2008-09 Charleston Basketball Preview: #141
College of Charleston Cougars
Overall Rank: #141
Conference Rank: #3 Southern Conference
2007-08: 16-17, 9-11, 3rd South
2007-08 postseason: none
While Davidson got most, well pretty much all, of the headlines coming out of the Southern Conference, some other teams put together solid seasons. Unfortunately, the College of Charleston was not one of them. The team struggled through a relatively difficult non-conference schedule and any time it looked like they were going to recover, another extended losing streak followed. Yet, with every player who averaged over ten minutes per game returning, Coach Bobby Cremins' team has the experience to scare Davidson a little bit.
Konimba Diarra saw limited action during his senior season, but he was another big body down the bench who could come in and play a little defense and eat up a foul or two. The only other departure is David Baller, who failed to score a point in his nine appearances.
With all the returning talent, the newcomers will find it difficult to find too much playing time. However, Quasim Pugh could work his way into the regular rotation. The 6-0 point guard is a drive and dish player and that is not a bad thing to have on a team that has a lot of scorers and few pure passers. Shooting guard Matt Sundberg might have to bide his time on the bench, but if he can be a consistent long range shooter as a freshman, there could be a role for him right away.
Who to Watch:
The guards will win games in the SoCon, but the Cougars have a nice group of forwards who will do their part to turn Charleston into a winner. Senior Jermaine Johnson has steadily improved throughout his career and his senior season should be his best yet. The 6-7, 250 pound Los Angeles native is a wide body and can clear room in the paint on both ends of the floor. The emergence of former junior college transfer Dustin Scott has made even more space for Johnson in the paint. Scott, who can stretch the defense with his outside shooting, averaged 10.8 points and 6.7 rebounds last year. Small forward Antwaine Wiggins had a decent freshman campaign and once he uses his size and athletic ability to get to the basket instead of hoisting up three-pointers, he will be a star in the conference. The problem up front is the lack of depth and 6-8 sophomore Jeremy Simmons needs to be ready to give Johnson and Scott a rest.
Andrew Goudelock and Tony White, Jr. are good scorers and solid shooters from behind the arc, but can they lead this team to glory? White will run the point once again, but the turnover numbers are a little high and he is too talented of a scorer to simply set up his teammates. Goudelock was a pleasant surprise as a freshman and shot over 42 percent from long range and tied White with a team high 13.2 points per game. The depth is there with Donavan Monroe and Marcus Hammond, but White needs to have a big year for the Cougars to have a big year.
Projected Post-season Tournament: none
Projected Starting Five:
Tony White, Jr., Junior, Guard, 13.2 points per game
Andrew Goudelock, Sophomore, Guard, 13.2 points per game
Antwaine Wiggins, Sophomore, Forward, 6.9 points per game
Dustin Scott, Senior, Forward, 10.8 points per game
Jermaine Johnson, Senior, Forward, 11.2 points per game