Gamecocks men’s basketball opens season Friday at Wofford
BY: TYRIA GOINES
SPARTANBURG, S.C. — South Carolina begins its 110th season of varsity basketball on Friday when it travels to face Wofford in the newly constructed Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium on campus in Spartanburg. Tip time is set for 7 p.m. ET.
South Carolina is starting the season on the road for the first time since the 2005-06 campaign when Carolina tipped the season at Western Carolina, also a member of the Southern Conference.
The Gamecocks are 80-29 all-time in season openers and have not lost a season lidlifter since suffering a 73-67 loss to Tennessee Tech to open the 2000-01 campaign. South Carolina posted an 85-76 victory over Louisiana Tech in last season’s opener. South Carolina returns just 27% of its scoring from last season’s historical Final Four squad.
South Carolina returns seven letterwinners and two starters from last season’s Final Four squad, including junior forward Chris Silva (10.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg). The Gamecocks welcome seven newcomers, including graduate transfers Frank Booker (FAU) and Wesley Myers (Maine), while Carolina also has five freshman joining the squad this season in David Beatty, Jason Cudd, Ibrahim Famouke Doumbia, Felipe Haase and Justin Minaya.
Carolina went 1-1 in two exhibitions this preseason, posting an 85-44 win over Erskine, before suffering an 86-67 loss to visiting Virginia Tech in the Hoops 4 Hurricane Relief exhibition on Nov. 5. Silva’s 15-point, 9-rebound effort led the way vs. the Flying Fleet, while Hassani Gravett’s 15 points were a team high against the Hokies. The Gamecocks collected a combined 16 steals and forced 33 turnovers in exhibition action.
Beginning with Friday’s matchup at Wofford, the Gamecocks will play five games over the course of a 10-day span.
The Wofford Terriers are led by head coach Mike Young in his 16th season leading Wofford. The Terriers were 16-17 overall last season and return three starters from that squad.
Junior guard Fletcher Magee is the top returning scorer after posting 18.6 points per game last season. Junior forward Cameron Jackson also returns, leading the team with 5.7 rebounds per contest last season. Magee and Jackson were both tabbed to the Preseason All-Southern Conference Team, while the Terriers were picked to finish sixth in the league.
Wofford is opening a brand new arena on Friday evening, the Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium.