CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern plays the middle leg of a challenging three-game road swing on Saturday at the University of Georgia. Tipoff at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., is slated for 1 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on the SEC Network, also available on WatchESPN.com. Fans can listen on csusports.com.
CSU (4-5) will follow the contest with a trip to Virginia Tech next Tuesday, giving the Bucs two stern tests against power conference competition prior to the Christmas break. Head coach Barclay Radebaugh knows this is an important time for CSU to continue to hone its strengths and work on its weaknesses with the Big South opener against Winthrop now less than two weeks away.
"We're learning and growing every day," Radebaugh said of his young group. "Our guys have really worked hard and are committed to getting better. This team's positivity and enthusiasm have been consistent and there's a real desire to improve. Georgia is another really good basketball team that we'll have to execute at a high level against to give ourselves a chance."
Georgia (6-3) comes in off a win over Louisiana Lafayette on Wednesday. The Bulldogs only losses have come in close games against Clemson, Kansas and Marquette. Head coach Mark Fox's club challenged the then fifth-ranked Jayhawks for much of the way before falling, 65-54. Fox has piloted Georgia to three consecutive 20-win campaigns and postseason appearances, including a berth in the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
To hang with Georgia, CSU will have to deal with one of the top players in the SEC in forward Yante Maten. Maten paces the SEC in scoring at 20.6 PPG, and is second in rebounding at nine per night. He has three double-doubles this year, headlined by a monster 30-point, 13-rebound effort against Kansas.
POTTER ON POINT
Armel Potter notched his third straight 20-point game Tuesday at VMI. Potter finished with 22 points and knocked down a season-high five three-pointers. Sixteen of Potter's markers came in the second half. Over the last three games, Potter is averaging 21.3 PPG while shooting 51 percent from the field and 44 percent (8-for-18) from beyond the arc.
THREE-POINT HAPPY BUCS
CSU connected on a season-high (agaisnt D-I foes) 13 threes against VMI. The Bucs have made 12 or more threes in each of their last three games, burying 42 percent (37-of-88) of their attempts. CSU is currently second in the Big South Conference in threes made and attempted. Prior to last year, the Bucs ranked top-11 nationally in both categories for three consecutive seasons.
REBOUNDING THE BASKETBALL
CSU currently paces the Big South in rebounding margin and rebounding defense, and ranks second in offensive rebounds. Individually, Javis Howard ranks second in offensive rebounds and fourth in rebounds per game. Despite being undersized, CSU has consistently been among the Big South's top rebounding teams under Radebaugh. The Bucs finished eighth in rebounding margin last year but were top-three in the category each of the prior four years.
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 second leading scorer and ranks among league leaders in field goal percentage rebounding (6.1 RPG - 6th) and scoring (13.8 PPG - 10th) through nine games. He earned Big South Freshman of the Week honors on Nov. 28 after leading CSU to wins over Abilene Christian and Toccoa Falls.