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Charleston Southern ready to erase memories of last basketball season

Charleston Southern Michigan St Basketball

Charleston Southern basketball coach Barclay Radebaugh. File/Carlos Osorio/AP 

Charleston Southern men’s basketball coach Barclay Radebaugh is never one to hide his enthusiasm for the start of preseason practice.

Radebaugh’s 2021-22 Buccaneers began preparations for this season on Sept. 28. As expected, the coach could hardly contain himself.

“I am so excited to begin putting this team together, watching them grow as a team, and building a strong chemistry over these next six weeks,” said Radebaugh, who is beginning his 17th season at the helm. “I love the journey, every step of it, starting with day one. Our guys have been working hard all summer and they are ready to go. I’m ready to go. We have gotten through COVID and injuries and I think this is a team that is going to surprise a lot of people. We have a lot to prove.”

The Buccaneers have 10 new faces on this year’s roster, capitalizing on the transfer portal and junior college options. One face that is missing is Phlandrous Fleming  Jr., one of the best players in school history. Fleming, who averaged 20.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game last season, graduated in May and has one season of eligibility remaining. He transferred to Florida for his final year.

“Phlan gave us four years, remained loyal to us and earned his degree,” Radebaugh said. “I could not be happier for the opportunity he has earned to compete at the highest level. We love Phlan for everything he did for this program and this University. It was a great four years for Phlan.”

CSU finished 3-18 last season. The season was wrought with injuries and included a 13-game losing streak.

“Last year was the toughest of my coaching career,” Radebaugh said. “We went from a team picked to finish among the top two or three in the league to a team that barely had enough guys to play at some points during the season. Everyone associated with this program is determined to prove that last year is not what we are as a program.”

Radebaugh welcomes back a pair of guards who were injured last season. Travis Anderson, a redshirt junior, was injured in the season opener at N.C. State while Deontaye Buskey, a redshirt senior, missed the entire season. Two years ago, the duo combined for nearly 20 points per game.

Also back for an extra year is wing Sean Price, who averaged 10.1 points per game, as well as freshman guards Emorie Knox and Ja’Quavian Florence. Florence was the team’s second-leading scorer at 10.3 points per game last season.

“We’re excited about having Travis, Sean and Deontaye back as veteran guys who have played in a lot of big games,” Radebaugh said. “Deontaye is one of the strongest leaders we’ve ever had. The transfer portal really helped us. We got three kids that all have extensive Division I experience.”

Charleston Southern opens the season on Nov. 9 with a home game against Johnson & Wales. That opener is followed by consecutive road games at Mississippi, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and Clemson.

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