Freshman orientation for Citadel basketball players thus far has included an eight-day, three-game road trip and road games at mid-major foes College of Charleston and Stetson.
The next test for the Bulldogs' nine freshmen is three games in three days in the first Holy City Hoops Classic, which begins Friday at McAlister Field House.
The Citadel (4-3) will face Colgate at 2 p.m. Friday, USC Upstate at noon Saturday and Campbell at 3 p.m. Sunday in the tournament.
Freshman Preston Parks scored 20 points and fellow rookie Frankie Johnson added 10 in the Bulldogs' 97-83 win over Presbyterian on Monday. Freshman Kaelon Harris is averaging 14.3 points per game, behind only sophomores Zane Najdawi (18.9 ppg) and Quayson Williams (15 ppg).
"Our freshmen have really picked things up quick," said Citadel coach Duggar Baucom, whose club is playing at the fastest tempo in Division I, according to kenpom.com. "That's really been great to see."
The Bulldogs' first opponent, Colgate, is 2-4 overall with victories over Cornell (67-63) and Union (91-68), and losses to Syracuse, NJIT, Penn State and Columbia. Forward Will Rayman, a 6-8 freshman, is averaging 13.2 points, and 6-7 junior Jordan Swopshire is averaging 12.3 points.
USC Upstate is 3-4 with wins over Mars Hill, Charleston Southern and Charlotte, and losses to Georgetown, UNC Asheville, College of Charleston and Auburn. Sophomore guard Mike Cunningham leads the Spartans with 14.6 points per game, with 7-0 senior Michael Buchanan at 13.6 and sophomore guard Deion Holmes at 12.7.
The Citadel's Sunday foe is Campbell, 3-3 with wins over Bridgewater, VMI and Allen. The Camels have lost to Oklahoma State, Morgan State and Samford. Sophomore guard Chris Clemons leads the way at 23.2 points per game, with 6-7 junior Shane Whitfield at 10.2.
Holy City Hoops Classic
Colgate vs. The Citadel, 2 p.m.
Campbell vs. USC Upstate, 4 p.m.
USC Upstate vs. The Citadel, noon
Campbell vs. Colgate, 2 p.m.
Colgate vs. USC Upstate, 1 p.m.
Campbell vs. The Citadel, 3 p.m.