Coastal Carolina University basketball supporters will be able to see both the school’s men’s and women’s teams play Sun Belt Conference games on the same day in the 2017-18 season.
The Sun Belt has released its basketball schedules, and each school will play its 18 conference games as part of doubleheaders involving the same men’s and women’s opponent.
Conference games begin on Dec. 29, and following an opening weekend featuring games on Friday and Sunday, games will be played on Thursday-Saturday schedules.
The league’s 12 schools will either host both weekend conference games or travel for both, and the Chanticleers’ programs will travel only four times for two-game road trips and have just one single-game road trip – at Appalachian State in the final regular season game on March 3.
CCU Director of Athletics Matt Hogue is in favor of the doubleheader schedule for several reasons.
“It helps to address issues and challenges that all schools are tasked with solving such as time demands on the student-athletes, the required weekly day off and missed class time,” Hogue said. “Having games condensed to two days during a home stand versus the three days like last year will also lessen the impact on the game day staff and volunteers that are crucial to our operations.”
Coastal Carolina will begin the conference slate with home games against Texas-Arlington and Texas State on Dec. 29 and 31, and will essentially alternate home and away weekends thereafter.
The league’s 12 teams are in seven states. CCU will also host Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Arkansas State, Arkansas-Little Rock, Appalachian State, Troy and South Alabama.
Tip times for conference games will be announced in the future by each institution.
The conference season concludes with the men’s and women’s Sun Belt Conference Championships from March 6-11 at Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, La., marking the fifth consecutive tournament held in New Orleans.
Soccer adds three
The reigning Sun Belt Conference champion CCU men’s soccer team has added another three players to its 2017 roster, while incoming freshman Carlos Becerra has earned an impressive honor.
Defender Morton Timm is transferring to CCU from USC Upstate and will have three seasons of eligibility remaining, defender Sam Strong is transferring from Santa Barbara and have two seasons remaining, and midfielder Wilbert Perez of Berea High School has signed.
Perez’s older brother, Joel Perez, also played for CCU.
Perez was the captain of the South Carolina Class AAA state champions last year and scored two goals and added an assist on the game-winning goal in overtime in the championship game.
Timm is a native of Thuringen, Germany where he attended Guts Muths Sporgymnasium Jena. He played soccer for FC Carl Zeiss Jena, Hannover 96 and Borussia Dortmund 09, and served as the team captain for the U-19 Bundesliga Carl Zeiss Jena.
Strong, a Santa Barbara, Calif., native, started 18 of his 30 matches during his two-year stint with UCSB. He attended San Marcos High and was a star for the academy team Real So Cal. He played on the U-23 U.S. National Team in a friendly against Mexico as one of just two college players on the team.
Becerra, an earlier signee for the Chants from West Jordan, Utah, was recently named the 2016-17 Gatorade Utah Boys Soccer Player of the Year. He scored 13 goals and had nine assists to lead Copper Hills High to a 13-5-1 record and the Class 5A semifinals while also maintaining a 3.98 grade-point average. The Gatorade award recognizes athletic and academic standards and character.
Coach Shaun Docking’s squad returns to the pitch on Aug. 13 with an exhibition match at national power North Carolina.
CCU’s women’s golf team had five players named to the 2016-17 Women’s Golf Coaches Association All-America Scholar Team.
Stephanie Henning, Marie Lunackova, Barbora Bakova, Malene Hansen and Victoria Parker all made the WGCA team.
To be selected, players were required to maintain an overall grade point average of 3.50 or higher (on a 4.00 scale) for the entirety of their collegiate careers. A total of 952 women collegiate golfers received the honor.
Hansen, a rising senior and the reigning Sun Belt Conference Women’s Golfer of the Year, led the Chants with four top-five and five top-10 finishes this season. Her 72.66 stroke average is the best single-season stroke average in the history of CCU women’s golf, and it was her third WGCA All-America Scholar honor.
Bakova and Marie Lunackova received the honor for the second time, and Henning and Parker for the first time.
CCU had five players named to the WGCA team just once previously in 2013. The Chants had four players named in each of the past three years, bringing its overall total to 41.
Fowler on Team USA
CCU director of track and field Sandy Fowler has been named assistant coach for the United States’ national team for the 16th IAAF World Outdoor Championships from Aug. 3-14 in London, England.
Fowler, who recently completed her first season at CCU, will serve as the women’s throws coach at the championships, which feature the world’s top athletes every two years in an Olympic-caliber event.
Fowler previously represented Team USA as an assistant coach at the 2014 Pan-American Sports Festival in Mexico City and the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, and was Team USA head coach at the 2005 IAAF World Championships in Helsinki.