Cougars In The News (January 17-January 23, 2012)
Post and Courier
January 22, 2012
The College of Charleston is now on the outside looking in when it comes to earning a bye for the Southern Conference tournament.
The short-handed Cougars lost to Georgia Southern, 64-58, on Saturday at Hanner Fieldhouse in Statesboro, Ga., and slipped to fourth place in the SoCon South Division.
The top two teams in each division will earn first-round tournament byes, and Charleston (12-7, 4-4) finds itself trailing both the Eagles and Wofford after a disastrous two-game road swing. Davidson, which beat the Cougars Thursday, leads the South at
8-0. Wofford and Georgia Southern (7-11) are both tied for second at 5-3 in the league and have wins over the College of Charleston.
Charleston, which lost freshman guard Anthony Stitt a week and a half ago, played Saturday without freshman center Adjehi Baru. Baru twisted his ankle in Thursday's loss at Davidson but is expected to return next week. Junior forward Matt Sundberg, who moved into the lineup in Baru's absence, was suffering from migraine headaches but played much of Saturday's game. And sophomore forward Trent Wiedeman played only 27 minutes after picking up two early fouls in the first half.
Senior forward Antwaine Wiggins led the Cougars, scoring 17 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Junior guard Andrew Lawrence also was in double figures, scoring 12 points.
Charleston shot only 36 percent from the field.
Sophomore forward Eric Ferguson led Georgia Southern with 19 points, including five dunks, and also had eight rebounds.
The first half was a nip-and-tuck battle, with the Cougars tying it at 29 at the buzzer on a dunk by freshman Trevonte Dixon. Charleston took a six-point lead, 43-37, on a basket by Dixon at the 13:46 mark. Georgia Southern put the clamps on the Cougars, holding them scoreless for more than six minutes to take a 54-45 lead. Charleston closed to within two and was down 59-57 with 2:20 left.
But the Cougars couldn't muster any offense the rest of the way as Georgia Southern pulled away.
Post and Courier
January 21, 2012
A famed basketball coach, baseball team owner, N.Y. Yankees outfielder and stock car driver all wouldn’t mind a hideout in their homes.
If you’re curious what they’ll look like, check out the Gaillard Auditorium next Friday-Sunday.
College of Charleston men’s basketball coach Bobby Cremins, Brett Gardner with the Yankees, former NASCAR star Ernie Irvan and Charleston Riverdogs chief Mike Veeck are allowing design experts to personalize versions of the proverbial “man cave” as part of the Charleston Home + Design Show.
Also new for the show, in its ninth year: Organizers are giving away a $26,000 “fan cave” makeover.
“We are always trying to change things up,” says Timothy A. Barkley, publisher of Charleston Home + Design Magazine, which puts on the show.
But the show doesn’t stop there. It’s bringing back past favorites such as “Speed Dating” for builders and remodelers; a jazz concert; open booths with home and design experts; and a professional symposium for architects. Also returning is free admission on Friday.
From 1,000 to 1,500 people a day are expected to tour the show.
Organizers tweaked certain events this year. For instance, the speed dating experts will be builders and remodelers, since that seems to be who people want to hear from most. In past years, interior designers and architects were represented, but people are in the stage of their design plans where they prefer answers of home contractors, Barkley says.
As in past years, participants will have five to seven minutes to talk to an expert and then rotate to a new set. “It’s mostly to get a sense of personality, how the personality matches up with the homeowner,” Barkley says.
The three-day event attracts a mix of attendees. Architects, builders and decorators show up to stay current on new products and what’s going on in their industries. Homeowners, meanwhile, want to learn more about something they’ve read or are thinking of using in a remodeling project. Their questions might be something like, “What do you know about nanoscreen?” he said.
A new highlight of the show will be the special rooms set up to reflect the personalities of sports celebrities.
According to Julie Sprankles, editor-in-chief of Charleston Home + Design Magazine, the third floor exhibit will showcase four rooms designed in keeping with the spirit of the celebrity sports figures with ties to the Lowcountry.
After viewing the rooms, visitors to the show will be asked to cast a vote for their favorite. At the close of the show, the ballots are tallied and the winner revealed, she says.
Post and Courier
January 20, 2012
Led by 6-10 junior Jake Cohen, Davidson took command of the Southern Conference South Division on Thursday as the Wildcats cruised to an 87-69 win over the College of Charleston at Belk Arena in Davidson, N.C.
The Wildcats, 13-4 overall, improved to 7-0 in the league.
Davidson’s Jake Cohen scored 29 points and had14 rebounds against the College of Charleston on Thursday. The Wildcats defeated the Cougars, 87-69.
Charleston fell to 12-6 and 4-3, setting up a big South Division showdown for the Cougars Saturday at Georgia Southern, which lost to Furman on Thursday and fell to 4-3 in the league.
Wofford also is 4-3 in the South after a win Thursday over Appalachian State.
Cohen scored 29 points, 24 of them coming in the first half, and added 14 rebounds to lead Davidson, which has now won six straight games. Charleston, 2-3 in January games, has now lost three straight Thursday contests.
"Every game is a big game. We have to be ready to play against a much-improved Georgia Southern team. It's amazing how good this league is," said Cougars coach Bobby Cremins.
The Wildcats stymied the College of Charleston in the first half, breaking away from an early 8-8 tie to take a 31-16 lead with under eight minutes to go before the break. Charleston managed to cut Davidson's lead to six points, 37-31, when Antwaine Wiggins scored his second four-point play of the half (a 3-pointer plus a free throw) with 3:43 left. But Davidson bumped the lead back to 46-34 by halftime.
Davidson got up by 17 points early in the second half only to see Charleston nibble away and get the lead back to single digits, 57-48, with 14:24 remaining. Charleston closed within six points, 61-55, when Andrew Lawrence hit a pair of free throws with 9 1/2 minutes to go. But the Wildcats managed to stretch the lead back out and put the Cougars away.
"We played a gutty second half and got back in it. But give Davidson credit. They're very, very good. They're physical and they can shoot the ball," Cremins said.
"We got off to a really bad start, and you hate to do that on the road. We had a couple of chances to make it intriguing, but Davidson is something else. They're relentless. We had a great opportunity but we couldn't get over that hump."
Lawrence led C of C with 18 points and added five assists and four rebounds. Wiggins scored 17 points and had a team-high nine rebounds. Sophomore Nori Johnson, making only his second career start, had a career-high 15 points.
January 20, 2012
DAVIDSON In his 23 years at Davidson, coach Bob McKillop has never seen one of his big men do what Jake Cohen is doing right now.
Cohen continued his recent tear Thursday night with 29 points and 14 rebounds in Davidson's 87-69 win against College of Charleston and drew quite a compliment afterward.
Said McKillop: "Jake Cohen is playing at an unprecedented level as a frontcourt player for us. ... In my tenure here I don't know that we've had a frontcourt player - and we've had some pretty good ones - doing what Jake has done the last four games in a row."
In the first half, Cohen was putting up numbers that could have come straight from the Stephen Curry era. A 6-foot-10 junior forward, he was everywhere. Tip-ins. Three-pointers. Dunks. Free throws. It reminded me of several years ago, when Curry would often score half of Davidson's points and everyone else would combine for the other half.
By halftime, Cohen had 24 points and Davidson led by 12. A rolled right ankle and a more vigorous Charleston defense slowed Cohen's point count considerably in the second half, but he still had a career high in rebounds as Davidson (13-4, 7-0 Southern Conference) distanced itself from Charleston and the rest of the conference.
Charleston coach Bobby Cremins has another good team. The Cougars (12-6, 4-3) have beaten Clemson and Tennessee this season and threw a big scare into Louisville before losing by seven. But Charleston was largely undone by Cohen in the first half Thursday and could never catch up after that.
"He's something else right now," Cremins said of Cohen. "He's got to be the leading candidate for player of the year."
Although four Davidson starters average between 11 and 16 points, Cohen has broken out of that pack in the past two weeks. In his past four games he has scored 29, 26, 21 and then 29 again.
"He's a unique player," Cremins said. "Very versatile. Tough inside. Tough outside."
Post and Courier
January 19, 2012
In coach-speak, every game on the schedule is of equal importance. But there's no question that the College of Charleston's next two games, starting tonight at Davidson's Belk Arena, are crucial to the Cougars' hopes of winning a Southern Conference men's basketball title or securing a tournament bye.
Davidson, the preseason favorite to win the SoCon South Division, is living up to its expectations at 6-0 in the league and 12-4 overall. The Cougars are two games behind the Wildcats at 4-2, the same as Saturday's opponent, Georgia Southern.
Coach Bob McKillop and the Wildcats are 9-point favorites when they host the College of Charleston today at 7 p.m. at Davidson.
Finishing in the top two in the division is of vital importance since those teams both receive first-round tournament byes. And no team has won the Southern Conference tournament without a bye since the league went to its two-division format.
"I think our players know the conference and they know the big picture," said Cougars coach Bobby Cremins. "They know the tournament is the most important thing. And they know we've got to hang in there together. They know the big prize comes in the end, and that's the automatic (NCAA) bid at the tournament. We'll see how they respond."
Charleston responded well to its most recent adversity by hammering Elon. That came two days after a stunning home loss to UNC Greensboro that was compounded by the loss of freshman guard Anthony Stitt for approximately six weeks because of a broken hand.
"We realized in some of the earlier games we didn't play as hard as we possibly could play all 40 minutes," said senior forward Antwaine Wiggins, who is second in the conference with 16.5 points per game but has averaged about 11 points in the last four Cougars games.
"We have to keep playing like we did in the Elon game, a hard 40 minutes of basketball, and not give up easy shots and play good defense. We lost some games we shouldn't have lost, but that helps us from getting complacent. We have to play hard every game no matter who we're playing."
Cremins said the Cougars are like a new team after losing Stitt, who had just moved into the starting lineup in place of sophomore Jordan Scott. Sophomore Nori Johnson got the start against Elon, and freshman Trevonte Dixon also got plenty of playing time against the Phoenix.
The most pleasant surprises against Elon were the Cougars' two big men, freshman Adjehi Baru who got his first double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds, and sophomore Trent Wiedeman, who had 10 points and a career high 17 rebounds.
"That was fun to watch, to see the two bigs play well," Cremins said. "I was really proud of our defensive effort against Elon. We're continuing to experiment and continuing to have new roles.
"It's going to be a test. We've had some great games against Davidson. I'm really looking forward to it. I really hope we respond."