CHANTICLEERS CONTINUE FOUR-GAME HOMESTAND:Coastal Carolina's men's basketball team continues a four-game homestand, hosting Jacksonville State tonight. CCU enters tonight's contest after having picked up its first win of the season, an 86-50 triumph over instate rival Coker, Dec. 12.
SERIES HISTORY: This is the first meeting between Coastal and Jacksonville State. However, CCU has played one other Ohio Valley Conference squad this year, losing in the home opener to Eastern Kentucky, 77-62, Dec. 4.
THE COACHES: Coastal Carolina Head Coach Pete Strickland (Pittsburgh, '79) is in his seventh season at the helm of the Chanticleers and holds a 61-114 overall coaching record. Last season, Coastal posted a 14-15 mark, including 8-8 in Big South Conference play.
Mike LaPlante (Maine, 89) is in his fifth season at Jacksonville State and sports a 60-63 record at the school and overall as a head coach.
NOT JUST FOR ONE BUT FOR SEVERAL: Coastal will spend much of the month of December at home, as the Chanticleers play five home games at Kimbel Arena in December. CCU's only venture away from home will be a contest at the College of Charleston, Dec. 22. So far, CCU is 1-1 in the holiday month and coming off an 86-50 victory over Coker, Dec. 12.
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 also added a career-high six steals after posting a then career-high five steals in the season opener against Indiana State Nov. 19. He followed up those performances with 22 points and 11 rebounds at UNC Greensboro, Nov. 23. Most recently, Paelay had 21 points, three rebounds, four assists and three steals in the home in over Coker, Dec. 12. For the season, Paelay is now averaging 18.4 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.6 steals a game, all team highs.
NATIONAL RANKINGS: Coastal has two players among the top 50 in the nation in their respective categories. As of Dec. 6, Pele Paelay ranked ninth in steals at 3.7 per game, while Jack Leasure ranked 50th in three-point field goal percentage at 48.7 percent.
AT YOUR LEASURE: Freshman Jack Leasure has been impressive on the offensive end of the floor in his first seven 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 added 15 points, including three triples at UNC Greensboro, Nov. 23. Leasure then had a career high 22 points on 6-of-11 shooting against Hawaii Nov. 26. He most recently scored 17 points on 7-of-10 from the field and 3-for-5 from the three-point arc against Coker, Dec. 12. He is now averaging 14.4 points a game and hitting 50.0 percent (22-of-44) from the three-point arc.
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 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 improved to 1-1 in 2004-05 with its victory over Coker, Dec. 12.
MOSES DOING HIS "PART" FOR THE TEAM: Sophomore Moses Sonko has started to look like the player CCU fans saw last year. After earning Big South All-Freshman team honors in 2003-04, Sonko had an early season injury that only recently he has gotten over. It showed against Coker, Dec. 12, as Sonko had a season-high 17 points on 8-for-10 shooting from the field and added three rebounds and a blocked shot in the victory. In the last two games, he has averaged 12.5 points and 5.5 rebounds a game.
GETTING THE FIRST WIN OVER COKER: In impressive fashion, Coastal Carolina University defeated Coker College 86-50, to earn its first victory of the 2004 season, Dec. 12.
CCU took the lead early and didnt look back, holding the Cobras to only five points until midway through the first half. Coastal was sparked by junior Pale Paelay scoring 19 points before the intermission, shooting 7-for-9 from the field, and 3-for-5 from the three-point arc. From that, the Chants took a 48-23 lead into the locker room.
The Cobras came out firing in the second half as Jason Fulwood drained back-to-back three pointers to spark a Coker run that cut the lead to 19 at 56-37 with 14:26 to play. However, the Chanticleers put the game out of reach, going on a 14-4 run of their own over the next 6:30.
The Chants were in the sharing mood recording 23 assists, a season high, to go with a season-high 86 points. Defense was also the name of the game for the Chants as they converted 19 Coker turnovers for 23 points, while only giving up the ball nine times. On the offensive side of the ball, CCU shot 61.5 percent from the field, another season best, while outrebounding the visitors 28-16.
Paelay led the Chants scoring with 21, while sophomore Moses Sonko and freshman Jack Leasure each had 17 points, with Sonkos a season high. Senior Alvin Green was also effective, dishing out a season-high nine assists and grabbing a career-best eight rebounds. Coker was led by Fulwood, who was the only Cobra in double figures with 12.
SOME KEY ITEMS FOR COASTAL'S VICTORIES: Several trends 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. That trend has continued this season, as the Chanticleers are 0-4 when trailing at halftime, with an average deficit of 12.8 points at the intermission in those games they trail at the half.
TWO SENIORS SERVE AS CO-CAPTAINS: Coastal Carolina has 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.
This season, Coastal has knocked down an average of 7.0 three pointers a game on 34.3 percent shooting.
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.
This season, Coastal has played four games that have been decided by nine points or less, going 0-4 with the closest a six-point loss at UNC Greensboro, Nov. 23.
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. Last season, Nagel averaged 4.2 points and 5.4 rebounds, which ranked 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.
This season, Nagel has improved on both ends of the floor, averaging 6.3 points and 7.1 rebounds a game, having started all seven contests.
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 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.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. He ranked second in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio and was sixth in assists.
This year, Green has overcome preseason surgery to his shooting hand and recently has started to show the confidence again in his game. In the win over Coker Dec. 12, Green made his first start of the season, and while he had just four points, he but dished out a team season-high nine assists as well as corralling a career-high eight rebounds. He upped his averages to 3.1 points and 2.7 rebounds a game. He is now sixth on CCU's all-time assist chart with 332, just 18 shy of Greg Smith (1994-98) in fifth.
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. He tallied career-bests of seven points and three rebounds Nov. 19 against Indiana State. He then surpassed the rebounding high with five rebounds at Evansville, Nov. 21. He then put it all together for his first career double-double with career-highs of 13 points and a team-high 11 rebounds at UNC Greensboro, Nov. 23.
VEGAS, BABY, VEGAS: Another player who is in his first season in a Coastal uniform is freshman Chad Ferguson. The North Las Vegas native had five points and five rebounds against the Sycamores, Nov. 19. He then surpassed it with nine points at UNC Greensboro, Nov. 23. For the season, he is averaging 3.3 points and 2.5 rebounds a game.
INJURY UPDATE: Sophomore Adrian Gross is out for the Coker contest with an abdominal injury, while freshman Noah Nichols is also out with an injury to his left leg.
A TOUGH HOME OPENER WITH EASTERN KENTUCKY: The Coastal Carolina mens basketball squad could not convert their small halftime lead, eventually losing to visiting Eastern Kentucky, 77-62, Dec. 4 at Kimbel Arena.
EKU took the lead off the bat and, though the Chanticleers tied it at 4-4, the Colonels eventually built the lead to as many as 11 at 28-17 with 6:49 to go. Coastal put on a spurt to close out the half, as four Chants contributed to 15-3 run and CCU led 32-31 at the halftime break.
Eastern Kentucky came out in the second half and grabbed the lead again with a 10-2 run to go up 41-34 with 16:55 to play. The Chants cut it to four on a conventional three-point play by senior Clint Nagel to make it 41-37, but that is as close as CCU would get, as an 8-2 EKU run pushed the advantage to 10 and never let it slip below six the remainder of the game.
The Colonels blistered the nets, hitting 58.8 percent from the field, including 65.4 percent (17-for-26) in the second half. CCU did outrebound the visitors 32-31, but points in the paint and points off turnovers were the differences, as EKU outscored the Chants 42-28 in the paint and 22-13 off turnovers.
Coastal was led by junior Pele Paelay with 14 points, while Nagel added 12 and senior Alvin Green had a season-high 11 points and four assists. Eastern Kentucky had four players in double figures, led by Jason McLeish with 19 points. Alonzo Hird chipped in a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
HOME OPENERS FOR COASTAL: Coastal Carolina has done well in home openers in the past, holding a 22-9 mark in the first game at Kimbel Arena each season. CCU Head Coach Pete Strickland is 3-4 in home openers, including last season's heartbreaking 73-72 loss to the College of Charleston and this year's loss to Eastern Kentucky.
WHAT A LONG, STRANGE TRIP IT WAS: Coastal concluded the opening five-game, nine-day road trip officially on Monday afternoon, when the Chanticleers landed in Myrtle Beach. During that time, CCU will have played in three different time zones, four different cities, five different arenas and travelled over 12,200 miles. Coastal will not be on the road again until Dec. 22 at College of Charleston.
CHANTS DROP TOUGH ONE TO CHAMINADE: The Coastal Carolina University mens basketball team ended its five-game, nine-day road trip with a 70-61 loss to Chaminade University Nov. 28 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Coastal struggled from the floor in the first half, shooting only 26.7 percent from the floor and 1-of-13 from three-point range. Coastal had a 12-11 lead at the 10:50 mark, but Chaminade went on a 18-6 run to end the first half. The Silverswords had four three-pointers in the first half, while Chris Reaves had nine points. Junior Pele Paelay had six points and 10 rebounds in the first 20 minutes.
Chaminade built a 19-point lead at 46-27 with 11:54 left on two free throws from Corey Campbell. But Coastal went on a run and cut it to six at 53-47 on a jumper from freshman Jack Leasure at 5:35. Dylan McCune hit a huge three that cut the momentum at 3:50, giving the Silverswords a 58-47 lead. Chaminade then hit six free throws in the last 1:51 to ice it.
Coastal was led by junior Colin Stevens, who had a career-high 22 points. Paelay had 15 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. Senior Clint Nagel added 11 rebounds. Reaves had 17 points to lead Chaminade. The Silverswords had four players in double figures, while Zach Whiting lead CU with 11 rebounds.
Both teams struggled from the floor, as Coastal shot 36.4 percent, 19.2 from three-point range. Chaminade went 35.9 percent from the floor, but hit nine threes compared to five for Coastal.
CHANTS LOSE HEARTBREAKER WITH HAWAII: The Coastal Carolina University mens basketball team built a 22-point lead with 14:20 left, but the University of Hawaii shot a torrid 66.7 percent in the second half and defeated the Chanticleers 72-65 Nov. 26 at the Stan Sherriff Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Hawaii jumped out early to built a 4-1 lead on Julian Sensleys jumper, but Coastal went on a 12-2 run with eight of those points by junior Pele Paelay. Hawaii cut the lead to one on a Jeff Blackett jumper at 10:46, but a quick 8-1 run was capped by a three-pointer from freshman Jack Leasure at 7:56. Coastal extended the lead to 11 on a jumper by Colin Stevens and a Stevens three-pointer with 51 seconds left gave Coastal a 37-23 halftime lead.
Coastal shot 62.5 percent (15-of-24) in the first half, including 5-of-7 from three-point range. The Chants also forced the Rainbow Warriors into 11 turnovers.
Coastal came out strong in the second half, building two different 22-point leads, the last at 14:20. That is when the Rainbow Warriors heated up, going on a 25-4 run over the next eight minutes, , capped by two free throws to make it 58-57 CCU with 6:20 to play. Leasures sixth three-pointer at 5:05 gave Coastal a four-point lead, but a free throw by Sensley and four points from Blackett, the last at 2:47, gave Hawaii its first lead since 16:58 of the first half. Blackett hit another jumper at 2:14 for a three-point lead. Two Paelay free throws at 1:51 cut the lead to one, but it was the last points by the Chants, as a three from Nash with 43 seconds left put Hawaii up 70-65 and put a dagger in CCUs heart.
Leasure had another career high with 22 points on 6-of-11 shooting from three-point range. Paelay had 21 points, 12 in the first half as well as six assists and four steals. Senior Matthijs Reinders had a career-high 10 points, while Stevens tied a career-high with 10 points.
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.
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.
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. 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.