Charleston Men's Basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Charleston Cougars

CAA (26-7, 14-4)

Charleston returned all five starters from a team that won 25 games and reached the NIT in 2016-2017. The goal this year was to take the next step and reach the NCAA Tournament. The Cougars tied for first place in the CAA with a 14-4 record, but of course reaching the NCAAs comes down to a few games in the conference tournament. It was not easy, but the Cougars managed to win an overtime thriller against Northeastern to punch their ticket.
Big Wins: 2/1 at Northeastern (69-64), 2/3 at Hofstra (86-85), 2/8 William & Mary (82-77)
Bad Losses: 1/5 at Drexel (82-87), 1/7 at Towson (62-73), 1/13 at Elon (58-63)
Coach: Earl Grant
Why They Can Surprise:
Charleston has three major scoring threats and it is not easy to contain any of them. Grant Riller leads the way with 18.7 points per game. He is also a very effective and efficient three-point shooter. Joe Chealey is a very dangerous shooter too, but he also spends more time making free-throws than just about anybody else in the country. Chealey is the guy who can put an end to an opponent’s run by attacking the basket and putting a couple points on the board. Riller and Chealey also deserve much of the credit for the Cougars impressive turnover numbers. This team turns the ball over just 9.6 times per game, which ranks third in the country. Jarrell Brantley, a 6-7 forward, is the other scorer. He averages 17.0 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. He can shoot from long range, but will do most of his damage around the basket.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Brantley does a good job on the glass, but this team still ended their year with a negative rebounding margin. Nick Harris is the traditional big man who can block shots and play solid defense. He is not much of a scorer though and could struggle on the glass against the more talented competition the Cougars will run into during the NCAA Tournament. Harris and sophomore Jaylen McManus will have to perform well in the paint and on both ends of the floor if Charleston hopes to pull off an upset. And of course Chealey, Riller and Brantley will have to knock down some shots too.
Probable Starters:
Joe Chealey, Senior, Guard, 18.5 ppg, 3.6 apg, 4.7 rpg
Grant Riller, Sophomore, Guard, 18.7 ppg, 2.1 apg
Cameron Johnson, Senior, Guard, 8.8 ppg, 1.8 apg
Jarrell Brantley, Junior, Forward, 17.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg
Nick Harris, Junior, Forward, 6.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.3 bpg
Key Role Players:
Marquise Pointer, Junior, Guard, 5.6 ppg, 1.8 apg
Jaylen McManus, Sophomore, Forward, 3.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.6 (158th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.4 (75, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.8 (121, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.0 (116, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.6 (179, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.2 (118, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 75.3 (47, 2)
Rebound Margin: -0.7 (235, 9)
Assists Per Game: 11.4 (320, 10)
Turnovers Per Game: 9.8 (5, 1)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2017    NIT     First Round loss to Colorado State
2013    CBI     First Round loss to George Mason
2011    NIT     First Round win over Dayton
2011    NIT     Second Round win over Cleveland State
2011    NIT     Quarterfinal loss to Wichita State
2010    CBI     First Round win over Eastern Kentucky
2010    CBI     Second Round loss to Virginia Commonwealth
2009    CBI     First Round win over Troy
2009    CBI     Second Round loss to Charleston
2003    NIT     Opening Round win over Kent State
2003    NIT     First Round loss to Providence
1999    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Tulsa
*all team stats through 3/4