COASTAL CAROLINA UNIVERSITY MEN'S BASKETBALL
CHANTICLEERS VS. KEYDETS
VMI's Cameron Hall (5,029) ~ Lexington, Virginia
Monday, January 15, 2006 ~ 7 p.m.
WRAPPING UP THE VIRGINIA SWING: The Coastal Carolina mens basketball squad will complete a two-game Big South Conference road trip in the state of Virginia with tonight's battle with VMI. The opening game of the trip resulted in an 80-76 loss for Coastal at the hands of Radford, Jan. 13.
THE COACHES: Coastal Carolina Head Coach Buzz Peterson (North Carolina, '86) is in his second season at the helm of the Chanticleers with a 29-17 record and holds a 195-126 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.
Duggar Baucom (UNC Charlotte, 95) is in his second season at VMI with a 14-31 record and in his third year as a head coach overall with a 51-50 mark. Last season, VMI was 7-20 overall and 2-14 in the Big South, finishing ninth. The Keydets return all five starters and 10 letterwinners from last year's squad.
SERIES HISTORY: This is the seventh meeting in the brief series between the two schools, with Coastal having won five of the six previous meetings. Last year, VMI won the series opener at home, 88-77, in the Big South opener for both schools, while the Chanticleers took the 76-63 victory at Kimbel Arena on CCU's Senior Day. (Recaps and box scores of last year's meetings are available on page 9.)
PETERSON AGAINST THE KEYDETS: Current CCU head coach Buzz Peterson is very familiar with VMI, having coached Appalachian State for four years when it was in the Southern Conference with VMI. During that time, Peterson was 6-2 versus the Keydets, but just 2-2 in games at Cameron Hall. Additionally, Peterson picked up a seventh win over the Keydets during the 2002-03 season while at Tennessee. He now holds an 8-3 mark overall against VMI.
LAST TIME OUT - A TIGHT LOSS AT RADFORD: Coastal Carolina's men's basketball squad battled back late in the second half but could not find the basket in the closing minutes, losing at Radford 80-76, Jan. 13. The Chanticleers had their five-game overall and 12-game Big South Conference regular season winning streaks snapped. The Chants came out and quickly built a 7-3 lead three-and-a-half minutes into the game, However, Coastal hit a scoring drought over the next five minutes, getting outscored 12-3 to fall behind 15-10 with 12:30 to go in the half. Radford extended the lead to 30-21 at the 6:24 mark before CCU started to rally in the final minutes of the half. Coastal eventually got the lead back on guard Mario Sisinni's layup with just over a minute to play, making it 38-36. RU's Chris Oliver knocked down a pair of three pointers in the final minute of the first half and Sisinni got a last second jumper to make it 42-40 Highlanders at the intermission.
Coastal took a quick lead on a three pointer by guard Everage Richardson to open the second half and go up 43-42, but RU came right back and took the lead again and held on to it for most of the second half. The Highlanders eventually build a seven-point margin at 65-58 with 8:30 to go, but CCU would make another surge. This time, Coastal went on a 16-4 run to take a five-point lead at 74-69 with 2:41 to play in the contest. However, CCU could not cash in and hit anything in that final segment, as Radford finished the game on a 11-2 run and got the win.
The Chanticleers hit on 48.4 percent (30-for-62) from the field, but the Highlanders were even better at 52.9 percent (27-for-51), including 66.7 percent in the second half. Coastal did win the battle of the boards, 33-31, but the difference in this game was the free throw line, as CCU was just 8-for-16, while RU was 18-for-27.
Forward Moses Sonko led Coastal with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while guard Jack Leasure and Richardson had 14 and 13, respectively. Radford's Oliver led all scorers with 23 points, while guard Amir Johnson had 18 on 7-for-8 shooting and 3-for-3 from the three-point arc.
DURING THE RECENT WINNING STREAK: Coastal has done it on both ends of the floor during the five-game win streak that ended at Radford, Jan. 13. CCU shot 48.6 percent (136-for-280) from the field and scored 74.4 points per game while holding opponents to 40.3 percent (110-for-273) and 58.2 points per contest. It was even more pronounced from the three-point line, as Coastal was 42.6 percent (46-for-108) with opponents just 23.2 percent (19-for-82). The Chants also forced 4.0 more turnovers a game and dished out over 20 assists per contest.
SOME KEY ITEMS IN THE WINS: There are several important pieces for the Chanticleers in their wins early in the 2006-07 season. Coastal is 8-0 when leading at halftime and 9-0 when ahead with five minutes to go in the game. Defense is key also, as CCU is 9-0 when holding opponents under 70 points and 7-0 when limiting opponents to less than 45 percent from the field. The Chants are also 7-1 when outrebounding and 7-1 when shooting more free throws than the opposition.
RANKING NATIONALLY: Coastal ranks in the top 85 in several national categories as a team, as of Jan. 7. CCU is 15th nationally in steals at 10.0 per game and 22nd with 17.5 assists per contest. Coastal also ranks 59th in three-pointers made with 7.9 per game.
Individually, junior guard Jack Leasure ranks 11th in three-pointers per game (3.4) and 80th in three-point field goal percentage (40.0), while senior forward Moses Sonko is 37th in field goal percentage at 58.0 percent. Freshman guard Joshua Mack is 100th in three-point field goal percentage (37.9), while sophomore forward Joseph Harris is 100th in steals with 1.9 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 15.4 points per game, leading the squad and eighth in the conference. Over the last 11 games, he has gone even higher, averaging 16.9 points, including a career-high 24 in the win over McNeese State, Jan. 2. Sonko has also tallied six double-doubles this season, including his most recent of 20 points and 11 rebounds at Radford, Jan. 13.
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 54 three-pointers in the first 16 games.
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 10th on Coastal's all-time scoring chart with 1,190 points, recently surpassing former teammate Pele Paelay (2002-06) with 1,178 points. Next ahead of Leasure are Robert Dowdell (1988-91) in ninth at 1,202 points and Brian Penny (1988-91) in eighth at 1,208.
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 952 career points, just 48 shy of the magic mark. At his current scoring pace, Sonko would reach the milestone in the home game at Winthrop, Sat., Jan. 27.
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 46 games, Leasure has led Coastal in scoring on 20 occasions, posting a 17-3 mark, while when Sonko is the leading board grabber, CCU is 10-5. Harris has led the Chants on the glass in 19 of those contests, with CCU having an 13-6 mark in those games as well.
WINNING THE BATTLE OF THE BOARDS: During Coastal's nine 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 358-279, an average of 8.8 more boards per game than its opponents. However in the seven losses, the Chanticleers have not won the board battle, losing five and tying one with an average margin against of 8.1 rebounds a game.
SONKO SHOOTING IT WELL: Senior forward Moses Sonko has been more assertive on the offensive end of the floor this season. Through Jan. 14, Sonko leads the team and Big South Conference in field goal percentage, now hitting 59.9 percent of his shots from the floor. On the year, he is also pacing the team in scoring, tallying 15.4 points per contest, good for eighth 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 21st in the league in scoring at 11.2 points per game. He also ranks 11th in the Big South in assists at 3.38 per game, third in three-point field goal percentage at 40.6 percent and tied for fifth in three-pointers made with 2.69 per game.
Mack had his best overall outing of the year, tying a career high with 19 points, grabbing four rebounds and dishing out five assists with no turnovers in the home win over Savannah State, Jan. 10.
SETTLING THE STARTING LINEUP: After using five different starting lineups in the first 12 games, head coach Buzz Peterson has started the same group the last four games and looks to continue that trend tonight. Getting the nod for Coastal's last four games has been guards Jack Leasure, Joshua Mack and Everage Richardson and forwards Moses Sonko and Joseph Harris., with the group currently 4-1 as starters. The only constants in the lineup this season have been Leasure and Sonko, who have started all 16 games to date.
HARRIS DOUBLES UP AGAIN: Sophomore Joseph Harris posted his fourth double-double of the season and sixth of his career in the win at UNC Asheville, Jan. 8, with 14 points and 10 boards. He had a streak of three straight games with double-doubles earlier in the season -- Campbell (14 pts., 13 reb.), Wright State (12 pts., 13 reb.) and Asbury (17 pts., 11 reb.)
He currently is second on the team and is sixth in the Big South at 7.2 boards per contest and ranks fourth the squad at 7.6 points per game. He has at least shared for team-high honors in rebounding in nine of the first 16 Coastal games this year.
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 54 three pointers in 16 games, an average of 3.3 per contest. For his career, Leasure has knocked down 264 three pointers, just 11 triples behind CCU all-time leader KeKe Hicks (1993-96) with 275.
Leasure had his best game of the season in the 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 14.7 points per game.
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.
LEASURE NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Coastal Carolina guard Jack Leasure was selected as the Big South Conference Choice Hotels Mens Basketball Player of the Week for games played Jan. 2-7, it was announced by the League office.
Leasure broke through last week with his best back-to-back games of the season, averaging 22.0 points in leading the Chanticleers to two wins. He scored a season-high 24 points, going 7-of-11 from the field, 6-of-8 from three-point range and 4-of-4 from the charity stripe, along with three assists and two steals in Coastals win over McNeese State. He followed that with 20 points, hitting 6-of-11 treys, as well as three assists and two steals in Saturdays win over Charleston Southern. Leasure tallied 11 of his 20 points -- including three triples -- in the closing seven-and-a-half minutes to seal the win. On the week, Leasure was 14-of-26 from the field (53.8 percent), 12-of-19 from long range (63.2 percent), 4-of-4 from the line (1.000 percent) and tallied 3.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.5 rebounds.
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 over .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 started conference play at .500 for the second straight year, the first time that has occurred since the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons and both those squads finished above .500 overall. The 1992-93 squad won the Big South Tournament title and earned the league's NCAA Tournament berth. Coastal 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.
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 24-3 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 47-15 (75.8 percent) overall at the Conway campus venue in the last four-plus years, including a staggering 22-1 under current coach Buzz Peterson. In fact, the Chanticleers have won their last 14 games at Kimbel Arena, dating back to Jan. 21, 2006 and a 70-69 overtime loss to Radford.
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.
BIG SOUTH ACTION 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 14 games on the Conway floor, including seven straight against conference opponents. The only home loss was a 70-69 overtime defeat to Radford, Jan. 21, 2006.
MACK GETTING FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK HONORS FOR HOLIDAY PLAY: Coastal Carolina guard Joshua Mack received New Balance Freshman of the Week honors for 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.
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.
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.