Cougars open CAA schedule against William & Mary

College of Charleston sophomore guard Canyon Barry. (Al Samuels photo)

Playing in the shadow of one famous parent is tough enough, but having two parents that were stars at their respective schools can be downright intimidating.

It's something that College of Charleston sophomore guard Canyon Barry has just shrugged off and come to terms with during his brief collegiate career.

Barry might be the only player in NCAA history to play in back-to-back games where his parents' jerseys have been retired.

In the same week no less.

On Tuesday, Barry played against the University of Miami, where his hall of fame father - Rick Barry - has his No. 24 jersey on display. On Saturday, he'll travel to William & Mary where his mother - Lynn Norenberg Barry - has her No. 22 jersey hanging from the Kaplan Arena rafters.

The Cougars (5-8) will open their Colonial Athletic Association schedule against the Tribe (6-5) on Saturday beginning at 2 p.m.

While Rick Barry's career achievements have been well documented over the years, his mother was no less dominant during her playing career at William & Mary. Despite playing in just 82 games, Lynn Norenberg Barry scored 1,500 career points and is the only female athlete to have her jersey retired in any sport at William & Mary.

Barry is hoping to have a little better luck at his mother's alma mater. Barry, the Cougars' leading scorer going into the week, did not score a single point, missing all four shots from the field, against the Hurricanes. This will be the first time Barry has played on the same floor that his mother helped make famous. He missed last year's game in Williamsburg, Va., with a broken finger.

"She had a great career there and it's nice for me and for her to go back (William & Mary), but the only thing I care about is coming out of there with a win," Barry said.

The Cougars are coming off their worst offensive performance of the season in a 67-40 loss to Miami. The 40 points were the second-lowest output by a Cougar team since they joined the Division I ranks in 1991.

Despite their shortcomings offensively, Charleston head coach Earl Grant has emphasized rebounding and defense all week during practice leading up to Saturday's game with the Tribe.

"We designed a few things during practices this week that make the guys compete against each other," Grant said. "We did some rebounding drills and diving on loose balls. We didn't want to do that the entire practice because we need to work on other nuances of the game. We still need to score, but we did compete and really get after it this week. There's no doubt we need to become a tougher team."

Stopping William & Mary guard Marcus Thornton also will be a high priority for the Cougars. Thornton, the preseason CAA Player of the Year, is averaging 19.1 points per game and has scored 22 or more points in the last six games. The task of slowing down Thornton will fall to a trio of players, including Cameron Johnson, Anthony Stitt and Joe Chealey.

"I think all of those guys will take a turn on Thornton," Barry said. "It's a tough match-up, but I know those guys are going to do a great job for us."

A win in their CAA opener against the Tribe will go a long way in helping to erase the memory of a disappointing non-conference schedule.

"We've got a clean slate and our goals are still there for us," Grant said. "It's a new season. We had a tough non-conference schedule, but that's behind us now. I'm hoping that helped prepare us for conference play."