Sept. 27, 2013
CONWAY - The Coastal Carolina men's basketball team held its first practice of the 2013-14 season Friday evening. The team spent most of the three and a half hour practice working on defense in preparation for the upcoming season. In a change for recent years the team is able to hold a total of 30 practices in a 42-day span leading up to their opening game of the season at Akron. Prior to the 2013-14 season the universal start date for all men's basketball teams in NCAA Division I was October 15.
"It is a change but I think it's good," said head coach Cliff Eliis. "Instead of having a cram session like we had in the past we have 42 days to get in 30 practices. Our first game is Nov. 8 and if we had started on Oct. 15 we would have had just three weeks to get ready for the season."
"We lost a lot but on paper we look ok," said Ellis. "Eric Smith, starting point guard from South Carolina, is with us for one year. Josh Cameron a juco player from Oklahoma, Elijah Wilson and Colton Ray-St. Cyr are all new. We've got some people on paper that can fit the bill. Now is the time we find out where they fit in."
The Chants return all of their big men from last season including leading rebounder El Hadji Ndieguene.
"Everybody's back," said Ellis when talking about his front court. "We basically had a young team last year. With the loss of (Sam) McLaurin a year ago it thrust some freshmen into the lineup. They are no longer freshmen. They paid their dues and we are hoping they step their game up a notch."
The Chants will practice five days a week until their season-opening contest at Akron who CCU defeated last season in overtime in the opening of The HTC Center.