CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern begins a three-game road swing on Tuesday at VMI. Tipoff at Cameron Hall in Lexington, Va., is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. Fans can also listen on csusports.com.
CSU (4-4) played well to easily dispatch of Johnson & Wales (N.C.), 100-53, on Saturday. The Bucs shot a season-high 58 percent from the field and took advantage of the Wildcats on the glass and in transition to cruise to victory.
Now, with the fall semester over and Big South Conference play beckoning, the focus for Barclay Radebaugh's team is to use the time in between to sharpen their mettle. CSU will start league action against preseason favorite Winthrop on Dec. 29, and preseason second-place pick Liberty follows on New Year's Eve.
"We've got a tough a stretch coming up so we've just gotta take it a day at a time because that's enough for a young team," Radebaugh said. "There's a real desire to improve in our team and this stretch will certainly give us an opportunity to grow."
VMI (1-7), under second-year head coach Dan Earl, is looking to snap a six-game losing streak. The Keydets fell to No. 15 West Virginia, 90-55, on Saturday. Senior guard Q.J. Peterson leads VMI in scoring at 20.1 PPG, and attempts almost 17 shots per game. VMI has already played four Big South opponents in Presbyterian, Campbell, Radford and Gardner-Webb. The Keydets have struggled defensively, with foes shooting 49 percent overall and 44 percent from three-point range.
Tuesday's matchup is the first between the programs since VMI left the Big South to re-join the Southern Conference following the 2013-14 season. VMI had been known for its breakneck style of play under former coach Duggar Baucom, leading the country in scoring six times in an eight-year span. Earl, a former assistant at Navy and Penn State, has instituted a more conventional style.
Potter on point
Armel Potter hit his first seven shots from the field in Saturday's win over Johnson & Wales. It was Potter's second straight 21-point effort. The sophomore guard now has three 20-point outings in his last five games. Potter had five 20-point games last year en route to earning All-Big South Conference Freshman Team honors.
Martin excels in starting debut
CSU utilized a different starting lineup for the third straight game against Johnson & Wales, with Jamar Martin contributing 12 points, three rebounds and two assists in his first career start. Martin also scored 12 points off the bench in back-to-back games against Florida State and Columbia International to begin the year.
The Bucs have made 12 three-pointers in back-to-back games. They've hit ten or more threes in three of their last four games. CSU ranked inside the top-11 nationally in both made threes and threes attempted each year from 2012-13 to 2014-15.
Rebounding the basketball
CSU out-rebounded Johnson & Wales, 42-22, on Saturday, marking the third time this season it has posted an advantage of 20 or more on the glass. The Bucs lead the Big South in rebounding margin, defensive rebounding and offensive rebounding (percentage), as well as total offensive rebounds. Javis Howard is tied for first in the circuit in offensive rebounds, and fourth in total boards. CSU finished eighth in the Big South in rebounding margin last year but had been top-three in the category each of the prior four years.