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Gamecocks Host Western Michigan Monday NightGamecock basketball
Tip time set for 8 p.m. ET vs. the Broncos
GCF Staff Report
November 12, 2017
South Carolina vs Western Michigan
GAME INFO Date: Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 Tipoff: 8 p.m. Location: Columbia, S.C. Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000) Broadcast: SEC Network Tickets: GamecocksOnline.com/1-800-4SC-FANS
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina hosts Western Michigan on Monday in its 2017-18 home opener. The contest is an unbracketed matchup of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off at Myrtle Beach, which begins later this week at the HTC Center in Conway. Both the Gamecocks and Broncos collected wins in their season openers and enter Monday's matchup with a 1-0 record.
BANNER RAISING CEREMONY
Fans should be in their seats no later than 7:45 on Monday night, as South Carolina will raise its 2017 Final Four banner prior to its matchup vs. WMU. The Gamecocks advanced to their first Final Four in school history last March.
- South Carolina improved to 81-29 all-time in season openers after posting a 73-52 victory at Wofford last Friday to kick off the 2017-18 campaign. 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).
- The Gamecocks return just 6.4 percent of last season's made 3-point baskets, but that wasn't a problem against the Terriers, as Carolina connected on 11-of-23 (47.8%) of their attempts from beyond the arc, with 10 of the 11 coming from newcomers.
- Gamecock newcomers accounted for 46 of Carolina's 73 points at Wofford on Friday.
- Monday's matchup vs. Western is an unbracketed game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off at Myrtle Beach, which begins on Thursday, at the HTC Center in Conway.
- The Gamecocks will raise a banner prior to the matchup vs. the Broncos, celebrating the program's first trip to the Final Four. Carolina defeated three of the top four seeds in the East Region last season on their way to the biggest stage in college basketball.
- South Carolina looked strong in the 2017-18 season opener at Wofford last Friday night, especially during the second half when the Gamecocks outscored the Terriers 40-28, and connected on four of their 11 3s. Sophomore forward Maik Kotsar led four in double-figures with 13, while graduate transfers Frank Booker and Wes Myers added 12 and 10, respectively, along with rookie forward Justin Minaya's 10. Kotsar also dished a team high four assists. Frank Martin's defense was impressive as well, forcing 13 Wofford turnovers, and holding the Terriers to just 34.7 percent from the floor.
- WMU is led by long-time head coach Steve Hawkins in his 15th season. He is the longest tenured coach in the MAC.
- The Broncos were picked to win the MAC Tournament this season and repeat as MAC West champs.
- WMU won its final eight games of the regular season last spring to claim their ninth MAC West title.
- Western returns 10 letterwinners from last season, including four starters
- WMU is led by senior guard Thomas Wilder, who was a Preseason All-MAC West honoree.
- Wilder led the squad in its 103-72 victory over Sienna on Saturday in the season opener, scoring 16 points, while dishing six assists.
- WMU was 3-10 in road games last season.
- South Carolina travels to the beach this week for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off at Myrtle Beach. The Gamecocks open tourney action against Illinois State on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. ET on ESPN2. Other teams in the field include Appalachian State, Boise State, Iowa State, Tulsa, UTEP and Western Michigan. Games are set to be played at the HTC Center on the campus of Coastal Carolina. The Tournament was relocated due to the devastating impact that Hurricane Maria had on Puerto Rico.