Paul Zoeller/CofC Athletics Communications Trent Wiedeman
Points were never hard to come by with Andrew Goudelock, College of Charleston's all-time leading scorer, in the lineup. But Goudelock, who averaged 23.7 points last season, is now in the NBA.
That left the Cougars needing to fill an offensive void.
Several players have stepped up offensively in his absence, including Greater Atlanta Christian product Trent Wiedeman, a sophomore who is averaging 11.1 points and 7.9 rebounds, and making 50 percent of his field goals.
"I'm definitely playing a bigger role (than my freshman season) because we're a little more balanced," Wiedeman said. "We lost our best player to the Lakers (in the NBA Draft), so he was taking most of our shots. We're playing a lot of inside-out and I'm getting a lot more touches."
The 6-foot-8 forward is taking advantage of them, too. It also helps that he's added 30 pounds to his frame with diet and weight work, making him more capable of battling college basketball's top interior players.
He plays both the power forward and center spots, so he's often going against taller opponents.
"(The added weight) helps a lot, especially against BCS conference opponents," Wiedeman said. "They're a lot bigger and stronger. Last year was tough as a freshman but now it's easier because I'm more equal with them with strength."
Wiedeman has excelled in some of those matchups with teams from power conferences --he had 15 points and eight rebounds in a win over Clemson earlier this season -- but he's been at his best in Southern Conference games.
He's averaging 18.5 points and 11.5 rebounds (and making 66.7 percent of his shots) in two SoCon games this season, with a 22-point, 10-rebound effort vs. The Citadel and a 15-point, 12-rebound game against Chattanooga.
Wiedeman's breakout season has helped the Cougars to a 10-2 record, which he hopes is the start of a push toward the NCAA Tournament.
"(The good start) is what I expected," Wiedeman said. "A lot of people didn't think we'd be very good because of what we lost. But as a team we're playing really well and getting balanced scoring. ... I think we could be a good NCAA team and maybe win a couple of games (in the tourney)."
Means shines in victory
Greater Atlanta Christian's Chaney Means, playing in a mask because of a broken nose, had one of her better games in Western Kentucky's most recent win over Florida International.
The sophomore guard had 12 points and six rebounds, making both of her 3-point attempts and 6 of 6 free throws in the final two minutes to finish off the win. Means is 12-for-12 from the line in her college career.
Jones makes all-tourney team
Florida guard Jordan Jones, a Collins Hill grad, made the Gator Holiday Classic's all-tournament team this week.
Jones scored a team-high 18 points in a championship game victory over Duquesne and made three 3-pointers, the fourth time this season she's made at least three 3-pointers in a game.
Heffley, Ramsey named All-Americans
Brookwood grad Ross Heffley and Wesleyan grad James Ramsey were both selected to the Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American Team this week.
Heffley, who plays at Western Carolina, was a first-team selection after hitting a Southern Conference-best .419 as a junior, when he was named to multiple All-American teams. The infielder also hit 11 home runs and 65 RBIs, leading his team in both categories.
Ramsey, a senior at Florida State, hit .364 last season with 10 homers and 67 RBIs. He was a second-team selection by Louisville Slugger.
Baker in England's Olympic soccer pool
Parkview grad Ashley Baker, a junior goalkeeper at Georgia, received notice last week that she is on the list of players the British Olympic Association will use to select its 2012 Olympic team.
The English coach will pare down the list in March and choose the team in July.
Baker has played frequently on England's national teams, including the Under-20 Women's World Cup squads in 2008 and 2010, the Under-19 European Championships in 2009 and the Under-23 La Manga Tournament earlier this year.
Gwinnett Grads is a column that runs on Saturdays spotlighting achievements of past Gwinnett standouts. Coaches and parents are urged to send suggestions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.