Game #9-089: Johnson & Wales at Coastal Carolina ChanticleersNovember 20, 2012 7:30 pm
Throughout the season, I am sure all of us have particular games that we look forward to if we are fans of teams either above or below the Red Line. It could be the anticipation of the season opener just to get the season started. There are also those big rivalry games that we love and crave. There are conference battles in February and March that have a big impact on the standings and possible seedings in conference and postseason tournaments.
Then there are the games that fill up the rest of the schedule. They are all important too and you get a good look at your team and how they play, but the opponent may not hold the name value that others have or they could be well below you in the conference standings.
Next, there are the games that schools in the lower-tier conferences schedule against typically non-Division I opponents. If you are an average season ticket holder, these are the games that you will not lose any sleep over if you happen to miss it. Black Line upsets can and do occur in these games, but are very rare.
Lastly, there's that game on the schedule when you are facing a satellite campus of a culinary school that competes in the USCAA and is 1-8 on the season with their only win against Barber-Scotia and losses to likes of "perennial powerhouses" William Peace and Voorhees.
OK, I got too specific on the last one. But I think I made my point when saying the anticipation level was not very high when Coastal Carolina would be hosting the Charlotte campus of Johnson & Wales on Tuesday. The Wildcats had already played another D-I team, North Carolina Central, who blew them out by 63.
The atmosphere at this game was going to be the total opposite of CCU's previous home game
when they scored an overtime win over Akron while also unveiling the new HTC Center. The students would already be gone on Thanksgiving break, and while it is not as if the Chanticleers have not had a Black Line
upset in the past; it was safe to say everyone knew what the end result of this game would be.
There are a few bright spots to these types of games. With Coastal bringing in a ton of newcomers, it would give me the opportunity to see some of the new faces play and what their particular skill sets might be. The stats they put up would not reflect how they would perform against D-I competition, but any playing time has to be beneficial.
My usual cohort that I attend CCU games with was on a Thanksgiving vacation of his own, so I had an extra ticket. I was able to convince another co-worker, Mike, to go, but warned him of the possible rout that was going to ensue. He was hesitant, but did not want to pass up a free ticket and a chance to check out the new arena.
Right away he noticed the amount of foreign players on the Chants - two players from Senegal, one from Cameroon, one from the Bahamas and one from Montenegro. Much of the foreign flair has been attributed to assistant coach, and former player of head coach Cliff Ellis at Auburn, Mamadou N'Diaye. He also noticed the amount of bricks Johnson & Wales were throwing up in warm-ups. I figured they would not be THAT bad once the game started, it was just warm-ups after all.
As it turned out, the Wildcats were THAT bad at shooting the ball. CCU's defense was nowhere near where it needed to be and Johnson & Wales missed their first few wide open shots badly, all this while CCU scored the first nine points. We jokingly talked about packing up our things and heading home. A Jay Kellar three got the Wildcats on the board to avoid the shutout. Then Taylor Thomas hit a three followed up by Kindrick Anderson. A tip in by Anderson and Coastal only had a 17-11 lead. That would be about it for Johnson & Wales.
Anthony Raffa led the way for the Chanticleers which disappointed me because any CCU fan knows Raffa can pour in a ton of points against inferior competition. I was hoping he'd let others get more involved in the offense. When Raffa had four early rebounds, I joked that he was on his way to a triple-double tonight, which led Mike to say that it has to be from steals because it wasn't going to come from assists.
Some new Chant players had some decent games like the new starting center, 6-foot-10 El Hadji Ndieguene, who used his size advantage over everyone on the floor to have a solid game in the paint.
Coastal is also looking for solid production from a third guard since would-be senior guard Danny Nieman was booted off the team after his third arrest in three years right before the season. Looking to fill that role was Charles Ashford, who has shown a good shooting touch that he had not shown the previous season.
Other than that, it was as brutal of a game as we expected. There were tons of missed layups on both sides of the ball and a bunch of sloppy passes and bad turnovers. One almost comical play was when Johnson & Wales fumbled the ball around in what looked like another turnover. Three Chants started to run down the floor while none of them decided to pick up the ball as they ran past it.
The second half ran down pretty quickly as we mostly made small talk with the people sitting next to us. The final score ended up being 96-40, and could have been much worse if CCU played a lot better.
I have come to accept games like these; you just have to get through them. I figured Clemson would be coming soon along with solid mid-majors Boston University and FIU. I figured there probably would not be any more games like this on the schedule. That was until I saw the score for a game earlier in the day with Toccoa Falls, a team CCU has scheduled for later in the season.
North Carolina Central 94, Toccoa Falls 40.at COASTAL CAROLINA 96, JOHNSON & WALES 40
COASTAL CAROLINA 2-2 (0-0) -- A. Raffa 9-18 6-7 26; M. Enanga 3-7 3-4 9; E. Ndieguene 7-11 2-6 16; C. Ashford 6-8 3-4 16; K. Greenwood 1-6 3-4 5; B. Diagne 1-7 0-0 2; T. Curtis 2-5 3-4 7; J. Daniel 2-4 0-0 4; U. Ljeskovic 3-4 1-3 7; T. James 0-1 0-1 0; B. Addey 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 36-73 21-33 96.
Three-point goals: - , CCU 3-12 (A. Raffa 2-6; K. Greenwood 0-1; C. Ashford 1-1; T. Curtis 0-1; B. Diagne 0-2; M. Enanga 0-1); Rebounds: , CCU 58 (E. Ndieguene 10); Assists: , CCU 13 (A. Raffa 4); Total Fouls -- , CCU 15; Fouled Out: -; CCU-None.