What a year, what a run it was for Campbell University. They made it to the finals of the Big South Tournament as well as the Quarterfinals of the College Invitational Tournament (CIT). The team finished 19-18 on the season.

Heading into the 2017-18 schedule, Campbell returns 11 of their top 12 scorers off last year’s team. This includes the NCAA’s leading returning scorer, Chris Clemons. Clemons averaged 25.1 points per game on 45% shooting from the field.

After starting off as a junior college, and then moving on to being an NAIA program, Campbell has only been part of a Division 1 conference since 1985, when the experienced their first tenure in the Big South. Right now Head Coach Kevin McGeehan has the program heading into a great direction.

Campbell has a roster full of veterans, they brought in a 4-man class, each player of which has a very bright future.

Let’s look at some questions the team faces this season…

How Good is Chris Clemons'!
Depending on how the season ends, Clemons has a chance to be a college All-American. Already, coming into the season, Clemons is the nation’s leading returning scorer at 25.1 points per game. Clemons heads into the season as the odds on favorite to be named the Big South Player of the Year and has a chance to have an national All-American type season.

Clemons is a high level scorer, his 51 points scored against UNC-Asheville is the second highest scoring total in any conference playoff game. Clemons had workouts this off-season with the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets, and through that process he has come back a better player. Clemons is trusting his team mates better, he is playing more efficiently. Clemons shot selection looks great, his ability get his team mates good looks has taken on a new look as well.

With Campbell really stressing an aggressive style of defense, look for more easy buckets as well.

Focus on Defense
As we briefly mentioned above, Campbell is looking to employ a much more aggressive style of defense. Look for a lot of trapping, look for a lot of jumping ball handlers and passing lanes. With the length and athleticism the team has the ability to really create havoc.

Campbell runs a very effective, Princeton style offense. When you couple their offensive discipline with this defensive aggression, this Campbell team has the opportunity to progress on last year’s record.

Who is Number 2
As noted above, you know what you are going to get from Chris Clemons. However, the team needs for others to step up. Look for a pair of sophomores to take major steps forward. 6’5” Damontez Oliver and 6’3” Marcus Burk have made great strides during the off season.

The most obvious player to choose is Oliver, who averaged 2.5 points per game last season. He spent the off season getting his body right, ready to take on this new aggressive defensive style. At his best, Oliver is a very strong forward who has great length and can shoot with range.

However, Burk is a player who naturally plays a style that fits perfectly with what Campbell is trying to do. The 6’3” Burk transformed his body from last year, adding athleticism. Burk can really shoot the ball and has a very high IQ to read the defense in his movement off the ball.

Look for both Oliver and Burk to take big steps forward in creating offense for themselves and the team.

Share to...