RALEIGH, N.C. – Charleston Southern plays the second leg of a challenging opening weekend road trip Sunday at North Carolina State. Tipoff at PNC Arena is slated for 4 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the ACC Network Extra, and is also available on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. Fans can listen to the action on csusports.com, with coverage beginning at 3:45.
CSU (0-1) is looking to rebound after struggling on both ends of the floor in Friday's 110-62 loss to Davidson. The Bucs fell victim to a red-hot shooting exhibition as the Wildcats set a program and Atlantic 10 Conference single-game record with 26 three-pointers. CSU fell into a 24-0 hole and scuffled offensively until finding its rhythm some in the second half.
NC State (1-0) downed VMI, 102-67, in Kevin Keatts's debut as head coach on Friday. The Wolfpack placed seven players in double figures scoring and forced 21 turnovers to cruise to victory.
CSU head coach Barclay Radebaugh is optimistic his young squad will show marked progress from game one to game two.
"Certainly, we didn't play like we know we're capable of playing but a lot of the credit goes to Davidson," Radebaugh said. "We played hard and the effort was there but we need to execute much better to give ourselves a chance against NC State. I really like this group and know we'll continue to grow. This is another good opportunity against an opponent that will really challenge us."
In contrast to the meticulous half court motion offense the Bucs saw against Davidson, NC State features an up-tempo style and will often employ a full-court press. Keatts used that formula to great success in three seasons at UNC Wilmington, winning 72 games while guiding the Seahawks to the NCAA Tournament each of the last two years.
The Wolfpack struggled to a 15-17 overall record and 4-14 ACC mark last year and lost their leading scorer off that club in Dennis Smith Jr., the ninth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. NC State does return eight letterwinners, including athletic senior forward Abdul Malik Abu. Baylor transfer Allerik Freeman led the Wolfpack with 17 points Friday against VMI.
More on the opener
CSU started three true freshmen and four first-year players on Friday. Four others made their Division I debuts. The Bucs shot just 31 percent and turned it over eight times in the first half but showed some progress after halftime. CSU shot 48.5 percent (16-of-33) in the second half, with junior forward Travis McConico scoring 15 of his team-high 17 points.
Last time against NC State
NC State used a 22-0 first half run en route to over- whelming CSU, 86-50, three years ago. That Wolfpack squad went on to reach the Sweet 16, while the Bucs claimed the Big South Conference regular season championship and an NIT bid.
Newcomers being counted on immediately
CSU's opening night starting lineup featured three true freshmen in Deontaye Buskey, Phlandrous Fleming Jr. and Sean Price, as well as junior college transfer Travis McConico. Sophomore Jordan Jones, who averaged nine minutes per game last season, rounded out the lineup in his first career start. Four others – JC Cavin, Jamaal David, Ty Jones and Abdul Sarki – also made their Division I debuts.