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Gamecocks Host USC Upstate In Season Opener Tuesday Night

Gamecocks Host USC Upstate In Season Opener Tuesday Night

Men's Basketball | 11/5/2018 

COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina begins its 111th season of varsity basketball on Tuesday when it hosts USC Upstate in the 2018-19 season opener at Colonial Life Arena.  Tip time is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET vs. the Spartans. 

STARTING FIVE
> South Carolina is 81-29 all-time in season openers and the Gamecocks have not lost a season lidlifter since suffering a 73-67 loss to Tennessee Tech to open the 2000-01 campaign.  Carolina posted a 73-52 win in last season's opener at Wofford.  Frank Martin is undefeated at 11-0 in season lidlifters during his career as a head coach (5-0 at Kansas State, 6-0 at Carolina).
> Beginning with Tuesday's matchup vs. USC Upstate, Carolina will play five games over the course of a 13-day span.
> Senior forward Chris Silva is Carolina's top returning scorer and rebounder to the floor this season after averaging a team high 14.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per game a season ago.  Silva has garnered several preseason accolades, including Preaseason All-SEC First Team honors by the media, while he was also named to the Karl Malone Award Preseason Watch List and the Naismith Trophy Watch List.
> The Gamecocks return 64.6 percent of their scoring from last season, just 37.9 percent of made 3-point baskets and 75.8 percent of rebounds.
> Senior guard Hassani Gravett led the Gamecocks with 18 points, hitting six of his 10 attempts from the floor, including four 3s, in Carolina's exhibition vs. Augusta.  Gravett is the Gamecocks' top returning assist maker after averaging a team best 3.6 per outing in 2017-18.

FRANK MARTIN
> South Carolina head coach Frank Martin enters his seventh season leading the Gamecocks and 12th season overall as a head coach in 2018-19.  Martin, the 2017 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year (CollegeInsider.com), led South Carolina to its first Final Four and a school record 26 wins in 2016-17.  In his 11 seasons as a head coach, Martin has led his teams to at least 21 wins seven times.  Martin is a native of Miami, Fla., and a graduate of FIU.

SCOUTING THE GAMECOCKS
> South Carolina returns seven letterwinners from last season's 17-16 squad, including senior guard Hassani Gravett and senior forward Chris Silva.
> Silva is the SEC's top returning rebounder after pacing the Gamecocks with 8.0 per game last season.  He also averaged a Carolina high 14.3 points per game a year ago.  
> Gravett, Silva and junior forward Maik Kotsar were all part of Carolina's 2017 Final Four team.  
> Gravett led Carolina with 18 points in the Oct. 26 exhibition vs. Augusta University, while graduate student guard Tre Campbell added 13 points and three assists.  Campbell was also 8-of-9 at the free throw line in the matchup.
> Carolina welcomes eight newcomers to its roster this season, including a pair of transfers and six freshmen student-athletes.  Jair Bolden(transfer/George Washington/guard), graduate transfer Tre Campbell (transfer/Georgetown/guard), Keyshawn Bryant (freshman/guard), Jermaine Couisnard (freshman/guard), Alanzo Frink (freshman/forward), A.J. Lawson (freshman/guard), T.J. Moss (freshman/guard) and Nathan Nelson(freshman/forward) join the Garnet and Black this fall.

SCOUTING THE SPARTANS
> USC Upstate is led by first-year head coach Dave Dickerson.  Dickerson, a long-time assistant at Ohio State under Thad Matta, was the head coach at Tulane for five seasons, and is a native of Olar, S.C.
> The Spartans are led by senior guard Deion Holmes, the team's top returning scorer after averaging a career best 15.5 per game last season.  He tallied 21 double-figure scoring games as a junior, including seven with 20 or more points.
> Holmes was recently named to the Big South Second Team Preseason All-Conference squad, and the Spartans were picked to finish 11th.
> Upstate returns six letterwinners from last season, which also includes the team's top returning rebounder in Malik Moore (6.1 rebounds per game last season) and its top returning assist maker, as Jure Span dished 4.1 per game last season.

FAMILY CONNECTION
> Tuesday's matchup vs. the Spartans will not only showcase Gamecock head coach Frank Martin on one end of the court, but also his oldest son, Brandon, on the other end, as the younger Martin is a freshman forward for the Spartans this season and set to make his college debut on Tuesday night.  A standout at Cardinal Newman High School in Columbia, Brandon averaged nearly 14 points and 10 rebounds per game during his senior season, and was a three-time all-region and two-time all-state honoree.  Brandon, a member of the National Honor Society, is a business major at USC Upstate.

SILVA GARNERS PRESEASON ACCOLADES
> Following a standout junior season, senior forward Chris Silva has garnered numerous preseason accolades entering the 2018-19 campaign.  The Libreville, Gabon, native was named to the Preseason All-SEC First Team by the media last month, before being named to the Karl Malone Award Watch List, as well as the Naismith  Trophy Watch List.  For his career, Silva has 15 double-doubles, 55 double-figure scoring games and 39 games with two or more blocks.  He enters the 2018-19 campaign 52 rebounds away from cracking the Gamecock top ten in the career category, he's tied for seventh with 124 career blocks, and he is five points away from moving to 43rd all-time in scoring at Carolina.

SERIES BREAKDOWN
> South Carolina leads the all-time series vs. USC Upstate 3-1, with all four of those contests coming in Columbia.  The Gamecocks began the series with three-straight wins, and Upstate won the most recent meeting between the two schools, 74-68, on Dec. 19, 2013.

From USC Sports Information


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