Season of great expectations arrives for Coastal Carolina men’s basketball

Coastal Carolina men’s basketball coach Cliff Ellis was as relaxed and loose before practice earlier this week as perhaps he’s ever been leading into a season with the Chanticleers.

He chatted with the local media about college football, told stories from his days coaching in the ACC and SEC with Clemson and Auburn and at one point directed attention to the back of his shirt depicting the logos of all the teams who made the NCAA tournament last season.

His Chants, of course, were part of that mix, ending a long wait last March with the program’s first NCAA tourney appearance in 21 years.

And with four starters back, a new point guard Ellis thinks will impact the team on both ends of the floor and maybe the loftiest preseason expectations in his now eight years at Coastal Carolina, there’s every reason for the coach and fans to be excited for what’s to come as the season opens Friday night inside The HTC Center against Trinity Baptist.