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Cougars Head To SoCon Tournament Looking To Make Title Run

Courtesy: CofCSports.com
          Release: 03/03/2011
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#1S COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON (22-9) vs. #4N ELON (13-16) or #5S THE CITADEL (10-21)

Game #32

2011 SoCon Men's Basketball Tournament Quarterfinals

March 5, 2011 • 9:30 p.m. (ET)

McKenzie Arena (10,928)

at Chattanooga, Tenn.

Television: None

Radio: Cougar Sports Network (ESPN Radio 910 AM)

Series History:

CofC Leads 9-4 vs. Elon

CofC Leads 47-39 vs. The Citadel

Last Meeting:

CofC def. Elon, 85-67, on Feb. 9, 2011 in Elon, N.C.

CofC def. The Citadel, 85-63, on Feb. 17, 2011 in Charleston, S.C.

Internet: Pay-Per-View Live Video on SoCon.TV and Free Live Statistics at www.SoConSports.com

THE COACHES

College of Charleston: Bobby Cremins

Fifth Year at CofC: 109-58 (.653)

30th Year Overall: 563-365 (.607)

Elon: Matt Matheny

Second Year at Elon: 22-39 (.361)

Second Year Overall: 22-39 (.361)

The Citadel: Chuck Driesell

First Year at The Citadel: 10-21 (.323)

First Year Overall: 10-21 (.323)

RADIO (Cougar Sports Network)

Play-By-Play: Jeff McCarragher

Color Analyst: Everett German

TELEVISION (None)

TOURNAMENT PREVIEW

The College of Charleston men's basketball team (22-9) will look to make a title run as the 2011 Southern Conference Men's Basketball Tournament gets underway on March 4-7 at McKenzie Arena in Chattanooga, Tenn. The Cougars enter postseason play as the No. 1 seed in the South Division earning one of four first-round byes and will face either North Division No. 4 seed Elon (13-16) or South Division No. 5 seed The Citadel (10-21) in the quarterfinals on Saturday, March 5 at approximately 9:30 p.m. (ET). The winner of the quarterfinal matchup will move on to semifinal action on Sunday, March 6 at 8:30 p.m. (ET). CofC has won seven of its last 10 games and hopes to shake off back-to-back road losses at Appalachian State (70-85) on Feb. 24 and North Division No. 1 seed Western Carolina (62-70) on Feb. 26 to close out the regular season. The Cougars are led by SoCon Player of the Year and three-time All-SoCon First Team selection Andrew Goudelock, who is one of the top guards in the country averaging 23.0 points per game which ranks fifth-best nationally. He is joined by All-SoCon Third Team honoree Donavan Monroe in the back court as well as All-SoCon Freshman Team pick Trent Wiedeman in the front court. 2011 SoCon Coach of the Year Bobby Cremins has assembled one of his greatest CofC teams vying for the program's first trip to the Big Dance since 1999. The Cougars currently rank among the top 25 NCAA statistical leaders in scoring offense (24th, 76.8), field-goal percentage (11th, 48.1), three-point field goals per game (20th, 8.2) and personal fouls per game (8th, 15.0).

HOW THEY GOT THERE

CofC claimed a share of the South Division regular-season title with defending champion Wofford with a 14-4 record against league opponents. It was the Cougars' first divisional title since 2004 and seventh overall since joining the SoCon in 1998-99. CofC earned the league's automatic NIT bid and the South Division No. 1 tournament seed by virtue of sweeping the Terriers in head-to-head competition this season. The Cougars have now ended the regular season with at least 20-or-more wins for the 24th time in the last 31 years, and four of the last five under Cremins.

COUGARS ALL-TIME IN THE SOCON TOURNEY

The Cougars are 17-11 all-time in Southern Conference Tournament play. Last year, they posted a 1-1 record as the South Division No. 2 seed defeating Chattanooga (96-69) in the quarterfinals, but falling to Appalachian State (54-77) in the semifinals at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. CofC won its only SoCon Tournament title in 1999 with a 77-57 victory over ASU to make its fourth all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Cougars are 8-4 all-time in the quarterfinals and have reached the semifinals eight times (4-4) and championship game four times (1-3).

COUGARS ON THE AIRWAVES

Fans can listen to all CofC men's basketball games throughout the 2010-11 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 McKenzie Arena on the Cougar Sports Network throughout postseason play.

PROJECTED COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON STARTERS

#1 Donavan Monroe, G, 6-3, 205, Sr. (11.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.6 apg, 32.4 min)

#3 Andrew Goudelock, G, 6-2, 200, Sr. (23.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 4.7 apg, 35.0 min)

#30 Antwaine Wiggins, F, 6-7, 185, RS-Jr. (7.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.7 apg, 27.3 min)

#53 Willis Hall, F, 6-6, 235, So. (9.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.2 apg, 26.5 min)

#44 Trent Wiedeman, F, 6-8, 240, Fr. (7.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.0 apg, 24.3 min)

PROJECTED ELON STARTERS

#13 Chris Long, G, 6-2, 182, Sr. (14.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 5.8 apg, 33.4 min)

#1 Drew Spradlin, G, 6-5, 192, Jr. (13.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.3 apg, 26.6 min)

#2 Terrance Birdette, G, 6-2, 180, Jr. (4.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.7 apg, 18.0 min)

#21 Ryley Beaumont, F, 6-7, 195, Fr. (4.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.6 apg, 18.0 min)

#33 Scott Grable, F, 6-9, 245, Sr. (3.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.6 apg, 16.0 min)

PROJECTED CITADEL STARTERS

#22 Cameron Wells, G, 6-1, 195, Sr. (17.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.3 apg, 35.6 min)

#15 Zach Urbanus, G, 6-2, 170, Sr. (10.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.9 apg, 36.7 min)

#34 Bo Holston, G/F, 6-4, 190, Jr. (4.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.0 apg, 17.4 min)

#24 Austin Dahn, G/F, 6-4, 200, Sr. (9.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.7 apg, 31.7 min)

#31 Mike Groselle, C, 6-8, 230, So. (11.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 0.5 apg, 24.1 min)

ALL-TIME AGAINST SOCON OPPONENTS

The Cougars are 0-1 all-time against Elon and 1-0 versus The Citadel in SoCon Tournament games. They last faced the Phoenix in a 75-61 loss as the No. 3 South Division seed in the 2008 semifinals held on March 9, 2008 at the North Charleston Coliseum and beat the Bulldogs at the very same tournament with a 66-48 first-round victory on March 7, 2008. Of the 12 league schools, CofC has never faced Samford in postseason play.

COFC vs. SOCON TEAMS IN POSTSEASON PLAY

Appalachian State (4-3)

Chattanooga (1-3)

Davidson (1-2)

East Tennessee State (2-1)

Elon (0-1)

Furman (1-1)

Georgia Southern (3-0)

The Citadel (1-0)

UNC Greensboro (1-0)

Western Carolina (2-0)

Wofford (1-0)

COUGAR TOURNAMENT SIDEBARS

  • Coach Cremins is 16-8 lifetime in the SoCon Tournament in his 30 years as a Division I head coach and 8-4 all-time with the Cougars. His first and only tournament title was in 1979, while the head coach at Appalachian State at the age of 31.
  • The Cougars are 3-2 all-time when the SoCon Tournament is held in Chattanooga, Tenn. Their longest postseason run occurred in 2009 when they played four-straight tournament games, but lost to No. 1 North Division seed UTC in the championship game, 69-80, on March 9, 2009 at McKenzie Arena.
  • CofC has now earned the top seed in the South Division on five occasions including in 1999 (finals), 2000 (finals), 2001 (quarterfinals), 2003 (semifinals) and 2011 (??). The Cougars earned the league's automatic NCAA Tournament bid in their inaugural 1998-99 SoCon campaign becoming the first league school to go an undefeated 19-0 in conference play.

WESTERN CAROLINA RECAP

Western Carolina 70, CofC 62

  • For the seventh time this season, CofC used the starting lineup of senior Donavan Monroe, senior Andrew Goudelock, junior Antwaine Wiggins, sophomore Willis Hall and freshman Trent Wiedeman (5-2).
  • With the loss, the Cougars still lead 16-7 in the all-time series with Western Carolina. They have now lost three in a row when playing on the road in Cullowhee, N.C.
  • Willis Hall turned in his second career double-double with a team-high 21 points and career-high 18 rebounds versus the Catamounts. It was the most rebounds in a single game by a Cougar since Jeremy Simmons brought down 17 boards versus Charleston Southern on Dec. 16, 2009.
  • Andrew Goudelock extended his double-figure scoring streak to 16 consecutive games with 12 points against Western Carolina. He has now tabulated 2,407 career points to date which ranks second-best nationally among active NCAA Division I career scoring leaders.
  • Donavan Monroe added eight points against WCU to move into the top 15 on the CofC all-time career scorers list surpassing former greats Jermaine Johnson (1,276) and Tony Mitchell (1,280) for 14th all-time with 1,282 career points to date which also ranks seventh all-time in CofC's NCAA Division I history.
  • The Cougars trailed at halftime for only the eighth time this season (3-5). They were down by 12 points which was tied as the second-largest halftime deficit this season next to 17 points at halftime at Morehead State on Jan. 2 and 12 points behind Coastal Carolina on Nov. 16.
  • CofC shot 27.8 percent in the first half which was its second-lowest percentage of the season behind 23.1 percent at Morehead State on Jan. 2. The Cougars, who were ranked No. 9 in the nation in field-goal percentage prior to the contest, shot a season-low 35.1 percent from the field (26-of-74) and 22.7 percent from beyond the arc (5-of-22) versus the Catamounts.
  • The Cougars scored the third-fewest points of the season (62) which was also the fewest against a SoCon opponent.

COUGAR SOUND BITES

"It just seemed like we hit a wall after we won the regular season. We knew it would be two tough games at Appalachian State and Western Carolina. We could have been ourselves and lost both games and I would have felt a lot better (about the losses). We struggled. I feel bad that I didn't anticipate any of it. We were playing against two good teams on the road. Appalachian and Western are definitely going to be a factor in the SoCon Tournament. They are both capable of making a serious run. Appalachian made a big run last year and beat us in the semifinals. It was a tough environment on the road. Going into the tournament, obviously the first thing is, we have to reestablish ourselves and try to get our momentum back. We are going to work hard to do that. I gave the team Sunday and Monday off. We have the NIT bid in the bank, but there is a bigger reward out there. We can't play like we did at Appalachian or Western going into this tournament. If we play like that, we will be in trouble. It's definitely a new season and we have put those two games behind us." - CofC Head Coach Bobby Cremins on regaining momentum after dropping the last two games of the regular season

"It's a pretty good accomplishment. Do I like it? Not really, because I like being the underdog. It will be a good challenge for us going into this year's SoCon Tournament with a different perspective than last year when we were chasing Wofford there at the end. It's different for us. Luckily, it was a result of what we were able to do in the regular season. We definitely found out that we needed to work on some things, especially defensively (after the Appalachian State and Western Carolina losses). Now, that doesn't matter anymore. We have to be ready to go out and play and go after it in Chattanooga." - Sophomore Forward Willis Hall on claiming a share of the South Division regular-season title and going into the SoCon Tournament as the No. 1 divisional seed

"I'm so happy that I made the decision to go to school here and I think this is more of an assurance that I made the right choice. Being a freshman, obviously, you are still learning about the history of the program, but Willis (Hall) made a comment that, 'it's time that this program goes back to the NCAA Tournament.' With the team that we have this year, we have enough potential to win a couple of games in the NCAA Tournament and get the program back to where it was when Coach Kresse was coaching. We know we have to take it one game at a time, because Coach Cremins reminds us of that everyday. We will be fine. We didn't give enough effort and everyone knows that (at Appalachian State and Western Carolina). Everyone didn't give it their all and we are going to make a big adjustment in the SoCon Tournament this weekend." - Freshman Forward Trent Wiedeman on winning the regular season and getting back on the right track after the two road losses at ASU and WCU

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