COASTAL CAROLINA UNIVERSITY MEN'S BASKETBALL
CHANTICLEERS vs. KNIGHTS
Coastal Carolina's Kimbel Arena (1,039) ~ Conway, South Carolina
Tuesday, January 3, 2006 ~ 7 p.m.
THE COACHES: Coastal Carolina Head Coach Buzz Peterson (North Carolina, '86) is in his first season at the helm of the Chanticleers and holds a 171-114 overall coaching record in nine-plus seasons. Last season, Coastal posted a 10-19 mark, including 7-9 in Big South Conference play.
Billy Lee (Atlantic Christian, 71) is in his first season at St. Andrews with a 2-5 record and in his 26th year as a head coach overall with a 339-379 mark. Last season, St. Andrews was 12-16 overall and 6-14 in the Division II Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference, finishing ninth. The Knights return three starters and seven letterwinners from last year's squad.
SERIES HISTORY: Coastal holds a 3-0 lead in the series. The most recent meeting occurred during the 2003-04 season, as the Chants escaped with a 91-83 win. However, CCU and St. Andrews also met last season in the opening exhibition game for both squads, with the Chanticleers picking up the 84-57 victory.KIMBEL HAS ITS ADVANTAGES: Coastal Carolina's Kimbel Arena may seat just over 1,000 fans, but it had been large for the Chanticleers the previous two seasons. Coastal was 9-1 in non-conference play during the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons, with the only loss a 73-72 heartbreaker to the College of Charleston early in the 2003-04 season. Coastal was a combined 17-9 at home over the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons, and finished 8-5 in 2004-05. CCU did open the 2005-06 home schedule with a resounding 70-35 victory over Coker. The Chanticleers are 5-0 this season at home and now 17-3 since the start of the 2002-03 season in non-conference games at home.
THE STARTING LINEUP IS SET... FOR NOW: Coastal Carolina, under first year head coach Buzz Peterson, has tweaked the lineup through the first six games but has settled on the same starting five in three of the last five games, with the group posting a 2-1 mark so far. In the first 10 games, the Chanticleers have had seven different starting lineups. However, three players (Pele Paelay, Jack Leasure and Moses Sonko) have started all 10 games and one other (Chad Ferguson) has started seven. Guard Mario Sisinni has joined the starting lineup in four of the last five contests.
GETTING THE START: At least one freshman has been in the starting lineup for Coastal in nine of the first 10 contests. Of those freshman, guard Mario Sisinni has started the most with four, while forward Matt Brennan has started in three contests. Forward Joseph Harris has started two and guard Steven Sexton has started one this season.
DRAINING AND DISHING: Sophomore guard Jack Leasure has been getting the job done in a variety of ways early this year. Leasure continues to hit the outside shot, as he has drained 47 triples on 46.5 percent shooting this year and is leading the Chanticleers in scoring at 19.3 points per game. However, he has also taken on some point guard duties and made that work, as he is averaging 4.3 assists per game, including a career-best nine dishes in the wins twice this year, as well as 1.9 steals per contest.
After averaging 22.5 points a game during the week of Dec. 12-18, including a career-best 33 in the win over MEAC-preseason favorite South Carolina State, Leasure was named Big South Player of the Week for the first time in his career Dec. 19.
SOME KEY ITEMS FOR COASTALS VICTORIES: Several trends developed in regards to Coastal winning in the 2005-06 season. Coastal is 5-2 when leading at the break and 5-0 when ahead with five minutes to play. Defense is always a key, as Coastal is 5-1 when holding opponents to less than 70 points, as well as 4-1 when outrebounding the opposition.
HITTING FROM LONG RANGE: Coastal hit early and often from long range in the 2004-05 season. The Chanticleers knocked down an average of 7.0 three pointers a game on 36.0 percent shooting.
In the early going this season, CCU has hit on a league-leading 37.8 percent of its three-point attempts and is averaging a league-best 9.3 triples a game, which ranks 10th in Division I as of Dec. 19. Also, sophomore Jack Leasure leads Division I with 4.7 three-pointers per game and also ranks 22nd in three-point field goal percentage at 46.5.
AT YOUR LEASURE: Sophomore Jack Leasure was impressive on the offensive end of the floor in his freshman season. He opened his collegiate career Nov. 19 with 16 points against Indiana State and followed it up with 17 points, including five three-pointers, at Evansville, Nov. 21. Leasure then had a career high 22 points on 6-of-11 shooting against Hawaii Nov. 26. He scored 23 points, including at High Point, Feb. 12, 2004. He averaged 14.5 points (seventh in the Big South) and hit 42.5 percent (85-of-200) from the three-point arc, second best in the Big South Conference. He also led the league and ranked 29th nationally in three-pointers per game with 2.93. Leasure improved his averages to 15.8 points (third in the Big South) and 2.8 rebounds per game in league play.
This season, Leasure leads the Chants in scoring, averaging a team-high 19.3 points a game (sixth in the Big South) and adding 3.5 rebounds. He has hit a league-best 47 three-pointers (4.7 per game), including a career-best nine in the recent win over Chowan, Dec. 19. He currently ranks third on CCU's all-time three-pointers chart with 132 in just 39 games. His nine three pointers tied for the second-best performance in school history, while his seven three-pointers against Coker, Nov. 30, tied for the fifth best single game in Coastal history. He also has 43 assists (third in the league) and 19 steals (tied for fifth in the Big South) so far this year.
STEPPING UP THE DEFENSE: In winning five of its last eight games, the Chanticleers have made the difference on the defensive end of the floor. In the five victories, Coastal has given up just 58.6 points per game and just 40.6 percent (102-for-251) shooting from the floor. Additionally, the Chants have forced 7.0 more turnovers a game in the wins, including 11.6 steals per game. Coastal has also outrebounded its opponents by 6.0 caroms a game in the five victories.
This doesn't mean Coastal hasn't been solid offensively as well in the wins. The Chants have hit on 48.9 percent (152-for-311) of their shots from the floor, including 42.5 percent (54-for-127) from the three-point arc.
Individually, guard Jack Leasure has been the leader for the Chants in the five victories, averaging 25.8 points per game in the wins. Additionally, Leasure has hit 57.3 percent (43-for-75) of his shots from the floor, including 31 three pointers and 51.7 percent (31-for-60) shooting from beyond the arc. He also has 3.4 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 2.4 steals per game in the five victories.
LAST MEETING WITH ST. ANDREWS: In the first exhibition of the 2004-05 season, the Coastal Carolina mens basketball squad jumped out to a 16-1 lead and never looked back, defeating visiting St. Andrews, 84-57, in exhibition play, Nov. 4, 2004.
Junior guard Colin Stevens opened the scoring with a three-pointer, while junior guard Pele Paelay scored 11 of the first 16 points, as the Chanticleers built as much as a 22-point lead in the first half at 34-12 with 4:53 to go. St. Andrews fought back with a 13-5 run to close it to 39-25 at the intermission.
After St. Andrews Will Livingston scored the first basket of the second half to cut the margin to 12, Coastal put a spurt on that would put the game away. Coastal went on a 22-3 run over the next 5:53 to make it 61-30 and put the game out of reach.
Coastal dominated the paint, outscoring SAPC, 42-12, while also converting 20 offensive rebounds into 26 second-chance points. The Chanticleers hit 45.6 percent from the field, including 43.8 percent from the three-point arc, while St. Andrews was limited to just 31.5 percent from the field. CCU also controlled the glass, outrebounding the visitors, 55-26.
Coastal was led by Paelay, who posted a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds, while sophomore forward Moses Sonko added 10 points and nine rebounds. Freshman Jack Leasure added 14 points off the bench, while senior center Matthijs Reinders rounded out the double figure scorers with 11. St. Andrews was led by Bobby Short with 21 points, including 5-for-11 from the three-point arc. Livingston was the only other St. Andrews player in double figures with 13.
STEPPING UP INSIDE: Sophomore forward Chad Ferguson has been active on the interior for Coastal this season. After averaging just 2.9 points and 1.6 rebounds per game last year, Ferguson is currently averaging 7.3 points and 3.4 rebounds a contest. He posted a career-best 11 points in the win over Jacksonville, Dec. 11, and had already set new career bests in points, rebounds, assists and steals within the first five games this season.
PAELAY GETS IT DONE: Senior Pele Paelay made things happen offensively for Coastal in the 2004-05 season. Paelay knocked down a career-high 27 points and made it his first career double-double with 11 rebounds at Evansville, Nov. 23. He later followed up that performance with 22 points and 11 rebounds at UNC Greensboro, Nov. 23. Paelay had a career-high 38 points and eight rebounds in the win at VMI, Jan. 10. The 38 points are the sixth most in school history and best in the league this year, while his 14 field goals tied for third in CCU annals. For the season, Paelay averaged a league-bests of 16.8 points and 2.4 steals per game and added 6.0 rebounds. He also led CCU in scoring 15 times and 12 times in rebounding, while tallying double-digit scoring in 27 of 29 contests. He was the only player in the Big South Conference to rank in the top 10 in scoring (1st), rebounding (6th) and steals (1st) and was 11th in assists.
This season, Paelay is averaging 15.3 points (seventh in the Big South) and 4.9 rebounds (tied for 18th in the league) in the first 10 contests. He had his best game of the season so far at Minnesota, tallying a game-high 23 points on 8-for-12 shooting, including 4-for-7 from the three-point arc. He added two rebounds, five assists and one steal in the effort. He tied that mark with 23 points in the home win over Jacksonville, Dec. 11.
MAKING THE DEBUT A POSITIVE ONE: Freshman Matt Brennan had a positive impact in the opener at Jacksonville State, Nov. 21. In his collegiate debut, Brennan started and played 28 minutes, scoring 15 points, including 3-for-3 from the field and 9-for-11 from the free throw line.
Brennan is currently fifth for Coastal in scoring at 4.7 points per game and is third on the squad in rebounding at 4.0 boards per contest.
WHERE'S THE BENCH?: Coastal is continuing to look for support from the bench after its first 10 games of the season and found it in one of its most recent outings. The Chanticleers got a season-high 50 points from the reserves in the victory over Ohio Valley, Dec. 28.
For the season, Coastal has gotten 151 points off the bench in the first 10 contests of the year, just 21.7 percent of the offensive production for the Chanticleers. The second-best output came in the South Carolina State game, as the bench chipped in 22 points (30.6 percent) in CCU's third consecutive home victory over South Carolina State Dec. 14.
THE WINDING ROAD HAS NOT BEEN KIND: After posting a 4-4 record on the road in the Big South in 2003-04, CCU was 2-6 on the road in the Big South last season, with wins at VMI (Jan. 10) and Birmingham-Southern (Jan. 24) and 2-14 in road games overall.
CCU dropped its first five road games of the 2005-06 season at Jacksonville State, Wisconsin, Minnesota and UNC Wilmington. As a matter of fact, Coastal has lost its last 16 non-conference road games, dating back to the 2003-04 season opener at Marist.
TONIGHT'S INJURY REPORT: For the game against St. Andrews, forward Logan Johnson (right knee) is out.
YOUTH IS SERVED THIS YEAR: Of the 16 players on the Coastal roster to open this season, eight are freshmen new to the team, while a ninth redshirted last year. Among the returners, there are two seniors, two juniors and three sophomores.
A TOUGH DEFENSIVE BATTLE LOST AT EKU: The Coastal Carolina mens basketball team battled in a hard-fought game but came up short in a 60-51 loss at Eastern Kentucky, Dec. 30.
Coastal got off to a good start, as guard Pele Paelay grabbed the opening tip and knocked down a three-pointer for a 3-0 CCU lead just six seconds in. The Chanticleers eventually built that into a 13-6 lead just 4:26 into the contest. However, EKU had an answer for that, going on a 13-4 run that gave the Colonels a 22-17 lead with 7:59 to go in the first half. After the teams traded baskets to make it 27-22 EKU, the Chants played solid defense down the last 3:50 of the half, shutting out the host and entering the halftime lockerroom with a 28-27 advantage.
Coastal hit on just 37.5 percent (12-for-32) of its shots from the floor in the first half, but limited EKU to just 34.8 percent (8-for-23). The Chanticleers held a 21-15 advantage on the board, including 10 offensive rebounds. CCU also got 14 bench points and outscored the hosts 14-6 in the paint.
Paelay led Coastal with seven points, as seven CCU players got in the scoring column, four of them with four or more. EKU was led by guard Matt Witt with 11 points, including a pair of triples.
The two teams exchanged five leads and had five ties in the second half, as the game continued to be a battle. With the score knotted at 44 with 6:24 to play, EKU took the lead for good on a 7-0 run, capped off by Jason McLeish's three-pointer to put the Colonels up 51-44 with just over three minutes to play. A conventional three-point play by forward Moses Sonko cut the game to four, but that was as close as Coastal would get down the stretch.
The Chants shot just 35.1 percent (20-for-57) for the game while holding the Colonels down to just 36.7 percent (18-for-49). CCU outrebounded EKU 41-30, but the difference was turnovers, as Coastal committed 19 miscues, 14 in the second half, and Eastern Kentucky turned those into 24 points. EKU also was 18-for-23 from the free throw line, while Coastal was just 6-for-7.
Paelay led CCU with 12 points and six rebounds, while guard Jack Leasure was the only other Coastal player in double figures with 10 points. EKU was led by Witt with a game-high 24, with McLeish adding 10.
A RESOUNDING RETURN FROM THE BREAK: The Coastal Carolina mens basketball team returned from an eight-day holiday break to defeat Ohio Valley, 109-76, Dec. 28 in Kimbel Arena. This is the first time that Coastal has eclipsed the 100-point mark since Dec. 28, 2003 when CCU scored 115 in a win over Lees-McRae.
It was a running game throughout, as OVU got the opening bucket and actually led on two other occasions, including an 11-10 margin with 13:28 to go in the game. However, Coastal put on a spurt, scoring the next 17 points of the contest to take a 27-11 lead the Chants would never relinquish. The CCU lead was cut to 12 at 38-26 on Austin McGee's layup with 5:44 to go in the half, but Coastal pushed the advantage back out with a 15-1 run over the next three minutes to lead 52-27 before settling for a 56-35 halftime advantage.
The Chants shot a stellar 59.0 percent (23-for-39) in the first half, while the Fighting Scots hit on 50.0 percent (15-for-30) from the floor. The difference in field goals could be directly attributed to turnovers, as CCU forced 17 Ohio Valley miscues compared to just five for Coastal. The Chants then outscored the Scots 28-2 off those turnovers in the opening stanza.
CCU was led by guard Jack Leasure with 16 points, including four three pointers, and also chipped in five assists. Guard Pele Paelay was behind him with 13 points. Ohio Valley was paced by center Marlon Pierre with 11 points, while guard Will Spencer had nine at the intermission.
Coastal continued to maintain their stronghold throughout the second half, leading by no fewer than 22 in the final period and pushing the margin to as many as 39 at 96-57 with 7:25 to play. With the lead, all 14 Chanticleers dressed saw playing time in the contest, with 11 registering in the scoring column.
The Chants finished the game hitting 58.9 percent (43-for-73) from the floor, including 46.2 percent (12-for-26) from the three-point arc. Ohio Valley was 49.2 percent (30-for-61) from the field and 50.0 percent (7-for-14) from beyond the line. The difference came down to turnovers, as CCU had 38 points off 26 OVU turnovers, with the Chants collecting 17 steals. The Chants also got out on the break, tallying 35 fast-break points and getting a season-high 50 points from the bench.
Paelay led all scorers with 20 points, as the Chants had six players in double figures and two more with at least eight points. Leasure added 19 points, nine assists, five steals, three rebounds and just one turnover. Senior guard Colin Stevens scored a season-high 12 points, while forwards Matt Brennan and Moses Sonko and guard Steven Sexton each contributed 11. Sexton's was a season-best for the freshman.
Ohio Valley was led by Spencer with 18, with forward Chris Cobbina and Pierre finishing with 17 and 14, respectively.
A SURPRISING PRESEASON POLL: Coastal was picked to finish second in the 2005 Big South Preseason Poll, announced at the league's annual Media Day in Charlotte, N.C., Oct. 15. The poll, voted on by the league's head coaches, sports information directors and selected media members, selected Winthrop as the first-ever unanimous favorite, as the Eagles return all five starters from last year's championship team. UNC Asheville was selected third, one point behind Coastal. Liberty was picked fourth, followed by High Point, Birmingham-Southern, Radford, Charleston Southern and VMI, respectively.
LIVE ON THE RADIO AND THE WEB: Coastal Carolina men's basketball will be broadcast live on "The Team", 93.9 FM, 93.7 FM and 1050 AM in the Conway/Myrtle Beach area, as well as on the Internet at www.GoCCUSports.com. Matt Hogue returns for his eighth year as "Voice of the Chanticleers". In addition, a returning feature this year will be Live Game Stats of all CCU home basketball games on the Internet.