Post and Courier
close to breakthrough
February 13, 2012
school records just keep falling for College of Charleston sophomore Dena
at the Tiger Paw Invitational indoor meet in Clemson, O'Brien broke her own
record in the mile run with a time of 4:58.38, the third time she has run the
event in under five minutes.
week earlier at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational in New York, O'Brien
won the 5,000 meters in 16:40.39, breaking her own school record of 16:46,
which she set when she won the event in the Southern Conference Indoor
currently holds eight school records in cross country and indoor and outdoor
what does O'Brien, a talented runner in high school, attribute to the
continuing improvement on the college level?
devoted more time to it. I do all the little things that add up," said
O'Brien, who also is a solid student.
said her workouts are pretty high mileage, 60-65 miles per week as well as
workouts with weights. The team does not have its own track, so
Cougars train in various locations. They may be run downtown, along the West
Ashley Greenway, in I'on and even Magnolia Cemetery. They also work out at
James Island Charter High School.
O'Brien came to the College of Charleston, coach Amy Seago said her times at various
distances didn't add up, and as a freshman O'Brien's cross country goal was to
break 19 minutes
were saying this girl has 18-minute skills, but we didn't want to push too
hard, take it one step at a time. She ran 18:05 in her first cross country meet
for us. It was a lot of hard work over the summer."
said O'Brien has made big strides in the last year and a half. She has gone
from 19:12 to 16:21 in the 5,000-meter outdoor event. And Seago has tried to
tone things down a bit for O'Brien and get her to understand the value of
Post and Courier
Faith comes into
February 12, 2012
Taylor, teaching pastor of St. Andrew's City Church and mission team member for
the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, has volunteered for three years as
chaplain of the College of Charleston's men's basketball team.
be honest, most of what I do is not on game night,” Daron Taylor said. “It’s
more about the relationship.” Taylor is a volunteer chaplain for the College of
Charleston men’s basketball team. Here he encourages Antwaine Wiggins and other
Cougars as they prepare to take the court against Western Carolina at TD Arena
on Thursday in Charleston.
said he applies his Christian views; the team has no Jews or Muslims and seems
to appreciate his presence.
a delicate dance, so to speak," he said. "I make myself available. As
I've done that, there are certainly those guys who pursue me" for
spiritual guidance or fulfillment.
it's coaches who want to add a religious component to the team experience.
Taylor was invited by head coach Bobby Cremins to contribute to the basketball
team, he said. And when Mark Byington took over after Cremins recently stepped
aside for health reasons, he told the chaplain that he wanted him around,
"until I hear otherwise from players," Taylor said.
professional football coaches or team owners have made no bones about their
Christian faith and often promote it publicly.
Washington Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs gave the keynote address at the 2009
prayer breakfast organized by the Charleston Leadership Foundation and spoke
openly about his faith.
displays of religious faith, such as players on the football field making the
sign of the cross when they score, do no harm, Gibbs said.
is responsible for himself and chooses the ways in which his beliefs are
expressed. Overt religiosity "doesn't bother me at all," he said.
"I kind of admire that. There's plenty of the opposite."
NFL coach Tom Landry was a Sunday school teacher and member of the Fellowship
of Christian Athletes.
increasingly, professional sports provides (or arranges for the provision of)
opportunities for Christian worship. Chaplains such as Taylor will lead team
members in prayer. Football players sometimes gather before a game for a brief
worship session. And weekend services occasionally are offered to athletes in a
combination of religion and sports has even spawned an organization called
Athletes in Action Sports Ministry founded by Dave Hannah. Athletes in Action,
an offshoot of the far-reaching Campus Crusade for Christ International,
operates evangelistic ministries among professional sports teams and on college
campuses, and mentors athletes, coaches and sport administrators.
coaches, religion is a way to foster a sense of community. For chaplains and pastors,
it's a way to nudge players closer to Christ, to show them that there's
something greater than winning a game.
1966, AIA has committed to sharing a victory beyond competition that is found
only in a relationship with Jesus Christ," the Athletes in Action website
tell basketball players two things they need to know," Taylor said.
"That God loves you and, two, the world is not the way it's supposed to
be, it's broken."
avoids preaching, focusing instead on "just being available." He will
say a quick prayer before the game, then recite the Lord's Prayer before the
players hit the court.
never pray that we'll win," Taylor said. Rather, he asks God to protect
the athletes from injury, grant them strength, make the team more unified.
more about character-building, he said.
is about drawing us to him to become more like him: just, fair, generous,
loving, peaceful. Winning the Southern Conference can bring peace and joy, but
it's temporary," Taylor said. "God uses wins and losses to draw us
closer to him, to cause us to learn something about ourselves."
Post and Courier
Cougars knock off
February 12, 2012
were plenty of reasons College of Charleston should have lost Saturday to
Davidson. Poor free-throw shooting in the first half. Foul trouble. Injuries
that left the Cougars short-handed.
a resilient Cougars squad kept Southern Conference leader Davidson on its heels
and managed to pull off an 86-78 upset before an exuberant homecoming sellout
crowd of 5,112 at TD Arena.
Antwaine Wiggins, who played everything from point guard
center, picked up his fourth double-double of the season with 25 points and 10
rebounds to lead the Cougars to their third straight win and fourth in the last
troubles cost the Cougars (16-10, 8-7) all three post players. Sophomore Trent
Wiedeman, who had 17 points and six rebounds, went to the bench with 4:39 left;
sophomore James Carlton followed him with 3:31 remaining; and freshman Adjehi
Baru fouled out on a technical foul with a minute left. Starting point guard
Andrew Lawrence was limited to only 22 minutes after picking up his fourth foul
early in the second half. And junior Matt Sundberg sat out the game because of
an injury suffered in the first half of Thursday's win over Western Carolina.
coach Mark Byington, 4-2 since taking over for Bobby Cremins who is on a
medical leave of absence, said this was a big win for a team.
needed to see a result like this," Byington said. "I told them in the
lockerroom that I didn't want this to be the highlight of the season. I want
our guys to have bigger goals and higher aspirations."
didn't back down from the Wildcats and took the lead for good at at the
12-minute mark of the first half on a steal by Lawrence who got the ball to
Carlton for a dunk and a 16-15 lead. The Cougars expanded the lead to 12, but
lead 38-33 at the break.
Cougars quickly opened the gap in the second half and had a 17-point lead with
16 minutes left. But Davidson pulled within striking distance, and trailed by
four with five minutes left, but Charleston managed to hit most of its free
throws down the stretch to hang on.
(19-6, 13-2), the No. 2 free throw shooting team in the country, was 25 of 33
from the free throw line but missed five free throws in the final 4 1/2
minutes. Charleston, which has been hitting only 65 percent of its foul shots
and was 2 for 10 in the first half, was 11 for 14 from the foul line over the
final 4 1/2 minutes and finished by hitting 22 of 35 free throws.
was crazy and fun at at the same time," Byington said of the coaching
challenges, which had him making offense for defense substitutions the final 10
minutes of the game. "I'm really happy for Antwaine. He played well. He
kept us together. He's the silent leader. He showed great poised and stayed on
an even keel."
credited the crowd for helping the team pull out the win.
crowd was excellent, and our team played with a lot of intensity. We were
focused and ready to play."
Charleston defeats Davidson, 86-78
Ron Green, Jr.
February 11, 2012
S.C. - The thing that most bothered Davidson basketball coach Bob McKillop in
the aftermath of his Wildcats' 86-78 Southern Conference loss to College of
Charleston on Saturday at rambunctious TD Arena wasn't printed on the stat
it had been imprinted on the Wildcats' actions early in a game in which they
spent most of their time futilely trying to chase down the inspired Cougars.
25 minutes, only three Davidson players had scored a field goal, none of them
backcourt players. The result was a 17-point second-half hole that was too much
for the Wildcats to overcome.
of it was the aggressive defense by the Charleston guards," McKillop said.
"But our guys were a little bit hesitant, which is very surprising. For a
team that (was) 19-5, 13-1 in the Southern Conference to have a hesitancy at
this point in the season, was a little bit surprising."
the Wildcats (19-6, 13-2), it was a familiar theme. In earlier losses to
Charlotte and Samford, McKillop pointed to his team's difficulty answering
opponents' intensity. It was fundamental to the Wildcats' struggles against the
Cougars (16-10, 8-7).
told our backcourt what to do. Our backcourt needed to respond to that. They
have enough experience, enough talent. They should have been able to
(respond)," McKillop said.
a homecoming Saturday that featured a noisy sellout crowd, Charleston played
the role of aggressor, even when foul trouble eventually put three Cougars out
of the game. Matching Davidson's physical play, Charleston answered every
challenge, getting a dynamic 25-point performance from Antwaine Wiggins, who
started at forward but played four positions due to the Cougars' foul problems.
3-pointer from the left corner as the shot clock was expiring with 2 minutes,
16 seconds remaining, was the final blow to the Wildcats' persistent comeback
effort. After surrendering 14 consecutive points early in the second half to
fall behind 54-37, Davidson got as close as three points with less than three
minutes remaining only to have Wiggins pierce their rally.
had a number of daggers (today)," McKillop said.
had back-to-back 3-pointers late in the first half as the Cougars built a
12-point lead despite missing eight of 10 free throws before halftime. Davidson
was able to close to 38-33 at the break and McKillop thought his team had found
its bearing in a bruising game.
Post and Courier
Hall of Fame
inductions to highlight Cougs’ homecoming
February 11, 2012
3 p.m. matchup with Southern Conference leader Davidson preceded by Hall of
Fame inductions will highlight Homecoming activities today at the College of
Cougars, who have won two straight games and three of their last four, will
face the Wildcats in a game that will be televised on the SOCON Network.
Davidson defeated the College of Charleston, 87-69, in January.
19-5 overall and 13-1, has already clinched one of the two South Division byes
for next month's Southern Conference tournament. After snapping a four-game
losing streak, the College of Charleston (15-10, 7-7) has moved into fourth
place in the SoCon South, one game behind third-place Wofford and one game
ahead of fourth-place Furman.
Hall of Fame inductees are former men's basketball star Thaddeous Delaney
(1994-97), former women's golfer Eve Lux VanderWeele (1994-97) and longtime
sailing coach George Wood (1976-2007). The induction ceremonies are scheduled
for 10 a.m.
who was known as the "Shaq of the TAAC (Trans-America Athletic
Conference)," ranks fifth in career scoring with 1,564 points and second
in rebounding with 1,119. During his career, the Cougars amassed a 101-17
record and went to the NCAA tournament twice and played in the NIT twice.
VanderWeele played in 44 career tournaments for the College of Charleston and
was the individual medalist in three tournaments. She was a Curtis Cup
alternate and played in four U.S. Women's Amateurs. Lux VanderWeele is the
assistant women's golf coach at the College of Charleston.
began his career as a volunteer sailing team advisor and eventually coached 60
All-Americans, four Collegiate Sailors of the Year and two Olympic medalists.
He is the development officer for the C of C Foundation.
Post and Courier
Cougars top Cats
February 10, 2012
with a short bench that became even shorter in the first half, interim College
of Charleston basketball coach Mark Byington offered apologies to Cougars fans
for the team's offensive performance Thursday against Western Carolina.
the Cougars managed to outlast the Catamounts for a 62-58 victory before a
crowd of 3,637 at TD Arena.
played only seven players, and junior forward Matt Sundberg, already playing on
a gimpy ankle, went down hard in the first half and did not play in the final
20 minutes. Sophomore guard Trent Wiedeman sat out the game with an ankle injury
after playing in 61 straight games for the College of Charleston. Two other
starters were on the bench in street clothes, junior Willis Hall, who is out
for the season with an ACL injury, and freshman Anthony Stitt, who is
recovering from a broken hand but is expected to be back before the Southern
the Cougars got career highs from sophomore Nori Johnson, who led the team with
17 points, freshman Adjehi Baru, who collected 17 rebounds, and sophomore James
Carlton, who blocked five shots in the first half.
falling like flies," said Johnson, who hit 4 of 8 3-point attempts.
"It's tough, but when you get a win like this under tough circumstances it
makes memories. It gives us a good feeling, that when everybody comes back healthy,
we'll be tough."
(15-10, 7-7 Southern Conference) got off to a slow start with the Catamounts
(10-16, 4-9), taking a 12-3 lead. But the Cougars went on a 14-0 run, and the
rest of the half was a back-and-forth battle.
said he told the players at halftime to find a way to win and said they
persevered when a lot of things were going wrong.
Wiggins, who was 5 of 13 from the floor, hit his only 3-pointer of the game
with 4:10 to go, putting the Cougars ahead for good at 50-48. Western Carolina
was within a point, 52-51, but junior guard Andrew Lawrence drew a foul and
began to take control at the free-throw line.
scored seven points in the final 1:13, all but two coming from the foul line,
and Wiggins added a pair of free throws down the stretch to offset a pair of
3-pointers by Keaton Cole that kept Western Carolina within striking distance.
apologize to all the purists. We may have set basketball back 60 years, maybe
back to the days of the peach basket," Byington said. "We found a
way. We made enough plays and our defense carried us. By no means was it a
said there were players playing in different positions and the Cougars never
got into a rhythm. He said in the first half the team wasn't getting
high-percentage shots, but that's something he will fix.
felt like we got more comfortable, we ran our offense more and guys made plays
later in the shot clock. We're still young. We saw glimpses early in the season
(of how good the team could be). We're sticking together and playing hard.
Right now, that's all I can ask of them," Byington said.
Cougars, Eagles top
SoCon baseball picks
February 9, 2012
College of Charleston was picked by the coaches while Georgia Southern was the
choice of the media to win the 2012 Southern Conference baseball championship
it was announced Wednesday.
Cougars were picked by six of the 11 coaches and finished with 93 points, one
point ahead of the Eagles. Samford got the other first-place vote and was
picked to finish third with 83 points. The Citadel was picked eighth with 33
Southern received 20 first-place votes in the media poll and had 269 points.
The Cougars received three first-place votes and were second with 246 points
and Elon was third with two first-place votes and 220 points. The Citadel also
was picked eighth by the media, receiving 112 points.
College of Charleston players and two Citadel players were named to the SoCon
preseason all-conference team as picked by the league's coaches.
pitcher Christian Powell and outfielder Daniel Aldrich of the College of
Charleston, and third baseman Drew DeKerlegand of The Citadel were first-team
picks. Outfielder Nick Orvin of The Citadel, along with Cougars starting
pitcher Josh Renfro and outfielder Marty Gantt, were named to the second team.
February 9, 2012
of Charleston simply is not deep enough to overcome serious bouts of illness,
injury and fatigue. It was the story of the fall for the Cougars.
coach Jamie Futrell watched his already short roster shrink with the loss of
Anna Martin, first to a wrist injury and then to an appendectomy. About the
same time, senior standout Leigh Whittaker traveled to Austria to play the
UNIQA Ladies Golf Open on the Ladies European Tour (she gained an exemption by
winning the Austrian Amateur during the summer). Upon return, jetlag and
classroom catch-up left a fatigued Whittaker short of where she had been in the
kind of how the fall went. We just never could get all the pieces together,”
Futrell said. “I think we’re better than what our ranking is and everybody
knock on all the wood that I can find that everyone stays healthy. If so, we
could have a good spring.”
the second half of the season draws near, Futrell notes that every indication
from early practice sessions is that the Cougars' roster will be intact. It
might even lead to a changing of the Southern guard, so to speak.
typically has dominated in the Southern Conference, earning the NCAA automatic
qualifying spot out of the league for the past two years. The Mocs graduated
the top two players in the conference last spring, and it gave other Southern
contenders a bit of hope.
on recent history, College of Charleston might be in the best position for an
upset. The Cougars finished runner-up to Chattanooga each of the past two
years, and Futrell returns the same lineup that went to the East Regional as
freshmen (and one sophomore) in 2010.
a wide-open field this year,” Futrell said. “Whoever is playing the best when
they get there I think will be able to win. Hopefully that’s us.”
Post and Courier
What does CofC do
February 7, 2012
you're not prepared for the first major storm of the season and a hurricane
throws a brushback pitch at your roof, you probably start stocking up on
bottled water and canned grub at the first mention of a tropical depression
starting with the letter "B."
of Charleston head basketball coach Bobby Cremins came up the coast from Hilton
Head on Monday, and we were all glad to see him smiling on the 10th day of an
indefinite medical leave.
when a 64-year-old man says this is his second clash with career
"burnout" and that the latest episode "didn't happen
overnight", it's time to buy flashlights.
is at least the beginning of the end of Cremins' tenure with the Cougars, a
time to evaluate the most likely four post-Cremins options for the program. Too
bad, because a dynamic coach with Hall of Fame credentials gained while winning
three ACC titles at Georgia Tech gives Charleston value beyond victories.
really happy where everything is right now," Cremins said in a TD Arena
room aside John Kresse Court.
is better than he felt on Jan. 27, the day the school announced Cremins was
taking a break.
had nothing," Cremins said. "I had no gas."
and hopefully Cremins will be back at Charleston in some leadership capacity.
No way the Cougars get such juicy non-conference home games without him. He put
fans in the seats and put charm and effort into making the Charleston Classic a
success for ESPN.
interim head coach is 2-2 since Cremins left, with extra credit for winning two
of three Southern Conference games on the road last week.
nine years on the Charleston bench dating to the Tom Herrion years and a solid
reputation as a recruiter, Byington at least deserves a long look.
Byington is Cremins' favorite option.
has put us right back in this thing," he said.
Andrew Goudelock broke in with the Los Angeles Lakers this season, A.J. was the
Cougars' only NBA player. Recently retired after a 13-year career, Johnson
repeatedly has said he wants to coach and helped the Philadelphia 76ers'
coaching staff during the 2011 playoffs.
37-year-old Charleston native would get support from lots of fans of Kresse
glory years that included three NCAA tournament appearances.
the school hired athletic director Joe Hull to make decisions like this. Hull
made a very good hire in tabbing Monte Lee as baseball coach, but inherited
course, an official committee will offer advice and Charleston might hire a
search firm. If Hull guides the process, he might lean on his ACC roots and
pick a top assistant from within that conference.
try to find another older, friendly coach still capable enough to win games and
one of the most overachieving head coaches in mid-major college basketball this
Radebaugh is just up I-26 at Charleston Southern. The 1987 East Tennessee State
grad also has worked at ETSU (for Les Robinson), Wofford, Furman, South
Carolina (for Eddie Fogler), Winthrop (for Gregg Marshall) and Miami.
Cremins comes back for a few more years.
whenever the search for Cremins' long-term successor begins, harmony disappears.
Cougar Family will split in four directions or more.
a good thing, a sign that Bobby Cremins coaching before good crowds in a
wonderful House That Kresse Built has made Charleston one of the most
attractive jobs in any college basketball conference that historically has
received only one NCAA tournament bid per year.
Post and Courier
Cremins left due to
February 7, 2012
Cremins returned to the College of Charleston campus Monday to put to rest
rumors about his health and return the focus to the Cougars basketball program.
happy and relaxed, Cremins, 64, said his decision on Jan. 27 to take a medical
leave of absence came about because he was "physically exhausted, fatigued
and lacked the energy to coach our basketball team."
of Charleston basketball coach Bobby Cremins met with the media for the first
time on Monday after taking a medical "leave of absence" from the
program last month.
didn't happen overnight. It was building," said Cremins, who said he
experienced a similar situation when he was coaching at Georgia Tech. That bout
with exhaustion, he said, occurred at the end of the season. "The bottom
line is a leader has to be able to lead his team. I recognized I was not able
to do that."
said he underwent medical tests to rule out other health issues. His physician
in Charleston, whom he declined to name, told Cremins he needed to step away
from the game immediately or risk jeopardizing his health further.
doctor's orders have been rest and exercise. Cremins said he has played tennis
and golf and has been taking lengthy walks while staying at a home he owns on Hilton
Head Island. Cremins said he would have liked to stay in town, but his downtown
Charleston home is situated too close to TD Arena.
spent a couple of hours in his office Monday, catching up on emails and
visiting with friends before addressing the media. Later, Cremins spoke to the
team. He said one of
highlights of being in town was unexpectedly running into senior Antwaine
Wiggins on campus and "seeing the smile on his face."
keeping his distance from the program, Cremins has kept up with the team's
fortunes. Cremins said he has timed his long walks to take place during Cougars
basketball games. Upon returning, he would ask his wife Carolyn to tell him not
whether the team won or lost but how they played and he could judge from that.
His walk last Thursday did not last long enough to cover the two overtimes in
the Cougars' 99-98 loss at Elon, so he did listen to the radio broadcast of the
final 10 minutes.
said he is trying to give interim coach Mark Byington room to handle the progam
as he sees fit.
Cougars are 2-2 since Byington took over and 14-10 overall and have six games
remaining before the Southern Conference Tournament. Charleston plays host to
Western Carolina at 8 p.m. Thursday and faces league-leading Davidson at home
Saturday at 3 p.m.
and I talk almost every day. We do not talk basketball. He's in charge. I
basically ask him if there's anything I can do," Cremins said. He added
that he has sent text messages to team captain Andrew Lawrence and asked him to
forward them to other team members.
think it's important I keep my distance. Mark is in charge of all
basketball-related issues. I just want to be there if he needs anything.
team has helped me the most. This team has played some great basketball. It's
so great to see those guys respond the way they have."
Charleston coach Cremins says he was physically
February 7, 2012
S.C. (AP) – Bobby Cremins knew he had
nothing left to give his College of Charleston
players when he walked away from the game last month.
said Monday he was physically exhausted and advised by his doctor to make
drastic changes or risk jeopardizing his long-term health. That's when the
popular coach, famous for his blinding white hair, knew he'd have to make one
of the most difficult decisions of his career.
had nothing. I had no gas. The tank was empty," Cremins said Monday.
"The kids knew. They could feel it."
Cremins went on an indefinite medical leave of absence — one that the
64-year-old coach didn't seem ready to end anytime soon.
energy level is still not where it needs to be, but I'm definitely feeling a
lot better," he said.
coach said he has had several tests done and nothing life-threatening was
came to campus from his home on Hilton Head to answer emails, complete
paperwork and see athletic department colleagues. He planned to talk with the
team before practice and visit more friends Monday evening before heading back
to his island house about two hours south.
also wanted to set to rest whispers of more serious medical conditions that
might've caused him to step aside. Cremins said it was exhaustion, plain and
wish I could explain it," he said. "It's in my DNA."
joked that he and Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun, who used to have a
home on Hilton Head, could've recuperated together. Calhoun took a medical
leave from the Huskies last week for spinal stenosis.
would not discuss when or if he might return to basketball. "I'm not even
thinking about that," he said.