Team preview: The Citadel

Blue Ribbon Yearbook previews the 2011-12 season, exclusively on Insider

Updated: October 25, 2011, 2:01 PM ET
Blue Ribbon Yearbook

For the most comprehensive previews available on all 335 Division I teams, order the "Bible" of college basketball, the 2011-12 Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, at www.blueribbonyearbookonline.com or call 1-877-807-4857.

COACH AND PROGRAM

There's some rebuilding to be done at The Citadel. Second-year head coach Chuck Driesell loses some of the best players in school history -- and about 77 percent of the offense -- and he brings in an eight-man recruiting class.

Talk about taking on a new look. The Citadel will take the floor without, among others, guard Cameron Wells (17.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 4.3 apg), the school's career scoring and assists leader and a perennial All-SoCon performer, as well as two of the Bulldogs' greatest three-point shooters, Zach Urbanus and Austin Dahn, both 1,000-point scorers.

It's a chance for Driesell, son of coaching legend Lefty Driesell and a former assistant for his dad at James Madison, to quickly put his own stamp on this program. But it'll be challenging.

"We've only got three or four guys with any game experience and we only have one senior on the roster," Driesell said. "Other than that, everybody's unproven. And this freshman class is the largest I've ever had.

"But I'm excited about these new guys. I think it's a good mix."

PLAYERS

Fortunately there's 6-8, 230-pound forward Mike Groselle (11.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg), who stepped up in a big way last season. The junior will be a legit all-conference candidate, but beyond him the team returns a total of six points per game.

After preseason foot surgery, Groselle found his way into the starting lineup the last 21 games and had some good performances -- 14 points and 10 rebounds against Clemson, 22 points versus Colorado, 19 points and 16 boards against Wofford -- and shot .601 from the floor.

"He's tremendous in the post with angles," Driesell said. "He's got a nice feel for sealing his man and getting to the rim quickly. He's not a tremendous athlete who's gonna dunk it over everybody, but he's got good hands and uses his body to get to the basket."

Groselle has worked to get stronger, too, sculpting his body so he can run the floor better. And he put an offseason focus on developing a better outside shot.

The Bulldogs are expecting 6-4, 190-pound redshirt junior Bo Holston (3.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg) to step up this year, as well. He was stuck as an undersized power forward much of last year and Driesell hopes to use him more at the No. 3 spot this year.

He started 13 games and shot 47.5 percent from the field. Driesell described him as "versatile, athletic and able to mix it up down low, but I think he can shoot the ball from the outside, too."

Devontae Wright (0.8 ppg, 0.7 rpg) is a 6-0 sophomore who saw action in 26 games, primarily as a backup for Wells -- who averaged about 36 minutes per game, so Wright's chances were limited. But he'll be in the mix again.

The only other senior is 6-2, 190-pound Cosmo Morabbi (1.4 ppg, 0.6 rpg), who didn't get to do a lot last year, especially after suffering a broken finger in early January, but will need to make up for some of the perimeter shooting the Bulldogs lost to graduation.

A couple more returning veterans played sparingly and didn't score, so it's pretty obvious the recruiting class will be counted on heavily. Driesell brought in four post players and four perimeter guys.

Leading the way may be 5-10 Marshall Harris III, a highly touted point guard from San Antonio's William H. Taft High whose team reached the Class 5A semifinals last year. He played on the San Antonio Ro Hawks AAU team, one of the state's best.

The inside game will get a big boost from P.J. Horgan, 6-8 and 225 pounds, from Cleveland High in New Mexico. He's a solid low post player who signed early, then ended up leading his team to the state semifinals. He averaged about 21 points and 11 rebounds, racked up 25 points, 20 rebounds and six blocks in a district title win and was second-team all-state.

Blue Ribbon Previews

Southern Conference Take an Inside look at the Southern Conference with Blue Ribbon's 2012-13 team reports: Insider

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Chattanooga
The Citadel Insider Free
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Davidson
Elon
Furman
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Samford
UNC Greensboro
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Wofford

Local favorite C.J. Bray from James Island High in Charleston brings a football mentality to forward but has an inside-outside game. He averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds and was selected to the Carolinas All-Star Classic. Bray was recruited by some big football schools and was offered by Arkansas, but The Citadel scored a coup by landing him for basketball.

Jordan Robertson, 6-7, from Greensboro Day School was an early signee. His teams went 107-20 during his time there, including 23-5 last season, and he was selected to the Charlotte Pro-Am All-Star Basketball Game.

Ashton Moore, 6-0, from Nansemond River High in Suffolk, Va., averaged 18.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists on a 21-6 squad, making first team All-Tidewater and Southeastern District Player of the Year.

Lawrence Miller is a 6-1 combo guard from United Faith Christian Academy in Charlotte, N.C. The school won the NCISAA state championship two of the last three years and finished runner-up last season.

The Bulldogs get a product of Riverside Military Academy, 6-7, 180-pound forward Dylen Setzekorn, who spent last year at The Hun School in New Jersey. He averaged 16.0 points and 6.4 rebounds, shooting 57 percent, during his career at Riverside. He's one of four players at The Hun School to go D-I. Driesell calls him a good shooter and one of the team's most athletic players.

Then there's 6-9, 195-pound Michael Hundley from Renaissance High in Detroit. He was one of the top shot blockers in the state of Michigan, averaging 10.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 6.3 blocks.

"He could be the sleeper of the bunch," Driesell said. "He's long and athletic and could be an excellent shot blocker. He's got a chance, although he might need a year."

There's a good chance more than one freshman will crack the starting lineup, and several of them will see a lot of playing time.

"Everything's open," Driesell said. "They come here knowing there's a good chance they'll play right away. That's probably what attracted some of these kids to us. That's what Cameron Wells and Zach Urbanus and those guys did. And I think when kids come here, they want a challenge and they know if they make it here, they can handle anything after graduation.

"I think these new guys have the skills, the mentality and the approach they need to succeed here."

The rookies will face a schedule that includes the All-Military Classic, a new tournament that includes The Citadel, VMI, Air Force and Army that Driesell calls "a great way to kick off the season. I think it'll be an excellent event."

BLUE RIBBON ANALYSIS

BACKCOURT: D+
BENCH/DEPTH: C
FRONTCOURT: B-
INTANGIBLES: C

It's hard not to pick the Bulldogs at the bottom of the South Division because they have so little experience. Depending on so many freshmen, particularly at The Citadel where the first year is notoriously challenging, is a dangerous thing.

Groselle is the obvious go-to guy, but beyond him there's uncertainty. If Driesell's recruiting class is as good as he hopes, the Bulldogs could grow into a spoiler by the end of the season and see things start to gel next season.

"We're in the category of the unknown," Driesell said. "Anything good takes time. We want to build a solid program, and it's not the kind of thing you do overnight. But I believe we're on the right track."

For the most comprehensive previews available on all 335 Division I teams, order the "Bible" of college basketball, the 2011-12 Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, at www.blueribbonyearbookonline.com or call 1-877-807-4857.