COASTAL CAROLINA UNIVERSITY MEN'S BASKETBALL
CHANTICLEERS vs. BULLDOGS
Coastal Carolina's Kimbel Arena (1,039) ~ Conway, South Carolina
Wednesday, December 14, 2005 ~ 7 p.m.
THE COACHES: Coastal Carolina Head Coach Buzz Peterson (North Carolina, '86) is in his first season at the helm of the Chanticleers and holds a 168-112 overall coaching record in nine-plus seasons. Last season, Coastal posted a 10-19 mark, including 7-9 in Big South Conference play.
Benjamin Betts, Jr. (Roanoke College, 90) is in his third season at South Carolina State with a 39-27 mark in his third season with the Bulldogs and as a head coach overall. Last season, SCSU was 19-12 and 11-7 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, tying for fourth. The Bulldogs return two starters and four letterwinners from last year's squad.
SERIES HISTORY: This is the 11th meeting ever between the two programs, with Coastal holding a distinct 7-3 advantage in the series. CCU is 3-2 at home, though the last meeting was a 68-53 victory by the Chanticleers in Orangeburg during the 2002-03 season. The last time the two teams met in Kimbel Arena during the 2001-02 season, South Carolina State came away with an 89-81 victory. This is CCU head coach Buzz Peterson's first-ever meeting with SCSU as a head coach.
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 finished 8-5 in 2004-05. CCU did open the 2005-06 schedule with a resounding 70-35 victory over Coker. The Chanticleers are now 14-3 since the start of the 2002-03 season in non-conference games at home.
SOME KEY ITEMS FOR COASTALS VICTORIES: Several trends developed in regards to Coastal winning in the 2005-06 season. Coastal is 2-1 when leading at the break and 2-0 when ahead with five minutes to play. Defense is always a key, as Coastal is 2-0 when holding opponents to less than 70 points, as well as 2-0 when outrebounding the opposition.
STILL LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT START: Coastal Carolina, under first year head coach Buzz Peterson, is continuing to look for the right starting five for this year's squad. In the first five games, the Chanticleers have had four different starting lineups. However, three players (Pele Paelay, Jack Leasure and Moses Sonko) have started all five games and one other (Chad Ferguson) has started four.
LEADING FROM START TO FINISH: After eight days off for finals, the Coastal Carolina mens basketball team came out solid and led from start to finish in an 81-66 victory over visiting Jacksonville, Dec. 11.
The Chanticleers got out to a good start, scoring the first six points of the game in less than two minutes on baskets by guards Pele Paelay, Steven Sexton and Jack Leasure. JU got on the board with their first basket by Antonio Cool with 17:49 to go to trail 6-2, but the Dolphins could not get closer than that the remainder of the game. CCU continued to push the advantage throughout the first half, eventually building a lead of as many as 16 in the first half. The Chants finished with a 44-31 halftime advantage.
CCU forced 17 Jacksonville turnovers in the first half, converting them into 21 points, and the Chants posted 15 fast break points to just two for the visiting Dolphins. Leasure tallied 18 in the first half for Coastal, while Paelay had 11. JU was led by Aubrey Conerly with 12 points in the opening stanza.
The Chants opened the second stanza on the attack again, scoring the first four points of the half to push the margin to 17. Coastal continued to attack on both ends of the floor and it showed on the scoreboard, as at 52-35, the Chants went on a 13-5 run to make it 65-40 with 12:36 to go and put the game out of reach. Coastal led again by 25 at 77-52 with 4:30 to go before a late JU surge cut the margin to 11 at 77-66 with just 1:37 to go in the game. CCU scored the final five points of the game for the 81-66 final margin.
Coastal shot 45.6 percent (31-for-68) from the floor for the contest, slightly better than JUs 43.4 percent (23-for-53). The Chants outrebounded the visitors 39-36, as well as forcing 22 JU turnovers that were turned into 31 Coastal points. Coastal also outscored JU in the paint 36-26.
Leasure led all scorers, tying a career-high with 25 points, while also posting a career-best nine assists. Paelay chipped in 23 points and six rebounds, while forward Chad Ferguson had a career-best 11 points and chipped in five rebounds. Jacksonville was led by Conerly with 21 points, with forward Marcus Allen posting a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds.
GETTING THE START: At least one freshman has been in the starting lineup for Coastal in each of the first five contests. Of those freshman, forward Matt Brennan has started the most with three, while forward Joseph Harris and guard Steven Sexton have started two and one, respectively.
DRAINING AND DISHING: Sophomore guard Jack Leasure has been getting the job done in a variety of ways early this year. Leasure continues to hit the outside shot, as he has drained 21 triples on 38.9 percent shooting this year and is leading the Chanticleers in scoring at 18.0 points per game. However, he has also taken on some point guard duties and made that work, as he is averaging 4.6 assists per game, including a career-best nine dishes in the win over Jacksonville, Dec. 11.
STEPPING UP INSIDE: Sophomore forward Chad Ferguson has been active on the interior for Coastal this season. After averaging just 2.9 points and 1.6 rebounds per game, Ferguson is currently averaging 8.0 points (t-30th in the Big South) and 3.6 rebounds a contest. He posted a career-best 11 points in the win over Jacksonville, Dec. 11, and has already set new career bests in points, rebounds, assists and steals in the first five games this season.
WHERE'S THE BENCH?: Coastal has struggled to get support from the bench in its first five games of the season. Coastal has gotten just 50 points off the bench in the first five contests of the year, just 15.1 percent of the offensive production for the Chanticleers. The best output came in the Coker game, as the bench chipped in 19 points (27.1 percent) in CCU's first win this season.
HITTING FROM LONG RANGE: Coastal hit early and often from long range in the 2004-05 season. The Chanticleers knocked down an average of 7.0 three pointers a game on 36.0 percent shooting.
In the early going this season, CCU has hit on 35.3 percent of its three-point attempts and is averaging a league-best 9.4 triples a game, which ranks 10th in the nation. Sophomore Jack Leasure ranks fourth in Division I with 4.2 three-pointers per game.
YOUTH WILL BE SERVED THIS YEAR: Of the 16 players on the Coastal roster to open this season, eight are freshmen new to the team, while a ninth redshirted last year. Among the returners, there are two seniors, two juniors and three sophomores.
LETTING THE GOPHERS GET AWAY: The Coastal Carolina mens basketball team started out well but couldnt hold on, eventually losing at Minnesota, 75-57, Dec. 3.
The Chanticleers got out to a good start on the road, with senior guard Pele Paelay hitting a three-pointer on CCUs first possession. The teams exchanged leads early before Coastal started to put a streak together, with its first five made baskets all three pointers and CCU had a 15-11 lead. Coastal eventually built it to 26-16 with 7:02 to play in the first half. However, the Golden Gophers responded, going on a 20-0 run over 6:21 and went into the halftime lockerroom with a 38-28 Minnesota advantage.
Minnesota continued the surge early in the second half, building the lead to 20 at 53-33 with 11:23 to go in the game and as many as 23. Coastal would continue to battle throughout the final stanza and cut the margin to 16 on four separate occasions, but could get no closer.
The Chants hit just 40.7 percent (22-for-54) from the field, while the Gophers were 54.2 percent (26-for-48) from the floor and outrebounded the visitors 32-26. Coastal also went to the free throw line just six times, while UM was 19-for-27 from the charity stripe.
Paeley led all scorers with 23 points, while sophomore Jack Leasure was the only other Chant in double figures with 14. Minnesota had four players in double figures, led by Dan Coleman with 14, while Json Stamper and Spencer Tollackson who recorded 13 points each.
AT YOUR LEASURE: Sophomore Jack Leasure was impressive on the offensive end of the floor in his freshman season. 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 scored 23 points, including at High Point, Feb. 12, 2004. 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.
This season, Leasure leads the Chants in scoring, averaging 18.0 points a game (sixth in the Big South) and adding 4.2 rebounds. He has hit 21 three-pointers (4.2 per game), including a career-best seven in the win over Coker, Nov. 30. His seven three-pointers against Coker tied for the fourth best single-game performance in Coastal history. He also has 23 assists (third in the league) and 10 steals so far this year.
TONIGHT'S INJURY REPORT: For the game against South Carolina State, forwards Logan Johnson (right knee) and Noah Nichols (right foot) are out.
PAELAY GETS IT DONE: Senior Pele Paelay made things happen offensively for Coastal in the 2004-05 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 averaged a league-bests of 16.8 points and 2.4 steals per game and added 6.0 rebounds. He also led CCU in scoring 15 times and 12 times in rebounding, while tallying double-digit scoring in 27 of 29 contests. He was the only player in the Big South Conference to rank in the top 10 in scoring (1st), rebounding (6th) and steals (1st) and was 11th in assists.
This season, Paelay is averaging 16.2 points and 3.6 rebounds in the first five contests. He had his best game of the season so far at Minnesota, tallying a game-high 23 points on 8-for-12 shooting, including 4-for-7 from the three-point arc. He added two rebounds, five assists and one steal in the effort. He tied that mark with 23 points in the home win over Jacksonville, Dec. 11.
NATIONAL RANKINGS LAST YEAR: Coastal had two players among the top 50 in the nation in their respective categories last season. Jack Leasure ranked 21st in three-point field goal percentage at 42.5 percent and 29th with 2.9 threes per game, while Pele Paelay ranked 27th in steals at 2.4 per game.
GETTING THE FIRST WIN ON THE BOARD: The Coastal Carolina mens basketball team started the home portion of the 2005-06 schedule with a resounding 70-35 victory over visiting Coker, Nov. 30.
Both teams were slow offensively in the early going, with CCU taking the early 4-2 lead. CCU pushed it to 10-2 with 12:53 to go in the half on three-pointers by guards Jack Leasure and Mario Sisinni. Coker kept it close, cutting it to two at 14-12 five minutes later, but the Chanticleers put on a 16-5 run to close out the half and take a 30-17 lead into the halftime lockerroom.
Coastal warmed up offensively in the second half, hitting on 44.8 percent (13-for-29) of its shots from the field, including going 8-for-16 from the three-point arc. The Chants scored the first six points of the second half and continued to build the lead throughout, leading by no fewer than 22 in the last 15 minutes of the game. CCU put the clamps on again in the final stanza, outscoring the visitors 40-18.
The Chants hit 41.1 percent (23-for-56) from the field for the game, but limited the Cobras to just 23.1 (9-for-39) percent for the contest. CCU also outrebounded Coker, 43-28, resulting in 19 second-chance points for Coastal. The Chanticleers also converted 21 Coker turnovers into 22 points.
Leasure led all scorers with 23 points, 18 of them coming in the second half. He also set a new career-best and tied the fourth highest single-game total in school history with seven three-pointers. Forward Moses Sonko added 12, while guard Pele Paelay chipped in 10. Forwards Matt Brennan and Chad Ferguson tied for game-high rebounding honors with eight each.
Coker was led by guard Johnny Jackson with 19 points and five rebounds, while forward Abram Ludd contributed nine points and seven rebounds.
A TOUGH TIME IN THE CHEESE STATE: The Coastal Carolina mens basketball team struggled offensively against a very good Wisconsin team, losing to the host Badgers, 92-54, Nov. 26.
Coastal kept it close early, trailing just 7-6 with 14:52 left to go in the first half. However, Wisconsin put on a dominating 34-11 run for the remainder of the half to lead 41-17 at the intermission. Coastal shot just 29.2 percent (7-for-24) from the field in the first half, including just 3-for-15 from the three-point line. UW shot 54.2 percent (13-for-24) in the opening stanza. Wisconsin also had 12 points from the charity stripe in the first, while CCU did not get to the line in the first half.
Wisconsin continued the dominance to start the second half, going on a 13-3 run over the first 2:56 to build the lead to 54-20. The lead continued to stretch throughout the second half, with Coastal eventually making a little run of its own on three pointers by forwards Moses Sonko and Chad Ferguson to cut into the Badger advantage, but to little avail.
Coastal improved in the second half, hitting 48.0 percent (12-for-25) from the field and 6-for-12 from the three-point line. CCU finished the game at 38.8 percent from the field, while Wisconsin was 54.1 percent from the floor. CCU also committed 22 turnovers to just 11 for UW.
Sonko finished with 19, while guard Pele Paelay added 13 in the game for CCU. Wisconsin was led by Kammeron Taylor with a game-high 20 points.
HOME OPENERS HAVE BEEN FUN: The Chanticleers have enjoyed success in home openers during the program's history. Coastal is now 23-9 in home openers in its 31 years of college basketball, including 15-6 since moving to NCAA Division I.
SEASON OPENERS: Coastal is now 10-10 in season openers since moving up to Division I prior to the 1985-86 season. Overall, CCU is now 19-13 in the first game of the year.
PRESEASON HONORS: Coastal Carolina had two players honored on the Preseason All-Big South squad. Senior guard Pele Paelay and sophomore guard Jack Leasure were recognized by the league's coaches, sports information directors and media panel.
The 2004-05 Big South Player of the Year, Paelay finished second in the voting behind this seasons Preseason Player of the Year Torrell Martin of Winthrop. The guard started 28 of 29 games last year and led the Big South in scoring with 16.8 points per game. He also led the league and ranked 21st nationally in steals and was sixth in rebounding and 11th in assists in the conference. Paelay scored in double figures in 27 of 29 games and led CCU in scoring 14 times and rebounds in 12 games. He scored a career-high and league season-high 38 points at VMI last season.
Leasure, the 2004-05 Big South Freshman of the Year, averaged 14.5 poinits a game last season and increased the output to 15.8 during league play, fifth-best overall. He led the Conference and ranked in the top 30 nationally with 2.93 three-pointers per game and .425 three-point field goal percentage, and carries a streak of 21-straight games with a three-pointer into the season. Leasure saved his best for last, scoring a career-high 25 points, including five three-pointers, in the 2005 Big South Quarterfinals at top-seeded Winthrop.
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.