"The biggest thing that drew me back was the mark that PC left on me as a student-athlete"
Back in Blue & Today's game on the road.
On April 11, 2019, former Blue Hose starting point guard and assistant coach Quinton Ferrell became the 19th head coach in the history of the men's basketball program at Presbyterian College. On the court, Ferrell helped lead PC to a pair of 20-win seasons and an appearance in the 2005 NCAA Division II Tournament.
"Some of the memories that stand out from my time as a player here are the failures we had, just because of how good we were and how hard we worked," remembered Ferrell. "We wanted so badly to win a regular season conference championship, and my junior and senior year it came down to the last game of the regular season, but we ended up falling short. Those stood out because of the magnitude of those games. Those experiences have created a level of drive in me because we won so many games but came up short of our ultimate goal of winning a championship."
After graduating from PC in 2007, Ferrell began his coaching career right away, joining the Blue Hose staff for the 2007-08 season, the first year of the school's transition to Division I.
"I feel like coaching chose me rather than me choosing coaching," said Ferrell. "I know the impact a coach can have on a young person, and I wanted to make sure I would be doing something career-wise that would fulfill me."
"Coach (Gregg) Nibert offered me an assistant coaching job during my senior year, as they were adding another assistant to the staff for the transition to Division I, so things just kind of fell into place perfectly. I knew I wanted to impact young people and give back and share some of the things that I'd learned."
Ferrell spent five years as an assistant on the Blue Hose staff and saw the program pick up several landmark wins in its infancy as a Division I program. The 2010-11 team knocked off both Auburn and Wake Forest, and the 2011-12 Blue Hose upset top-25 ranked Cincinnati.
Following his five years on the Blue Hose staff, Ferrell spent one year each at The Citadel and Army before landing at the College of Charleston for five seasons.
Along the way, Ferrell met a lot of coaches from other programs he credits for helping him on his way to landing his first head coaching opportunity last spring.
"I tell young assistants all the time I've been truly blessed to have certain people in my life," said Ferrell. "Steve Smith, who's an assistant at Florida State, was on the staff at USC Upstate when I played at PC, so he coached against me, but saw me out on the recruiting trail and took me under his wing. Milan Brown, who's at Pittsburgh, and I coached together at the College of Charleston. He had been a head coach for over a decade and taken Mount St. Mary's to the NCAA Tournament by that point, and as a young assistant, being around a guy with that type of experience on a daily basis was great.
"My top assistant, Trey Meyer, who I've known since we were kids, knew (current Texas head coach) Shaka Smart when he was at Clemson, and the first summer I was out on the road recruiting, I was sitting in a gym evaluating players when Coach Smart walked by. He saw my Presbyterian shirt, asked if I was Quinton Ferrell, and when I said 'yes', he pulled up a chair, sat down and talked with me over the next couple of hours and gave me all kinds of advice.
"Coach Earl Grant at College of Charleston giving me the opportunity to build that program together was great for me, too. He gave me a blueprint to try and replicate here at PC and you can't buy that type of experience. All those guys have been amazing to me in terms of sharing information and wanting me to be successful. Seeing the success these guys have had as young head coaches gives me the confidence that I can be successful at this level, too."
Coach Grant was such a big influence on Ferrell's career, taking him under his wing as a 21-year-old assistant and giving Ferrell countless advice and guidance. Ferrell learned so much about defense from Grant helping Charleston lead the CAA in defense all five years they were together, which is something he's looking to build at PC.
When the Presbyterian job came open last spring, Ferrell saw it as the perfect opportunity to return to a place that meant so much to him, both as a student-athlete and a young coach.
"The biggest thing that drew me back was the mark that PC left on me as a student-athlete," said Ferrell. "I came to campus when I was 17, and while I was here I met so many different people; professors, peers and lifelong friends. That was a special chapter in my life.
"I also started my coaching career here, and as a young assistant it gave me a vision of what PC basketball could be as a Division I program. The success that we had on the court inspires me to be a successful head coach now that I'm back."
Ferrell's first season at the helm of the Blue Hose featured a very tough non-conference schedule with road trips to Clemson, Notre Dame and nationally-ranked Michigan on the slate.
PC fought through its difficult schedule and started Big South Conference play 4-0, the team's best start as a member of the Big South.
"Playing better competition definitely made us better, but even more so for us, it's been about getting more and more comfortable with so many people being new this year," said Ferrell. "With me as a first-time head coach, a whole new staff and a bunch of new players, we came in with an idea of what we wanted to do, and have now been able to make tweaks, based on the players we have and their comfort level in the new system."
Date: Feb. 13, 2020
Site: Radford, Va. (Dedmon Center)
Radio: WPCC (bit.ly/2m3wPAT)
Announcers: Ryan Clary (PbP), Kenn Blankenship (Analyst)
TV Broadcast: ESPN+ (https://es.pn/37pgloC)
Live Stats: www.RUHighlanders.com (http://bit.ly/2tO12YO)
RAD leads the series 17-7
2020: RAD 75, PC 64
2019: RAD 84, PC 76
Record: 15-9, 10-2
Last Game: Feb. 10, 2020, vs. Winthrop, W 81-77, in Rock Hill, S.C.
Head Coach: Mike Jones
Career Record: 153-136 (9th year)
RAD Record: 153-136 (9th year)
vs. PC: 12-4
Record: 9-16, 6-6
Last Game: Feb. 8, 2020 vs Campbell, L 62-79, in Buies Creek, N.C.
Head Coach: Quinton Ferrell
Career Record: 9-16 (1st year)
PC Record: 9-16 (1st year)
vs. RAD: 0-1
Presbyterian College plays the final road game of a two-game road stretch with a Feb. 13, stint at Radford ... The Highlanders own a 17-7 record and took the 75-64 win at the Templeton Center in the last meeting ...
Radford shot over 50% for the game, including 57% in the second half, and used a late run to break open a close game and take a 75-64 win over the Blue Hose in the last meeting between the two school ... Cory Hightower led the team with 13 points and six rebounds ...
Radford is 15-9 overall and 10-2 in the conference after earning an 81-77 win over league-leading Winthrop in its last game ... The Highlanders are led by Carik Jones with 19.9 points and Devine Eke with 6.9 rebounds per game ... Radford is averaging 71.0 points, 36.1 rebounds, and 13.0 assists per game ...
PC is 9-16 overall and 6-6 in the league, and dropped its last game to Campbell, 62-79 ... The Blue Hose are led by Cory Hightowerwith 12.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game ... PC is averaging 66.7 points, 34.1 rebounds, and 12.5 assists per game ...
The Camels shot almost 70% in the second half and had an answer for several Blue Hose rallies as Campbell earned a 79-62 Big South win over the Blue Hose in their last contest, in Buies Creek, N.C. ... Cory Hightower led the Blue Hose with 19 points and eight rebounds ...
PC experienced a five-game winning streak earlier this season, which tied for the longest winning streak since the 2017 season when the team picked up five straight ... The Blue Hose have won at least four games in a row just twice in their Division I history ...
In league play the Blue Hose have been averaging 4.3 points higher, and are shooting .352 from the perimeter against league opponents, compared to .320 overall ... Cory Hightower is scoring 1.4 more points per game, while freshman Zeb Graham is averaging almost three more ...
Ben Drake's career-high 16 rebounds in the first meeting against Gardner-Webb tied for fifth in the PC DI record book ... The team's 52 rebounds that same game tied for sixth in the PC DI record book ...
A young team in 2019-20, the Blue Hose have enlisted several new starters this season ... In the last nine of 10 games four freshmen have started along with sophomore Cory Hightower ... Other starters have been Michael Isler, who is averaging 26.8 minutes, as well as Zeb Graham, Sean Jenkins, and Owen McCormack, who are averaging over 15 minutes a game ...
Michigan was the third and final team that PC played this season from one of the Power 5 conferences ... The Blue Hose faced ACC's Clemson on Nov. 7 and Notre Dame Nov. 18 ... Michigan was the only ranked opponent, sitting 14th/15th ...
The Blue Hose are making marks in the PC DI season stats record book ... Currently PC is third in scoring average (66.7), second in rebounding average (34.1), second in assists average (12.5), fourth in steals average (6.1), third in field goal percentage defense (.444), and first in rebounding margin (0.4) ...
With a three-pointer at Longwood JC Younger took over the top spot in the PC Division I career record book with 215, he now has 226 … He is also now four from hitting the 1,000-point plateau, which would make him the fifth player in PC DI history to reach the historic plateau ... He is now in the top five in PC DI career scoring ... With 12 points against Gardner-Webb Cory Hightower eclipsed 500 career points (now at 650) ...
Several Blue Hose are showing up in the Big South stats ... Cory Hightower is 13th in scoring (12.9) and ninth in rebounds (5.9), while Ben Drake is 12th in rebounding (5.6) ... Chris Martin is 10th in assists (2.9), Hightower is 12th (2.7) ... Martin is tied for ninth in steals (1.4) ... JC Younger is 12th in three-pointers made (1.7) ... Hightower is eighth in minutes played (32.5) ...
In conference play the Blue Hose are in the top five in several categories, including free throw percentage (.711 - 4th), field goal percentage (.445 - 6th), field goal percentage defense (.444 - 5th), rebounding defense (33.7 - 2nd), as well as rebounding margin (+0..4 - 4th) ...
A new season brings a new coaching staff with the addition of 2007 PC alum Quinton Ferrell ... An integral member of the basketball team as a student-athlete he served as an assistant coach from graduation to 2012 ... After stops at The Citadel and Army, he settled at College of Charleston for five seasons from 2014-19 ... In his fourth season the Cougars made a memorable run that included the program's second-straight 25-win campaign, an impressive 26-8 overall record and 14-4 mark in CAA play ... The co-regular-season champions won the CAA Men's Basketball Championship and earned their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 1999 ...
Ferrell brought with him a new staff with the additions of Ben Korren, Trey Meyer, Nick Lagroone as assistant coaches, Trey Johnson as Director of Basketball Operations, and Erik Goldbach as Video Coordinator ...
The Blue Hose are looking for another strong season at the Templeton Center in 2019-20, after finishing 12-3 at home last season ... The 12 wins at home was the most in its DI history ... PC is 6-4 at home so far this season ...
The 20 wins in 2018-19 by the Blue Hose were most in PC DI history ... The Blue Hose recorded 14 wins in 2011-12 (14-15) ... The record for most wins all-time is 27, set in 92-93 and 2002-03 ... The last time the Blue Hose won at least 20 games was in 2006-07, the final year of Division II, the team went 20-9 ...
Last season PC posted nine conference wins (9-7), which was tied for the most in its DI history ... The Blue Hose were 9-9 in 2008-09 ... The team is currently 6-6 in Big South play ...
PC has made at least one three-pointer in the last 397 games ... PC has hit one three-pointer in several games, the last against Clemson in 2015, but has not been held without one in its entire Division I history ...