Coastal Carolina Chanticleers: NCAA Tournament Team Preview

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (16 Seed,  East Bracket)

Record: 21-12 (11-5 in Big South)

Coach: Cliff Ellis

Tournament Berth: Won Big South Conference Championship

Big Wins: Winthrop, at Radford,

Big Loses: at Clemson, at Minnesota, Mississippi

The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers are entering the NCAA Tournament for only the third time in their entire existence, and the first time in 21 years. They are seeking their first ever tournament victory. Coach Cliff Ellis has put together a talented roster and a strong scheme that gives the Chanticleers a chance at a win in their opening game.

Coastal Carolina is located near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Compared to some bigger programs like North Carolina and Kansas, the Chanticleers are rather young, having began competition during the 1985-86 season. Coach Ellis took over the program in 2007 and has led them to some of the best win totals in their history. He has now taken four different teams to the NCAA Tournament. Ellis has experience competing against big programs, and even running one. As the coach of Auburn, he took them to the No. 2 ranking in the nation.

Coastal Carolina opened the season 2-5, but closed strong. In their last 18 games they went 14-4, including a five game win streak to close the season and clinch the Big South conference championship. They are going into the NCAA Tournament hot. For the season, the Chanticleers outscored their opponents by 143 points. Their biggest strength is their team rebounding. They lack a dominant individual on the boards but succeed as a team through scheme and positioning. A major weakness of  Coastal Carolina is their size, and interior defense leaves something to be desired.

The Chanticleers rely on being more efficient than their opponent. When they shoot a better percentage than their opponent they tend to win thanks to their rebounding ability. They do not necessarily need to shoot well overall because they give themselves so many second chances, and they are excellent at keeping their opponents off of the offensive glass.

For the Chanticleers, it is imperative that they come down from their high of winning the conference championship for the first time since 1992. The pressure is enormous, and the atmosphere is unlike anything most teams face during the regular season. They need not settle for simply making the NCAA Tournament, because they have a real strength. If they are able to play to that strength they can be competitive against any team.

Top Players

POINTS

PPG

FG%

FT%

3PT%

Elijah Wilson

16.1

.439

.699

.306

Warren Gillis

14.8

.462

.852

.377

REBOUNDS

REB

OFF

DEF

BPG

El Hadji Ndieguene

6.9

2.3

4.5

0.3

Badou Diagne

6.5

1.7

4.8

0.7

ASSISTS

APG

SPG

TO

AST/TO

Warren Gillis

3.2

1.6

2.8

1.1

Josh Cameron

2.5

1.0

2.8

0.9

Starting Five

C – El Hadji Ndieguene

F – Badou Diagne

G – Warren Gillis

G – Josh Cameron

G – Elijah Wilson

Who’s Hot:  Warren Gillis had 22 points and 7 assists in the conference championship win over Winthrop.

Who’s Not: The Chanticleers have been ice cold from three-point range, shooting only 25% from deep in their last eight games.

Outlook: The Chanticleers are a very, very long shot to advance deep in the tournament, but are good enough to win in any single game if they hit their shots.

Commentary by Brian Moore
@Hey_Brian

Sources:
Basketballl Reference
ESPN
Basketball State

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