ESPN Charleston Classic Recap

18 Nov

The College of Charleston men’s basketball team went 1-2 in the home-hosted ESPN Charleston Classic presented by Foster Grant on Nov. 15, 16 & 18 at TD Arena. The Cougars were among a strong eight-team field with the likes of NCAA Elite Eight and preseason No. 16-ranked Baylor out of the Big 12 Conference and last year’s Cinderella team in Murray State out of the Ohio Valley Conference.

CofC went up against a school-record tying three consecutive BCS opponents in St. John’s (BIG EAST), Auburn (SEC) and Boston College (ACC)  in the house that legendary head coach John Kresse built – the four-year-old, state-of-the-art TD Arena, which opened in 2008. Back in 1979, Kresse left Lou Carnesecca’s coaching staff at St. John’s to take over the reins at CofC. The native New Yorker from Ridgewood, Queens, who led the Cougars to unprecedented success in their NAIA and early NCAA heyday, never imagined 33 years later that his alma mater would play on the same court which bears his name today.

The Cougars and Red Storm faced each other in a first-time meeting between the two schools in the tournament’s opening round televised nationally on ESPNU on Nov. 16. Having built the reputation as “Giant Killers” under the regimes of Kresse and former head coach Bobby Cremins, also a New Yorker from The Bronx, CofC continues to do the same under first-year head coach Doug Wojcik.

The Cougars would end the three-day tournament on a high note with a 71-67 victory over Boston College on Nov. 18 in the seventh-place game. They enjoyed all of the tournament festivities throughout the week including a team reception on the historic USS Yorktown at Patriots Point and listening to an inspirational speech by keynote speaker and ESPN College Basketball Analyst and former Duke All-American Jay Williams.

Video Music: War by Ahmir

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