Cougars In The News (January 9-January 17, 2012)
January 15, 2012
ELON – The right finishing touch gave the Elon University women’s basketball team a 51-46 victory against visiting College of Charleston on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Gym.
For the second time in three days, the Phoenix converted at the end and it won consecutive Southern Conference games for the first time this season.
“It would be draining if we weren’t able to pull out the two games,” Elon forward Kelsey Evans said.
This time it was a comeback from a nine-point second-half deficit. Four Elon players scored in the last three minutes, beginning with Sam Coffer’s jumper that tied the score at 42-42.
On the next possession, Ali Ford’s 3-point connection put Elon (8-9 overall, 4-4 Southern Conference) ahead for the first time since the midway point of the first half.
“We talked about eventually our shots are going to fall,” Elon coach Charlotte Smith said. “I thought we got good shots (most of the game).”
Elon built its edge to 47-42 on Kelsey Harris’ jumper in the lane with 1:24 to play. After Alyssa Frye scored for the Cougars, Aiesha Harper’s free throw made it 48-44 before Latisha Harris converted off a rebound for College of Charleston.
Elon’s Harris bagged two foul shots at the 27.7-second mark and another defensive stop for the Phoenix clinched the outcome.
Post and Courier
January 15, 2012
A lot of College of Charleston fans probably expected the worst when they walked into TD Arena on Saturday night. And understandably so with standout freshman guard Anthony Stitt out indefinitely after suffering a broken left hand in Thursday's stunning, 73-66, loss to UNC Greensboro.
Instead of struggling behind a makeshift lineup, the Cougars blew away Elon, 63-44, before a crowd of 4,022.
Freshman Adjehi Baru earned his first career double-double, scoring 18 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. He also had three blocked shots and three steals. Sophomore Trent Wiedeman also had a double-double, the eighth of his career, with 10 points and a career-high 17 rebounds. Wiedeman also had three blocks and three steals.
In rolling over the Phoenix, Charleston avoided losing its third straight home game, something no Cougar team has done since the 1977-78 season. The Cougars (12-5, 4-2 Southern Conference) next have a Thursday showdown at South Division-leading Davidson. Elon (8-8, 3-2) was coming off a 70-55 win at The Citadel.
"I thought Adjehi had tremendous energy. I don't know why he had so much energy, but his energy was at another level and his confidence was at another level. And Trent had 17 rebounds. That was nice to see," Cougars coach Bobby Cremins said.
"We were just ready to compete. I hate losing," Baru said.
Wiedeman said the biggest difference was that the team came out with a lot of intensity. "The last couple of conference games we lost (Wofford and UNCG), we didn't have a lot of energy."
While Baru and Wiedeman both had sparkling outings and electrified the crowd with a couple of powerful dunks, Cremins also gave a lot of credit to associate coach Mark Byington, who has been working with Baru and was making defensive calls.
Post and Courier
January 14, 2012
Early to bed, early to rise. That’s the life of a college swimmer.
Matt Sherrier, a senior at the College of Charleston, sets his alarm clock for 5:30 a.m. Thirty minutes after the alarm sounds, he is at the school’s Stern Center for a 90-minute workout in the pool.
Then it’s on to the school cafeteria for breakfast and back to his room for a nap before classes. Following lunch, he heads back to the pool, then goes to weight training before an evening of study.
Exhausted at day’s end, he falls into bed only to repeat the process the next morning.
Sherrier, a psychology major who carries a lofty 3.88 GPA, holds school records in the 200, 500, 1,000 and 1,650-meter freestyle races, and is part of another four school-record relay teams.
“You have to be in the best possible shape. Fortunately, I like working out,” said Sherrier, who hopes to attend medical school after graduation. “It requires discipline, but it’s definitely doable.”
‘Kids find us’
The College of Charleston’s pool is a six-lane, 25-meter facility in the Stern Center. The women’s swimming and diving program has the equivalent of 3½ scholarships, 11½ under the Cougs’ swimming, diving teams on rise NCAA maximum. The NCAA allows 9.9 scholarships for men’s swimming and diving, but the College of Charleston has only 2½ scholarships. No swimmer, male or female, gets a full ride. But the lack of financial aid does not hamper the school in recruiting.
“Kids find us,” said College of Charleston swimming and diving coach Bruce Zimmerman, who came to the school from the swimming program at Indiana University.
“I was looking for a Division I school to swim at, on the coast,” said Sherrier, who grew up in Boulder, Colo. “When I visited the College of Charleston, I basically fell in love with the city and the school. The second I came here, I knew it was where I wanted to be.”
Senior diver Alyssa Maschi of New Hartford, Conn., said she chose the College of Charleston for academic reasons, and initially didn’t know if she wanted to continue competing. Her athletic career began in gymnastics, but a shattered ankle that resulted in surgery slowed her, which is when she discovered diving.
“It was the best decision I ever made,” Maschi said of diving for the College of Charleston.
“I don’t have any regrets.”
Post and Courier
January 13, 2012
The College of Charleston lost more than a game Thursday night. The Cougars may have lost freshman guard Anthony Stitt for the remainder of the season.
Stitt, a 6-1 freshman who had just worked his way into the starting lineup, injured his left hand early in the first half of Thursday’s 73-66 loss to struggling UNC Greensboro before a crowd of 4,137 at TD Arena.
College of Charleston coach Bobby Cremins said Stitt was likely out for the year, but the Cougars’ training staff later said Stitt would be reevaluated in four to six weeks. Cremins said a basketball apparently jammed into Stitt’s hand.
The Spartans, meanwhile, snapped an 11-game losing streak dating back to late November which eventually cost coach Mike Dement his job. Interim coach Wes Miller won his first game as UNCG improved to 3-14 and
1-4 in the Southern Conference.
Charleston, a 16-point favorite, fell to 11-5 and 3-2 in the league, and lost two straight home games for the first time since the 2007-08 season.
“The injury did not cost us the game. We were still in a position to win,” Cremins said. “We knew they were a dangerous team coming in. We knew they could shoot. We played well enough to win. They made more shots.”
Stitt’s injury was evident with the rotations the Cougars played. Cremins said he hoped to play junior guard Andrew Lawrence only 20 minutes. But Lawrence, who injured his thigh in practice earlier in the week, played 37. He scored 14 points, grabbed seven rebounds and had five steals.
Post and Courier
January 13, 2012
Two former College of Charleston student-athletes and the pioneer of the school’s nationally recognized sailing program were selected for membership into the College of Charleston Athletics Hall of Fame.
The 2012 induction class includes former men’s basketball star Thaddeous Delaney (1994-97), former women’s golf standout Eve Lux VanderWeele (1994-97) and former director of sailing and head coach George Wood (1976-2007).
The trio will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at a banquet during homecoming week on Feb. 11 at 10 a.m. in the McAlister Hospitality Suite on the third floor of TD Arena.
Tickets for the brunch are $15 (price of admission for each adult) and $10 (children 12 and under).
For more information or to make a reservation, call (843) 953-8254 by Feb. 3.
Sports Video Group
January 13, 2012
Most college-sports fans take for granted how easy it can be to see their alma mater play on television. It’s a luxury those who attended the so-called “mid-major schools” don’t necessarily enjoy. That is, unless you’re a Cougar.
This season, the College of Charleston has taken its television product into its own hands, establishing a production and distribution plan with ESPN3, the Southern Conference (SoCon), and local TV affiliates WMMP and WTAT-TV.
When all is said and done, 23 of the college’s 30 regular-season men’s basketball games will be televised, a number unfathomable to other mid-major programs, and they will all be produced and transmitted by college staff.
“We’ve been heavily invested in the video-streaming world for the last four years,” says Director of Operations Josh Bryson. “We felt this was our best opportunity to get our programs out for the world to see.”
To make that next step, College of Charleston became the first team in the SoCon with its own television-production truck creating its own live television games in HD.
The school invested in a 3500 high-roof 170-in. WB EXT sprinter van and stuffed it with NewTek gear, including a Tricaster 850 Xtreme switcher and 3Play 820 replay machine. The unit uses a traditional satellite uplink to transmit its signal to the local affiliates.
“We’ve used NewTek products here for the last three years, and this is our first move up into one of their HD switchers. We’ve been very pleased with what the 850 Xtreme has been able to do,” says Bryson. “We’re a mid major, and, when we started on this, we had a very realistic budget of what we were going to be able to do, and we’re able to put out for the viewers at home a high-quality high-definition broadcast.”
The mobile unit does more than give the crew at Charleston Sports Network an upgrade in equipment; it also adds the extra versatility needed to broadcast games from the school’s off-campus baseball, softball, and soccer facility, as well as carry road games, which the team did for the first time at last week’s game at Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC.
“This is where we feel we are doing the greatest service to our fans,” says Bryson, “being able to go on the road and send the game back to them when, ordinarily, they would be listening to it on the radio or wouldn’t be able to follow it at all.”
The crew now has five productions under their belt and are preparing for their next show, the Cougars’ home contest against Elon University in Elon, NC, on Saturday. A typical game is a four-camera shoot with a seven-person crew — producer, director, technical director, two graphics people, replay person, audio technician, and video technician — staffing the mobile unit.
The team dealt with some technological issues in their first broadcast on Dec. 1, but that likely had much to do with the fact that the school didn’t take possession of the production truck until the Saturday after Thanksgiving, giving the crew just a week to work out the bugs. Despite the quick turnaround, the first broadcast went to air, as well as globally to ESPN3.
“We felt confident, but we were a little nervous,” Bryson chuckles. “I’m not going to lie to you.”
With each broadcast, the crew continues to gel, and the final product continues to improve.
“We learn something new about our equipment every time we turn it on,” he says. “Obviously, with any kind of product or new mobile unit, you’ll have some hiccups the first broadcast, and we worked through those. They’ve gotten better each time. The one we did on [Dec.] 17 was quite good.”
“Doing live TV is a little tougher than we were expecting,” says Athletics Director Joe Hull. “We’ve been doing the video streaming at a pretty high level for several years, but this is a completely different animal.”