It’s no coincidence that the College of Charleston is opening its season tonight against a team from the Colonial Athletic Association.
Season OpenersTodayChas. Southern at Charlotte, 6 p.m.Towson at Charleston, 7:30 p.m.SaturdayVMI at Citadel, 4 p.m.SundayMilwaukee at South Carolina, 3 p.m.Monday Presbyterian at Clemson, 7 p.m.
The Cougars begin the Doug Wojcik era against Towson tonight at 7:30 p.m. at TD Arena. Charleston Southern also tips off its season today on the road against Charlotte.
The College of Charleston’s Board of Trustees agreed to open negotiations with the nine-member CAA last month. The Cougars could be a CAA member next season. The Cougars will also face Old Dominion, which is a member of the CAA this season but is leaving next fall to join Conference USA, on Dec. 18.
“I’d be lying if I said playing against Towson and Old Dominion didn’t have something to do with them being in the Colonial League,” Wojcik said. “I think it’s a good way for our fan base to dig into the CAA and what the conference brings to the table.”
The Cougars return four starters from last year’s 19-12 team that figures to contend for the Southern Conference title this season.
“I’m excited to finally get started,” Wojcik said. “I know the players are ready to see another team.”
Meanwhile, the Bucs were picked to win the Big South and feature one of the top backcourts in sophomores Arlon Harper and Saah Nimley. Nimley averaged 13.5 points, while Harper chipped in 12.5 points per game.
“After the preseason poll came out, we talked about it for one day,” said CSU head coach Barclay Radebaugh.
“We haven’t mentioned it since, and we won’t mention it again. Arlon and Saah are the first to say that the strength of our team is our depth. They are a very important part of what we are doing, but they are only a part. We feel like we’re talented in the backcourt.”
Towson struggled to a 1-31 campaign last year, which including a 0-14 mark in the CAA under first-year head coach Pat Skerry.
The Tigers have upgraded their roster from a year ago with transfers from Georgetown (Jerrelle Benimon), South Florida (Mike Burwell) and Providence (Bilal Dixon), plus five freshmen.
“They will be the team that is the most unknown for us all season,” Wojcik said. “They have a few Division-I transfers and we haven’t seen any tape on them. It’s not really fair to judge them on what they did last year. Pat is trying to rebuild a program and I know there are going to vastly improved from a year ago.”