CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern plays its final non-conference home game on Saturday against Johnson & Wales University (N.C.). Tipoff at the Buc Dome is slated for 5:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on the Big South Network.
CSU (3-4) is looking to get back to the .500 mark and build momentum before embarking on a challenging three-game road trip. The Bucs will travel to former Big South rival VMI before wrapping up their pre-Christmas docket with power conference foes Georgia and Virginia Tech. Conference play begins with a visit from preseason league favorite Winthrop on Dec. 29.
Johnson & Wales (2-5) enters on a four-game losing streak but has posted back-to-back winning seasons. The Wildcats compete in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) and lost to the Bucs, 97-65, in last November's home opener.
CSU took this past week to focus on final exams, and dedicated practice time to sharpening themselves. The Bucs are coming off a tough 85-82 overtime to loss to Abilene Christian last Saturday. Led by Armel Potter, Cortez Mitchell and Raemond Robinson, CSU dug its way out of an 11-point first half hole before falling in the extra session.
BUCS HITTING THE BOARDS
CSU currently paces the Big South in rebounding margin and rebounding offense, and ranks second in total offensive rebounds. The Bucs finished eighth in the league in rebounding margin last year but had been top-three in the category each of the previous four years.
POTTER BACK ON POINT
Armel Potter's 21-point outing on Saturday against Abilene Christian was the second time in four games he's gone over the 20-point mark. Potter is averaging over 17 points per game during that stretch. He spearheaded CSU's comeback at Abilene with 21 of his 26 points in the second half, including 18 over the final 11:16.
HOWARD HITTING THE GLASS
Through games played Thursday, Javis Howard ranks 16th nationally with 3.86 offensive rebounds per game. Howard was fifth in that category before being shut out against a physical Alabama team. He has posted three outings of five or more offensive rebounds, highlighted by an output of eight against USC Upstate.
YOUNG BUCS LEARNING ON THE FLY
CSU welcomed seven new players to its program this year, and five are seeing significant playing time. Christian Keeling and Cortez Mitchell are doing so in a starting role, while Jordan Jones, Jamar Martin and Jamal Thomas are all proving to be factors off the bench. Antwan Maxwell, who redshirted last year, has also found a spot in the rotation. Junior Javis Howard is the Bucs' veteran. Zach Durkee and Rae Robinson are in their third seasons as well but both redshirted in the 2014-15, helping CSU claim the Big South regular season title from the scout team.