Men's Basketball Heads to Alabama
Conway - The Coastal Carolina University men's basketball team will take their two-game winning streak on the road for its next two Sun Belt Conference outings.
CCU (13-13, 8-5 Sun Belt) will be in the state of Alabama to face the Troy Trojans to start the trip. The two teams will play at Trojan Arena Saturday Feb. 18 at 4:15 p.m. (CT). Two days later the Chanticleers will be in Mobile to face the South Alabama Jaguars.
Coastal has won four of its past five games, with all of those wins coming against the teams that are ranked ahead of them in the conference race. CCU will enter the weekend in sixth place in the conference standings, but only 1.5 games out of first.
While the Chants are 6-1 in home conference games, they will be looking to improve on their 2-4 conference road record over the next two games.
Jaylen Shaw and Elijah Wilson continue to lead the Chants offensive production. Shaw leads the team averaging 14 points per game while Wilson is at 13.2. During the recent home stand, Wilson went over the 1,700 career points score mark, becoming only the third person in CCU men's basketball history to reach that point total.
For all the scoring Shaw and Wilson have done this season, senior Colton Ray-St Cyr may be the hottest player on the team right now. Over the past four games Ray-St Cyr has averaged 15.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. He has shot 61 percent (23-38) from the field, 38 percent (6-16) from beyond the three point line and 91 percent (10-11) from the free throw line. He is averaging 9.7 points and six rebounds per game.
Demario Beck was the hero in the win over Georgia State as his ninth rebound of the game turned into a put back basket with 3.5 seconds left in the game to lead the Chants to the narrow 65-64 win over Georgia State.
Beck has been moved into a four position and is still learning the new position, but one thing he continues to do is rebound. His 8.2 rebounds per game are third best in the league while he still averages 9.5 points per game.
As the Chants have moved to a four-guard team, Shivaughn Wiggins has moved into the point guard position freeing up Shaw and Wilson to become more of shooting guards.
With Wiggins at the point, the Chants have seen their turnovers per game slowly come down, while their scoring has increased slightly. Wiggins is averaging over nine points and three rebounds per game to go with his three assists per outing.
Off the bench, has been super-sub Artur Labinowicz. The freshman continues to come up with either big rebounds or baskets during his minutes on the court. In CCU's win over Georgia State Labinowicz had eight points and five rebounds and he followed that up with a game and career-high 10 rebounds off the bench in the win over Georgia State.
Like the Chants, Troy (14-12, 6-6 Sun Belt) has won two consecutive games, and three of its past four games, with one of those wins coming against Georgia Southern.
Troy is the second highest-scoring team in the Sun Belt averaging 80.4 points per game. With those numbers the Trojans have three double-digits scorers that can explode at any time.
Jordon Varnado is the reigning Sun Belt player of the Week and leads Troy in scoring (15.9) and rebounding (7.0). The Trojans most explosive player is Wesley Person, the son of former Auburn and the NBA standout Wesley Person, Sr., and nephew to another former Auburn and NBA star Chuck Person.
Like his father and uncle, the younger Person is a three-point shooter connecting only almost 40 percent of his three point attempts. He averages over 14 points per game and is one of the top free throw shooters in the conference (.823).
Jeremy Hollimon does not get as much press as Varnado and Person, but is capable himself of scoring a lot of points. He averages 12.3 ponts per game while shooting almost 50 percent from the field and 43 percent from beyond the three point line.
With Troy scoring so many points there has to be someone to distribute the ball and the Trojans have three good ones at doing that. Kevin Baker leads the team with 80 assists and Daniel Peace has 55 and DeVon Walker has 50.
The second game of the road trip will be at South Alabama Monday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. (CT). USA (12-13, 5-7 Sun Belt) has won two of its past three games and has won eight games at home this season.
Both games can be heard live on WSEA Sports Radio 100.3 "The Team".