As we sit down on press row and begin to watch the Big South Tournament, we can’t help but look at the roster and see so many kids we watched grow up. Well I guess to call them kids now would be a disservice, they’re players. Seventeen in all played in the first two games of the day, which was Radford vs. Presbyterian and Charleston Southern Vs. Winthrop.
Of course, it makes sense, we have 25,000 prospects come through our camps and events yearly, and we are located right in the middle of Big South Country, but it still never gets old seeing this.
As for the games, they started off great. Presbyterian and Radford kicked off the day. Radford is the Conference’s two seed and Presbyterian the seven seed.
It may sound weird to say, but the story of the game was made shots. Presbyterian shot 42.6% from the field while Radford shoot 53.6% for the game. It also helped that Radford had the games best player, and quite possibly the league’s best player, in Ed Polite. Radford won the rebounding margin, made more threes and made more free throws.
However, with that said, watch out for Presbyterian Head Coach Dustin Kerns moving forward. He is a rising star. In game adjustments, defensive switches, he was able to keep control of the game, from the sidelines. We had one long time media member suggest Kerns reminded them of what Chris Holtman was doing at Gardner Webb.
The second game of the day was with Winthrop (3 seed) Vs. Charleston Southern (the 6 seed). Winthrop had beaten Charleston Southern twice already this season, the last one was in double OT.
The Charleston Southern backcourt was great, as Dontrell Shuler and Christian Keeling combined for 47 points on 17-30 (8-13) shooting. However, with that type of offensive prowess, the name of the game for Head Coach Barclay Radebaugh was defense.
They’re a pressing team, every possession. This game, they packed it in, worked from the 3-point line and in, the cluttered the driving lanes and bumped all cutters. At the end of the day Winthrop turned the ball over 17 times and Charleston Southern came away with a victory to advance to the next round and face the 2 seed Radford.
For Winthrop, it was a final tournament for the Broman family, a staple in the Big South over the past 5 seasons. Bjorn finished with 18 points, going 5-9 from 3. Also, for the final go around for Adam Pickett, he filled the stat sheets with 9 points, 10 boards and 6 assists.