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@Campbell
[Image: Campbell.gif]


We've played 2 solid halves of basketball (Half 1 against Clemson; Half 2 against WPU), and 2 not so good halves of basketball. So which version will we get against Campbell? Can we put it all together and play 2 great halves in one game? It sure would be nice heading into a monster home game against Stanford 3 days later.

Campbell should not be looked past whatsoever. Not only do they usually get up in a big way for their games against us, but they are actually a pretty solid basketball team in their own right.

Picked to finish 4th by the Big South coaches behind Radford, Winthrop and Hampton, the Camels' hopes for the '18-19 campaign begin and end with Senior guard Chris Clemons, whose career with the Camels seems like its stretched on for 7 years or so.


[Image: Clemons_Chris_D50_6325c.jpg]


Clemons, who was the Big South Freshman of the Year in 2016 and reached the Big South 1st Team in both 2017 and 2018, is picked to be the Big South's Player of the Year in 2019. And for good reason. Coming off a 2017-18 campaign where he averaged 24.9 points, good for 4th in the nation, Clemons declared for the draft following the season to test the waters, but did not hire an agent and returns for his senior campaign. At 5-9 he'll likely have to prove he is as adept a distributor and defender as he is a scorer to get taken in the NBA Draft next year. And certainly an NCAA Tournament appearance could only help provide him with exposure and a bumped draft stock.

Joining Clemons in the starting backcourt is 6-4 junior shooting guard Cory Gensler, who poured in a team-high 22 points, including 5-9 from 3, for the Camels on Oct 27 in an 83-59 exhibition victory over Belmont Abbey. Gensler out-scored Clemons (17 points), who came off the bench and played limited minutes (16). This was likely done to protect his health and also to give other players opportunities for much-needed minutes. Gensler started 32 of 33 games last season for Campbell but averaged just 7.2 points per game as a sophomore. Perhaps he's in line for a lot more usage on offense this season, especially with Marcus Burk and his 15.1 ppg (2nd on the team) gone.

The other remaining returner for Campbell is 6-7 senior big man Andrew Eudy. The Pennsylvania native and versatile forward/center was 3rd on the team in scoring (9.3 ppg), 1st in rebounding (4.8 rpg), 1st in blocks (1.9 bpg), 2nd in assists (2.7 apg), 2nd in FG % (.548), 3rd in steals (1.0 spg), and among shooters on the team that took at least 50 3-pointers, was also tops in 3-pt percentage (.451). His efficiency and all-around play makes him a pain to deal, as opposing teams have to account for him on both ends of the court. Put a traditional big man on him, and Eudy can pull his defender out to the perimeter. Go small and he can dominate underneath. He's the 2nd most important player on the roster, as the Camels employ a 4-guard lineup and utilize Eudy as their only starting big. Against Belmont Abbey, Eudy chipped in 9 points, 6 boards and 4 assists.

It's difficult to project who will be the other 2 regular starters for Campbell, which is a departure from last season, when all 5 of their regulars were in the starting lineup at least 97 % of the games. However, we at least know who got the first cracks at starter minutes in their exhibition contest. 6-6 freshman wing Isaac Chatman (30 minutes), 6-4 junior guard Trey Spencer (28) and 6-3 sophomore guard Ja'Cor Nelson (18) joined Gensler and Eudy in the starting lineup, while 6-1 sophomore guard Jordan Whitfield added 18 minutes of work off the bench.

Chatman was the most effective of the group, putting up 12 points on 5-7 shooting (1-2 from 3), 4 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 steals, 2 assists, and just 1 turnover. He likely has a starting spot locked up. The 5th spot in Campbell's 4-guard lineup could vary over the course of the season, if the Belmont Abbey contest is any indication. Spencer shot just 1-6 from the field (0-4 from 3). Nelson committed a team-high 5 turnovers. And Whifield, who did not attempt a shot, was 2nd in turnovers with 3.

Against Belmont Abbey, Campbell had assists on 22 of their 32 made field goals. They play a selfless brand of basketball, as even Clemons doesn't force anything; his points come largely within the flow of the offense. The Camels play fast, as evidenced by their 76.5 points per game on 55 shots per contest. But they don't sacrifice much of a defensive presence in the middle, as they blocked 133 shots (4.0 per game) in 2017-18. And last season, they gave us all we could handle in Trask, falling in an 88-84 thriller. And even against the 2016-17 Seahawk juggernaut, they were competitive in a 96-75 loss at Buies Creek, in a game that was a little closer than the final score indicates.

Expect a dogfight in this road contest against our oldest rivals, a game which will go a long way in showing what kind of team we are, and whether we have the horses to beat Stanford on Friday.
(This post was last modified: 11-05-2018 10:56 AM by Seahawk Nation 08.)
11-05-2018 10:51 AM
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