Every coach tells the media before every game, that this game, the next game, is the most important game of the season.
It’s coach talk.
But Saturday’s game against Hofstra could very well be the most important game of the season for the College of Charleston.
The Cougars are coming off back-to-back losses against James Madison and William & Mary. Another loss and there’s a chance this thing might get out of control.
The Cougars should have beat Hofstra in the earlier this season. CofC had a 14-point lead in the first half and Nori Johnson had 25 points and somehow still lost, 75-71.
The key will be rebounding, one of the few games where the Cougars have been outrebounded.
Another key for the Cougars will be defending Zeke Upshaw, who had 22 points in the first game. Upshaw is another one of those 6-6 multi-dimensional wing players that has hurt the Cougars in the past. Anthony Thomas will get the first crack at guard Upshaw.
Here’s a game story from Hofstra’s loss to Drexel on Wednesday that appeared in Newsday.
Here’s some video highlights of Hofstra’s game against Towson.
Hofstra (7-15, 3-4 in CAA) at College of Charleston (11-11, 3-4)
When: Saturday, 4p.m.
Where: TD Arena
Series: Hofstra leads, 1-0.
Last Meeting: Hofstra def. CofC, 75-71, on Jan. 11, 2014 in Hempstead, N.Y.
Radio: WTMZ 910-AM
College of Charleston
Coach: Doug Wojcik, 35-22, in 2nd season at CofC; 175-113 overall in 9th season.
PROJECTED COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON STARTERS
#22 Anthony Stitt, G, 6-1, 180, Jr. (10.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.0 apg, 34.3 min)
#11 Nori Johnson, G/F, 6-5, 209, Sr. (7.2 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 0.6 apg, 18.6 min)
#3 Anthony Thomas, SF, 6-7, 207, Sr. (7.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.0 apg, 24.7 min)
#53 Willis Hall, F, 6-6, 235, Sr. (12.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 0.8 apg, 31.9 min)
#1 Adjehi Baru, F, 6-9, 225, Jr. (9.9 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.1 apg, 30.1 min)
Coach: Joe Mihalich, 7-15, in first season; 272-218 overall in 16th season
PROJECTED HOFSTRA STARTERS
#11 Dion Nesmith, G, 6-0, 200, Sr. (13.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 4.3 apg, 34.1 min)
#20 Jamall Robinson, G/F, 6-5, 210, Fr. (9.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.9 apg, 32.6 min)
#3 Zeke Upshaw, G/F, 6-6, 215, Sr. (19.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.8 apg, 35.5 min)
#31 Moussa Kone, F, 6-7, 220, Jr. (7.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 0.4 apg, 21.5 min)
#24 Stephen Nwaukoni, F/C, 6-8, 240, Sr. (6.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 0.5 apg, 22.6 min)
WEBBER TO BE INDUCTED INTO COFC ATHLETICS HALL OF FAME
Former College of Charleston men’s basketball star Sedric Webber (1995-99) is one of three former student-athletes to be selected for induction into the CofC Athletics Hall of Fame. The 2014 Induction Class also includes former College Sailor of the Year Tyler W. Moore (1991-95) and former four-time All-TAAC women’s tennis standout Siri Mittet (1993-97). Named Southern Conference Player of the Year by the coaches and the media in 1999, Webber also garnered All-SoCon First Team honors by the coaches and media in 1999. During his four-year career, he scored 1,267 points and 694 rebounds. He currently ranks 19th all-time in career scoring and sixth all-time in CofC’s Division I history in career rebounding. As a senior, Webber led the Cougars to their third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance (1997, 1998 and 1999), while averaging a team-leading 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. The team’s four-year record was 106-16 during Webber’s career. He is one of only two Division I men’s basketball players all-time to have won conference player of the year in two different Division I conferences in back-to-back seasons. After graduating in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Webber played for the North Charleston Lowgators and Columbus Riverdragons and was a two-time All-NBA Development League Team selection. His No. 23 jersey is honored in the rafters of TD Arena.
They Said It
“We want to be hitting on all five cylinders. We have put together some really great stretches and put together some really good games. We just have to be more consistent and be hitting from all of five positions at the same time. After two tough road losses, we are ready to get back out there. We expect it to be another tough game on Saturday against Hofstra.” – CofC forward Willis Hall on what the team is looking to improve on in its next stretch of CAA games
“There is a point of emphasis on this game, because it’s the next game and next home game. Also, because we lost to them (Hofstra) earlier this season. However, there are seven teams in our conference that are still in the mix. We just need to start getting games and string them together, so we can get that top four seed (at the CAA Tournament in March). Delaware has separated themselves and Towson and William & Mary has four wins. They are really one game away for us. There is still a lot to look forward to in this season and a lot to play for.” – Junior Guard Anthony Stitt on play Hofstra for the second time and the conference race.
“We really did a good job early at Hofstra with a 14-point lead. He (Zeke Upshaw) got two transition threes at the end of the first half that really got him and the team going. Our league is full of guys who are averaging 18 points-or-more a game. It’s not very common in other leagues. You just try to do your best in guarding players like Upshaw and (William & Mary’s Marcus) Thornton. My hats off to them. They are both really good players. (Dion) Nesmith is also a very good player for Hofstra. He’s a point guard and fifth year senior. He can shoot it and is aggressive. There will be a lot of ball screens for them on Saturday.” – CofC Head Coach Doug Wojcik on defending CAA second-leading scorer Zeke Upshaw of Hofstra on Saturday