio: College of Charleston Radio Network (ESPN Radio 910 AM)
Series History: CofC Leads 1-0
Last Meeting: CofC def. Howard, 77-73, on Dec. 30, 2002 at State Farm Classic in Charleston, S.C.
Internet: Free Live Statistics at www.CofCSports.com
Free Live Video: www.ustream.tv/channel/charleston-sports-network---cofcsports-com
College of Charleston: Doug Wojcik
Second Year at CofC: 31-18 (.633)
Ninth Year Overall: 171-110 (.609)
Howard: Kevin Nickelberry
Fourth Year at Howard: 25-79 (.240)
Seventh Year Overall: 75-126 (.373)
RADIO (College of Charleston Radio Network)
Play-By-Play: Everett German
Color Analyst: Danny Johnson
TELEVISION (MyTV Charleston)
Play-By-Play: Jeff McCarragher
Color Analysts: Nate Ross and John Kresse
The College of Charleston men’s basketball team (7-7) plays host to Howard (3-13) in its final non-conference tune-up on Saturday, Jan. 4 at 4 p.m. (ET) at TD Arena. The game will be televised live locally on MyTV Charleston. The Cougars are looking to make it a 3-0 week after claiming a pair of road victories at former Southern Conference rivals The Citadel (72-48) on Dec. 29 and Davidson (76-64) on Jan. 1. The squad is playing some of its best basketball of the year shooting a season-best 60.5 percent from the field at Davidson on New Year’s Day. They also outrebounded the Bulldogs and Wildcats by an average of 12.0 boards per contest and outscored them by an average margin of 18.0 points combined. Defensively, CofC held both teams to one of its lowest-scoring outputs of the season – a stat category the Cougars have consistently ranked in the top 30 nationally and tops in the Colonial Athletic Association this year holding opponents to 62.9 points per game. Graduate senior Willis Hall (Charlotte, N.C.) reeled off a monster game at Davidson with career-highs in points (26) and rebounds (21), while junior floor general Anthony Stitt (Charlotte, N.C.) has led the team to a 1.38 assist-to-turnover ratio (29-21) in the last two outings including a personal-best nine assists versus the Wildcats. Hall became the first known CofC player to record a 20/20 double-double performance in the Division I era of the program (1991-Present). Meanwhile, Howard is fresh off of coast-to-coast travel having last played at Southern Cal (L, 82-60), prior to the New Year on Dec. 29 in Los Angeles.
THE SKINNY ON THE BISON
Howard is looking to end a two-game losing stretch. The Bison last defeated Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) foe Delaware State in a 64-62 overtime thriller won on a last-second layup by freshman guard/forward James Miller on Dec. 15 at the Big Apple Classic held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. CofC will be the program’s second CAA opponent of the season having lost in overtime (84-79) at home to William & Mary on Nov. 30. Howard has one of the youngest teams in the country with nine freshmen on the roster including leading scorer, James Daniel, who is averaging 19.8 points per game which ranks among the top 40 nationally among NCAA Division I scoring leaders. The former Virginia Tri-State Player of the Year also ranks in the top 20 in three-point field goals made per game (3.33 avg.) and missed the USC game with a toe injury.
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.
College of Charleston leads 1-0 in the all-time series with Howard. Both teams last met in the championship game of the State Farm Good Neighbor Classic on Dec. 30, 2002 held at the old John Kresse Arena. Former CofC standouts Thomas Mobley and Troy Wheless scored 18 and 16 points respectively to lead the Cougars to a 77-73 win over the Bison. It marked CofC’s fifth consecutive State Farm Classic title. Howard took a 58-57 lead with 6:38 remaining on a layup by Quadir Habeeb, however, the Cougars answered with a 10-3 run and hit their last eight free throws over the final 43 seconds to secure the win. Wheless and Mobley were named to the all-tournament team along with MVP Mike Benton, who registered 15 points, four rebounds and three blocked shots against the Bison. CofC beat Maryland-Baltimore County, while Howard downed Oral Roberts for a spot in the title game.
PROJECTED COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON STARTERS
#22 Anthony Stitt, G, 6-1, 180, Jr. (9.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.9 apg, 34.1 min)
#24 Canyon Barry, G, 6-6, 195, RS-Fr. (9.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.4 apg, 24.7 min)
#3 Anthony Thomas, SF, 6-7, 207, Sr. (7.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 0.5 apg, 23.3 min)
#53 Willis Hall, F, 6-6, 235, Sr. (11.5 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.0 apg, 32.0 min)
#1 Adjehi Baru, F, 6-9, 225, Jr. (9.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.0 apg, 29.0 min)
PROJECTED HOWARD STARTERS
#10 Keon Hill, G, 5-9, 170, Fr. (3.8 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 2.1 apg, 16.8 min)
#2 Kofi Andoh, G, 6-4, 185, Fr. (2.3 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 0.6 apg, 13.9 min)
#3 Prince Okoroh, F, 6-5, 220, Jr. (15.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.5 apg, 33.0 min)
#20 Solomon Mangham, F, 6-7, 210, Fr. (7.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 0.0 apg, 27.1 min)
#5 Marcel Boyd, C, 6-10, 230, Fr. (5.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 0.6 apg, 18.8 min)
CONFERENCE PLAY ON THE HORIZON
The Cougars will commence their inaugural season in the CAA with their home opener against James Madison on Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. (ET) at TD Arena. Prior to joining the league on July 1, 2013, CofC compiled a 33-12 (.733) overall record against the Colonial and their current and past members.
COUGARS AGAINST THE MEAC
CofC is 17-13 (.567) all-time against schools hailing from the MEAC including Coppin State (1-3) which it last faced in 1992, Hampton (1-0) in 1999, Howard (1-0) in 2002, Maryland Eastern Shore (1-1) in 1990, Morgan State (2-0) in 1992, North Carolina A&T (1-1) in 1993 and South Carolina State (10-8) in 2010.
Willis Hall, who graduated in May of 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, is having a phenomenal senior season. He is currently on a career-best five-game double-digit scoring streak where he is averaging a double-double with 18.2 points and 12.2 rebounds in that span of contests. On top of his graduate school coursework in communication, Hall has averaged a team-best 1.4 steals per contest against Marist, Old Dominion, Kent State, The Citadel and Davidson combined. He is also shooting 59.3 percent (32-of-54) from the floor, 41.2 percent (7-of-17) from beyond the arc and 80.0 percent (20-for-25) from the charity stripe. Hall, who broke NBA star Stephen Curry’s career scoring record (1,440) at Charlotte Christian School with 1,545, has tabulated 919 career points and 679 career rebounds to date. He has the chance to become only the ninth all-time player in school history (fourth in Division I history) to record 1,000 points and grab more than 700 rebounds in a career next to Ken Gustafson, Thaddeous Delaney, John Drafts, Jermaine Johnson, Sam Meade, Greg Mack, Jody Lumpkin and Antwaine Wiggins.
• CofC Head Coach Doug Wojcik is 1-1 lifetime versus schools hailing from the MEAC in his nine years as a Division I head coach. While at the University of Tulsa from 2005-12, the Golden Hurricane lost to Hampton (0-1) in the 2007-08 season opener at the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic hosted by Maryland in College Park, Md., and beat North Carolina Central (1-0) in non-conference play the following year in 2008-09.
• CofC sophomore combination guard/forward Theo Johnson’s father, Anthony Moore, attended Howard University from 1981-85 and earned a bachelor’s degree in business management. He also played basketball for the Bison and was a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
• The Cougars are 6-1 this season when holding opponents to fewer than 65 points in a ballgame. They went 3-0 against former SoCon rivals Furman (55 points), The Citadel (48 points) and Davidson (64 points). Old Dominion, a former member of the CAA, was held to an opponent season-low 44 points on Dec. 18.
CofC 76, Davidson 64
• For the second time this season and second-straight game, the Cougars used the starting lineup of Anthony Stitt, Canyon Barry, Anthony Thomas, Willis Hall and Adjehi Baru (2-0).
• With the win, College of Charleston claimed only its fourth-ever victory in the all-time series on the road at Davidson and first since 2009.
• The Cougars have now compiled an impressive 14-3 record over the last two years in road games. The win also avenged three-straight losses to Davidson, including a 74-55 setback to the Wildcats in last year’s Southern Conference championship game.
• Willis Hall turned in his second-straight double-double outing with a game-and career-high 26 points and career-high 21 rebounds. It marked his eighth double-double of his career and fourth of the season. Hall is the first known CofC player in the program’s NCAA Division I history to record a 20/20 performance. He becomes the first player since Thaddeous Delaney (1994-97) recorded 21 rebounds in a game against Charleston Southern on Dec. 9, 1995. It is tied as the seventh-most rebounds in a single game in program history.
• Anthony Thomas made a season-high and career-high tying three blocked shots against the Wildcats. He also turned in 11 points and six rebounds in the winning cause.
• CofC shot a season-best 60.5 percent from the floor (26-of-43) at Davidson. The Cougars previously shot 56.9 percent against Furman on Nov. 23. It was also the team’s second-highest scoring output of the season (76 points).
• Anthony Stitt continues to have a great floor game dishing out a career-high nine assists with just two turnovers against the Wildcats.
• David Wishon registered a career-and season-best tying eight points in 17 minutes of play off the bench.
• The CofC defense held Davidson to one of its lowest-scoring games of the season (64). The Wildcats entered the game averaging 75.4 points per contest.
COUGAR SOUND BITES
“We are really fortunate with the ESPN Tournament we play in every year that we get 15 non-conference games. It gives us great opportunities to play a lot of guys and get ready for the real season which is conference play. We have a Howard team coming to town on Saturday that has played 13 games on the road which is tough. They are very athletic and have a 6-foot-6, 220 pound small forward (Prince Okoroh) who scores a lot that we will have to defend. It feels good to win two on the road. We have now won on the road and spent New Year’s Eve together two years in a row (beat Vermont and Marist in 2012-13) and played really well post-Christmas. We hope to keep that going and have a nice surge going into Tuesday’s CAA opener against James Madison.” – CofC Head Coach Doug Wojcik on the team’s final non-conference tune-up game against Howard, before conference play next week
“The defense has been steadily improving all year. The fact that we have held teams in the low 60s when the rules have been changed with fouls and every team is scoring up – that’s a real credit to our guys. We have done it with a lot of different guys and we are starting to get some depth there. When you look at our scoring, you can point to a lot of things, but you have to point to (senior reserve) Nori Johnson. He gets all of the credit for making shots and loosening things up for us. We threw it into the post against Davidson and Adjehi (Baru) throws it back out to Nori for a three which was a big play for us in our last game. Anthony Stitt has really had command for the game with 16 assists over the last two contests. The guy who is getting a lot of credit right now is Willis Hall, but he has been a benefactor of both of those guys playing well.” – Coach Wojcik on the team’s improvement offensively and defensively