College of Charleston forward Willis Hall refuses to be intimidated when he steps on the court at the Ferrell Center against nationally-ranked Baylor.
College of Charleston vs. Baylor
College of Charleston at No. 24 BaylorWhen: 9 p.m.Where: Ferrell Center, Waco, TexasTV: ESPN3Radio: WTMZ 910-AMRecords: College of Charleston 2-2; Baylor 4-1.Notes: Baylor, which took part in last weekend’s Charleston Classic, has won four of its first five games by an average margin of 16 points. Baylor is ranked 21st in USA Today/Coaches poll and 24th in AP poll this week… They have four players currently averaging double figures in scoring including freshman center Isaiah Austin, who is a projected as an NBA Draft lottery pick averaging, 14.8 points per game. The Cougars will be without Trent Wiedeman, who is expected to miss more than a month with a sprained right foot.
The Cougars, who face their fourth straight team from a major conference, take on No. 24 Baylor today at 9 p.m.
In three seasons, Hall has played in some pretty hostile environments. The Cougs have played the likes of Maryland (2010), North Carolina (2010), Tennessee (2010), Clemson (2011) and Louisville (2011) on the road.
So playing in an unfriendly arena like the Ferrell Center gets barely a shrug of the shoulders from the veteran forward.
“We do not get entangled in the whole ‘we are playing at a big school,’ ’’ Hall said. “Those guys put on gym shorts and a jersey the same way we do. Just because they are at Louisville or North Carolina or Tennessee or Clemson or Baylor doesn’t mean the game changes. You just have to go out and play the way you know how to play.”
Hall said the challenge of playing a tough early season schedule can only help the Cougars down the road.
“It’s really good for us, especially when you are going up against some really tough teams like we have,” Hall said. “Teams are going to challenge you and make you find out who you really are. It helps you get a lot better along the way and quicker. It will be very beneficial for us later on in the season.”
With Trent Wiedeman out of the lineup for the foreseeable future with a sprained ankle, the Cougars will be counting on Hall’s hustle and grit in the paint. Hall had eight points and 11 rebounds in the Cougars’ 71-67 win over Boston College on the final day of the Charleston Classic last weekend.
“Willis knows only one way to prepare and play the game,” said College of Charleston coach Doug Wojcik. “He brings a tremendous amount of energy to the floor and it doesn’t seem to matter if he’s starting or coming off the bench.”
While Wojcik didn’t get much of a look at the Bears when they were in town last weekend competing in the Charleston Classic, he knows they’ll be among the most talented teams the Cougars will face all season.
“They are very good,” Wojcik said. “They’re big and strong and they have length. They’re a very balanced team.”
St. John's JaKarr Sampson blocks a shot by College of Charleston's Willis Hall in the teams' match up Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 during the opening round of the Charleston Classic at the TD Arena. (Tyrone Walker/postandcourier.com)×