#139 Coastal Carolina Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #139
Conference Rank: #3 Big South

Coastal Carolina Team Page#139 Coastal Carolina Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Coastal Carolina Basketball Tickets

Coastal Carolina won the South division of the Big South, but it was High Point who took home the regular season conference title. But the Chanticleers fought through a tough conference tournament field to earn a trip to the NCAA Tournament. In their Big South Tournament opener, CCU needed overtime to get past a feisty Charleston Southern squad. They slipped past VMI in the semifinals by a score of 66-62. The easiest game of them all was in the final where Coastal Carolina beat Winthrop by 15. Coach Cliff Ellis and company drew Virginia in their NCAA opener and played pretty well for most of the contest.

2013-14 Record: 21-13, 11-5
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Cliff Ellis
Coach Record: 134-88 at Coastal Carolina, 665-427 overall

Who’s Out:
El Hadji Ndieguene is a big loss. The 6-10, 240 pound center was never much of a scorer, but he was very strong on the glass and provided a big body in the paint on both ends of the floor. The only other loss is Eric Smith, a 6-0 guard who averaged under a dozen minutes per contest.

Who’s In:
Coach Ellis needed to get bigger with this recruiting class and Marcus Freeman should fit the bill. He may not step right into the starting lineup, but the 6-8, 240 pound junior college transfer does have the experience to quickly turn into a major contributor on the glass. Freeman may be the most important newcomer, but fellow transfers Aaron Law and Shivaughn Wiggins have the Chanticleer faithful more excited. Law spent his freshman campaign at Iowa State, where he barely played. The 6-0 guard can handle the ball and should see some minutes backing up the point. Wiggins has had much more success at the Division I level. Two years ago, as a freshman at Mount St. Mary’s, Wiggins averaged 9.6 points, 2.2 assists, 2.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals. As a result, he was named the conference’s Freshman of the Year.

Who to Watch:
But there may not be any space for Wiggins in the starting lineup with Warren Gillis, Josh Cameron and Elijah Wilson returning to the backcourt. Those three each scored between 13.8 and 15.8 points per game last year. Gillis can be a bit turnover happy, but now he is an experienced senior who should be able to keep things under control. Cameron is the most prolific outside shooter on the team. He knocked down 66 long balls on the year. Wilson has the most potential after leading the team in scoring as a freshman. Like much of the CCU backcourt, Wilson was not consistent with his shot, but he found plenty of other ways to score. If Wilson can boost his three-point shooting percentage from 30.5 to something close to 37 or 38, he may be the top scorer in the Big South. Colton Ray-St Cyr had a promising freshman campaign, averaging 3.9 points per game. He may not see too many more minutes this year with Wiggins stepping in.

Final Projection:
Badou Diagne and Michel Enanga split starts beside Ndieguene last season. Now they both need to step up and help take over the lost rebounder. Diagne, a 6-7, 220 pound junior, is ready to take over the frontcourt leadership. He is the best interior scorer on the team and a strong rebounder. He averaged 8.0 points and 6.5 rebounds. Enanga is a little smaller at 6-6 and he really cannot spend time at the five spot. Uros Ljeskovic does have the size to do so, although he averaged under 12 minutes per game as a sophomore. Tristian Curtis is yet another option after seeing limited action last year. Diagne and Enanga can handle about 45 to 50 minutes per game, covering the four and five spots, but that leaves 30 to 35 minutes for other players. If Freeman is ready to produce, Coastal Carolina will make a big push for a conference title despite the quality at the top of the league.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Warren Gillis, Senior, Guard, 14.7 points per game
Josh Cameron, Senior, Guard, 13.8 points per game
Elijah Wilson, Sophomore, Guard, 15.8 points per game
Michel Enanga, Junior, Forward, 5.1 points per game
Badou Diagne, Junior, Forward, 8.0 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.3 (126th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.4 (128, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.7 (200, 12)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.2 (31, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.2 (160, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.8 (186, 11)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.1 (194, 8)
Rebound Margin: 4.7 (37, 2)
Assists Per Game: 10.6 (308, 12)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.9 (301, 12)


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