CHARLESTON, S.C. - The 2012-13 college basketball season gets underway as the College of Charleston men's basketball team ushers in the Doug Wojcik Era with a lone exhibition game against NCAA Division II powerhouse USC Aiken on Saturday, Nov. 3, at TD Arena.
Tipoff between the Cougars and Pacers is slated for 7 p.m. (ET) and a free live video stream of the game will be available via the Charleston Sports Network video portal at: www.CofCSports.com.
CofC returns 10 letterwinners and four of its starters from last year's 19-12 squad including preseason All-Southern Conference Team selections Andrew Lawrence (London, England) and Trent Wiedeman (Suwanee, Ga.). The Cougars have won four-straight preseason tune-ups since a 94-92 overtime thriller with USC Aiken in exhibition play to open the 2009-10 campaign.
"We played USC Aiken three years ago in an overtime game, so right there, we have a lot of respect for them," said first-year head coach Doug Wojcik. "I've watched them on tape. They run a lot of good sets and have a lot of Division I transfers on their roster. They have pressed in the past and will present a great opportunity for us to see something we don't see every day in practice. That's what you want out of an exhibition game - to put your team in a position they have not been in before. Hopefully, we will handle it well, learn from it and continue to get better before our opener (versus Towson on Nov. 9)."
USC Aiken has established itself as one of the top Division II programs in the country over the last five years. The Pacers made their fifth all-time NCAA Division II Tournament appearance a year ago under seventh-year head coach Vince Alexander and advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2009. They are coming off one of their best seasons in school history finishing at 21-8 overall. The Pacers boast seven former D-I transfer players on their roster along with top returning player Re'mon Nelson, who averaged 11.8 points and 3.7 assists per game in 2011-12.
CofC leads 16-7 in the all-time series with USC Aiken and will have met three times in the new millennium (2002, 2009 and 2012). Thanks to the research compiled by the USC Aiken Sports Information office, the Cougars and Pacers are tied with Benedict College for the most wins among Palmetto State schools, at any collegiate level, over the course of the last five years with 110 wins.
"We scrimmaged last Saturday and had a good chance to see our players against East Carolina out of Conference USA," Wojcik said. "It will be nice to have the lights on, have officials and not be in a scrimmage setting this weekend. Enough time has passed and it's time to play."
Tickets are priced at $5 (all-reserved seating) and can be purchased by calling 1-843-953-COFC (2632) or going online at www.CofCSports.com/tickets. Tickets can also be purchased in-person at the CofC Athletics Ticket Box Office, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and two hours prior to Saturday's exhibition game. Doors will open to the public at 6 p.m. (ET).