Coastal Carolina seniors Jaylen Shaw, Demario Beck and Jas Adams have a last chance this week to prolong their college careers.
The Coastal Carolina men’s and women’s teams begin the Sun Belt Conference Basketball Tournament as the higher seeds in their opening-round games, but will need to pull some upsets to earn the automatic NCAA Tournament berths from the conference.
The CCU women (16-13, 10-8) won five of their last six games, including the last two, to earn the seventh seed in the tournament and had an opening-round game scheduled for 6 p.m. (Eastern) Tuesday at Lakefront Arena in New Orleans against 10th-seeded Georgia State (8-21, 4-14).
The CCU men (14-17, 8-10) won three of their final four games to earn the eighth seed and will face ninth-seeded Texas State (14-17, 7-11) at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The top four teams in the league received first round byes, so the CCU men will have to face top-seeded Louisiana-Lafayette (26-5, 16-2) in the second round Friday if they win, and the women would face second-seeded Texas State (21-8, 14-4) in the second round Thursday with a win.
Adams, the lone senior on the women’s team, was named to the All-Sun Belt Conference First Team after leading the conference in scoring with 18.8 points per game. Sophomore D.J. Williams was named to the Second Team after finishing fifth in the conference in scoring at 15.2 points, seventh in rebounding at 7.7 and second in assists at 4.8 points per game.
Shaw and Beck are the lone seniors on the men’s team, and reserve guard Christian Adams is graduating early and leaving the program. Shaw is closing out a three-year CCU career that has him ranked in the top 11 all time in the program with 1,373 career points, 446 assists and 1,098 field goal attempts.
He’s averaging 14.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game this season, while Beck has come off the bench most of the season to average 10 points and 7.3 rebounds. The CCU men lost in the second round of the Sun Belt tournament in their first season in the conference last year.