2015 NCAA Tournament: Get to Know the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers


The Wisconsin Badgers earned a one seed in the 2015 NCAA Tournament, and will face the 16-seed Coastal Carolina Chanticleers in the opening round Friday, March 20. Here’s what you need to know about Coastal Carolina.

The Wisconsin Badgers will do something they’ve never done before on Friday night – take the court as a one seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

Their first competition will be a relatively unknown squad — the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.

What’s a Chanticleer, you ask? (Don’t worry, I did too). According to the school’s website, a Chanticleer (pronounced “SHON-ti-cleer”) is a “proud and fierce rooster,” with the origin of the word dating back to Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales.”

Now that we’ve got that cleared up, here’s what you really need to know about the Coastal Carolina squad:

Conference: Big South

• The Chanticleers finished third in the regular season Big South Conference standings, one game behind both High Point and Charleston Southern.

• Coastal Carolina earned its NCAA Tournament birth by winning the Big South Tournament last week, defeating UNC Asheville, Gardner Webb, and Winthrop along the way.


• Coastal Carolina finished the regular season 21-9, with a 12-6 record in Big South play. They finished the regular and tournament season with a combined 24-9 record.

• The Chanticleers went 11-2 at home, 8-7 on the road, and won their only game on a neutral court (the conference tournament was held on their home court).

• Coastal Carolina played 4 games against non-divisional opponents, and won all of them.


• Playing in the Big South conference, Coastal Carolina doesn’t have an expansive NCAA Tournament resume. They are the only team from the conference to make the tournament, earning the auto-bid for winning the conference title.

• The Chanticleers’ best win was a 4-point victory on the road at Auburn. It was a homecoming for Coastal Carolina head coach Cliff Ellis, who coached at Auburn from 1994-2004.

• Coastal Carolina has an RPI of 130.

• This is Coastal Carolina’s second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Chanticleers, a 16 seed last year as well, lost to Virginia in a pretty close 70-59 game.

• Coastal Carolina will be playing in its 4th NCAA Tournament. They made the tournament in 2014 (lost to Virginia), 1993 (lost to Michigan St.) and 1991 (lost to Indiana). They’ve never made it out of the first round.

Dec 18, 2014; Oxford, MS, USA; Coastal Carolina Chanticleers forward Badou Diagne (23) shoots the ball against Mississippi Rebels forward Sebastian Saiz (11) during the game at C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum. Mississippi Rebels defeat the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers 71-68. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Players to watch: 

Warren Gillis, a senior guard, is the Chanticleers’ leading scorer at 13.1 points per game. He adds 3.2 assists and 3.1 rebounds per contest.

Josh Cameron, another senior guard, is the second half of the Chanticleers’ top-scoring duo, coming in right behind Gillis at 12.9 points per game. He adds 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. Cameron is a Wisconsin native from Racine.

Elijah Wilson, a sophomore guard, scores 11.1 points per game, and adds 3.5 rebounds and .7 assists.

Shivaughn Wiggins, another sophomore guard, scores 10.2 points and adds 3.2 assists and 2.8 boards a game.

Badou Diagne, a junior forward, scores 9.6 points per contest and leads the team with 7.4 rebounds per game.

Key points:

• The tallest player in the Chanticleers’ rotation is 6-foot-8 forward Marcus Freeman, who missed seven games this year and averages just 13.8 minutes per game. Behind him – height-wise – the Chanticleers regularly play forwards Diagne (6-foot-7) and Tristian Curtis (6-foot-7). The Badgers will have a clear height advantage, and Frank Kaminsky should be the focal point early.

• Coastal Carolina averages 39.8 rebounds per game. It’s a surprising figure considering their collective team height, but they are the fifth-best rebounding team in the country. The Badgers struggled on the glass against Michigan State, but will have a clear height advantage Friday. Sam Dekker and Nigel Hayes, along with Kaminsky, need to be on their game to limit second-chance point opportunities.

• The Chanticleers’ guard-heavy offense puts up 71.7 points per game. Wisconsin is giving up 56.1 points per contest, the 9th best mark in all of college basketball.

• Wisconsin scores 71.9 points per game, Coastal Carolina gives up 61.7 per game.

When and where:

• Wisconsin and Coastal Carolina square off Friday, March 20, 8:20 p.m. (CT), at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska.

• The game will be broadcast on TBS.


Statistics courtesy ESPN.com.

Next: Five Teams UW Needs to Watch Out For in NCAA Tourney