Coppin State's Andre Armstrong set to return this weekend after missing four games

Senior has been battling dehydration, but has been cleared to play against Southern Mississippi this Friday in British Virgin Islands Tropical Shootout

December 17, 2013|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

After splitting its past four games, the Coppin State men’s basketball team will welcome the return of senior shooting guard Andre Armstrong this weekend.

Armstrong is expected to play when the Eagles (4-5) participate in the British Virgin Islands Tropical Shootout this weekend. The team will meet Southern Mississippi (9-1) on Friday and then either Arkansas-Little Rock (3-6) or Jacksonville State (4-8) on Saturday.

The 6-foot-3 Armstrong was hospitalized because of dehydration, according to coach Fang Mitchell.

“When he went to practice, he was dehydrated, and then he practiced and tried to play through it,” Mitchell said Tuesday morning. “And then he got sick. We weren’t aware of the fact that he was dehydrated until he wound up going to the hospital.”

Freshman point guard Christian Kessee filled in for Armstrong, compiling two points, three rebounds and three assists in four games. But Mitchell said the offense missed Armstrong, who has averaged 8.6 points thus far.

“Even though the stats don’t show it, Andre’s our best shooter,” he said. “The fact that we’ve had shots and didn’t make shots, that’s a situation that Andre would be really good at. Whenever you lose a shooter, you lose some of your offense, and that’s definitely an area that we lost offensively with Andre being out.”

The return of Armstrong coincides with the loss of sophomore power forward Zach Burnham. The 6-7 Burnham, who has missed the last three games, will undergo surgery for an injured shoulder and sit out the remainder of the season.

Mitchell said the injury has been an ongoing problem for Burnham.

“It is something torn there,” Mitchell said. “They’re looking at that operation, which will be sometime in January. He’s done for the year. That’s one of our big guys, and whenever we lose one of our big guys, that’s definitely going to hurt us. He was the athletic one. He could shoot, he could score, and he could rebound. He was getting minutes, and anytime somebody’s getting minutes, it hurts to lose him.”

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