#141 Charleston: 2010-11 Basketball Preview
Overall Rank: #141
Conference Rank: #3 Southern Conference
2009-10: 22-12, 14-4
2009-10 postseason: CBI
Coach: Bobby Cremins (87-49 at Charleston, 541-356 overall)
Coach Bobby Cremins has built a consistent winner in Charleston. In his four seasons leading the Cougars, the team has won at least 22 games three times. The final two years have resulted in trips to the CBI, but Coach Cremins and company have larger aspirations than that. The team loses a couple starters, but this is a talented group who has the weapons to win the conference…or at least come agonizingly close yet again.
Key Losses: F Casaan Breeden, G Tony White Jr.
Coach Cremins added another solid recruiting class this season. James Carlton highlights the three man class. Carlton is an athletic 6-7, 205 pound power forward who can do a little bit of everything. He has the size and strength to effectively attack the basket and he can even step outside and hit the occasional three-pointer. Trent Weideman is a more traditional big man who already possesses a multitude of post moves and could become a force on offense sooner rather than later. Jordan Scott is the guard of the bunch and he has all the bases covered in that regard. He can run the point and do a ton of scoring. Which role he fills in the long run for the Cougars remains to be seen, but for now he can come in off the bench and knock down some shots.
During the 2009-2010 campaign Andrew Goudelock led the team with 3.9 assists per game, but he was able to work off the ball much of the time thanks to the presence of Tony White Jr. The result was a superb season for the sharpshooting Goudelock who averaged 19.4 points per game. Without White around, Goudelock will likely be asked to handle the ball more often. That should not be a big issue, but it may reduce his scoring output slightly. The good news is Donavan Monroe is around to pick up the slack in both departments. Monroe has the ball handling abilities to run the point and the scoring ability to add plenty of scoring punch to the backcourt even if Goudelock’s numbers go down. Monroe was a full time starter beside White and Goudelock so the bigger question may be who starts in White’s place now? Andrew Lawrence had a promising freshman campaign, averaging 4.7 points and 1.1 assists per game. If Coach Cremins really wants Goudelock and Monroe off the ball most of the time, Lawrence should be the answer, but Scott may have something to say about that.
The other option is Willis Hall, a 6-6 forward. He started seven games last year, but never at the small forward position. He has the outside shot to spend time at the three spot, but Charleston would generally prefer to play small and have Hall fill in minutes at the four spot. Yet, that may not be a luxury the team has early in the season. Jeremy Simmons started 29 games a year ago and has turned into a consistent scorer in the paint. Not only did the 6-8, 230 pounder average 11.9 points last season, but he also led the team with 8.0 rebounds per contest. Simmons will be a tough match-up for most opponents in the Southern Conference. Matt Sundberg is an experienced forward and Rashad Wright has some potential after seeing limited playing time as a freshman.
Who to Watch:
Yet, Charleston will not need too much production from Sundberg and Wright this year thanks to the return of Antwaine Wiggins. Wiggins is not much of a shooter, although that does not stop him from trying, but he did average 8.3 points per game two years ago before missing last season. Wiggins’ best asset is his defense and trading Wiggins for the inconsistent Breeden is not a bad deal.
The Cougars will have quite a few players who score. And, as usual, they will share the ball well, but this group tends to lose the games that matter most and that has kept them out of the SoCon title hunt and the NCAA Tournament. In the end, this should be another 20 win season for the College of Charleston, but that will not guarantee a postseason berth.
Projected Post-season Tournament: none
Projected Starting Five:
Andrew Lawrence, Sophomore, Guard, 4.7 ppg
Andrew Goudelock, Senior, Guard, 19.4 ppg
Donanvan Monroe, Senior, Guard, 12.3 ppg
Antwaine Wiggins, Senior, Forward, DNP last season
Jeremy Simmons, Senior, Forward, 11.9 ppg
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