"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Friday, August 31, 2018

Charleston Southern Preview

Charleston Southern Buccaneers
November 27, fiserv.forum

Coach: Barclay Radebaugh (175-222 at Charleston Southern)
3-Year RPI Average: 284.3
3-Year kenpom Average: 284.3
2018-19 T-Rank Projection: 238
Projected Starters: PG Deontaye Buskey (6'1" So), SG Christian Keeling (6'4" Jr), SF Philandrous Fleming (6'4" So), PF Travis McConico (6'6" So), C Sadarius Bowser (6'9" Fr)

Charleston Southern is going to hope that a strong finish in 2017-18 leads to future success. They went 9-4 down the stretch & return their top-3 scorers in Keeling, Fleming, & McConico. They started the season 3-12 in D1 games before the turnaround. The positive is that this year's CSU squad has continuity. Six returning sophomores who won't need as much time to acclimate should help.

Since taking over CSU, Radebaugh has had ups & downs. Their peak has been a pair of NIT appearances. The Bucs usually tend to take a heavy percentage of threes, even when they don't have great three-point shooters. That trend did change a bit the past two years, but expect them to be back to gunning with Fleming & McConico likely taking more of the offensive load. Defensively, the Bucs mix it up between man & zone. Where they are most dangerous is creating turnovers. They were 12th in the nation in turnover percentage created with Buskey, Keeling, Fleming, & McConico all ranking top-400 in steal percentage.

One drawback to Charleston Southern is that their record annually is boosted up by playing lower division teams. Radebaugh frequently schedules 3-4 such games and has a 44-1 record in 13 years at CSU. That does lead to some deceiving records as NET only counts D1 games.

Regardless, CSU should have the chance for a winning conference record & will be one of a half-dozen or so Big South teams that can have legitimate hopes of finishing atop the league. If their now-experienced sophomores grow up quickly & their trio of freshmen bigs can play effective defense, this should be a fine buy game.

Marquette Connection: The CSU coaching staff are no strangers to Steve Wojciechowski, albeit from his Duke days. Head coach Barclay Radebaugh was an assistant at Winthrop in 2002 when the Eagles were a 16-seed against Wojo & top-seeded Duke. Assistant coach Rick Duckett's first high major job was as an assistant at South Carolina. The first loss Duckett suffered with the Gamecocks was against Wojo & Duke in the Maui Invitational. The only staff member that might not have negative memories is Thomas Butters. He started his coaching career doing D1 coaching clinics from 2008 to 2011. One of the first he worked was at...you guessed it, Duke.

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