This is the 3rd part of our Men’s Basketball Preview. In this issue, we will take a look at the Big South Conference South Division. Our predicted order of finish is listed at the end of the preview.
|CSU Guard Saah Nimley|
Last Season: 19-12 (11-7 Big South)
Coach: Barclay Radebaugh, 8th season
G Arlon Harper (12.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg)
G Saah Nimley (13.5 ppg, 120 assists)
F Kelvin Martin (15.4 ppg, 9.1 rpg)
Charleston Southern will be looking to improve their conference record for the fourth consecutive season during the 2012-13 basket ball campaign. Behind the talented sophomore guard duo from Georgia, Arlon Harper and Saah Nimley, the Buccaneers will challenge for the top spot in the South. Saah Nimley was selected 1st team preseason all conference, while Harper was selected 2nd team. The biggest question mark will be how does CSU replace last year’s leading scorer and rebounder Kelvin Martin.
|Coastal Guard Anthony Raffa|
Last Season: 19-12 (12-6)
Coach: Cliff Ellis, 6th season
G Anthony Raffa (16.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg)
G Kierre Greenwood (11.1 ppg, 141 assists)
F Sam McLaurin (10.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg)
F Chris Gradnigo (14.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg)
G Danny Nieman – dismissed after 3rd arrest in 3 years
Coastal will look to christen their brand new arena, the HTC Center, with a Big South Championship this season. Under head coach Cliff Ellis, Coastal has finished 1st or 2nd in the conference standings the past 3 seasons, but has yet to crack through and win the conference tournament. Guards Anthony Raffa and Kierre Greenwood were selected to the 1st and 2nd team preseason all conference, respectively.
|GWU Forward Tashan Newsome|
Last Season: 12-20 (6-12)
Coach: Chris Holtmann, 3rd season
F Tashan Newsome (12.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg)
G Max Landis (9.5 ppg, 45 assists)
F Stefon Johnson (7.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg)
Gardner-Webb will look to improve upon their 6-12 conference mark they have had in each of Chris Holtmann’s first 2 seasons as head coach. 2nd team preseason all conference selection Tashan Newsome will look to lead this team alongside sophomore point guard Max Landis. Freshman shooting guard Isaiah Ivey should see plenty of time as well.
|Presby Guard Khalid Mutakabbir|
Last Season: 14-15 (8-10)
Coach: Gregg Nibert, 24th season
G Khalid Mutakabbir (13.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg)
C Al’Lonzo Coleman (16.9 ppg, 8.8 rpg)
Presbyterian is entering their first season eligible for the Big South tournament championship and NCAA tournament after a five-year transition from Division II. Jordan Downing, a 6’5″ transfer from Davidson, looks to make an immediate impact. Downing shot 34% from 3 as a reserve in his one season at Davidson. ESPN broadcaster Mark Jones’ son, Shea Jones, is a highly touted freshman. Khalid Mutakabbir is a 2nd team preseason all conference selection.
|UNCA F Jeremy Atkinson|
Last Season: 24-10 (16-2)
Coach: Eddie Biedenbach, 17th season
F Jeremy Atkinson (11.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg)
G Matt Dickey (16.1 ppg, 124 assists)
G J.P. Primm (15.4 ppg, 142 assists)
F Chris Stephenson (16.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg)
Who is this UNCA team? That’s the big question around the 2012-13 Bulldogs as they seek to replace Matt Dickey, J.P. Primm, and Chris Stephenson. UNCA is coming off 2 consecutive Big South tournament championships and NCAA tournament berths. Center D.J. Cunningham and 2nd team preseason all conference selection Jeremy Atkinson will be the anchors to this year’s team. UNCA has 10 freshmen and sophomores on their roster.
|Winthrop Head Coach Pat Kelsey|
Last Season: 12-20 (8-10)
Coach: Pat Kelsey, 1st season
F James Bourne (2.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg)
G Andre Jones (16.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg)
G Reggie Middleton (12.8 ppg, 136 assists)
Winthrop not only loses their coach, Randy Peele, but also their top 4 scorers from a season ago. This looks like a true rebuilding job for new head coach Pat Kelsey, a Skip Prosser disciple. Kelsey took the 2011-12 season off citing personal reasons; he was quoted as saying “Four years ago I witnessed first-hand Coach Prosser’s death in the basketball office at Wake Forest. That day my perspective on the profession and life was forever altered. My role as a father and husband is everything to me and the rigors of this business can make that challenging. My family and my health come first.” Kelsey has brought in 4 JUCO players to help get the rebuild jump-started. A couple names still on the roster you may remember: Gideon Gamble, Joab Jerome, and James Bourne.
Our predicted order of finish:
1. Coastal Carolina
2. Charleston Southern
3. UNC Asheville
Be on the lookout for the 4th & final part to our Men’s Basketball preview when we breakdown the Big South North.