CHANTICLEERS vs. KNIGHTS
Coastal Carolina's Kimbel Arena (1,039) ~ Conway, South Carolina
Wednesday, November 29, 2006 ~ 7 p.m.
THE COACHES: Coastal Carolina Head Coach Buzz Peterson (North Carolina, '86) is in his second season at the helm of the Chanticleers with a 22-12 record and holds a 188-121 overall coaching record in 10-plus seasons. Last season, Coastal posted a 20-10 mark, including 12-4 in Big South Conference play.
Charles Jolley (Southern Utah) is in his first season at Southern Virginia and 104-127 in his 11th season as a head coach overall. Last season, the Knights were 12-19 overall, while returning four starters and seven letterwinners to this years team.
SERIES HISTORY: This is the first meeting between the two teams.
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 19-3 since the start of the 2002-03 season in non-conference games at home. 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 41-15 (72.7 percent) overall at home in the last four-plus years, including a staggering 16-1 under current coach Buzz Peterson.
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 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 in rebounding at 11.0 boards per contest and is second on the squad at 11.0 points per game. He has also led the Chants in rebounding in each of the first four games this year.
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.
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 a perfect 10-for-10 thus far on the season. Leasure has not disappointed from the arc either, as he has hit nine three-pointers in the early going.
JOIN THE CLUB: 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 13th on Coastal's all-time scoring chart with 1,022 points.
LAST TIME OUT -- AGAINST ASBURY: Sophomore forward Joseph Harris tallied his third consecutive double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds to help lead the Coastal Carolina men's basketball team to a 93-64 win over visiting Asbury, Nov. 22.
Coastal got off to a hot start, scoring the first eight points of the game on a layup by senior forward Moses Sonko and three-pointers by junior guards Everage Richardson and Jack Leasure to take an 8-0 lead just a minute and a half into the game. The Chants eventually built the lead to 17 at 37-20 with just over five minutes to play in the half. However, the Eagles battled back and trimmed the lead at the intermission, as CCU went into the halftime lockerroom up 44-32.
Asbury continued to battle in the first 10 minutes of the second half as CCU struggled to score from the field. Eventually, the lead was cut to just seven at 51-44 with 12:53 to go in the game. The teams went back forth with baskets with the Coastal advantage at nine, 57-48 with 9:26 remaining. That is when the Chants took over, going on a 22-4 run over the next five minutes to put the game away with a 79-52 lead with just under four minutes to go.
CCU hit on 52.1 percent (37-of-71) of its shots from the floor, including a school-record 16 three-pointers on 31 attempts (51.6 percent), 10 of them in the first half. Asbury was 46.4 percent (26-for-56) from the field, but just 27.8 percent (5-for-18) from the three-point arc. The Chants dominated the glass 45-24, including 21 offensive boards that were converted for 27 points.
Leasure led all scorers with 22 points, 18 of them on three-pointers, while freshman guard Joshua Mack hit a season-best 17 points, including five triples. Derek Bland was the only Eagle in double figures with 21 points.
LEASURE 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 hitting five from behind the arc and finished the game with 19 points. He now has 15 three pointers in four games, an average of 3.75 per contest.
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.
HOME OPENERS HAVE BEEN FUN: The Chanticleers have enjoyed success in home openers during the program's history. Coastal is 24-9 in home openers in its 32 years of college basketball, including 16-6 since moving to NCAA Division I. Under current head coach Buzz Peterson, the Chanticleers are now 2-0 in home openers.
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.
OTHER TEAM NATIONAL RANKINGS: Coastal was ranked in the top 60 in the nation in five categories as a team in the final 2005-06 rankings. CCU's best ranking was in free-throw percentage, as the Chanticleers were 31st at 74.4 percent from the stripe. Coastal was 32nd in three-pointers per game at 8.2 and 60th in three-point percentage at 37.5 percent. CCU also ranked in assists per game (52nd, 15.9 apg) and field goal percentage (56th, 46.4 percent).
THE LAST 16 OF LAST YEAR MADE OPPONENTS SEE STARS: Over the last 16 games of 2005-06, the Chanticleers started to make the system of then first-year head coach Buzz Peterson work for them. In the last 16, CCU amassed a 14-2 record and was dominant defensively in those games. The Chanticleers averaged giving up just 63.8 points a game, with 11 of the 16 at 63 or less and all but one of 72 or less. Coastal knocked down 48.2 percent (387-for-803) while holding opponents to just 42.1 percent (333-for-791). The real key was the possessions, as Coastal outrebounded its opponents by 3.6 rebounds a game and forced an average of 2.0 more turnovers a game. Other areas stepped up also, as Coastal had 36 blocks in the 16 games and the current five starters all averaged at least 7.7 points per game, with three (forwards Joseph Harris and Moses Sonko and guard Pele Paelay) averaging at least 5.0 rebounds a contest.
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).
A LESSON IN HOW TO WIN GAMES LATE: Coastal Carolina was a great example of that over the last 12 games prior to the Big South Championship game last year, as CCU strung together a 12-game winning streak. The last five minutes can be key in any game and Coastal made that its own during the streak. Only in five games had the Chants led by more than eight going into the last five minutes and trailed in two of the contests heading into that segment. Coastal hit 67.7 percent (42-for-62) of its shots from the field in the last five minutes of this streak, including 55.0 percent (11-for-20) from the three-point arc. The Chants limited opponents to just 40.0 percent (42-for-105) from the floor during the same time and outrebounded the opponents 61-39 down the stretch. Additionally, CCU hit 78.2 percent (61-for-78) of its free throw attempts in the closing minutes of these 12 contests.
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. On the career chart, Leasure ranks third in three-pointers with 210.
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. He also currently ranks ninth in career free-throw percentage at 74.8 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 EARNING 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.
FROM DOWNTOWN...BANG!: Sophomore Jack Leasure continues to believe -- and proved last year -- that outside the three-point arc was his domain. In 30 games last season, the guard has hit 125 three-pointers, an average of 4.2 per game, and surpassed the former league record, set by Doug Day of Radford with 117 in 1991-92. The success from the arc shows in the NCAA Division I national rankings. In the final ranking, he finished second in the nation in three pointers per game and 15th in three-point field goal percentage at 42.9 percent.
As a team, Coastal was also among the nation's leaders in triples. The Chanticleers averaged 8.20 threes per game, which ranked them 19th in Division I.
HARRIS MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Sophomore forward Joseph Harris grew throughout the 2005-06 season and it showed in games toward the end of the season. In the win over High Point, Feb. 6. Harris posted career-highs of 14 points and 16 rebounds for his first career double-double in leading the Chanticleers to the victory. The 16 rebounds tied the 10th-best single-game performance in school history and amazingly, of those 16 rebounds, 12 of them came in the first half. He then followed it up with his second consecutive double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds in the win at Charleston Southern, Feb. 9. In the Big South Semifinal versus CSU Mar. 2, Harris grabbed a career-best 16 rebounds, just two off the tournament record. He finished ninth in the league in rebounding at 5.8 per contest, including 2.28 offensive boards per game (sixth in the league). In conference action only, he ranked fourth at 7.3 rebounds per contest. For his play, he was named to 2005-06 Big South All-Freshman Team.
SONKO CONTINUED THE SOLID PLAY: Senior forward Moses Sonko has made strides from his sophomore year and was solid for Coastal in 2005-06. As a sophomore, Sonko averaged 6.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 19.9 minutes per game, starting in 13 of the 27 games he played in. Last season, his numbers went up, as he started all 30 contests and averaged 11.7 points (16th in the Big South), 5.5 rebounds (17th in the league) and 26.3 minutes per game. He scored in double figures in 19 games, including his first career double-double in the win at Winthrop, Jan. 24, with 10 points and a career-high 11 rebounds, and second double-double against Liberty, Jan. 28, with 16 points and 11 boards. He earned his first career Big South Player of the Week award, Jan. 30, after posting those back-to-back double-doubles. In the last game, he set a season best and tied a career high with 21 points in the Big South Semifinals win over Charleston Southern, Mar. 2. He was also named to the Big South All-Tournament honors for his play in the league tournament.
INJURY REPORT FOR TONIGHT: For today's game against Southern Virginia, all 15 players are available.
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, a returning feature this year will be Live Game Stats of all CCU home basketball games on the Internet.