Old Dominion Presents Next Challenge For Cougars
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON (5-4, 1-0 SoCon) vs. OLD DOMINION (1-9, 0-1 CAA)
December 18, 2012 • 7:30 p.m. (ET)
TD Arena/John Kresse Court (5,100)
at Charleston, S.C.
Television: SoCon Network/ESPN3
Radio: College of Charleston Radio Network (ESPN Radio 910 AM)
Series History: First Meeting
Last Meeting: None
Internet: Free Live Statistics at www.CofCSports.com
College of Charleston: Doug Wojcik
First Year at CofC: 5-4 (.556)
Eighth Year Overall: 145-96 (.602)
Old Dominion: Blaine Taylor
12th Year at ODU: 238-132 (.643)
19th Year Overall: 379-198 (.657)
RADIO (College of Charleston Radio Network)
Play-By-Play: Jeff McCarragher
Color Analyst: Everett German
TELEVISION (SoCon Network/ESPN3)
Play-By-Play: Darren Goldwater
Color Analyst: Dean Keener
The College of Charleston men's basketball team (5-4, 1-0 SoCon) will look to rebound from back-to-back home losses by welcoming Old Dominion (1-9, 0-1 CAA) to the Lowcountry for a Tuesday, Dec. 18 matchup at TD Arena. The first-ever meeting between the Cougars and Monarchs is set for 7:30 p.m. (ET) and will be carried live on the Southern Conference Network via ESPN3 and WatchESPN.com. As of late, CofC has been hampered by the injury bug with the loss of two key starters, while ODU is young with nine underclassmen on its current 12-man roster. Both teams are looking to turn the corner, before the holiday break nears. The Cougars' offense has been held to 50 points or less and forced defensively into 19-or-more turnovers in their two setbacks against No. 5-ranked Louisville (38-80) on Dec. 4 and Anderson University (49-65) on Dec. 13. However, CofC's three-point field-goal percentage defense and rebounding numbers have remained a constant. The Cougars currently lead the league holding opponents to just a 28.1 percent accuracy from beyond the arc and third in rebounding margin (+4.9). They will close out the week and current four-game homestand with Coastal Carolina on Dec. 22.
OLD DOMINION AT A GLANCE
The Monarchs are currently on an eight-game losing streak and looking to get over the hump after falling short by nine points or less in five of those contests including a four-point setback to Central Florida (71-75) on Dec. 14. Their lone victory of the season was a 72-61 win over Morgan State on Nov. 10 and two of their non-conference losses were against a pair of 2012 NCAA Tournament squads in Murray State (L, 72-79) and VCU (L, 70-83). Old Dominion ranks No. 58 nationally in rebounds per game (38.9) and is led in scoring and rebounding by senior forward DeShawn Painter, who is averaging 10.5 ppg and 7.4 rpg.
PROJECTED COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON STARTERS
#22 Anthony Stitt, G, 6-1, 180, So. (9.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.6 apg, 32.7 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. (8.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.3 apg, 30.2 min)
#53 Willis Hall, F, 6-6, 235, RS-Jr. (7.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 0.7 apg, 21.6 min)
#1 Adjehi Baru, F, 6-9, 225, So. (8.9 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 0.6 apg, 34.4 min)
PROJECTED OLD DOMINION STARTERS
#3 Keenan Palmore, G, 6-1, 174, Fr. (8.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.1 apg, 25.5 min)
#25 Donte Hill, G, 6-4, 205, Jr. (10.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.6 apg, 32.2 min)
#2 Aaron Bacote, G, 6-5, 174, Fr. (7.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.2 apg, 23.0 min)
#1 Nick Wright, F, 6-8, 210, RS-Sr. (7.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 0.7 apg, 24.4 min)
#11 DeShawn Painter, F, 6-9, 235, Sr. (10.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 0.6 apg, 25.7 min)
Sophomore big man Adjehi Baru (Abidjan, Ivory Coast) has racked up back-to-back double-doubles in CofC's last two outings against No. 5-ranked Louisville on Dec. 4 and Anderson University on Dec. 13. He currently is tops among Southern Conference leaders in rebounding (10.0 ppg), eighth in blocked shots (1.1 bpg), second in offensive rebounds (3.3 avg.), first in defensive rebounds (6.7 avg.), sixth in minutes played (34.4) and tied for second with two double-doubles on the season. Baru is tied for 23rd-best in the country among NCAA rebounding leaders (as of Dec. 17).
The Cougars will have extra firepower in their arsenal this week with the return of at least one of their two preseason All-SoCon Team constants in senior point guard Andrew Lawrence (London, England) and junior forward Trent Wiedeman (Suwanee, Ga.). Lawrence missed two games this season, the first against Auburn with a stomach virus on Nov. 16, and the second, versus Anderson healing a minor ankle injury suffered against Louisville on Dec. 4. Wiedeman has missed the last six contests recovering from a sprained right ankle against Auburn. CofC found a way without its experienced post player going 4-2 in that time frame, but lost both contests when Lawrence, team captain and 2012 London Olympian, was not in the lineup. Lawrence is three assists shy of 300 for his career and 140 points away from the 1,000-career point mark.
"Andrew will be back and we are hoping Trent will be back as well. They both mean so much to us. We have played a lot longer without Trent, but to have that other ball handler (Lawrence) is really important to our offense and our spacing." - Coach Wojcik on the status of Andrew Lawrence and Trent Wiedeman possibly returning to the lineup from their injuries against ODU
AGAINST THE CAA
CofC is 34-12 (.739) all-time versus schools hailing from the Colonial Athletic Association. The Cougars have faced Towson (2-1), Delaware (2-0), Drexel (2-0), George Mason (3-1), Georgia State (16-6), James Madison (1-0) and UNC Wilmington (8-4).
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 against the CAA in his eight years as a Division I head coach. However, as a former starting point guard and team captain at the U.S. Naval Academy from 1985-87, Wojcik helped the Midshipmen to two CAA regular-season and tournament titles in 1986 and 1987. Navy teammate David "The Admiral" Robinson turned over his CAA MVP Award to Wojcik, citing his unselfish play and leadership abilities in 1986.
"ODU was not in the original Colonial when I played at Navy and I've never played against ODU in my coaching career. It's weird that I'm on the East Coast now in Charleston and ODU is moving to Conference USA where I came from (at Tulsa). But, that's all due to football. (Associate Head Coach) Jim Corrigan has been the assistant since Jeff Capel was there. They have won more than most programs in the country in the last five years." - Coach Wojcik on his ties to the CAA and ODU's rich-basketball history
• Old Dominion will be the second CAA opponent the Cougars have faced this year next to a 75-58 win over Towson in their season opener on Nov. 9. CofC will officially join its new conference on July 1, 2013.
• CofC is 2-2 this season when playing first-time opponents. The Cougars defeated Boston College (ACC) and Baylor (Big 12) in first-ever meetings between the two schools, but lost to St. John's (BIG EAST) and Anderson (NCAA Division II).
Anderson University 65, CofC 49
• For the first time this season, the Cougars used the starting lineup of sophomore Anthony Stitt, junior Anthony Thomas, senior Matt Sundberg, junior Willis Hall and sophomore Adjehi Baru (0-1). It marked the fifth career start for Sundberg as senior starter Andrew Lawrence did not suit up for the game due to a minor-ankle injury he suffered against Louisville on Dec. 4.
• In the first-ever meeting between the two schools, Anderson handed CofC its first loss to a non-Division I opponent since a 70-67 (-3) loss to Belmont Abbey under former CofC head coach John Kresse on Dec. 8, 2001 at John Kresse Arena.
• It also marked the first time the Cougars lost in double figures to a pair of non-conference opponents in back-to-back games next to a 55-94 (-39) road loss at Clemson on Dec. 19, 2009 and a 71-84 (-13) setback at Hawai'i on Dec. 22, 2009, under former CofC head coach Bobby Cremins.
• Adjehi Baru recorded his third career double-double, his second of the season, with a team-high 11 points and game-high 14 rebounds. It also marked the first time in his career to score in double figures in back-to-back games against No. 5-ranked Louisville and Anderson. He has now brought down double-figure boards in six career contests.
• The Cougars were held to their lowest field-goal shooting performance of the season going 16-of-48 from the floor (33.3%). They previously shot 34.8 percent versus Louisville.
• Junior reserve Nori Johnson came off the bench and contributed 10 points to mark his ninth career game in double figures.
• CofC won the battle of the boards against Anderson, 39-32 (+7), and has now outrebounded its opponents in eight of nine contests this year.
COUGAR SOUND BITES
"Old Dominion has been a really successful program for a really long time. Coach (Blaine) Taylor is a great coach and I've known him for a while. They are going through a tough time right now. They are long and athletic and starting two freshmen. They have two seniors in the post in (DeShawn) Painter and (Nick) Wright. Donte Hill is their heart and soul. He is there three man, but he can be their point guard. They are just a rugged team. They have lost eight straight, but have been in every game and are a dangerous team. They are a very misleading 1-9 team. It will be a very physical and athletic game on Tuesday night." - CofC Head Coach Doug Wojcik on scouting Old Dominion
"They are kind of like us right now. They just haven't played particularly well at home. They've lost six games at home. I watched their most recent game against Central Florida. I'm very familiar with them coming from Conference USA and I know what their talent level is. It was a one to two possession game the whole time. It's going to be a hard-fought game. Our psyche has to be good and positive. We have our own things we are nursing like they have their own things they are working on. It's the team who is the hungriest who will come out on top on Tuesday night." - Coach Wojcik on both CofC and ODU's recent struggles
"We have made some adjustments on the defensive end as well as on the offensive end. Our main focus right now is to get better every day. We know they are a good rebounding team, so we will have to be active on the boards like we have been all year. We are moving conferences next year, so this will be another game against a CAA opponent to prepare us for the future." - Sophomore point guard Anthony Stitt on moving on from the Louisville and Anderson games and playing Old Dominion on Tuesday night
"Old Dominion is a very good team. They are big and long. We will have to box out and play defense the full 40 minutes against them. Their point guard (Keenan Palmore) averages five rebounds a game, so we will have to box out everyone on the defensive end. It feels great to be able to step-in and contribute to the team. Coach (Wojcik) and my teammates have given me confidence playing at the three and four positions in our last two games." - Senior Forward Matt Sundberg on Old Dominion and having two solid games against Louisville off the bench and Anderson in the starting lineup, while Andrew Lawrence was sidelined with an ankle injury