Final Exams Done, Cougars Host Anderson On Thursday
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON (5-3, 1-0 SoCon) vs. ANDERSON UNIVERSITY (6-2, 2-0 SAC)
December 13, 2012 • 7:00 p.m. (ET)
TD Arena/John Kresse Court (5,100)
at Charleston, S.C.
Radio: College of Charleston Radio Network (ESPN Radio 910 AM)
Series History: First Meeting
Last Meeting: None
Internet: Free Live Statistics and Pay-Per-View Video at www.CofCSports.com
College of Charleston: Doug Wojcik
First Year at CofC: 5-3 (.625)
Eighth Year Overall: 145-95 (.604)
Anderson: Jason Taylor
7th Year at Anderson: 108-82 (.568)
7th Year Overall: 108-82 (.568)
RADIO (College of Charleston Radio Network)
Play-By-Play: Jeff McCarragher
Color Analyst: Everett German
With study sessions and final exams completed, the College of Charleston men's basketball team (5-3, 1-0 SoCon) turns its attention back to the hardwood for a non-conference meeting with NCAA Division II opponent Anderson University (6-2, 2-0 SAC) on Thursday, Dec. 13 at TD Arena. Game time between the Cougars and Trojans is set for 7 p.m. (ET). CofC has enjoyed a nine-day layoff between games to focus on finals and to regroup after an 80-38 loss to 2012 NCAA Final Four participant and No. 4-ranked Louisville on Dec. 4. Anderson is currently receiving votes in the NABC/Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll and finished No. 14 in the final national rankings a year ago. The Cougars took away several positives from their setback against the Cardinals, in particular a break-out, double-double performance from sophomore big man Adjehi Baru, a 2012 All-Southern Conference Freshman Team performer, who continues to come of age and develop in the post in the absence of junior starting forward Trent Wiedeman. They lead the SoCon and rank No. 31 nationally in three-point field-goal percentage defense holding opponents to a low 27.3 percent accuracy from beyond the arc this season, while Baru individually ranks No. 35 nationally averaging a league-best 9.5 rebounds per game. CofC is in the midst of a four-game homestand which will conclude next week, before the holiday break, with Old Dominion on Dec. 18 and Coastal Carolina on Dec. 22.
A LOOK AT ANDERSON
Anderson had its six-game win streak halted with a 65-55 road loss at Limestone College on Dec. 12. Five of the Trojans' last seven games have been decided by six points or less including a 69-63 win over Georgia College (69-63) on Dec. 8. They will play three games in the course of four short days including their first-ever meeting with the Cougars on Thursday night and then another road trip to Winston Salem State on Dec. 15. Formerly one of the top junior colleges in the country, Anderson became a Division II school during the 1999-2000 season. The Trojans have made three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances since 2010 - all under seventh-year head coach Jason Taylor reaching the Elite Eight in 2011. Last season, AU posted a school-record 26-6 overall record, won the South Atlantic Conference regular-season title and made it all the way to the NCAA Southeast Regional championship game (lost to top-seeded Montevallo).
PROJECTED COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON STARTERS
#22 Anthony Stitt, G, 6-1, 180, So. (10.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.3 apg, 32.5 min)
#4 Andrew Lawrence, G, 6-1, 185, Sr. (12.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.7 apg, 27.6 min)
#3 Anthony Thomas, F, 6-7, 207, Jr. (8.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.4 apg, 30.1 min)
#53 Willis Hall, F, 6-6, 235, RS-Jr. (7.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 0.8 apg, 20.8 min)
#1 Adjehi Baru, F, 6-9, 225, So. (8.6 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 0.6 apg, 33.9 min)
PROJECTED ANDERSON STARTERS
#23 Denzail Jones, G, 5-9, 160, Sr. (23.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.8 apg, 34.2 min)
#12 Chandler Hash, G, 6-0, 165, Jr. (14.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 0.3 apg, 29.1 min)
#3 D.J. McGowan, G, 6-2, 190, RS-So. (4.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 0.9 apg, 17.1 min)
#34 Bo Holston, F, 6-5, 210, Sr. (11.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.0 apg, 32.1 min)
#33 Kyle Sledge, F/C, 6-6, 210, Jr. (5.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 0.5 apg, 25.0 min)
A FIRST (SECOND) TIME FOR EVERYTHING
Both schools will meet for the first time in the 103-year history of Cougar Basketball. It will mark the first regular-season, non-conference game to which CofC will face an NCAA Division II opponent since a 97-47 (+50) rout of Lees-McRae under former head coach Tom Herrion in 2005-06. With the addition of the Anderson game, the Cougars are scheduled to play a school-record tying 31 regular-season contests this season (including its ESPN BracketBusters game in late February) next to 31 games played prior to the postseason in 2010-11 under former head coach Bobby Cremins - the same year Andrew Goudelock and company led CofC to the program's longest postseason run with a spot in the NIT quarterfinals. When putting together a schedule, the NCAA regular-season games allowed minimum is 27 games and maximum is 31 games.
COUGARS ON THE AIRWAVES
Fans can listen to all CofC men's basketball games throughout the 2012-13 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 TD Arena on the College of Charleston Radio Network.
• Coach Wojcik is 1-0 versus NCAA Division II opponents in his time as the Cougars' head coach. Last month, CofC ushered in the Wojcik Era with a 68-52 exhibition win over Division II powerhouse USC Aiken on Nov. 3 at TD Arena.
• Every summer, the Cougars play summer pick-up basketball games with members from The Citadel and Charleston Southern men's basketball teams. They will reunite on Thursday night with Anderson senior forward Bo Holston, who previously played at The Citadel and is the team's third-leading scorer (12.0 ppg) and second-leading rebounder (4.7 rpg).
• This year's CofC Senior Class is 3-0 in games played after final exam week. Last year, the Cougars defeated Tennessee out of the SEC (71-65) on Dec. 14 at TD Arena. CofC also beat Charleston Southern twice coming out of the break in 2009 and 2010.
Louisville 80, CofC 38
• For the fifth time this year, the Cougars went with the starting five of sophomore Anthony Stitt, senior Andrew Lawrence, junior Anthony Thomas, junior Willis Hall and sophomore Adjehi Baru (4-1).
• Louisville remains an undefeated 3-0 in the all-time series with College of Charleston. The Cardinals were the highest-ranked team to ever play on CofC's home court and third-ever top 10 opponent to travel to the Lowcountry next to No. 7 Connecticut in 1995 and No. 9 North Carolina in 2010.
• CofC had a sell-out crowd of 5,117 - the eighth-largest single-game attendance in school history. It marked the program's 20th all-time sell-out crowd and first of the season at TD Arena.
• Adjehi Baru brought down a game-high 14 rebounds which marked his fifth double-figure rebounding game of his career. He also turned in his second career double-double with a season-high 16 points.
• For the first time this season, the Cougars were outrebounded by their opponents, 38-31 (-7).
• CofC scored a school-record low 38 points in a single game (since becoming an NCAA Division I member in 1991-92) which was its lowest point total since a 52-40 loss at UMass on Dec. 2, 1997.
• It was the largest margin of defeat (-42) by a CofC squad since a 39-point road loss at Clemson (L, 55-94) on Dec. 19, 2009.
• The Cougars made a season-low 16 first-half points which was its lowest first-half production since scoring only 16 first-half points at Morehead State, led by Kenneth Faried, on Jan. 2, 2011.
COUGAR SOUND BITES
"We didn't play our best game against Louisville. I don't want them to forget, but I do want them to move on. There's nothing you can do about it. We were able to get through finals. It's kind of like the second season for us, going into conference play. Priority No. 1 for me is that we get through finals in good academic standing. The break has also been good for conditioning and to help their attention span, due to the academic demands they have been through. Now, they (the players) have a month to be an NBA player for about four or five weeks, because there is nothing but basketball to focus on." - CofC Head Coach Doug Wojcik on the nine-day break to focus on academics and moving on from the loss to Louisville
"As the head coach, I know this is the right thing for our team. We are not approaching Anderson any differently than any other opponent on our schedule. It's the perfect game coming out of finals and our players are itching to play again. Their match-up zone will be a big problem for us. We scrimmaged East Carolina with no one around and USC Aiken in an exhibition game with a smaller crowd. It's that time of year when the students are gone and you are in your routine and your family becomes your team. Even more so during the holidays, because there are not as many outside distractions and we can worry about ourselves. I would love to put together a streak going into Christmas break." - Coach Wojcik on playing an NCAA Division II school in the regular season
"I did have a great game against Louisville, but the big picture was that we wanted to win. The way I played didn't help our team win. We have to play together, because it is a team game and not an individual game. We just have to keep our heads up and keep playing the way we've been playing - be more consistent. We treat every game the same. There is no easy or stronger game. We treat every player the same and we just want to get the win. We can't lay back, because they are a Division II team. We just have to go out hard and strong from the get-go." - Sophomore Forward Adjehi Baru on his double-double performance against Louisville and playing Anderson on Thursday night
"We are getting back to being ourselves. We have to do us and know we need to do what we do best. That was the topic in the locker room and practice (after the Louisville loss) - not letting teams dictate our rhythm and tempo. With their pressure, we let them get us out of what we normally do. We know teams will throw different defenses at us, but we need to be the ones who dictate where they go and what they are doing on the court at all times. From a culture standpoint, we never take anyone who comes into our house lightly. We will bring the same energy and defense against Anderson." - Redshirt Junior Forward Willis Hall on how the team rebounded from the loss to Louisville and facing a non-top 10 or conference team in a regular-season game