Friday, November 18th, 2011

Charleston Classic: Preview and Predictions

Published on November 17, 2011 by Scott Shirley   ·   1 Comment

It’s that time of the year again; the early season basketball tournaments are about to get underway. This is the best week in college basketball until March comes. Here at Roundballchat I will be previewing each of the major tournaments and giving my predictions has to who will win the tournament. I will also give my season previews for each of the major teams involved.

Next up is the Charleston Classic. The 1st round of games take place on Thursday and the championship concludes on Sunday. Check out my previews and predictions below.

1st Round

Tulsa vs. Western Kentucky– Tulsa’s Steven Idlet, is a 6-foot-11 center that Western Kentucky will have no answer for. Give me Tulsa.

LSU vs. Northwestern– LSU has already lost to Costal Carolina this season, there is no way they can be beat Northwestern, they may have one of their best team’s in a while.

VCU vs. Seton Hall – Seton Hall’s Herb Pope should dominate the glass, but the Pirates lack of depth will hurt them. While VCU loss a lot from last year’s team they still have more talent.

Georgia Tech vs. Saint Joseph’s – GT will be without its best player in Glen Rice Jr. I like St. Joes here they return four starters including star Carl Jones.


Tulsa vs. Northwestern – Tulsa luck stops here, as they will lose to a very experienced Northwestern team that returns 4 starters. Including stars John Shurna and Drew Crawford.

VCU vs. Saint Joseph’sVCU’s Bradford Burgess will be too much to handle for Saint Joseph. The Hawks are’nt ready for primetime yet.


Northwestern vs. VCU- Last year VCU got to a final four now this season after this game people will be talking about Northwestern making their first ever NCAA tournament. Northwestern’s experience will beat VCU’s inexperience John Shurna is a name people will know by the end of the season.

Team Previews


Coach: Shaka Smart (Two seasons at VCU 55-21)

2010-11 Record: 28-12 overall, 12-6 in CCA (4th)

Starters Returning (1) Bradford Burgess

The Rams had a magic season last year, making it all the way to the final four that included a win over Kansas, but gone are the top 4 of the top 5 scorers off that team. Small forward/guard Bradford Burgess (14.3 ppg) returns as the only returning starter. He can do it all from shooting the three well, and being a strong rebounder, and dishing the ball outBacking Burgess up are redshirt freshman Reco McCarter and freshman Treveon Graham.. Shooting guard Rob Brandenberg(4.9 ppg) is the team’s next returning leading scorer. He played well in limited minutes last year. Point guard Darius Theus (3 ppg) like Brandenberg played well when he played last year. The backups here are Troy Daniels (2 ppg) and freshman Teddy Okereafor, and Briante Weber. Leading the way in the frontcourt is power forward Juvonte Reddic (3.5 ppg). Reddic earns some starts as a freshman last season. D.J. Haley (1.1 ppg) will be the starter and center. Providing the depth here are David Hinton (.6 ppg), redshirt freshman Heath Houston, and freshman Jarred Guest.


Coach: Bill Carmody (Eleven seasons at Northwestern 160-177), overall 252-202, 15 years

2010-11 Record: 20-14 overall, 7-11 in Big 10 (8th)

Starters Returning (4) John Shurna, Drew Crawford, Luka Mirkovic, JerShon Cobb

The Wildcats return 7 of their 8 top scorers, that is good news for a team looking to make the NCAA for the first time. The loss of four-year starting point guard Juice Thompson will really hurt. Despite being injured a lot last season forward John Shurna (16.6 ppg) still produced, I am looking forward to seeingwhat he can do when healthy. Joining Shurna inside is Luka Mirkovic (7.4 ppg). After that the Wildcats are really hurting for depth inside. Davide Curletti (4.0 ppg) has the most experience; while true freshman Mike Turner and Nikola Cerina also look to help out. Drew Crawford (12.1 ppg) gives the Wildcats a steady player at small forward. Alex Marcotullio (6.2 ppg) needs to contribute more at shooting guard. JerShon Cobb (7.4 ppg) is a versatile player that might have to play point guard, but he excels on the wing. Freshman Tre Demps is the point guard of the future; can he come right away and start?


Coach: Trent Johnson (three seasons at LSU 49-49), 208-170 12 years

2010-11 Record: 11-21 overall, 3-13 in SEC (Last in West)

Starters Returning (4): Ralston Turner, Andre Stringer, Storm Warren, Malcolm White

In Trent Johnson’s first two seasons at LSU they have finished last in the SEC West, but they were young, and now he has his most experienced team with his top 4 scorers coming back. There is no question that the strength of the Tigers is their backcourt. Wing Ralston Turner (12.3 ppg) and point guard Andre Stringer (11.2 ppg) lead the backcourt. Both are great athletes that can get to the rim, and both make a fair amount of threes but need to make a better percentage. The backups here are Chris Bass (1.8 ppg) and freshman Anthony Hickey and John Isaac. Leading the way in the frontcourt for the Tigers at small forward is Storm Warren (7.7 ppg). He led the team in rebounds, steals, and assists last season. Malcolm White (7.6 ppg) also returns inside; he is also a good rebounder. Look for either highly touted freshman Johnny O’Bryant or Iowa State transfer Justin Hamilton to be the other starter up front. Eddie Ludwig (3.8 ppg) and Jalen Courtney (1.8 ppg) will both provide depth in the frontcourt.

Georgia Tech

Coach: Brian Gregory (first year at Georgia Tech), overall 172-94,8 years

2010-11 Record: 13-18 overall, 5-11 in ACC (Tie/10th)

Starters Returning (3): Daniel Miller, Glen Rice Jr., Jason Morris

Paul Hewitt is finally gone so now Brian Gregory takes over the Yellow Jackets program. Gone also is the Yellow Jackets best player Iman Shumpert. Mfon Udofia (6.7 ppg) didn’t start last year, but look for him to start at the point. Guard Jason Morris (6 ppg) is an excellent three-point shooter. Look for Glen Rice Jr. (12.8 ppg) to do most of the scoring in the backcourt; he will be relied on more to score with Shumpert gone. Providing depth in the backcourt will be Brandon Reed a transfer who averaged 15.1 ppg at Arkansas State. Daniel Miller (4.4 ppg) leads the way in the in the middle; needs to become a better scorer. Nate Hicks and Kammeron Holsey (3.4 ppg) also return in the frontcourt . The Yellow Jackets really lack depth here and this is a concern. They bring in 2 freshmen, one of which is forward Julian Royal; look for him to get a lot of playing time.

Seton Hall

Coach: Kevin Willard (one year at Seton Hall 13-18), overall 58-67 4 years

2010-11 Record: 13-18 overall, 7-11 in Big East (12th)

Starters Returning: (3) Jordan Theodore, Herb Pope, Fuquan Edwin

Head coach Kevin Willard did a good job with what he had to work with last year. Now though he will have a real tough coaching job losing 6 of his top 9 scorers, including leading scorer Jeremy Hazell. The Pirates best returning player is point guard Jordan Theodore (11. 0 ppg). He led the team in assists last season; he will likely score more without Hazell. Getting the nod at shooting guard should be freshman Aaron Cosby, who can shoot it. The Pirates really lack depth here, and they will be relying on three freshman Freddie Wilson, Haralds Karlis, and Sean Grennan. At small forward the Pirates are set with Fuquan Edwin (7.9 ppg), who is a great athlete. Up front the talented but troubled Herb Pope (9.8 ppg) returns. Patrik Auda (3.2 ppg) will join Pope up front, for being a big guy he is an excellent shooter. Once again the backups lack experience here. Aaron Geramipoor hardly played last season, and the other two back up is freshman Brandon Mobley. Freshman Kevin Johnson will miss the season due to bad grades.

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