Coastal Carolina's men's basketball program had an offseason of unrest. Players and assistant coaches spent much of the spring and summer of 2009 coming and going.
Considering the overhaul, this didn't figure to be the season the Chanticleers would return to prominence. However, three seniors, Joseph Harris, Logan Johnson and Mario Edwards, provided direction and production, leading Coastal to a record-breaking season.
Coastal is the Big South regular-season champion and has already won a school-record 28 games.
Though the No. 7 Chants missed out on an NCAA tournament berth, they will make the school's first appearance in the postseason since 1993 when they visit No. 2 Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) in the National Invitational Tournament on Tuesday.
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Edwards spoke to The Sun News about the season so far.
How rewarding has it been to resurrect this program?
It means a lot to be a part of this and do the things we have this year. The first NIT appearance for Coastal is big. It just feels good to be a part of this whole thing. I know 20 years from now when people look up the 2010 Chanticleers, my name will be mentioned with this team.
Does the success mean more because you're a senior?
It definitely does. It means a lot to go out on top. We didn't finish out exactly how we wanted, but it was a good season overall. So, it's definitely better than losing and that being it for me.
Why do you think this team was so improved this season? I think it's because we connect so well on and off the court. We trust each other. We just play with each other so well. We know our strengths and weaknesses. If one guy isn't doing something, somebody else will. Last year, we didn't have that as much.
What has it been like seeing the public and students really get behind this team?
It's fun. Me and Joe [Harris] were talking. It's weird, because sometimes on the weekends if we have a night off and want to go out, we can't even do it. We debate on whether we want to go out or not, because there are so many people coming up to us. It feels good, but after a while it's like, 'Oh man.' It feels good, though, to just go to Wal-Mart and have people coming up to you that you really don't know.
How happy are you to play in the postseason? After losing the [Big South championship] game to Winthrop, we were down about it. But I've got a lot of friends in my class, and I would see their teams lose in their conference tournaments. They would lose, and I would just feel better about the NIT, because it's not over for us. A lot of teams are finished now, and they wish they could be playing in the NIT.