CHANTS CONTINUE ROAD TRIP AT UNCG:The Coastal Carolina University mens basketball team continues its five-game road trip to open the season, at UNC Greensboro, Tue., Nov. 23 at 5 p.m. The time was moved up to accomodate UNCG's nationally-ranked men's soccer team hosting the second round of the NCAA Championships.
This will be the Chanticleers' third game in five days and will be followed by a pair of games in the Aloha State against Hawai'i and Chaminade.
SERIES HISTORY: Coastal and UNCG are meeting for the 13th time in school history, with the Spartans holding a 10-2 advantage. Coastal won last year's meeting in Conway, 77-72, in the two teams' first meeting in four years. However, CCU is just 1-4 at Fleming Gymnasium, including dropping the last meeting at UNCG, 79-62, during the 1998-99 season. The meeting previous to that was Coastal's only win at UNCG, 69-65, during the 1996-97 season.
THE COACHES: Coastal Carolina Head Coach Pete Strickland (Pittsburgh, '79) is in his seventh season at the helm of the Chanticleers and holds a 60-110 overall coaching record. Last season, Coastal posted a 14-15 mark, including 8-8 in Big South Conference play.
Fran McCaffery (Pennsylvania, 82) is in his sixth season at the helm of UNC Greensboro, with a 73-75 record at UNCG and 122-114 overall in his ninth year as a head coach. Last season, UNCG was 11-17 overall and 7-9 in the Southern Conference.
PAELAY GETS IT DONE: Junior Pele Paelay made things happen offensively for Coastal in its game at Evansville, Nov. 21. Paelay knocked down a career-high 27 points and made it his first career double-double with 11 rebounds. He also added a career-high six steals after posting a then career-high five steals in the season opener against Indiana State Nov. 19. For the season, Paelay is now averaging 18.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.5 steals a game.
AT YOUR LEASURE: Freshman Jack Leasure has been impressive on the offensive end of the floor in his first two 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. He is now averaging 16.5 points a game and hitting 50 percent (8-of-16) from the three-point arc.
LAST YEAR'S MEETING WITH THE SPARTANS: The Coastal Carolina mens basketball team made the most of its opportunities and came away with a 77-72 victory over UNC Greensboro in Kimbel Arena, Dec. 18, 2003. The win was just the second for Coastal in 12 tries against the Spartans.
The game was off to a slow start, with CCU leading 7-5 just over five minutes into the game. Then the Chanticleers made a move, going on a 10-2 run and building a lead of 11 twice in the first half, the latter on a pair of Colin Stevens free throws to make it 24-13 with 7:35 to play in the opening half. However, UNCG chipped away, eventually tying the game at 33 with 1:56 left before Coastal went into the lockerroom with a 34-33 advantage.
The Spartans came out strong, taking the second half lead with an early 5-0 run to lead 38-34 less than two minutes into the second half. But after tying the game at 40, Coastal took the lead for good with an 18-6 run, sparked by guards E.J. Gallup and Brandon Newby, and the Chants were up 58-46 with 8:24 to go. CCU eventually built it as large as 15 and led by 12 at 71-59 with 2:34 to play, but the Spartans made a game of it late, closing it to five with 17 seconds to play before Antwan Greens two made free throws sealed the game away.
Turnovers and the charity stripe were the difference in the game for the Chanticleers. CCU converted 21 UNCG miscues into 27 points, while the Chanticleers were 29-for-35 from the free throw line, as compared to the Spartans 8-for-16. Newby led four Chants in double figures with 16 points, while senior forward Clint Reed added 15. UNC Greensboro was paced by Jay Joseph with a game-high 22 points, while Ronnie Taylor scored 16.
LAST TIME OUT AT EVANSVILLE: Junior Pele Paelay had career highs of 27 points and 11 rebounds and the Coastal Carolina University mens basketball team was up by as many 12 points in the first half, but a 24-7 run to end the first half ignited Evansville to an 87-80 victory over the Chanticleers, Nov. 21, in Evansville, Ind.
Coastal got things going with a 9-0 run that was capped with a three-pointer from senior Colin Stevens and a layup by sophomore Moses Sonko. Evansville cut the Coastal lead to two, but seven straight points by Pealay gave Coastal a 25-17 lead with 10 minutes left. Freshman Jack Leasure then hit three three-pointers in a span of three minutes that gave the Chants a 36-24 lead with 5:49 left. But Evansville cut the lead with four free throws and a three from Lucious Wagner. Two more free throws by Justin Petty and layups by Bradley Strickland and Andre Burton, and the Coastal lead was evaporated. A Petty layup at 3:16 gave the Purple Aces their first lead since the 17:03 mark. Senior Alvin Green tied the game at 43 at 1:28, but a Petty layup and a three from Kyle Anslinger gave UE a five-point halftime lead at 48-43.
Evansville extended the lead to double digits on a Wagner three at 14:47. Strickland gave the Purple Aces its largest lead, 69-54, at 9:02. The lead would stay in double digits until Coastal made a late run. Stevens hit a three at 2:46 to cut the lead to seven. After a steal, Paelays layup made the score 79-74 at 2:30. After free throws extended the lead to eight, Paelay hit a jumper to trim the advantage to six at 1:11. The Purple Aces, however, iced the game by hitting five free throws in the last minute. The Purple Aces scored 16 of its last 18 points off of free throws.
Coastal shot 48.4 percent from the field and 50 percent (10-of-20) from three-point range. Coastal outrebounded the Purple Aces 40-37. Paelay also had four assists and six steals to go along with his two career highs. Senior Clint Nagel had a career-high 12 rebounds and added nine points. Leasure had his second straight solid performance, going 5-of-7 from three-point range for 17 points.
Strickland had a double-double for the Purple Aces with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Evansville had six players in double figures for the second straight game.
CAREER HIGHS FOR GROSS: After only scoring two points all of 2003-04, sophomore Adrian Gross showed he will be a major part of the Coastal squad this season after scoring seven points and adding three rebounds Nov. 19 against Indiana State. He eclipsed his rebounding career high as well as the scoring high. He then surpassed the rebounding high with five rebounds at Evansville, Nov. 21.
VEGAS, BABY, VEGAS: Another player who made his debut in a Coastal uniform was freshman Chad Ferguson. The North Las Vegas native had five points and five rebounds against the Sycamores, Nov. 19.
GAPS TO BE FILLED: Coastal Carolina has some significant gaps to fill from the 2003-04 squad. With the loss of the seven seniors, the Chanticleers will be looking to find ways to replace 63.2 percent of the scoring and 48.5 percent of the rebounding from the most successful team in the past 10 years.
SOME KEY ITEMS FOR COASTAL'S VICTORIES: Several trends have developed in regards to Coastal winning during the 2003-04 season. CCU was 13-4 when leading at halftime and 10-2 when leading with five minutes to play in the game. The Chants were 7-3 when they hit 45 percent or better from the field, 10-6 when hitting 70 percent or better from the free throw line and 8-1 when they got to the free throw line more than their opponent. Also, Coastal Carolina was 11-6 when outrebounding its opponents,9-2 when holding the opponent to less than 70 points and 8-4 when forcing 15 or more opponent turnovers. Conversely, when CCU trailed at halftime, it was 0-10 last year.
CLOSE CALLS A REGULAR FOR CCU: In the last 15 games of the 2002-03 season, Coastal was in 12 nailbiters. In those 12 games, the combined margin was 48 points, with no game decided by more than seven points. In games decided by seven or less points, Coastal was 5-9. In 2003-04, CCU was 7-10 in games decided by nine or less. Interestingly, 11 of CCU's 16 Big South contests were decided by nine points or less, with Coastal holding just a 4-7 mark in those games.
TWO SENIORS TO SERVE AS CO-CAPTAINS: Coastal Carolina will have a pair of seniors as co-captains for the 2004-05 season in guard Alvin Green and forward Clint Nagel. Green started 24 of 27 games he played in last year and is the leading returning scorer at 7.1 points per game. Nagel played in all 29 contests last year for Coastal, starting 17 of them and averaging 3.6 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.
HITTING FROM LONG RANGE: Coastal hit early and often from long range in the 2003-04 season. The Chanticleers hit on 37.6 percent and 6.7 per game from the three-point arc this season. That mark includes knocking down 11 three-pointers in the game against Yale, Nov. 23, and matching it with 11 at East Carolina, Nov. 29. Those two marks tied the most triples hit since Coastal drained 16 against High Point, Feb. 9, 2002. However in Big South play, CCU was limited to just 5.6 made per game and 34.4 percent outside the arc.
CONTINUING TO PROGRESS: The home victory over Radford, Mar. 2, 2004, was the 14th of the year for Coastal, setting a new high under head coach Pete Strickland and the most wins for Coastal since the 1993-94 season. The eighth Big South Conference victory was also the most under Strickland and the most since the 1993-94 season when CCU was 10-8.
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 last two seasons. Coastal is 9-1 in non-conference play the last two 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.
THREE EARN BIG SOUTH HONORS: In 2003-04, Coastal Carolina's E.J. Gallup was named First Team All-Big South Conference, Mar. 1, while Moses Sonko earned a place on the Big South's All-Freshman team. Clint Nagel was named to the Big South's All-Academic team.
A two time Big South Conference/Choice Hotels Men's Basketball Player of the Week last year, Gallup started all 29 games and averaged 17.2 points during the regular season, leading CCU and finishing second in the Big South. The senior guard led the Big South and ranked in the top 30 in three-pointers per game at 3.0 and ranked 19th in the country at 43.4 percent from behind the three-point arc. Sonko played in all 29 games as a freshman for the Chanticleers, averaging 6.2 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, but upped his averages to 7.1 points and 4.1 rebounds in league play. Nagel played in all 29 games this season, starting 17 of them for Coastal. He averaged 3.6 points and a team-high 4.3 rebounds, which ranked
14th in the Big South Conference.
NICE TO SEE GREEN AGAIN: Senior guard Alvin Green returned to the Coastal Carolina lineup in 2003-04 after missing most of the previous season with a foot injury. Even though he missed almost three games with a sprained ankle in last year, he still One of his best games of the year came against Winthrop, Jan. 17. Coming off that ankle injury, Green played 28 minutes off the bench, scoring 13 points, grabbing a career-best seven rebounds, dishing out five assists, earning two steals and committing no turnovers. For the year, Green averaged 7.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists a contest, but has upped his average to 8.2 points per game in Big South play. He ranked second in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio and was sixth in assists. He enters the 2004-05 campaign sixth on CCU's all-time assist chart with 313, just 37 shy of Greg Smith (1994-98) in fifth.
NOTHING LIKE A NAGEL TO GET YOU GOING: Senior Clint Nagel was a significant part of the success in 2003-04 and looks to do it again this year. Nagel averaged 4.2 points and 5.4 rebounds, which ranks 10th in Big South only games. Nagel was a key part to CCU's win over VMI, Feb. 14, as he posted his first career double-double with career-bests of 10 points and 10 rebounds against the Keydets. He followed that up with 10 rebounds at UNC Asheville, Feb. 21. Overall last season, Nagel led CCU and ranked 16th in the Big South in rebounding at 4.3 boards per game.
SONKO CONTINUING TO IMPRESS AFTER A STELLAR FRESHMAN SEASON: Sophomore Moses Sonko was one of the top freshmen in the league last year and has shown even more in the preseason of the 2004-05 year. As a Big South All-Freshman Team honoree last year, Sonko averaged 6.2 points and 3.6 rebounds a game, including 7.1 points per game in league play. In the two exhibitions, Sonko was second in scoring at 15.0 points per game, hitting on 43.5 percent of his shots from the field, and snagging a team best 9.0 rebounds a contest.
A POSSIBLE PREVIEW OF THE SEASON?: If the two exhibition games are any indication, Coastal will have some youth making a difference this season. In the two games, freshman Jack Leasure averaged 13.0 points and 3.5 rebounds, hitting on 6-of-15 (40.0 percent) from beyond the three-point arc. Freshman Chad Ferguson averaged 8.0 points and 3.5 rebounds in just 13.5 minutes of action in the two exhibitions.
THE LAST EXHIBITION AGAINST NEWBERRY HAD SOME UPS AND DOWNS: Coastal Carolina fell to Indiana State 70-46 in the 2004-05 season opener for both teams Nov. 19 in Terre Haute, Ind. Freshman Jack Leasure had 16 points in his first collegiate game, but ISU shots 54 percent from the field and had an early scoring run to defeat the Chanticleers.
The Sycamores had three straight buckets by Jerod Adler, the last at 15:36 to give ISU an early 10-2 lead. Indiana State extended the lead to 14 points at 11:52 on a jumper by Amani Daanish. The advantage was at 20 points at half on a three-pointer by David Moss with 31 seconds left. The Sycamores shot 55.6 percent in the first half and put in 14 points in the paint. Leasure, sophomore Adrian Gross and junior Pele Pealey all had five points in the first 20 minutes.
Indiana State scored the first 10 points of the second half, which included eight from Moss. Coastal then use its halfcourt and three-quarters court pressure to create nine second-half turnovers. Leasure had eight of the Chants last 10 points in the final 4:33 of the game.
Leasure went 5-of-12 from the field, which included three three-pointers and added two steals. Pealey had a game-high five steals and two blocks to go along with his nine points. Gross had a career-high seven points and three rebounds and freshman Chad Ferguson had five points in his first game in a CCU uniform.
THE LAST EXHIBITION AGAINST NEWBERRY HAD SOME UPS AND DOWNS: Coastal wrapped up their exhibition play this year with an 87-68 victory over visiting Newberry, Nov. 10.
The visiting Indians got out to a good start, opening on a 5-0 run and led 11-8 at the 15:22 mark of the first half. However, the Chanticleers answered with an 11-1 run of their own to make it 19-12 less than three minutes later. Newberry answered and eventually took the lead at 22-21 and 25-22, but that would end their hopes, as Coastal then went on a 26-2 run over the next 8:50 to take a commanding 28-27 lead the Chants would not relinquish.
Newberry did close it to within 14 on two occasions early in the second half and even as close as 13 at 75-62 with 4:35 to play. However, Coastal had answers each time, including that time with an 8-0 run over 1:24 to make it 83-62 and give CCU a cushion at the end.
Coastal dominated the paint, outscoring the Indians, 36-20, while also running effectively with a 16-5 advantage on the fast break.
CCU was led by sophomore Moses Sonko, who tallied game highs of 20 points and nine rebounds. Five other Chants scored in double figures as well, as junior Pele Paelay scored 16, while junior Colin Stevens and freshman Jack Leasure added 12 each. Sophomore Adrian Gross and freshman Chad Ferguson also added 10 points apiece.
Newberry was led by Michael Dease with 11, while David Hampton was the only other Indian in double figures with 10.
OPENING 2004-05 WITH AN EXHIBITION WIN OVER ST. ANDREWS: 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. The game was the first exhibition of the 2004-05 season for both squads.
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.
INJURY UPDATE: Senior guard Alvin Green had surgery on his right thumb during the preseason but played 19 minutes in the season opener against Indiana State.
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.