It will be Coastal’s 3s against the Shockers’ D in MBI opening round

The 3-point shot has been an important part of Coastal Carolina’s offense during Cliff Ellis’ 16 seasons as the team’s head coach. In fact, seven of the 10 best 3-point shooting seasons in program history have occurred during Ellis’ tenure.

Coastal continued that trend right away this season by going 7-for-13 from long range in the first half of their 88-86 season-opening victory over Piedmont. But treys might not be as easy to find when the Chanticleers (1-0) take on Wichita State (3-0) at 4:30 p.m. ET on Thursday in the opening round of the Myrtle Beach Invitational.

That’s because Wichita has been downright Scrooge-like when it comes to giving up 3-pointers so far this young season. The Shockers have allowed opponents to make only 21 percent (19-of-90) of their treys, a figure that includes a 0-for-21 performance by Western Kentucky in a 71-61 Wichita win.

That game marked the first time WKU had failed to make a 3-pointer since 1987 (a stretch of 1,335 games), and it was the first time the Shockers had shutout an opponent from long range in nine seasons.

“If we can hold another team to go 0-for-21 from 3, that will be pretty impressive,” Wichita State Coach Paul Mills said. “We did a good job on their personnel. … We made it as difficult as possible for them.”

Offensively, the Shockers have made 48.4 percent of their shots from the field this season. Junior guards Colby Rogers and Xavier Bell have led the way, combining to average nearly 30 points per game.

By the time the Chanticleers take the court against Wichita, it will have been 10 days since they played their first and only game of the season. Coastal needed a late 10-2 run to avoid the upset against Piedmont.

“We dodged a bullet,” Ellis said after the game. “Everybody was expecting a 20-point win, but give credit to Piedmont for spreading us out and shooting the ball well. We have so many new faces, but we’ll learn from this.”