Opponent Previews: South Carolina

Summary:

Opponent: South Carolina
League: Southeastern Conference
Record: 5-2

Notable Wins: None
Notable Losses: Illinois State (69-55), Temple (76-60)

Points Per Game: 73.3 (214th)
Rebounds Per Game: 39.0 (89th)
Assists Per Game: 15.1 (119th)
Points Allowed: 62.9 (35th)

Starting 5

Chris Silva: #30 Forward, 6’9, 223 lbs
14.0 PPG   8.0 RPG     1.6 BPG   59.5 FG%

Frank Booker: #5 Guard, 6’3, 208 lbs
11.0 PPG  2.0 RPG   40.5 3P% (17-42)

Malik Kotsar: #21 Forward 6’10, 260 lbs
11.0 PPG   4.5 RPG   51.8 FG%

Justin Minaya: #10 Forward, 6’5, 210 lbs
9.3 PPG   4.5 RPG

Hassani Gravett: #2 Guard, 6’2, 187 lbs
8.7 PPG   5.7 RPG   5.3 APG

6th Man:

Felipe Haase: #13 Forward,
7.3 PPG   5.2 RPG   46.7% 3P% (7-15)

Prediction:
56-52:  UMass

There is certainly not the caliber of talent that the Gamecocks had a season ago when they made a magical run to the final four, beating the likes of Duke, Baylor and Florida along the way. Still, this year’s squad has skill and experience, returning two key contributors in Rakeem Felder and Chris Silva. Silva is undoubtedly the best player and heartbeat of the team, impacting the game on both ends of the floor. Felder, on the other hand, was suspended indefinitely for assault and battery of the third degree before the season began. He may return later in the year, but the Gamecocks have missed his presence at the point guard position thus far. His void has been filled by FAU transfer Frank Booker, their second leading scorer and a very capable three pointer shooter. Led by fiery Head Coach, Frank Martin, South Carolina makes defensive intensity a major part of their style and has one of the better scoring defenses in the country. The biggest key for the Minutemen will be matching their physicality and energy by being more aggressive. The Gamecocks are coming off a loss to Temple with just one day rest and the Minutemen should be successful if they win the battle for loose balls and play hard for the entire forty minutes. Getting to the foul line and getting Luwane Pipkins back on track will halt the losing streak and lead the Minutemen to victory.

 

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