BY JEFF HARTSELL
Citadel forward Brian White played 459 minutes of college basketball last season without attempting a single 3-point shot.
In the Bulldogs’ exhibition game last week, the 6-8 junior fired up nine 3-pointers in 17 minutes, making four of them.
That’s just one statistical foreshadowing of the radical change in style the Bulldogs will undergo this season with new coach Duggar Baucom. With “Embrace the Pace” as his slogan, the former VMI coach plans to transform The Citadel from one of the slowest-paced teams in Division I basketball to perhaps the fastest.
Pressing, trapping, pushing the ball up the floor and turning down no open 3-pointers were all hallmarks of Baucom’s VMI teams, which led the nation in scoring six times during his 10 seasons.
“Whenever we played against VMI, I would see how fast they played and how many 3-pointers they got up,” said White, who averaged 8.4 points for the Bulldogs last season. “We’d always hang in there for a while, but then we’d lose.
“Playing now with Coach Baucom feels pretty good. Playing fast is my kind of game, and I think everybody has bought in so far.”
Baucom averaged 15 wins a season during his 10 years at VMI, including 24 victories in 2008-09 and 22 in 2013-14. For some perspective, consider that The Citadel has managed 15 wins in a season only twice in the last 13 seasons, and only 11 times in school history.
To begin remaking Citadel basketball, Baucom first remade the roster. Only five players return from the squad that went 11-19 last season in the last of former coach Chuck Driesell’s five seasons, including just one senior, 6-5 forward Quinton Marshall.
Chief among the newcomers are two grad-student transfers, point guard P.J. Boutte from IUPUI and guard Derrick Henry from Winthrop. Boutte is a hard-to-guard speedster at 5-9, while Henry is a sturdy 6-3 and 190 pounds. Henry started 32 games in his career at Winthrop, averaging 11.4 points per game as a sophomore before his career was slowed by injury.
Both transfers should see major minutes in the backcourt, along with returnee Warren Sledge, who has trimmed almost 30 pounds off his 6-3 frame.
“P.J. brings a lot of quickness and experience to our backcourt,” Baucom said. “And Derrick brings us a lot of toughness. Derrick is coming from a slow, all-defense system at Winthrop, so we are trying to break him of some of his good habits.”
Henry also played against Baucom’s VMI teams at Winthrop.
“It’s definitely more fun to play in it than against it,” Henry said. “It feels good to trap people rather than getting trapped. I knew coming in here that if you believe in this system and execute it, it’s going to be effective. It’s going to help you win games.
“I played against it for four years, and it always rattled you. It’s great to be on this side of it.”
White, who is 0 for 4 from 3-point range during his two seasons at The Citadel, could be the breakout performer in Baucom’s system. He’ll go from playing mainly in the post to running the floor and shooting treys along with the rest of the Bulldogs.
“He can really shoot, although he’s never made a 3-pointer in his career,” Baucom said. “He’ll be an integral part of doing that for us.”
Up front, 6-7 freshman Zane Najdawi and 6-8 junior Tom Koopman are candidates to man the post. Freshmen Matt Frierson and 6-7 wing Connor Schroeder will be counted on to shoot, while 5-11 freshman Quayson Williams provides backcourt depth.
The Citadel begins its season Saturday at No. 24 Butler, and hosts College of Charleston on Dec. 5. An 18-game Southern Conference slate begins with Chattanooga Jan. 2 at McAlister Field House.
DATE OPPONENT TIME
Nov. 14 at Butler 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 17 Stetson 6 p.m.
Nov. 19 Mid-Atlantic Christian 6 p.m.
Nov. 21 at Presbyterian 7 p.m.
Nov. 25 vs. Georgia Southern* 7 p.m.
Nov. 27 vs. Bob Jones* 7 p.m.
Nov. 28 vs. USC Upstate* 2 p.m.
Dec. 2 at Air Force 9 p.m.
Dec. 5 College of Charleston 1 p.m.
Dec. 8 Voorhees 6 p.m.
Dec. 16 at Bethune-Cookman 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 19 at Campbell 2 p.m.
Dec. 29 at Charlotte 7 p.m.
Jan. 2 Chattanooga 1 p.m.
Jan. 5 at Samford 8 p.m.
Jan. 9 Mercer 1 p.m.
Jan. 14 Wofford 6 p.m.
Jan. 16 Furman 1 p.m.
Jan. 21 at Western Carolina 7 p.m.
Jan. 23 at E. Tennessee State 4 p.m.
Jan. 28 UNC Greensboro 6 p.m.
Jan. 30 VMI 1 p.m.
Feb. 1 at Chattanooga 7 p.m.
Feb. 6 at Mercer 4:30 p.m.
Feb. 8 Samford 6 p.m.
Feb. 11 at Furman 7 p.m.
Feb. 13 at Wofford 7 p.m.
Feb. 18 E. Tennessee State 6 p.m.
Feb. 20 Western Carolina 1 p.m.
Feb. 25 at UNC Greensboro 7 p.m.
Feb. 27 at VMI 1 p.m.
March 4-7 SoCon Tournament
*USC Upstate Classic