By Mallory Carra
CHARLESTON, S.C. From its quaint antiquish look to its streets lined with Palmettos, youd never guess that Charleston is quite the ghost town.
Aside from going to the beach and then indulging in seafood, you can find ghost tours of any variety you please. Ghostly legends? Check. Ghost in the haunted harbor? Got it. Dont want to bring the kids? Theyve got R-rated ghost tours, too.
The Mocs have some of their own ghosts to face in Charleston. Every year the SoCon tournament has been held here since 2001, the Mocs have either lost in the finals to East Tennessee State or have been knocked off in the quarterfinals. When the tournament was in Chattanooga last year, they won the title.
And this year, theres the ghost of leading scorer Alphonso Pughs season-ending leg injury. But Pugh doesnt believe in ghosts. He believes in fate, and if the Mocs are fated to win this year, then they will.
Pugh hobbled onto the court at the North Charleston Coliseum, limped behind the 3-point line and pointed at the spot. He wanted to repeat one of the last shots he made against the College of Charleston before his injury.
This is where it was, he said to a teammate, with a smile. He made a smooth 3-point shot, but coach John Shulman came over and told him to sit down.
Ive still got a little magic touch from the top of the key area, but coach wants me to stay off my leg and make sure everything heals properly, Pugh said.
Pugh anxiously watched his team practice Thursday morning, just in sweats and never without a basketball in his hands, even while sitting on the sideline.
Last week he was able to put away the crutches. In a few weeks he hopes to start running again.
Im walking pretty good, and Ive got most of the flexibility back in my knee, Pugh said. It doesnt hurt to walk. But sometimes it feels a little sore if I do a lot of walking. I just started riding on a bicycle again.
In the meantime, hell go to California Dreaming the Mocs favorite restaurant in Charleston and kill time by playing Monopoly in the hotel.
We have three or four really good players, Pugh said. Khalil (Hartwell), Casey (Long), Ricky (Hood), Steve (Cherry). And Ill throw myself in there, too, because Im pretty good.
As for me, I dont particularly believe in ghosts, but Im terrible at Monopoly.
E-mail Mallory Carra at email@example.com