Charleston Southern Men's Basketball 2015 NIT Tournament Capsule

Charleston Southern Buccaneers
Big South (19-11, 13-5)


Overtime was kind to Charleston Southern this season on the Buccaneers’ way to tying High Point for the regular-season Big South title. In the two teams’ final game, a rematch of a January 8th High Point victory, Charleston Southern vanquished the Panthers 97-93 in triple-overtime to secure its 13-5 conference record heading into the Big South tournament. By starting off the season with an overtime win at Mississippi in their very first game, the Buccaneers seemed to thrive when given extra minutes.

Big Wins: 11/14 at Mississippi (66-65), 2/6 at Radford (79-71), 2/28 High Point (97-93)
Bad Losses: 11/22 Wright State (79-86), 2/2 at Winthrop (55-77), 3/6 vs Longwood (60-68)
Coach: Barclay Radebaugh

Why They Can Surprise:
For four years at Charleston Southern, Saah Nimley has been a scoring machine. He played over 30 minutes per game as a freshman and averaged more than 13 points per game. He did so again as a sophomore. His junior year, the minutes dipped just a bit, but the scoring remained constant. Now, in his senior season, Nimley is playing more than any other Buccaneer and scoring more than he ever has. The 5-8 guard, never a knockdown shooter or the most efficient of scorers, is using all the tools at his disposal in 2014-15, averaging 21.2 points per game. That is the fifth-best mark in the entire country. He’s had help though this season, namely in teammates launching from behind the arc. The Buccaneers are one of the most active three-point shooting teams in the country. Nimely and Will Saunders have each attempted over 200 threes; Arlon Harper is well over 100 attempts himself. This disregard for distance has helped CSU in big spots. In the aforementioned triple-overtime win against High Point, the Bucs nailed an incredible 19 threes on 45 attempts!

Why They Can Disappoint:
Nimley and Charleston Southern are not strictly a one-man show, but they may be a one-trick pony. The Buccaneers are a rather poor defensive team, stemming from their lack of size. They rarely block a shot and don’t share the basketball as much as a smallish team should. They also allow too high of a field-goal percentage on the defensive end, often making trips easy for opponents. On offense, the theory seems to be quantity over quality. CSU shoots a lot of three’s but doesn’t make a lot of shots from anywhere on the floor. It also is a poor free-throw shooting team as a whole, with Nimley the only player helping stem that tide. This has been a tremendous senior season for the Big South Conference Player of the Year, Nimley, but he doesn’t do quite enough in order to help this undermanned team.

Probable Starters:
Saah Nimley, Senior, Guard, 21.1 ppg, 4.1 apg, 4.1 rpg
Arlon Harper, Senior, Guard, 13.2 ppg, 2.2 apg, 4.0 rpg
Aaron Wheeler, Junior, Guard, 8.1 ppg, 2.4 apg, 5.1 rpg
Cedrick Bowen, Senior, Forward, 8.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg
Paul Gombwer, Senior, Forward, 3.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Will Saunders, Senior, Forward, 13.0 ppg, 6.1 rpg
Danny Upchurch, Freshman, Guard, 2.2 ppg,1.2 apg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.0 (36th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.8 (245, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.3 (232, 11)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.9 (215, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.2 (11, 1)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.0 (186, 9)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.8 (185, 7)
Rebound Margin: 3.8 (63, 2)
Assists Per Game: 12.9 (160, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.4 (60, 2)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2013    NIT    First Round loss to Southern Mississippi

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules