CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern heads to Tuscaloosa to take on the University of Alabama on Tuesday. Tipoff at Coleman Coliseum is slated for 7 p.m. ET and the game will be televised on the SEC Network, which is also available on WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app. Fans can listen to coverage on csusports.com.
CSU (3-2) took momentum into the Thanksgiving holiday with a comeback win over Abilene Christian and then kept it going with a convincing triumph over Toccoa Falls. Now, the Bucs turn their attention toward an Alabama (3-2) team led by former world champion player and NBA Coach of the Year Avery Johnson. The Crimson Tide is seeking back-to-back wins for the first time and come off a victory over Saint Louis.
Alabama won 18 games and advanced to the NIT in Johnson's first season at the helm. This year, the Tide's athletic lineup is holding opponents to less than 63 points per game. Redshirt freshman guard Dazon Ingram leads three players averaging double figures scoring, at 10.2 points a night.
CSU traveled to Alabama in 2012 and 2013, challenging the Tide in both games before falling by 13 and 14 points, respectively. Both of the Bucs' wins against power conference foes have come over SEC teams – South Carolina in 1996 and Ole Miss in 2014.
KEELING TABBED BIG SOUTH FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Christian Keeling earned Big South Freshman of the Week honors after averaging 15 points and seven rebounds per game to lead CSU to a pair of wins last week. Keeling scored 15 of his season-high 20 points after halftime to help propel CSU over Abilene Christian on the road in a game it trailed by 17 points. He added ten points, seven rebounds and two assists in Saturday's drubbing of Toccoa Falls.
KEELING LIVING UP TO HYPE
Christian Keeling is thus far showcasing the form that made him last year's Augusta Chronicle Georgia Basketball Player of the Year. Keeling is CSU's leading scorer and ranks among league leaders in field goal percentage (57.1% - 2nd), rebounding (6.6 RPG - 5th) and scoring (16.0 PPG - 7th) through five games. He's scored in double figures in every game.
HOWARD HITTING THE GLASS
Javis Howard added at least ten pounds to his frame since last year and it appears to be paying dividends so far this year. Howard currently paces the Big South and ranks fifth nationally with 4.8 offensive rebounds per game. He pulled down a career-high eight offensive boards against USC Upstate and has two other performances of five or more. Howard is also the Bucs' leading overall rebounder, ranking fourth in the Big South with eight per game.
TEXAS SIZE COMEBACK AGAINST ABILENE
CSU went into the Thanksgiving holiday on a high note thanks to a 66-65 comeback win over Abilene Christian on Tuesday. The Bucs trailed by 17 points before outscoring the Wildcats 31-13 over the final 12:33. Armel Potter keyed that rally with 18 points over the final 11:16. Potter buried the game-winning jumper from just inside the top of the key with four seconds left. The victory marked CSU's largest comeback since it erased a 15-point deficit in a win over Campbell on Jan. 5, 2015.
POTTER'S BIG NIGHT
Armel Potter's 26-point outing against Abilene marked the sixth 20-point performance of his career. Potter recorded 21 points after halftime to spearhead the comeback. Potter's career high of 28 points came against Longwood in the opening round of last year's Big South Tournament. Potter, a 2015-16 All-Big South Freshman Team pick, was selected preseason second-team all-conference in October. He led all league freshmen in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio a year ago.