Cofc Men’s Basketball

The Cougars are making history

Cofc Mens Basketball

Recent Success

This season, the College of Charleston men’s basketball team has been one of if not the biggest success stories in the country. The Cougars are currently 15-1 and on the longest win streak in Division 1 basketball. Their 14-game win streak stretches since their early loss at The University of North Carolina in their second game of the season. Not only is The Cougar’s 15-1 start the best since the College joined the NCAA in 1991 but it has also landed them a spot in the top 25 ending a 20-year drought. So what makes this Cougar team so special?


The Coach

For starters, their head coach Pat Kelsey is one of the best in the business. Before being hired by The College in 2021, Kelsey was head coach of the Winthrop eagles for 9 seasons resurrecting their rich basketball tradition and winning the 2021 Big South Conference Coach of the year. In his nine seasons as head coach, he was also able to win the Big South Tournament Title, and secure his third automatic NCAA tournament bid as a coach.

Prior to Kelsey’s success with the Eagles, he served as an assistant coach for Wake Forest and Xavier his alma mater, who were both extremely successful during his time with the programs. The Cougar’s hire in his second season as head coach has the team undefeated in their own conference. A stark difference from last year’s 8-10 conference record.

The Team

Although coaching is important, the players are truly the reason behind the success of the Cougar’s season. Leading the team in scoring is Dalton Bolon who is averaging 13.1 points per game. However, it’s Bolon’s leadership that is most important to the team. On defense, Bolon can be seen screaming at the opposition as they dribble down the court. He even looks somewhat like a Viking, and his game fits the description. He is an extreme competitor and a sorry sight for any opponent. Another key part of the Cougar’s domination is point guard Ryan Larson. Larson leads the team in assists, averaging 4.2, and minutes played, averaging 28.6 per game. Larson is an electric ball handler and runs the team’s offensive scheme. Another key component is the big man combo Babacar Faye and Ante Brzovic. The big-man duo is averaging 10 rebounds a game and are crucial in the Cougar’s paint protection. Both are also foreign, Brzovic hailing from Croatia and Faye from Senegal. On the topic of foreign players, another guard of mention this season is Reyne Smith, an Australian. He has been heavily relied upon to knock down a tough three when the team needs it.

The final two players with significant minutes this season are Jaylon Scott and Raekwon Horton who despite their lower numbers than other team members are just as important because of their all-around ability. Both players can score, rebound, and defend. The diversity of playstyle is one of the reasons this team is so special. With everyone playing a role, and great chemistry between the entire team.


Home Atmosphere

The Cougars play their home games in the TD Arena. Located in Downtown Charleston, in close proximity to the campus, the 5,100-seat arena provides quite the atmosphere. Since the arena is relatively compact, the crowd can play a major role in games. This makes Cougar games even more exciting from the perspective of a fan as you feel like you are a part of the action. The team is currently undefeated at home and the crowd has definitely played its part. In their game, last Saturday against the University of Deleware, last year’s conference winners, the game got pretty close down the stretch. It was not until Ben Burnham’s off-the-glass block and put-back dunk that truly sealed the Cougar’s win. Burnham’s back-to-back plays caused the crowd to erupt and gave the team the energy boost it needed to close out the game.

What’s in store?

The rest of the Cougar’s schedule is filled with winnable games. This means they should be in a prime position to win The Colonial Athletic as the season wraps up. If the team is able to maintain their level of play and togetherness it could mean the Cougars return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since the 2017-2018 season.