Home » Conference Notes » Currently Reading:

Big South Preview

November 8, 2002 Conference Notes No Comments

Big South Conference Preview

by Doug McKinney

Here are the Big South projections, in order of finish for the upcoming season:

1. Winthrop Eagles

2001-2002 Record: 19-12 Overall, 10-4 Big South, Tied for 1st place

Starters Lost (3): Gregg Lewis (15.4 ppg, 10.1 rpg, BSC player of the year),
Marcus Stewart (8.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, two time all-BSC selection), Tywan Harris
(7.5 ppg, 44 3-pointers made last season)

Key Returnees: Tyrone Walker (11.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and Pierre Wooten (9.3 ppg,
114 Assists)

The four-time Big South champions have another good shot at
winning it all once again, trying to make their fifth season in a row.
Although the Eagles lost Big South player of the year Greg Lewis (NBDL-
Greenville Groove) to graduation, WU has a strong candidate in junior Tyrone
Walker to fill in his shoes. Despite losing two other key starters, Eagles
fans don’t have much to worry about, as a strong recruiting class and a list
of JuCo transfers, highlighted by Marcus Cooke, come to the rescue. Despite
away games with Utah and Clemson, the Eagles don’t have that hard of a
schedule, with their first Big South game coming on Jan 2 at Radford. In BSC
tournament play, the Eagles are 9-0 under coach Gregg Marshall.

2. UNC Asheville Bulldogs

2001-2002 Record: 13-15 Overall, 10-4 Big South, Tied for 1st place

Starters Lost (1): Robby Joyner (9.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg)

Key Returnees: Andre Smith (16.2 ppg, 64 Assists), Ben McGonagil (8.3 ppg),
Billy Allen (7.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg)

The Bulldogs (picked 1st in the Big South preseason coaches poll) don’t
lose as much as most other Big South powerhouse teams, but can’t expect to win
a BSC title if they choke as bad as they did in their final game of last
season. Senior Andre Smith is one of the best players ever to wear a UNC
Asheville uniform and just needs 14 more points to eclipse the 1,000-point
mark. Smith The challenge ahead for the Bulldogs is their tough non-conference schedule, which includes games against Minnesota, Connecticut, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

3. High Point Panthers

2001-2002 Record: 11-19 Overall, 5-9 Big South, Tied for 6th

Starters Lost (1): Jay Wallace (8.5 ppg, 35 blocks)

Key Returnees: Dustin Van Weerdhuizen (16.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg), Joe Knight (13.1
ppg, 89 Assists), Ron Barrow (8.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg), and Brent Halsch (7.5 ppg,
5.9 rpg)

The surprise team of last year’s tournament, the Panthers are
trying to show Big South fans that their Cinderella post-season run last year
was no fluke. Big South Rookie of the Year Joe Knight and senior Dustin Van
Weerdhuizen look to lead HPU this year as the Panthers will have to face back-
to-back games against Clemson and Kentucky. HPU seems to have one of the most
balanced lineups in the Big South, but cannot repeat last season’s 5-9
conference record if they want to go to the Big Dance. Even though they did
manage to slip by their first two opponents in the tournament, the Panthers
only won those games by a combined score of three points.

4. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

2001-2002 Record: 8-20 Overall, 5-9 Big South, Tied for 6th

How Far They Danced: First Round loss to Radford, 81-66

Key Returnees: Torrey Butler (2000-2001 stats:19.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg), Derrick
Robinson (13.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg), Brandon Newby (14.2 ppg, 44 3-pointers made last
season), Antonio Darden (10.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 12 blocks), Alvin Green (10.6 ppg,
97 Assists), and Kelvin Coggins (8.8 ppg)

The big story for the Chants is the return of Senior Torrey
Butler. Butler, who suffered a foot injury and didn’t play last season, held
a .476 3-point avg. to go along with the 19 points he averaged a game back in
2000-2001. The Chants don’t lose any starters and have many valuable key
players coming back this year, including Robinson and Newby. CCU has a much
tougher schedule than last season’s with games against Florida, Georgetown,
Clemson, and East Carolina. Although the Chants have a great deal of talent,
it will depend on how far the Big South coach on the hot seat, Pete
Strickland, will take them.

5. Radford Highlanders

2001-2002 Record: 15-16 Overall, 9-5 Big South, 3rd place

Starters Lost (4): Andrey Savtchenko (16.2 ppg, 10.0 rpg), Correy Watkins
(13.6 ppg, 9.1 rpg), Mike Hornbuckle (11.7 ppg), Nosa Obasuyi (6.2 ppg, 72

Key Returnees: Raymond “Peanut” Arrington (14.5 ppg, 62 assists), David
Popoola (6.7 ppg)

The Highlanders, under first year coach Byron Samuels, have lost
more key players than any other team in the Big South. Radford loses four
starters and must depend on senior Arrington to lead the way. Savtchenko,
Obasuyi, and Watkins graduated, and so did Hornbuckle, who was almost given a
chance to play a fifth year due to an injury early in last season. Freshmen
Chris Goodin, who averaged 27 points a game in high school, as well as highly
touted freshmen Wit Holcomb-Faye and Chris Prince will have to step up for the
Highlanders. Samuels even states that at least one or two freshmen could find
their way into the starting line up when the season starts. RU finds itself
opening the season with a tough Richmond team, before battling East Carolina,
Marshall, and Ohio State. Many think it’s a rebuilding year for RU, but the
Highlanders always find a way to make some noise and who knows when it comes
to the Big South, anything can happen.

6. Charleston Southern Buccanneers

2001-2002 Record: 12-17 Overall, 8-6 Big South, 4th place

Key Returnees: Charles White (9.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg), Ed O’Neil (6.6 ppg, 122
Assists), Gene Granger (9.3 ppg, 45 steals), James Seegars (8.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg),

With games against Michigan, Tennessee, and Florida, in a row, the
Bucs depend on Charles White and Ed O’Neil to lead the way. Even though CSU
didn’t lose much, senior guards James Seegars and Gene Granger most have to
contribute if the Bucs want to improve on their impressive 8-6 record of last
year. CSU was ranked third in the preseason BSC poll, but unless those guys
contribute, that ranking won’t mean squat by the end of this season.

7. Elon Phoenix

2001-2002 Record: 13-16 Overall, 7-7 Big South, 5th place

Starters Lost (2): Brendon Rowell (13.9 ppg), David Hall (10.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg)

Key Returnees: Ross Sims (8.1 ppg, 102 Assists), Gary Marsh (10.3, 5.0 rpg),
Chris Adams (4.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg)

In their last year as a member of the Big South Conference, the
Phoenix look under the leadership of senior guard Ross Sims to lead the way.
The Phoenix lose Rowell and Hall and have to look to a total of eight freshmen
and sophomores to step up and fill in. With only having two opponents that
can be considered contenders on their schedule, in Wake Forest and Georgia
Tech, Elon might be able to find a way to make some noise in their last year
in the Big South.

8. Liberty Flames

2001-2002 Record: 5-25 Overall, 2-12 Big South, 8th place

Starters Lost (3): Chris Caldwell (15.4 ppg, 72 steals) and Travis Eisentrout
(9.0 ppg)

Key Returnees: Vincent Okotie (9.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg), Phillip Ward (7.0 ppg), and
Jason Sarchet (5.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg)

The Flames, who have lost the Big South’s most flamboyant player
in Caldwell, look to new head coach Randy Dunton to turn the program around.
Forwards Okotie and Ward are the stars for this rebuilding Liberty team who
has the unfortunate situation to face Iowa, Clemson, and Virginia in a row in
what is claimed as a rebuilding season.

First-team All-Conference
Andre Smith, Guard, UNC Asheville
Pierre Wooten, Guard, Winthrop
Raymond “Peanut” Arrington, Guard, Radford
Joe Knight, Guard, High Point
Torrey Butler, Forward, Coastal Carolina

Second-team All-Conference
Tyrone Walker, Winthrop
Dustin Van Weerdhuizen, High Point
Ed O’Neil, Charleston Southern
Ross Sims, Elon
Marcus Cooke, Winthrop

MVP: Andre Smith, UNC Asheville
Newcomer of the Year: Marcus Cooke, Winthrop
Coach on the Hot Seat: Pete Strickland, Coastal Carolina


Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 11, 2017

April 11, 2017 by

In our first off-season edition, we look back on the season that just ended, including redemption for one team and a big development for a conference that has had more questions than success on the hardwood. We also look at players coming and going, as well as big coaching news on a day where there was a lot of it.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 3, 2017

April 4, 2017 by

We look back at Monday’s national championship game, which was not a thing of beauty but had plenty of drama. Along the way we share some post-game quotes from both coaches.

College Basketball Tonight – April 2, 2017

April 3, 2017 by

In our Final Four special edition, three head coaches join us to offer their insights on the Final Four, as well as their own programs.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 2, 2017

April 2, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about the national semifinal contests and then look ahead to an intriguing matchup for the national championship that is ahead of us on Monday night.

College Basketball Tonight – March 26, 2017

March 27, 2017 by

In the latest edition of College Basketball Tonight, we break down the regional finals as the Final Four is all set. A pair of special guests join us to help break the games down.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by

Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout