Coastal Carolina men’s basketball coach Cliff Ellis is hoping senior point guard Shivaughn Wiggins will return to help the Chanticleers attempt to extend their season and his career Monday night.
Wiggins, who Ellis said has a sprained MCL with a slight meniscus tear in a knee, has practiced and may be available for the Chants’ 7 p.m. College Basketball Invitational quarterfinal game against Loyola University Maryland at the HTC Center.
“He will be a game-day decision,” Ellis said Sunday. “He’s going to go if he can.”
The Chants (17-17) defeated Hampton 83-67 without Wiggins in the first round Wednesday.
Coastal went 6-9 without Wiggins to start the season and was 10-7 with him in the lineup prior to his injury early in CCU’s loss to Texas-Arlington in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. Wiggins has averaged 10.3 points per game and has 51 assists, 29 turnovers and 12 steals in 18 games – 10 as a starter.
“He’s our guy that gets us in our offenses and he’s the first guy back on defense, and we just haven’t had a lot of practice time without him,” Ellis said.
Junior Jaylan Robinson played 21 minutes at the point against Hampton and contributed six points, two steals and an assist while committing just one turnover.
Junior Jaylen Shaw of Hartsville scored a game-high 22 points and added six rebounds, four assists and two steals with just one turnover while splitting time between point and shooting guard.
“Jaylen is a pure guard,” Ellis said. “He can handle it, he can pass it, he can shoot it. He’s got all those attributes.”
The Chants shot 69 percent in the second half against Hampton and for the first time this season all five starters scored in double figures, as Demario Beck had 21 points and hit 10 of 13 shot attempts and freshman Artur Labinowicz scored 11 while starting in place of Wiggins.
Although it’s not the NCAA Tournament, I’m just thankful to be playing in a tournament, personally. Just getting out there and being able to play against other teams, making myself better, getting the team ready for next year. We’re trying to go out there and win every time, so we can’t take it for granted. It’s a tournament and we want to go out there and try to win it.
CCU junior guard Jaylen Shaw
Loyola (16-16) tied for sixth in the Patriot League with an 8-10 record and lost in the conference quarterfinals to second-seeded Boston University before upsetting George Mason 73-56 on the road in its CBI opener.
Junior guard Andre Walker (6 feet) leads the Greyhounds in scoring with 15 points per game and in assists and steals, while 6-6 senior forward Jarred Jones averages 14.9 points and leads the team with 48 blocks.
Teams pay to host games in the CBI, and home teams have gone 115-44 (72.3 winning percentage) in the tournament since its inception in 2008, including 14-3 last year and 6-2 in last week’s opening round.
“Getting another home game is big time for us,” Shaw said. “We just have to come out and take care of home court.”
In the other CBI quarterfinal games on Monday, Utah Valley is at Rice, George Washington is at Illinois-Chicago, and Missouri-Kansas City is at Wyoming. Semifinal matchups and host teams will be determined by CBI organizers following the quarterfinal results.
“Although it’s not the NCAA Tournament, I’m just thankful to be playing in a tournament, personally,” Shaw said. “Just getting out there and being able to play against other teams, making myself better, getting the team ready for next year. We’re trying to go out there and win every time, so we can’t take it for granted. It’s a tournament and we want to go out there and try to win it.”
If you go
What: College Basketball Invitational quarterfinals
When: 7 p.m. Monday
Where: HTC Center, Conway
Who: Coastal Carolina (17-17) vs. Loyola Maryland (16-16)
Radio: 100.3 FM