COASTAL CAROLINA UNIVERSITY MEN'S BASKETBALL
CHANTICLEERS vs. BUCCANEERS
Coastal Carolina's Kimbel Arena (1,039) ~ Conway, South Carolina
Saturday, January 6, 2007 ~ 2 p.m.
OPENING BIG SOUTH CONFERENCE PLAY WITH RIVALS: The Coastal Carolina mens basketball squad starts the 2007 Big South Conference slate with todays afternoon game with in-state rival Charleston Southern. This is the final contest of a three-game homestand, as CCU has won the first two games over St. Andrews (74-54) and McNeese State (81-67).
THE COACHES: Coastal Carolina Head Coach Buzz Peterson (North Carolina, '86) is in his second season at the helm of the Chanticleers with a 26-16 record and holds a 192-125 overall coaching record in 10-plus seasons. Last season, Coastal posted a 20-10 mark, including 12-4 in Big South Conference play, falling in the Big South Tournament Championship game.
Barclay Radebaugh (East Tennessee State, '87) is in his second season as head coach at Charleston Southern with an 18-25 record at CCU and 39-33 in his third year as a head coach overall. Last season, the Buccaneers were 13-16 overall and 7-9 in Big South Conference play, finishing sixth but advancing to the Big South Semifinals where they lost to Coastal. CSU returns three starters and five letterwinners to this years team.
SERIES WITH CHARLESTON SOUTHERN: The second longest series in CCUs history, the Chanticleers and Buccaneers meet for the 50th time this afternoon, with CSU holding a slim 25-24 advantage. However, CCU has won six of the last seven games between the two teams. Last year, Coastal won all three meetings, including the Advance Auto Parts Big South Tournament Semifinals in Rock Hill, 73-67. The two regular season meetings were very close, as the Chants won the games by a combined three points.
IF YOU BELIEVE IN FATE: And if you are a Chanticleer supporter, you have to feel good heading into Big South action. Last year, Coastal was .500 in non-conference action entering the league and went 12-4 to finish second in the regular season and eventually advance to the Big South Championship game. This year, Coastal also starts conference play at .500, but will play a home-and-home non-conference series with Savannah State in the middle of the season to make up for the loss of Birmingham-Southern on the schedule.
LAST YEAR AT KIMBEL: In nine conference games against league foes at CCUs Kimbel Arena, the Chanticleers posted eight victories, including wins over two-time defending champion Winthrop and todays opponent, Charleston Southern. In fact, Coastal has won its last 12 games on the Conway floor, including six straight against conference opponents. The only home loss was a 70-69 overtime defeat to Radford, Jan. 21, 2006.
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 is now 23-3 since the start of the 2002-03 season in non-conference games at Kimbel. CCU had a stellar 14-1 record at home last year, the most home victories since the program went Division I for the 1985-86 season. CCU is also 45-15 (75.0 percent) overall at the Conway campus venue in the last four-plus years, including a staggering 20-1 under current coach Buzz Peterson.
LAST TIME OUT - A SOLID WIN OVER MCNEESE STATE: Senior forward Moses Sonko and junior guard Jack Leasure each tallied a team season-best 24 points to lead Coastal Carolina to an 81-67 non-conference win over visiting McNeese State at Kimbel Arena, Tue., Jan. 2. With the win, the Chanticleers have now won all 12 non-conference games he has coached in the building.
Coastal opened the game on a 14-4 run in the first five minutes of the contest, including a pair of triples and eight total points from Leasure, and never trailed in the game. The Cowboys did trim the first half lead to 21-16 with 9:37 remaining, but CCU answered with another quick seven-point spurt in the next 1:55 to push the lead out to 12 at 28-16. After splitting some baskets down the stretch, CCU entered the halftime lockerroom with a 42-34 margin. Leasure led all scorers in the half with 16 points, including four three-pointers.
McNeese State immediately trimmed the lead to six on a jumper by Rorey Lawrence just 13 seconds into the half, but back-to-back three pointers by Leasure pushed the lead back to 12 at 48-36 just a minute and a half later. The visiting Cowboys showed fight with a 16-6 run of their own to cut the lead to just two at 54-52 with 12:22 to go. CCU continued to go back and forth for the next four minutes as the lead was cut to just two on two other occasions, but CCU had offensive success, both from the field and the free throw line, in the next five minutes to make the lead 70-60 with 3:27 to go. Coastal continued to hit its free throws over the final three minutes, knocking down 7-for-8 while also getting a pair of layups to seal the victory.
The Chanticleers shot 46.4 percent from the floor but were even more impressive from the three-point arc, hitting 8-for-15 (53.3 percent). McNeese State hit 45.0 percent (27-for-60) from the field, but were just 5-for-15 from the three-point line. After going 0-for-4 in the previous game from the free throw line, Coastal got the line a season-high 27 times in the contest, hitting 21 of them (77.8 percent), with the visitors going just 8-for-9 at the charity stripe. The Chanticleers got outrebounded 40-25 in the game by the bigger Cowboys, but the home squad forced 21 turnovers while only giving up eight and converted those 21 miscues into 19 points.
Sonko posted his third straight double-double and fifth of the year by adding a game-high 13 rebounds and also contributed four assists, four steals and one blocked shot. Leasure, who knocked down a season-best six three pointers in the game, also added three assists and two steals. Four other CCU players contributed at least five points each in the win, led by freshman guard Joshua Mack with eight points, three rebounds and three assists. McNeese State was led by Troy Aaron with 19 points on 9-for-15 shooting, while Jarvis Bradley chipped in 11. Quentin Gonzales grabbed 10 rebounds to go with his six points for the Cowboys.
RANKING NATIONALLY: Coastal ranks in the top 85 in several national categories as a team, as of Jan. 1. CCU is 16th nationally in steals at 10.1 per game and 29th with 17.3 assists per contest. Coastal also ranks 71st in three-pointers made with 7.6 per game and 85th with a +3.4 rebounding margin.
Individually, senior forward Moses Sonko is 31st in field goal percentage with 59.7 percent, while junior guard Jack Leasure (2.9) and freshman guard Joshua Mack(2.6) rank 55th and 95th, respectively, in three-pointers per game. Sophomore forward Joseph Harris is 71st in rebounds with 8.1 per contest.
SONKO PARTING THE DEFENSE: And that is exactly what senior forward Moses Sonko has been doing on the offensive end of the floor for Coastal. After averaging 11.7 points a game last year, Sonko has stepped up and increased his scoring to a team-best 16.3 points per game. Over the last seven games, he has gone even higher, averaging 19.3 points, including a career-high 24 in the win over McNeese State, Jan. 2.
J-MONEY: Junior Jack Leasure has been clutch from the three-point line in the past, but his most notable performance comes from the free-throw line. Leasure is an impressive 21-for-23 (91.3 percent) thus far on the season. Leasure has not disappointed from the arc either, as he has hit 38 three-pointers in the early going.
MOVING UP THE SCORING RANKS: With his two free throws in the closing seconds of the win over Wright State, Nov. 19, junior Jack Leasure became the 14th member of CCUs 1000-Point Club, accomplishing the feat in just two years and three games. He currently ranks 11th on Coastal's all-time scoring chart with 1,134 points, just surpassing Manuel Jessup (1977-78) in with 1,124 points. Next on the hit parade is former teammate Pele Paelay (2002-06) in 10th with 1,178 points.
SONKO CLOSING IN ON THE 1,000 MARK: Senior forward Moses Sonko is working his way towards joining Coastal's elite 1,000-Point Club. He currently has 901 career points, just 99 shy of the magic mark. At his current scoring pace, Sonko would reach the milestone in the home game against VMI, Sat., Feb. 3.
LEADING THE WAY: Leaders often do the little things that don't show up in the stats. However with junior Jack Leasure, senior Moses Sonko and sophomore Joseph Harris, when they show up as leaders in the stats, in normally means good things for the Chanticleers. Over the last 42 games, Leasure has led Coastal in scoring on 19 occasions, posting a 16-3 mark, while when Sonko is the leading board grabber, CCU is 8-4. Harris has led the Chants on the glass in 18 of those contests, with CCU having an 12-6 mark in those games as well.
JACK BELIEVES IN MAKING CHARITY COUNT: Junior guard Jack Leasure has made his opportunities at the free throw line worth something in his career. He has hit 114 of his 136 attempts at the line, a clip of 83.8 percent that is currently the second-best career free throw percentage in Coastal history.
WINNING THE BATTLE OF THE BOARDS: During the Coastal's six wins, one of the keys for the Chanticleers was the rebounding battle. Coastal has dominated on the glass, outrebounding opponents by a combined margin of 255-180, an average of 12.5 more boards per game than its opponents. However in the six losses, the Chanticleers have not won the board battle, losing five and tying one with an average margin of 9.8 rebounds a game.
LEASURE GETTING BACK IN HIS ZONE: After ending the 2005-06 season ranked second in the nation in three-pointers at 4.2 per game, junior Jack Leasure opened the season with no treys in the loss against Xavier. However, Leasure made up for that with flying colors in the 83-63 loss to Campbell. He led all scorers by hitting five from behind the arc and finishing the game with 19 points. He now has 38 three pointers in 12 games, an average of 3.2 per contest. For his career, Leasure has knocked down 248 three pointers, just 27 triples behind CCU all-time leader KeKe Hicks (1993-96) with 275.
Leasure hd his best game of the season in the most recent win over McNeese State, Jan. 2, as the guard scored a season-high 24 points, including going 6-for-8 from the three-point arc. He currently ranks second on the team and 11th in the league in scoring at 14.9 points per game.
HARRIS DOUBLES UP AGAIN: Sophomore Joseph Harris posted his third consecutive double-double of the season and fifth of his career in the home victory over Asbury, Nov. 22. In the contest, he scored a new career-best 17 points and grabbed 11 boards. The streak started at Campbell, Nov. 16, where he had a career-best tying 14 points and 13 rebounds. He followed it up with 12 points and 13 boards against Wright State, Nov. 19.
He currently leads the team and ranks fifth in the Big South at 7.6 boards per contest and is fourth on the squad at 7.8 points per game. He has at least shared for team-high honors in rebounding in eight of the first 12 Coastal games this year.
SONKO SHOOTING IT WELL: Senior forward Moses Sonko has been more assertive on the offensive end of the floor this season. Through Jan. 4, Sonko leading the team and Big South Conference in field goal percentage, now hitting 60.1 percent of his shots from the floor. On the year, he leads the team in scoring for the first time in his career, scoring 16.3 points per contest, good for seventh in the league.
MACK ON THE ATTACK: Freshman guard Joshua Mack has shown some offensive skills during the early part of the season for the Chanticleers. Mack currently is third for Coastal and 22nd in the league in scoring at 10.7 points per game. He also ranks ninth in the Big South in assists at 3.25 per game, tied for fourth in three-point field goal percentage at 37.3 percent and sixth in three-pointers made with 2.58 per game.
SETTLING THE STARTING LINEUP: After using five different starting lineups in the first nine games, head coach Buzz Peterson has started the same group the last three games and looks to continue that trend this afternoon. Getting the nod for Coastal the last two outings has been guards Jack Leasure, Joshua Mack and Everage Richardson and forwards Moses Sonko and Matt Brennan., with the group currently 2-1 as starters. The only constants in the lineup have been Leasure and Sonko, who have started all 12 games to date.
SCHEDULE CHANGE FOR SPORTSOUTH: The Coastal Carolina-Winthrop clash at Kimbel Arena, Sat., Feb. 24, has been moved from 4:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. to allow SportSouth to televise the game. As part of that schedule change, the Coastal Carolina-High Point women's basketball game has been moved back to 5 p.m.
COASTAL TO PLAY IN ESPNU BRACKETBUSTERS: For the first time in the program's history, Coastal Carolina has been chosen as one of the Big South Conference's teams in the ESPNU BracketBusters event. ESPNU will televise five selected games from around the country. The pairings will be announced live on ESPNU, Monday, January 29 at 6 p.m.
MACK GETTING FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK HONORS FOR HOLIDAY PLAY: Coastal Carolina guard Joshua Mack received New Balance Freshman of the Week honorsfor games played Dec. 18-Jan. 1, it was announced by the League office.
Mack averaged 12.0 points in three games for the Chanticleers, scoring in double figures each contest. He had 10 points, four rebounds and three steals vs. College of Charleston, Dec. 18, tallied 14 points, three assists and four three-pointers at Florida State, Dec. 21, and notched 12 points, four assists and hit 57.1 percent from long range (4-of-7) vs. St. Andrews, Dec. 29. Mack was 13-of-35 (37.1 percent) from the field and 10-of-24 (41.7 percent) from three-point range, in addition to 2.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game.
SWEEPING THE BIG SOUTH AWARDS: Coastal Carolina forward Moses Sonko has been selected as the Big South Conference Choice Hotels Mens Basketball Player of the Week for games played Dec. 11-17, while Chanticleers guard Joshua Mack received New Balance Freshman of the Week honors, it was announced Dec. 18 by the League office.
Sonko averaged 22.0 points on 67.9 percent (19-of-28) shooting from the floor in just 20.0 minutes per game in two contests. In an overtime loss at South Carolina State, Sonko was 9-of-16 (56.2 percent) from the floor and 4-of-5 from the line for a team-high 22 points. He also added three offensive rebounds. Then Dec. 16 vs. Brevard, Sonko again dropped in 22 points on 10-of-12 from the floor (83.3 percent), and was 2-of-2 from long range. Sonko, who entered the week averaging 13.8 points, also had 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game, and now leads Coastal in scoring for the first time in his career.
Mack averaged 13.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.0 steals in two games. At South Carolina State, Dec. 13, he posted a career-high 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting (63.6 percent) and hit 5-of-8 from three-point range, including the one that sent the game into overtime. Mack also added three rebounds and five assists at SCSU. He then had seven points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals in limited action against Brevard, Dec. 16.
WALK-ONS GETTING THE STAGE: In the home win over Southern Virginia, Nov. 29, two walk-ons got a chance to play their most minutes in a Coastal uniform. Junior David Long and sophomore Ashton Lawrence got in with just over three minutes to play in the contest. Long score one point, grabbed a career-best three rebounds and had his first collegiate block, while Lawrence tallied a career-best four points and added another career-high with three rebounds.
Long then followed it up with his first career start at South Carolina State, Dec. 13. He played a career-best 19 minutes and had three assists, one rebound and one steal in the contest. Long then posted career bests of five points and four assists in the win over Brevard.
A new walk-on saw action against Brevard, as sophomore Michael Ward played four minutes, hitting his only shot for two points, grabbed one rebounds and dished out one assist.
ANOTHER MONTH OF WINNING: With the victory over Southern Virginia, Coastal finished November with a 3-2 mark. This was the sixth consecutive month of play that Coastal had posted a .500 or better mark. As a matter of fact under second year head coach Buzz Peterson, CCU has had only one losing month and that was his first last November with Coastal having a 1-2 mark with losses at Wisconsin and Minnesota as part of the month. Prior to Peterson joining CCU, the Chanticleers had only one .500 month in the previous eight of play.
MACK NAMED BIG SOUTH FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK: Coastal Carolina guard Joshua Mack was named the Big South Conferences Mens Basketball Freshman of the Week, announced by the League office Nov. 27. This is Macks first award at CCU.
Mack scored a career-high 17 points in 21 minutes off the bench against Asbury, including 5-of-9 three pointers (55.6 percent). He added four rebounds and three assists, and was 6-of-12 overall from the floor in helping the Chanticleers to a 93-64 victory. For the year, he is averaging 9.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.
WINNING THE HOME OPENER: After playing its first two games away from home, the Coastal Carolina men's basketball squad returned to Kimbel Arena with a victory defeating Wright State in double overtime 70-63, Nov. 19. The Chanticleers were led by Jack Leasure, who had 22 points and went a perfect 8-for-8 from the free-throw line. Moses Sonko also had a big night with 20 points while Joseph Harris chipped in 12 off the bench.
NEWCOMERS GET SOME EXPERIENCE: Coastal had three freshman make a significant impact in the season opener at Xavier, Nov. 11. Redshirt freshman Logan Johnson got his first start in a Chanticleer jersey recording four points and two rebounds. Johnson also was 2-for-2 from the free throw line. Joshua Mack also got his first collegiate start scoring 11 points, including a pair of three-pointers and two rebounds. Randon Cavette tallied five points from off the bench and pulled down one defensive rebound.
THE FIRST YEAR WAS A GOOD START: For head coach Buzz Peterson accomplishing much in Coastal annals. Among first year CCU coaches, he led last year's team to more victories (20) and Big South wins (12) than any previous first-year Coastal coach. He also engineered a 10-win turnaround from last season's 10-19 mark, the third-best in school history and seventh best in Division I basketball last season.
SOME BIG ACCOMPLISHMENTS LAST YEAR: The Chanticleers have some significant accomplishments in the 2005-06 season. Coastal posted its first winning season, both overall and in the Big South, since 1993-94 when CCU was 15-11 and 10-8 in the league. Coastal's 20 wins were the most since the 1992-93 team went 22-10 and the 12 league victories were the most since that same team was 12-4. Additionally, the Chants' 14 home victories last year were the most since the program went Division I during the 1985-86 season.
THEY SAY TALKING ABOUT STREAKS ISN'T GOOD: But for the Chanticleers, the win streak late last year was a good one. CCU put together a 12-game winning streak, surpassing the previous record of 11 games, set during the 1992-93 season. It was also the fourth-longest current win streak in the NCAA Division I when it ended.
MORE HISTORY ACHIEVED: Digging into the historical archives of Coastal basketball, last year's team made its mark on the record books.
Among the team records, Coastal's 20 wins tied for the seventh-most in school history, while the Chanticleers hit 241 three-pointers, setting a new single-season school record. Coastal's free-throw percentage of 74.4 percent (381-for-512) was the top single-season mark in school annals, while last year's team ranked 10th in assists (460) and eighth in blocked shots (64).
INDIVIDUALS IN THE COASTAL RECORD BOOKS: Several Coastal players added their name to the school's records list, both for a single season and for their career.
Last year, guard Jack Leasure broke the school and league's three-pointers made record, a mark set at 125. His 535 points last year rank 10th all-time. Junior forward Moses Sonko finished fifth in single-season free-throw percentage at 84.2 percent and sixth in field-goal percentage at 55.6 percent.
SOME KEY ITEMS FOR COASTALS VICTORIES LAST YEAR: Several trends developed in regards to Coastal winning in the 2005-06 season. Coastal was 17-4 when leading at the break, 18-1 when ahead with five minutes to play and 16-2 when scoring at least 70 points. Defense is always a key, as Coastal was 15-1 when holding opponents to less than 70 points, as well as 11-3 when forcing at least 15 turnovers. The Chants were also 18-2 when giving up less than 15 turnovers and 14-2 when shooting at least 45 percent from the floor. Another interesting note is that when guard Jack Leasure led Coastal in scoring, the Chants were 13-2. Actually in all but one of CCU's 20 victories, either Leasure or guard Pele Paelay at least shared team-high scoring honors. That one game was the win over Charleston Southern in the semifinals, Mar. 2.
PETERSON EARNED RECOGNITION: CCU head coach Buzz Peterson continued to earn regional and national recognition for the job he did with the Chanticleers last year. After finishing as the runner-up for Big South Coach of the Year, Peterson was named a finalist for the Hugh Durham Mid-Major Coach of the Year by CollegeInsider.com, as well as the publication's Big South Coach of the Year. The group also named guard Jack Leasure as its Big South Player of the Year.
AT YOUR LEASURE: Junior Jack Leasure was impressive on the offensive end of the floor in his first two seasons as a Chanticleer. Last season, Leasure led the Chants in scoring, averaging a team-high 17.8 points a game (fifth in the Big South) and adding 3.1 rebounds. He hit a league-record 125 three-pointers (4.2 per game), including a career-best nine in a win over Chowan, Dec. 19. He ranked third on CCU's all-time three-pointers chart with 210 in just 59 games (3.56 3p/g). His nine three pointers tied for the second-best performance in school history, while his seven three-pointers against Coker, Nov. 30, and St. Andrews, Jan. 3, tied for the fifth-best single games in Coastal history. He ranked second in the Big South with 4.1 assists per game and added 49 steals (sixth in the Big South) last year. For his play, Leasure was named the Big South Conference Player of the Year and the league's Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
In his freshman season, 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.
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 ninth year as "Voice of the Chanticleers". In addition, there will be Live Game Stats of all CCU home basketball games on the Internet.