College of Charleston Cougars

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Introducing Cinderella: College of Charleston Cougars

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Conference: Colonial Athletic Association

Coach: Earl Grant

Record: 26-7 (14-4 CAA)

Rankings and Ratings:

Kenpom: 120
RPI: 66
AP/USA TODAY: Not ranked

Seeding: As of right now, the College of Charleston appears headed for a 14-seed. With there being no major wins outside of conference play on their profile, that may be what keeps the Cougars from moving up to a 13 on Selection Sunday.

Names you need to know: The Cougars have three of the Colonial’s best players in guards Joe Chealey and Grant Riller, and forward Jarrell Brantley. Riller led the team in scoring with an average of 18.6 per night, with Chealey not too far off at 18.0 ppg while also dishing out a team-high 3.7 assists per game. As for Brantley, he averaged 16.9 points and a team-high 6.9 rebounds per game. Earl Grant trusts this trio to lead the way, and more often than not they’ve gotten the job done for the CAA champs.

Stats you need to know: The Cougars’ turnover percentage of 14.6 ranks tenth nationally, which isn’t a surprise when you’ve got guards as good as Riller and Chealey leading the way. They don’t beat themselves, and the rotation as a whole has a good grasp what they need to do (and they accept their roles, as well). Also they rank 327th in the country in adjusted tempo, so while they can take advantage of open floor opportunities this is a half-court team.

Big wins, bad losses: Three of the College of Charleston’s biggest wins came against Northeastern, the last coming in Tuesday’s CAA title game. All five of the Cougars’ Quadrant 1/2 wins came against CAA competition, with the other results being their semifinal win over William & Mary and a win at Hofstra February 3. The Cougars had just two chances for marquee non-conference wins, losing at Wichita State and Rhode Island with the then-injured Brantley missing both of those games.

How’d they get here?: The top seed in the CAA tournament, the College of Charleston beat Drexel, William & Mary and Northeastern to earn the program’s first NCAA tournament berth since 1999. The final did not lack for drama, as the Cougars trailed Northeastern by as much as 17 early in the second half before rallying to force overtime. In the 83-76 win the trio of Chealey, Riller and Brantley combined to score 70 points, with Chealey dropping 32.

Outlook: Their pace, guard play and lack of turnovers could make the College of Charleston a dangerous team next week. It all depend on the matchup of course, but if they draw a team that struggles defending the perimeter and is also a bit impatient offensively look out.

How do I know you?: For fans who have watched the sport for a while, the name John Kresse should ring a bell. Kresse led the program up to Division I, and during a six-year stretch from 1993 to 1999 his Cougars made four NCAA tournament appearances. And head coach Earl Grant spent time as an assistant working with both Brad Brownell (Clemson) and Gregg Marshall (Wichita State).

College of Charleston loses leading scorer to season-ending injury

Associated Press
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Prior to the team’s game against Elon Saturday afternoon, the College of Charleston announced that leading scorer Canyon Barry will miss the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury. The 6-foot-6 junior suffered the injury during the Cougars’ game against William & Mary January 2, and he hasn’t played since.

Barry averaged 19.7 points and 3.4 rebounds per contest this season, and it goes without saying that his loss is a big it for the Cougars to take.

College of Charleston is 1-3 in their last four games since Barry went down, with the lone victory being a 72-61 win over Hofstra January 7. Since then the Cougars have lost three straight by a total of ten points, with the most recent defeat being a 65-64 decision to Elon Saturday afternoon.

College of Charleston/James Madison game pushed back to Sunday due to inclement weather


The College of Charleston was scheduled to play a game at James Madison Saturday afternoon, but thanks to a winter storm the game has been pushed back to Sunday afternoon. According to the announcement from James Madison, tipoff is scheduled for Noon Sunday.

This is an important game for the Dukes (10-5 CAA, 17-11 overall), who entered Saturday tied atop the CAA standings in the loss column with UNCW (11-5), Northeastern and William & Mary (10-5). After losing consecutive games to William & Mary and UNCW, Matt Brady’s team has won four straight entering Sunday’s game.

The Dukes won the first meeting of the season between the two teams, beating the Cougars 61-50 January 5. Ron Curry scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds, and Yohanny Dalembert added 14 and three blocked shots. Charleston shot 37 percent from the field and 6-for-25 from beyond the arc in that home defeat.

WATCH LIVE: Drexel hosts College of Charleston on NBCSN

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Saturday afternoon’s contest between Drexel and College of Charleston features two teams looking to make a move up the Colonial Athletic Association standings. Both the host Dragons and Cougars have struggled for consistency this season but will play each other for the first of two scheduled contests.

Drexel (4-14, 2-5) will be led by high-scoring and productive guard Damion Lee. The 6-foot-6 junior rarely leaves the floor and is averaging 20.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game for the Dragons. College of Charleston (6-14, 1-6) relies on more of a balanced approach to get it done and the Cougars are led by sophomore guards Canyon Barry and Joe Chealey.

You can see the game at 12:00 p.m. on NBCSN. It will also be streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra.

College of Charleston loses guard for two-to-four weeks

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source: AP

College of Charleston is struggling and sitting in last place in the CAA and things only got worse on Saturday as the school announced an injury to senior guard Anthony Stitt.

The team’s third-leading scorer will miss two-to-four weeks with a knee injury, per the official release from the school. The 6-foot-1 Stitt is averaging 9.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game and his loss comes at an especially tough time for the Cougars. Still is also an experienced guard, having already amassed over 1,000 points in his college career.

With an 0-4 conference record in the CAA, the College of Charleston has dropped eight consecutive games and are looking for any kind of spark to help them turn that streak around. Stitt plays nearly 34 minutes a game, so that is plenty of additional playing time to others in the Cougar rotation that could provide a lift.

A road game at Elon comes next for College of Charleston, as they’re currently 5-12 on the season.

2014-2015 Season Preview: This the year for William & Mary, or do new contenders emerge in the CAA?

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Beginning on October 3rd and running up until November 14th, the first day of the season, College Basketball Talk will be unveiling the 2014-2015 college hoops preview package.

MORE: 2014-2015 Season Preview Coverage | Conference Previews | Preview Schedule

The Colonial Athletic Association ended in dramatic fashion last season as Delaware defeated William & Mary, 75-74, in the final seconds of the conference title game in Baltimore. There will be plenty of turnover in the CAA heading into this season, as many star players have moved on from their collegiate careers and several programs from the bottom half of the conference standings in previous years look to make the jump into the NCAA tournament conversation.

William & Mary guard Marcus Thornton is the only returning first-team all-conference selection and is the league’s best player. The Tribe also return Omar Prewitt, the CAA 2013-2014 Rookie of the Year, giving W&M one of the best perimeters in the conference. Chasing the Tribe will be two teams that finished below .500, but have the tools to be serious contenders this season. Northeastern returns six of its top seven scorers, including second-teamer Scott Eatherton and Quincy Ford, who was sidelined all but two games with a back injury. The two 6-foot-8 forwards give the Huskies the CAA’s best frontline. Hofstra head coach Joe Mihalich is equipped with some offensive firepower to account for the graduation of CAA top scorer Zeke Upshaw. Juan’ya Green and Ameen Tanksley, both of whom followed Mihalich from Niagara in 2013, are now eligible, as is SMU transfer Brian Bernardi. That trio joins senior guard Dion Nesmith.

Drexel, Delaware, James Madison and Towson have all lost significant contributions, but could still pieces to offset the lost production. Damion Lee has recovered from last December’s ACL tear. He averaged 17.1 points per game for Drexel as a sophomore in 2012-2013. Gone from Delaware are four double-digit scorers, but Kyle Anderson remains, as the Blue Hens will shift to a strong defensive-minded team in 2013-2014. Two-time player of the year Jerrelle Benimon graduated last spring, but Towson does bring back Timajh Parker-Rivera and Four McGlynn while James Madison won’t have its full roster until late November.

The Dukes suspended talented scorer Andre Nation for the first five games. He missed 15 games last season due to violation of the athletic department. Northeastern has also dealt with personnel issues as starting guard Demetrius Pollard left the program earlier this month, although he remains enrolled at the university.

The CAA welcomes Elon from the Southern Conference. Elon’s Matt Matheny is one of three new CAA head coaches. Rick Pitino’s former assistant Kevin Keatts takes over at UNC-Wilmington while former Clemson assistant Earl Grant got a late start to his first season on the College of Charleston bench after the school fired Doug Wojick in early August.


In: Elon
Out: None

PRESEASON CAA PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Marcus Thornton, William & Mary

The 6-foot-4 two-guard is the conference’s top returning scorer, averaging 18.7 points per game, going for 20 or more 14 times during his junior campaign that ended with first-team all-CAA honors. Thornton back-rimmed what would have been a game-winning, buzzer-beater in the CAA championship game against Delaware; a missed shot that likely fueled his offseason workouts this summer.


  • Kyle Anderson, Delaware: The Blue Hens lost four of five double-digit scorers. Anderson, the only one to start all 35 games, should see an increase in production this season for the reigning CAA champion.
  • Scott Eatherton, Northeastern: The 6-foot-8 forward averaged a double-double last season, posting 15.9 points and 10.2 boards per game.
  • Juan’ya Green, Hofstra: One of three transfers eligible this season for a revamped roster. The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 16.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.9 assists a game for Niagara in 2012-2013.
  • Damion Lee, Drexel: Missed all but five games last year due to an ACL tear. When Lee is healthy, Drexel is a contender and he is a player of the year candidate.



1. William & Mary
2. Northeastern
3. Hofstra
4. Drexel
5. Delaware
6. James Madison
7. Towson
8. College of Charleston
9. Elon