Coastal Carolina University Men's Basketball
CHANTICLEERS vs. BUCCANEERS
Coastal Carolina's Kimbel Arena (1,039) ~ Conway, South Carolina
Monday, February 21, 2005 ~ 7 p.m.
SERIES HISTORY: Charleston Southern leads the overall series 25-20, but this series does not follow the norms. Charleston Southern leads 12-7 in games at Kimbel Arena, though CCU won last year's meeting at home, 69-53. Last year, CCU swept the season series for the first time since the 1992-93 season, when Coastal won all three meetings.
THE COACHES: Coastal Carolina Head Coach Pete Strickland (Pittsburgh, '79) is in his seventh season at the helm of the Chanticleers and holds a 69-125 overall coaching record. Last season, Coastal posted a 14-15 mark, including 8-8 in Big South Conference play.
Jim Platt (Concordia, '73) is in his fifth season at the helm of the Buccaneers, with a 52-86 record at CSU and 108-155 overall in his ninth year as a head coach. Last season, CSU was 6-22 overall and 3-13 in league play, finishing ninth in the regular season.
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 advanced to 7-4 in 2004-05 following its win over Radford, Feb. 12.
NATIONAL RANKINGS: Coastal has two players among the top 50 in the nation in their respective categories as of Feb. 14. Jack Leasure ranks 29th with 2.9 threes per game, and 33rd in three-point field goal percentage at 41.7 percent while Pele Paelay ranks 24th in steals at 2.5 per game.
LEASURE GARNERS SIXTH WEEKLY BIG SOUTH HONOR:Coastal Carolina's Jack Leasure was named the Big South Conference/New Balance Men's Basketball Co-Freshman of the Week, Feb. 14. This is the third straight week he has won it and sixth time this season. Only one other players has accomplished that feat in league history, as Frank Harris of Davidson did it during the 1991-92 season.
Leasure averaged 22.5 points and 3.5 assists in two games last week. In CCUs win over Radford, he scored 22 points with five three-pointers and four helpers. Leasure added a team-high 23 points (one off his career high) at High Point Saturday, Feb. 12. He has now scored more than 20 points in three straight games, and owns the Big Souths longest streak with a three-point field goal at 18 consecutive games.
UPPING THE GAME IN LEAGUE PLAY: It is said that teams have to step up their play when they get to league play, and CCU is proof of that in the Big South stats this season. Junior Pele Paelay has increased his scoring average from 16.4 points in non-conference action to 18.3 points in Big South play, while freshman Jack Leasure (11.8 to 16.7), sophomore Adrian Gross (5.6 to 6.5) and senior Alvin Green (5.7 to 8.4) have all seen significant increases in their scoring in the 14 league tilts.
CLOSE CALLS IN THE BIG SOUTH A REGULAR FOR CCU: Games in the Big South are always a battle, and last year's numbers prove it for Coastal Carolina. Last season in the league, 11 of CCU's 16 Big South contests were decided by nine points or less, with Coastal holding a 4-7 mark in those games. CCU is now 3-4 in its Big South games decided by nine or less. Earlier this season, CCU defeated Winthrop by eight and lost by seven to Liberty. CCU earned a one-point win at Birmingham-Southern, Jan. 24. The Chants dropped a gut-wrenching two-point game at Charleston Southern, Feb. 3, but rebounded with a five-point win over VMI, Feb. 5. Most recently, Coastal dropped a seven-point game at High Point, Feb. 12 and a four-point loss at Liberty, Feb. 14.
PAELAY GETS IT DONE: Junior Pele Paelay has made things happen offensively for Coastal this 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 is averaging a league-best 17.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.5 steals a game, leading the team in both points and steals. He has also led CCU in scoring 13 times and 12 times in rebounding, while tallying double-digit scoring in 24 of 26 contests. He is the only player in the Big South Conference to rank in the top 10 in scoring (1st), rebounding (6th) and steals (1st) and is just out of the top 10 in assists (11th).
AT YOUR LEASURE: Freshman Jack Leasure has been impressive on the offensive end of the floor in his first 23 collegiate games. 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 recently scored 23 points, including at High Point, Feb. 12. He is now averaging 14.5 points (eighth in the Big South) and hitting 41.7 percent (78-of-187) from the three-point arc, third best in the Big South Conference. He also leads the league in three-pointers per game with 3.00. Leasure has improved his averages to 16.7 points (third in the Big South) and 3.1 rebounds per game in league play.
CAREER HIGHS FOR GROSS: After only scoring two points all of 2003-04, sophomore Adrian Gross showed he can be a major part of the Coastal squad this season. He put it all together for his first career double-double with then career-highs of 13 points and a team-high 11 rebounds at UNC Greensboro, Nov. 23. He surpassed both career-bests with his second double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds at home against High Point, Jan. 17. He posted his third double-double with 12 points and a career-high 16 rebounds in the home win over UNC Asheville, Jan. 30. The 16 rebounds tie for the 10th most in school history. He is now averaging 6.35 points and 5.6 rebounds in 19 games.