Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
Big South Conference (28-6, 15-3)
Big Wins: 11/13 Charleston (70-59), 11/23 vs Indiana State (77-62), 2/13 at Radford (52-51)
Bad Losses: 11/24 vs CSU Northridge (69-76), 2/11 at High Point (65-69), 3/6 vs Winthrop (53-64)
Coach: Cliff Ellis
Why They Can Surprise:
Coastal Carolina has been a surprising team this year due to its efficient offense. They take smart shots and take care of the ball and that will give them a chance to be in every single game. Fortunately for Coach Cliff Ellis and company, the Chanticleers have won most of those games. It is freshman Kierre Greenwood who has paved the way for success. While he is not much of a shooter at this point in his career, Greenwood has done a great job taking care of the ball and finding the scorers under the basket.
And it is that group of forwards that make Coastal Carolina’s shooting percentage so impressive. Joseph Harris might be undersized for a traditional power forward at 6-5 and 180 pounds, but he is a superb scorer around the basket and averages nearly ten rebounds per game. Sam McLaurin is the big man under the basket. The 6-8 freshman is not a scoring threat, but he does grab a lot of rebounds and is a fine shot blocker. Chad Gray spent a couple years coming off the bench at South Carolina and he does the same at Coastal Carolina. However, this time he is the team’s second leading scorer and one of the most productive sixth men in the country.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Besides shooting free-throws, there are not many things this team does wrong. However, when teams coming out of a conference like the Big South want to pull off an upset against a more traditional powerhouse school, they usually have to hit some three-pointers. This group does not do that very well. Mario Edwards is the only player on the team that averages over one long ball per contest. The system generally does not lend itself to outside shooters, but the Chanticleers will need to make some shots from long range. Edwards connects on nearly 40 percent of his attempts, so he is certainly a good place to start.
Who To Watch:
But there needs to be more scoring punch from the rest of the backcourt. Logan Johnson is the usual starter beside Edwards. He is a capable outside shooter on occasion, but he is mostly in the starting lineup for his ability to handle the ball and grab some rebounds due to his 6-6 frame. That size helps offset the shorter Harris who starts at the power forward spot. That leaves Danny Nieman and Dexter Moore to help spark the backcourt off the bench. Both are good shooters when they shoot the ball, but it is Nieman who can also get to the basket. More impressively, Nieman is even second on the team in assists despite not starting.
Kierre Greenwood, Freshman, Guard, 9.1 ppg, 3.3 apg
Mario Edwards, Senior, Guard, 12.1 ppg, 2.6 apg, 4.3 rpg
Logan Johnson, Senior, Guard, 8.3 ppg, 2.7 apg
Joseph Harris, Senior, Forward, 14.4 ppg, 9.7 rpg
Sam McLaurin, Freshman, Forward, 3.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.7 bpg
Chad Gray, Junior, Forward, 14.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg
Dexter Moore, Sophomore, Guard, 3.4 ppg, 1.1 rpg
Danny Nieman, Freshman, Guard, 6.2 ppg, 3.1 apg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.6 (60th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.9 (13, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.0 (19, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.1 (5, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.2 (262, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.8 (94, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 63.3 (312, 8)
Rebound Margin: 6.2 (16, 2)
Assists Per Game: 15.7 (24, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.8 (85, 2)
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