The season isn’t over yet and I’m not going to make any judgments on the 2013-14 edition of the College of Charleston’s basketball team until after it’s over, but I think this is the team, the one we’ve seen the last four games, that many in Cougars Nation had expected to see when the season started.
CofC coach Doug Wojick kept telling early in the season that the Cougars were going to be work in progress.
I think we’ve seen what the Cougars are capable of in the last four games. If you look at the numbers (see below), the Cougars defense and rebounding has been pretty consistent all season. The problem has been their shooting, which they’ve picked up of late.
The difference has been the emergence of Nori Johnson. As you’ll recall, Nori wasn’t getting it done in the classroom during the first semester and there was a pretty good chance that he wasn’t going to be eligible to play in the second semester. That’s why he languished at the end of the Cougars in November and December. To Nori’s credit, he got his academic house in order, he’s scheduled to graduate in May, and when he got his opportunity he’s made the most of it and hasn’t been bitter or least not publically or with the media. Nori is 14 of 26 from 3-point range since The Citadel game and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Cougars are 4-0 with him back in the lineup.
It will be very interesting to see what happens with Canyon Barry when he’s healthy again and where he fits into the rotation. Right now, Nori is the better shooter and defender and I’d be surprised to see his minutes diminish when Barry returns.
OK, Hofstra isn’t that good. Joe Mihalich, who came from Niagara, takes over this season and is trying to build up the program. They’ve got a basically two guys that can play – Dion Nesmith (go figure he can basketball) and Zeke Upshaw.
There isn’t a whole lot of media coverage of Hostra.
Here’s a blog on Hofstra.
Here’s a season preview story from Newsday.
Here’s a replay of the entire game between Delaware and Hofstra. If have time to watch it.
College of Charleston at Hofstra
When: Saturday, 4 p.m.
Where: Mack Sports Complex (5,023) at Hempstead, N.Y.
Series: First Meeting.
Radio: CSS/WTMZ 910-AM
College of Charleston
Coach: Doug Wojcik, 33-18, in 2nd season at CofC; 173-110 overall in 9th season.
PROJECTED COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON STARTERS
#22 Anthony Stitt, G, 6-1, 180, Jr. (10.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 3.0 apg, 34.4 min)
#2 Johnathan Burroughs-Cook, G, 6-1, 175, Fr. (2.2 ppg, 0.7 rpg, 0.4 apg, 8.4 min)
#3 Anthony Thomas, SF, 6-7, 207, Sr. (7.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 0.6 apg, 23.9 min)
#53 Willis Hall, F, 6-6, 235, Sr. (11.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 0.9 apg, 31.3 min)
#1 Adjehi Baru, F, 6-9, 225, Jr. (9.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.1 apg, 29.2 min)
Coach: Joe Mihalich, 4-11, in first season; 269-214 overall in 16th season.
PROJECTED HOFSTRA STARTERS
#11 Dion Nesmith, G, 6-0, 200, Sr. (13.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.9 apg, 33.3 min)
#20 Jamall Robinson, G/F, 6-5, 210, Fr. (9.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.9 apg, 31.7 min)
#0 Jordan Allen, F, 6-6, 200, So. (5.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.3 apg, 28.3 min)
#3 Zeke Upshaw, G/F, 6-6, 215, Sr. (18.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.7 apg, 34.7 min)
#24 Stephen Nwaukoni, F/C, 6-8, 240, Sr. (6.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 0.5 apg, 21.5 min)
The Cougars have certainly been a different team at the offensive end of the floor the last three games. Here are some statistics that shows the difference.
STAT CATEGORY FIRST 13 GAMES LAST THREE GAMES
Points Per Game 62.3 ppg 70.3 ppg
Scoring Defense 62.8 ppg 58.3 ppg
Field Goal% 40.8% 44.9%
Field Goal% Defense 41.5% 36.1%
3PT Field Goal% 29.7% 39.7%
Free Throw% 63.5% 70.0%
Rebounds Per Game 38.4 41.3
Rebounding Margin +4.8 +12.0
Assists Per Game 9.8 11.7
They Said It:
“You would like to get off to a better start, but I knew we would be incredibly challenged in the early part of our season. I always feel confident about our team improving throughout the season. My teams have had a tendency to do that. We played a tough non-conference schedule and we’ve tried to incorporate five new guys into the top nine-to-10 positions on the team. For the most part, we are healthy and are playing well right now. It’s a testament to our team that we have different players stepping up every night.” CofC coach Doug Wojcik.
“We finally found a flow and everything is going the way we planned it to go. Reasons for our success? Defensive stops and the way we’ve prepared for games in practice. Intensity has picked up. It’s a combination of things offensively and defensively. We are extremely excited to travel up North to New York and Boston for the weekend, and hopefully, get two wins. We really want to continue our success on the road.” – CofC Senior Forward Anthony Thomas