Tide Basketball to take on Charleston Southern Friday night - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Tide Basketball to take on Charleston Southern Friday night

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The Alabama men's basketball team, fresh off winning the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project last week, will return to the friendly confines of Coleman Coliseum to take on Charleston Southern on Friday night. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. CT.                                 

"First off, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving," head coach Anthony Grant said. "We are excited about getting the chance to get back on the court. Charleston Southern is a team that we have great respect for. They are coming off a good season last year and are picked to win their league this year. They have had some highly-contested games so far this year and they have been very impressive on film. We are looking forward to the challenge on Friday night."                                 

The Crimson Tide is off to a 4-0 start this season following a pair of wins last week over Oregon State (65-62 on Nov. 15) and Villanova (77-55 on Nov. 16) in Madison Square Garden to claim the Classic's title. Junior guard Trevor Releford, who was tabbed the SEC Player of the Week, earned the Most Outstanding Player award, while sophomore guard Rodney Cooper was named to the all-tournament team. 

Alabama will be looking for a 5-0 start to the season for a second-straight year ­– a feat that hasn't occurred in back-to-back years since the 1995-96 and 1996-97 campaigns. 

Releford comes into Friday night's contest leading the Tide with 17.8 points and 2.0 steals per contest. Against Villanova in the Tide's previous contest, the Kansas City, Mo., native accounted for a career-best 25 points, including hitting all five of his three-point attempts. Sophomore guards Trevor Lacey (16.3 ppg) and Cooper (15.5 ppg), also average in double figures for UA. 

Charleston Southern, which was picked as the preseason favorite to win the Big South by the league's head coaches, comes into Friday's contest with a 1-3 record. The Buccaneers have lost to Charlotte (68-58 on Nov. 9), Arizona (82-73 on Nov. 11) and most recently East Tennessee State (59-57 on Tuesday night). CSU's lone win of the season came against Hiwassee (105-69 on Nov. 15). 

Sophomore guards Arlon Harper (13.0 ppg) and Saah Nimley (12.0 ppg) lead the squad in scoring, while senior forward Mathiang Muo (11.3 ppg) also averages double-digit scoring for the Bucs. 

"Charleston Southern has good depth and can shoot the ball extremely well," Grant said. "They average about 30 three-point attempts a game, get to the free throw line quite a bit and have outrebounded almost every team they have faced. The challenge for our team is getting prepared for a somewhat different tempo of the game than we've seen as of late. It will be a challenge for us to guard the three-point line, keep them off the free throw line and rebound the basketball. Those are all areas we are focused on improving and we hope that improvement continues." 

Friday's contest marks the first time that Charleston Southern and Alabama will meet on the hardwood. 

The game can be heard live on the Crimson Tide Sports Network, with Chris Stewart and Bryan Passink on the call.

INFORMATION SOURCE: University of Alabama Athletics Dept.

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