March 19, 2014

Hello, Chanticleers!

Nice tie, Cliff Ellis.

We're all thinking it, so I'll just go ahead and say it:
UVA fans are secretly scared shitless about the possibility of being the first-ever 1-seed to lose to a 16-seed.

Given our program's penchant for crippling upset losses (Chaminade), and the fact that Virginia fans have really done nothing but suffer over the course of the last 20 years, the 16-1 upset is a legit concern.

Or, I should say, I thought it was a legit concern... until I started to learn a little bit more about Coastal Carolina.  This team sucks offensively, their bigs are small, and they hemorrhage turnovers (averaging more turnovers than assists this season).

The Chanticleers will be the third-worst offensive team we've faced this season.  The two worse teams were Navy and Hampton, who scored 42 and 40 points against us, respectively.  (That was BEFORE the Tennessee Turnaround, mind you.)

I expect Coastal Carolina to struggle to break the 40-point barrier against us.  Even if they get there, it shouldn't be by much.  So even if we come out and lay a massive egg, we still shouldn't have a problem laying 55 points on these guys and winning by a semi-comfortable 15-point margin.

They play decent defense, but they also haven't faced a team so top-to-bottom stacked as Virginia.  Maybe we'll struggle to score in spots, but over 40 minutes, we'll get ours.

I just don't see our team allowing for a letdown-type game in this spot.  It's back to business, just like in the ACC Tournament.  Coastal Carolina lacks the firepower to scare us.  They are they WORST offensive team in the 68-team NCAA Tournament field in terms of efficiency.  They will not be able handle our defense.

We win by 25+ points, in a comfortable 65-40 type of blowout.  We open our Tournament run by making a statement against a vastly inferior team in front of a partisan audience in the PNC Arena in Raleigh.

But just in case you still have the 16-1 heebie-jeebies, here's a chance to read more about the Chanticleers...

From's college basketball blog, One and One:

Record: 21-12, 11-5 in Big South Conference

RPI/SOS: 189/290

Adjusted offense / Adjusted defense: 97.3 (298th) / 102.5 (125th)

Seed: No. 16 in East

Impact player: Warren Gillis, 14.8 ppg, 3.2 apg, 1.6 spg, 46.2 FG%, 85.2 FT%

The Case For:

The Chanticleers won the Big South after cruising to a 76-61 win over NCAA tournament regular Winthrop in the conference championship game to earn the program’s first bid since 1993. Coach Cliff Ellis has tournament experience, having previously led South Alabama, Clemson and Auburn to the Big Dance. Coastal Carolina was tops in the Big South in adjusted defensive efficiency, allowing conference teams to shoot 46.4 percent from two-point range and 33.8 percent from 3. Their perimeter trio of Gillis, leading scorer Elijah Wilson and Josh Cameron keys the team on both sides of the court, combining for 45 points and 3.6 steals per game.

The Case Against:

Coastal Carolina lost five times in a conference that ranked 29th out of 32 on KenPom this season and was not even the best team in that league. It is among the least efficient offensive teams in the country, scoring just 97.3 points per 100 possessions and shooting a paltry 43.4 percent from the field. A 16 hasn’t ever upset a No. 1, and it’s hard to imagine the Chanticleers being the team to break that streak. Getting back to the dance for the first time in 21 years is worth celebrating, but it will likely be a short stay.

SI prediction: Lose to Virginia in second first round

From College Sports Madness:

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Big South (21-12, 11-5)

The third time was the charm for Coastal Carolina. The Chanticleers faced Winthrop twice during the regular season, losing in overtime by one at home and falling by ten on the road. But when those two teams met again in the Big South tournament final, it was all Coastal Carolina.

Big Wins: 11/23 St. Francis Brooklyn (70-59), 1/15 North Carolina-Asheville (81-78), 3/9 vs Winthrop (76-61)

Bad Losses: 12/30 South Carolina State (58-68), 1/8 at Charleston Southern (58-70), 2/22 at North Carolina-Asheville (85-100)

Coach: Cliff Ellis (7 seasons at Coastal Carolina)

Why They Can Surprise:

Coach Cliff Ellis has a productive rotation of big men that are always strong on the glass. El Hadji Ndieguene, a 6-10 senior, leads the way on the glass with 6.9 rebounds per game. His offense is limited, but having that big body in the paint does help open things up offensively. Badou Diagne is just about as effective on the glass and is the Chanticleers best scoring threat among the forwards. When those two need a rest, Michel Enanga and Uros Ljeskovic can step in without much drop in production. The scorers on the team are in the backcourt. The starting trio of Elijah Wilson, Warren Gillis and Josh Cameron account for 45 of the team’s 72.7 points per game.

 Why They Can Disappoint:

Gillis and Cameron are great scorers and do spend a lot of time with the ball in their hands, but it is their job to keep the turnovers down. And they have failed to do so on a consistent basis. Coastal Carolina ranks 307th in the country with 14.1 turnovers per game and that has to change if the Chanticleers want to make any noise in the NCAA Tournament. The backcourt trio will also need to take smart shots and knock down some three-pointers. The Chanticleers as a whole connect on just one-third of their attempts from beyond the arc. Gillis and Cameron are much better shooters than that and the hope is Wilson can get hot at the right time. However, that does not appear too promising after he went 3-for-16 from beyond the arc in the three Big South tournament contests.

Probable Starters:

Warren Gillis, Junior, Guard, 14.8 ppg, 3.2 apg

Josh Cameron, Junior, Guard, 14.1 ppg, 2.5 apg

Elijah Wilson, Freshman, Guard, 16.1 ppg

Badou Diagne, Sophomore, Forward, 7.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg

El Hadji Ndieguene, Senior, Center, 4.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg

Key Roleplayers:

Michel Enanga, Sophomore, Forward, 5.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg

Uros Ljeskovic, Sophomore, Forward, 3.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg

Colton Ray-St Cyr, Freshman, Guard, 3.9 ppg

By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 72.7 (124th in nation, 7th in conference)

Scoring Defense: 68.4 (128, 1)

Field-Goal Percentage: 43.8 (200, 12)

Field-Goal Defense: 40.0 (27, 1)

Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.2 (174, 6)

Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.3 (208, 11)

Free-Throw Percentage: 69.4 (188, 9)

Rebound Margin: 4.9 (37, 2)

Assists Per Game: 10.6 (311, 12)

Turnovers Per Game: 14.1 (307, 12)

Recent Postseason Appearances:

2012 CIT First Round loss to Old Dominion

2011 NIT First Round loss to Alabama

2010 NIT First Round loss to UAB

1993 NCAA Round of 64 loss to Michigan

1991 NCAA Round of 64 loss to Indiana

Nice season, Chanticleers!  It ends on Friday night.


  1. Was thinking about this game on the drive home today and realized our only emotional options at midnight Friday are reflief or devastation.

    1. I think we're allowed to be excited if (when) we beat the ever-living shit out of Coastal Carolina. It's really a great opportunity to make a statement, and send a shot across the bow of the upset-minded GW/Memphis winner. I'll be revved up if we lay waste to the Chanticleers like I know we should.

      But yeah, devastation if we lose. "Devastation" might not even be the right word, as it's not really strong enough. A loss on Friday night would be a huge season-ruining implosion. Maybe even program-ruining. We'd be the laughingstock of the college basketball world, not just now, but forever. Can't happen. Cannot happen.

      Meanwhile, I wonder how many fans of 1-seeds have spent any amount of time worrying about the game against the 16-seed? Oh, the life of a Hoofan.