COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON (17-11, 8-8 SoCon) vs. GEORGIA SOUTHERN (14-12, 12-4 SoCon)
February 23, 2012 • 8:00 p.m. (ET)
TD Arena/John Kresse Court (5,100)
at Charleston, S.C.
Television: MyTV Charleston/ESPN3
Radio: Cougar Sports Network (ESPN Radio 910 AM)
Series History: CofC Leads 20-18
Last Meeting: Georgia Southern def. CofC, 64-58, on Jan. 21, 2012 in Statesboro, Ga.
Internet: Free Live Statistics at www.CofCSports.com
College of Charleston: Mark Byington
Interim Year at CofC: 5-3 (.625)
Interim Year Overall: 5-3 (.625)
Georgia Southern: Charlton Young
Third Year at GSU: 28-62 (.311)
Third Year Overall: 28-62 (.311)
RADIO (Cougar Sports Network)
Play-By-Play: Everett German
Color Analyst: Garrett Campbell
TELEVISION (MyTV Charleston/ESPN3)
Play-By-Play: Jeff McCarragher
Color Analysts: Nate Ross and John Kresse
The College of Charleston men's basketball team (17-11, 8-8) will face Georgia Southern (14-12, 12-4) in its regular-season home finale on Thursday, Feb. 23 at TD Arena. Tipoff between the Cougars and Eagles is slated for 8 p.m. (ET) and the game will be televised live locally via the Charleston Sports Network on MyTV Charleston and carried nationally on ESPN3. It will mark the last home game for the lone senior on the squad in Antwaine Wiggins (Greeneville, Tenn.), who currently leads the team averaging 16.3 points per game which is third-best in the league. CofC has won four of its last five games under interim head coach Mark Byington and looks to finish out the regular season strong prior to the Southern Conference Men's Basketball Tournament on March 2-5 in Asheville, N.C. The Cougars have one more remaining date at crosstown rival The Citadel on Feb. 25 and have built some momentum with an 80-73 road victory at Kent State for ESPN BracketBusters on Feb. 18. They currently rank No. 32 nationally in three-point field goals per game (8.2 avg) and No. 33 in personal fouls per game (16.1 avg). Individually, junior point guard Andrew Lawrence (London, England) ranks 29th in the country and second in the league in assists per game (5.7). As for conference tournament seeding, CofC is currently in fourth place in the latest South Division standings and can only finish No. 4 or No. 5 since Wofford would hold the tiebreaker having swept the Cougars in the yearly series for the No. 3 divisional seed.
THE BOOK ON GEORGIA SOUTHERN
Georgia Southern is currently on a conference-best six-game winning streak and has won eight of its last nine contests including its previous meeting with CofC. The Eagles have won three of their six games in its current winning stretch by three points or less. They handed North Division leader UNCG its first loss in three games (83-69) on Feb. 18. GSU ranks No. 34 in the nation and No. 1 in the SoCon with a 47.4 accuracy from field-goal range behind leading scorer Eric Ferguson's 57.1 percentage which ranks 19th nationally. The Eagles have not been successful on the road this season with a 4-11 mark, but are second in the South Division with a 5-3 record versus divisional foes and will close out the year at Davidson on Feb. 25.
SENIOR SWAN SONG
CofC fans are encouraged to arrive to the arena early to honor Wiggins and four-year team manager and film coordinator Ben Walsh in pre-game Senior Night ceremonies to be held prior to tipoff. Wiggins was a member of head coach Bobby Cremins and his staff's first recruiting class along with current Los Angeles Lakers guard Andrew Goudelock, Donavan Monroe and Jeremy Simmons. The 6-foot-7 wing will go down as one of the most versatile players in program history and is on track to graduate in May with a degree in sociology.
"I have a lot of memories during my career here at College of Charleston. The friendships I made will be one that I will never forget. The three freshmen I came in with (Goudelock, Monroe and Simmons) - we built a real solid friendship and are still close, even though they've all graduated. I will also remember the time spent with my younger teammates. We have really bonded, are focused on winning a championship together and have great team chemistry this year." - Antwaine Wiggins
#WIGGINS = #WINNING
Since Wiggins' arrival on campus, the Cougars have compiled an 86-48 record (.642) and won a SoCon regular-season title in 2011. A preseason All-SoCon Team selection, he was named one of the best perimeter defenders in the country by CBSSports.com this past fall. Wiggins was also tabbed SoCon Player of the Week for the first time of his career on Nov. 22, 2011 and SoCon December Athlete of the Month. One of only four players to rank among the top 10 league leaders in scoring and rebounding this season, he ranks 17th all-time in the CofC record books in career scoring with 1,268 points which is 10th-most in the program's Division I history. He also ranks fifth all-time in career rebounding (687) and seventh all-time in career three-pointers made (171). His scoring and rebounding numbers are the fourth and third-best among active SoCon career leaders. In all, he has scored in double figures in 57-of-133 career games played with 10 career 20-point games and six career double-doubles.
COFC ALL-TIME TOP 10 CAREER SCORING LIST
1. Andrew Goudelock (2007-11) - 2,540
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. (2006-10) - 1,499
10. Steven Johnson (1984-88) - 1,456
11. Ron Theis (1972-76) - 1,414
12. Ahdonus Cofer (1988-92) - 1,330
13. Pat Harrington (1977-81) - 1,307
14. Tony Mitchell (2001-05) - 1,280
15. Jermaine Johnson (2006-09) - 1,276
16. Jody Lumpkin (1998-01) - 1,269
17. Antwaine Wiggins (2007-Present) - 1,268
COFC DIVISION I TOP 5 CAREER REBOUNDING LIST
1. Thaddeous Delaney (1994-97) - 1,119
2. Jermaine Johnson (2006-09) - 949
3. Jody Lumpkin (1998-01) - 710
4. Sedric Webber (1996-99) - 694
5. Antwaine Wiggins (2007-Present) - 687
COFC ALL-TIME TOP 10 CAREER THREE-POINTERS MADE LIST
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. Antwaine Wiggins (2007-Present) - 171
8. Jeff Bolton (1998-02) - 166
9. Thomas Mobley (2001-04) - 158
10. Andrew Lawrence (2009-Present) - 145
COUGARS IN REGULAR-SEASON HOME FINALES
The Cougars have won nine consecutive Senior Nights dating back to a 73-71 victory over Georgia Southern on March 1, 2003 under former head coach Tom Herrion at John Kresse Arena.
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.
WATCH MYTV CHARLESTON
MyTV Charleston can be viewed locally 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.
PROJECTED COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON STARTERS
#4 Andrew Lawrence, G, 6-1, 185, Jr. (13.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.7 apg, 35.5 min)
#11 Nori Johnson, G/F, 6-5, 205, So. (5.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 0.6 apg, 17.4 min)
#30 Antwaine Wiggins, F, 6-7, 185, RS-Sr. (16.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.1 apg, 35.1 min)
#44 Trent Wiedeman, F, 6-8, 240, So. (11.8 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 0.8 apg, 30.9 min)
#1 Adjehi Baru, F/C, 6-9, 227, Fr. (8.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 0.6 apg, 26.8 min)
PROJECTED GEORGIA SOUTHERN STARTERS
#50 Willie Powers III, G, 6-2, 200, Sr. (11.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 5.5 apg, 31.4 min)
#0 Ben Drayton III, G, 5-10, 175, Sr. (12.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 3.1 apg, 32.0 min)
#5 Jelani Hewitt, G, 6-2, 186, So. (10.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.3 apg, 28.9 min)
#3 Eric Ferguson, G, 6-7, 186, So. (15.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 0.8 apg, 28.0 min)
#32 Cameron Baskerville, F, 6-7, 220, Jr. (4.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 0.4 apg, 19.8 min)
CofC leads 20-18 in the all-time series with Georgia Southern. The Eagles ended an eight-game stronghold in the series by the Cougars in both team's last meeting in Statesboro, Ga. Four of the last four contests between the two schools have been decided by 10 points or less. GSU has not won on Charleston soil since the 2005-06 season.
LAST EIGHT GAMES IN THE SERIES
L, 58-64 in Statesboro, Ga. on 1/21/12 (-6)
W, 65-61 in Statesboro, Ga. on 1/26/11 (+4)
W, 92-84 in Charleston, S.C. on 12/4/10 (+8)
W, 90-72 in Statesboro, Ga. on 1/30/10 (+18)
W, 68-59 in Charleston, S.C. on 12/3/10 (+9)
W, 81-68 in Statesboro, Ga. on 2/19/09 (+13)
W, 100-87 in Charleston, S.C. on 1/10/09 (+13)
W, 87-73 in North Charleston, S.C. on 3/8/08 (+14)
• CofC's Trent Wiedeman, a Peach State native, played with Georgia Southern sophomore guard Tré Bussey in the 2010 GACA North-South All-Star Classic and against GSU sophomore guard Zuri James in high school. Wiedeman starred at Greater Atlanta Christian, while James was a standout at Pace Academy.
• Coach Byington is one of two current interim head coaches in the Southern Conference next to UNCG interim head coach Wes Miller. Byington, 35, is the third-youngest coach in the league behind Miller, 29, who is the youngest Division I head coach in the country and Appalachian State head coach Jason Capel, 32. He claimed his first career coaching victory at Samford on Jan. 30 and is currently the 18th youngest coach in America.
1. Wes Miller, UNCG Jan. 28, 1983 (29)
2. Andy Toole, Robert Morris Sept. 11, 1980 (31)
3. Jason Capel, Appalachian State Jan. 15, 1980 (32)
4. Brian Wardle, UW-Green Bay Oct. 9, 1979 (32)
5. Archie Miller, Dayton Oct. 30, 1978 (33)
18. Mark Byington, College of Charleston April 22, 1976 (35)
• The Cougars have been without the services of five players this season due to injury. Junior Willis Hall, one of two returning starters from last year's NIT squad, suffered a season-ending ACL injury during preseason workouts in October. Redshirt junior Matt Sundberg missed the team's season opener against Holy Cross on Nov. 11 with an ankle injury, while freshman big man Adjehi Baru missed two games against Georgia Southern on Jan. 21 and Wofford on Jan. 28 due to a sprained ankle. Freshman Anthony Stitt is recovering from a broken left hand and could possibly return prior to the SoCon Tournament in March and sophomore Trent Wiedeman recently missed the Western Carolina game with a sprained ankle on Feb. 9.
KENT STATE RECAP
CofC 80, Kent State 73
• For the eighth time this season, CofC used the starting lineup of junior Andrew Lawrence, sophomore Nori Johnson, senior Antwaine Wiggins, sophomore Trent Wiedeman and freshman Adjehi Baru (4-4).
• With the road win, the Cougars remain an undefeated 2-0 in the all-time series with Kent State. Both team's last met in the 2003 NIT First Round on March 19, 2003 in Kent, Ohio, and the Golden Flashes will return the ESPN BracketBusters game either next season or in 2013-14.
• CofC improves to 5-1 all-time in ESPN BracketBuster games and has won its last five-straight appearances in the event dating back to a 85-75 win over VCU in 2005.
• Nori Johnson was one point shy of his career high with 16 points in just the first half of play. He scored a career-best 27 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the floor, 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc and a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe against Kent State. It marked his first career 20-point outing and extends his career-best double-digit scoring streak to five-straight games.
• Trent Wiedeman turned in his ninth double-double of the season and 13th of his career with 14 points and a game-high tying 13 rebounds versus Kent State. He has produced a double-double in three of the team's last six contests.
• Antwaine Wiggins registered 17 points including a career-best 10-for-16 performance from the charity stripe. He has now scored in double figures in 26-of-28 games played this season.
• The Cougars shot a season-best 55.6 percent from beyond the arc (10-of-18) behind a career-high five three-pointers by Nori Johnson followed by two each from junior Matt Sundberg and sophomore Jordan Scott off the bench.
COUGAR SOUND BITES
"He has meant a lot to our program over the past five years. He's had some great moments for us. I remember him blocking Stephen Curry's shot at Davidson and hitting seven threes as a sophomore against Elon in the first half. What really sticks out about Antwaine is how he raised the level of his game for his senior year. He's had a bunch of 20+ point games and led our team by example this year - and that's what seniors do. I hope we can play well as a team for Antwaine, and hopefully, it will be a great home-crowd environment for him on Thursday night. I personally would love to see him have a great game. But, the most important thing for our team right now is to keep playing well to get ready for the Southern Conference Tournament." - CofC Interim Head Coach Mark Byington on what senior Antwaine Wiggins has meant to the program
"The first thing that sticks out in my mind with Georgia Southern is their senior guards. Ben Drayton and Willie Powers are having a great year with Powers battling back from numerous ACL injuries. They've had some losing seasons in the past as a program, but it's made them stronger and tougher. They are really having a great year and playing good basketball. Inside, (Eric) Ferguson is as athletic of any player in the country and not just in the Southern Conference. He is a very tough matchup for us. He is quick, can dunk, can drive the ball and is great in transition. He will be very challenging for our post players, just like it will be tough for our guards to keep their guards in front of them." - Coach Byington on the matchup with Georgia Southern
"We are all excited to play at home on Thursday. In our last game at Georgia Southern, they beat us and we have worked on correcting the mistakes we made on offense and defense in practice this week. We had two players injured (Adjehi Baru and Anthony Stitt) who were big part of our team that didn't play in our last game against them. Hopefully, we will execute our game plan and have a great home crowd behind us for our last home game of the season." - Senior Forward Antwaine Wiggins on the team's regular-season home finale and the second go-around with Georgia Southern
"We are starting to gel and are getting everyone back together on the same page. We are getting back to the old team that we were. Different guys have developed and stepped up since we lost our teammates to injuries. We have to be ready to play on Thursday. Most of all, we want to keep on improving, so we will be ready by the time the SoCon Tournament starts. Georgia Southern has some great guards. There are a few things we need to do differently than the first time around including our ball pressure and ball screens." - Sophomore Forward/Guard Nori Johnson on how the team has come together in the last five games and the rematch with Georgia Southern