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Season Preview: CHD sits down with Charleston PG Anthony Stitt

To prepare for the tip-off of another great year of college basketball, CHD is reaching out to coaches and players around the country to get the inside scoop on what we can expect this time around. Jon Teitel continues our season preview series by chatting with Charleston PG Anthony Stitt about facing the defending champs.

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Your school left the Southern Conference this year to join the Colonial. How are you preparing to face a whole new group of conference opponents? We will take it one game at a time, watch tape, and prepare to play our game. We will not take anyone for granted but we did a good job against some CAA teams last year.

Your non-conference schedule includes games against Louisville, Miami, and San Diego State. Which of these games do you feel will present your biggest test? Our biggest test will be thefirst game of the year at the home of the defending national champs. They will be raising their banner so the crowd will be very excited.

What are your expectations for the upcoming season? We made it to the SoCon tourney title game last year before losing to Davidson, so we all want to make it to the NCAA tourney.

You missed a dozen games during your freshman year after breaking your left hand. How were you able to bounce back from the injury? I just worked hard with our trainers while I was out (legwork, one-handed free throws, etc.). I came back ahead of schedule.

You were able to break out of a shooting slump last winter after talking to teammate Canyon Barry’s father Rick. What advice did the Hall of Famer have for you that did the trick? He just told me to keep shooting because everyone goes through a rough stretch, but you have to be confident that the next shot is going go in.

In the 2013 CBI, you scored 21 points but Erik Copes had a tip-in with one second left to clinch a one point win by George Mason. Where does that rank among the most devastating losses of your career? It is up there, although our loss to Davidson in the SoCon title game is probably first. We fought back in the second half before that tip-in killed us, but it was a learning experience that should help us out in close games this year.

Last year was Doug Wojcik’s first year as coach of the Cougars; How long does it take for a team to adjust to a new coach? What was the biggest adjustment? We had a whole summer to learn from him. He was more intense but the biggest difference is that we have a greater focus on defense. He likes to run on offense but we will always try to be the best in our league at rebounding/defense.

You are the leading returning scorer after Andrew Lawrence graduated last spring. How much pressure is there on you to be a team leader this season? I have been trying to be a leader since I got here, but I will just try to do whatever it takes for us to win, whether it is scoring or passing or whatever. We have a lot of talent but need to stay focused.

What is the key to being a good PG? You have to know the time and situation. You can have all the talent in the world but you have to know when to score and when to get other people involved when necessary.

Your cousin Demontez played basketball at Clemson. Who is the best player in the family? If you ask him he would say him, but if you ask me I would say me! We played against each other a lot growing up and he taught me a lot, so I hope to surpass his high level.

JonTeitel