Rank: #3 Big South
20-10, 12-4, 2nd (t)
Peterson turned a 9-19
Coastal Carolina team into a 20-10 squad. The Chanticleers
are looking to take the next step this year and make their first
NCAA Tournament since 1993. With the return of Jack Leasure,
who led the team with 17.8 points per game, the Chanticleers
have a chance of repeating last year’s success, despite the
other major backcourt losses.
Pele Paelay and Colin Stevens have run out of eligibility.
Paelay wrapped up a tremendous career in Conway, SC averaging
14.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a senior. Stevens,
who started 14 contests last year, added 6.3 points and 2.5
assists. Seldom used Noah Nichols and Marcus White have opted
to transfer from the program.
Chanticleers could use another big man, but Randon Cavette is
the only forward making this list. The 6-5 Kentucky native is
undersized for a power forward, yet he’ll battle inside with
anybody and be effective at it. Cavette isn’t just a fighter
under the basket; he has decent hands and can pass from within
the perimeter. Point guard Josh Mack, who was voted onto the
Kentucky’s All-State team, has room for potential but fellow
newcomers Everage Richardson and Phil Wallace have a better shot
at seeing major minutes this year. Richardson, a transfer from
Sullivan County Community College in New York, is a great
scorer, shooting 60% from the floor last year and 50% behind the
arc. Wallace is expected to take over part of Paelay’s role and
definitely has the ability to at least pick up the slack in the
rebounding category. Logan Johnson, a 6-4 wing, redshirted last
season and will add more depth to the perimeter.
Who to Watch:
Leasure’s team, but it is the forwards that need to step up and
compliment Leasure’s game. Senior Moses Sonko has the
experience. Sonko started all 30 games last year averaging 11.7
points and 5.5 boards. Joseph Harris has the potential for a
breakout season. As a freshman, the 6-5 forward started 20
contests, averaging 5.4 points and a team high 5.8 rebounds.
With a spot in the starting lineup all but certain, Harris is
poised for a big season. Fellow frontcourters Chad Ferguson,
Matt Brennan and Adrian Gross have starting experience and will
battle for a starting gig.
Last year CCU
went with three guards. That is less likely this season with
the guard spots lacking some experience, yet there are plenty of
options. Mario Sisnni and Steven Sexton had solid freshmen
campaigns and will need to continue to improve. The problem is
the big guys aren’t that big with the forwards stacking up at
6-4, 6-5 and 6-7 in the projected starting lineup. And the
recruiting class didn’t bring any help in that department. As
always it will be tough at the top of the Big South. Coastal
Carolina will be up there, but fall a little short. To leave on
a high note, CCU is my early #1 in the Big South for 2007-2008.
Sophomore, Guard, 2.3 points per game
Junior, Guard, 17.8 points per game
Sophomore, Forward, 5.4 points per game
Senior, Forward, 11.7 points per game
Junior, Forward, 3.5 points per game