East Carolina meets South Carolina in a nonconference clash on Saturday afternoon in Greenville, S.C.
It is the first game of the day at the inaugural Greenville Winter Invitational, followed by Furman against Stephen F. Austin and Richmond taking on Clemson.
It’s the first time since 2004 that the Pirates have played the Gamecocks.
The Pirates (7-4) are guided by first-year head coach Mike Schwartz and are coming off an 84-75 home win over Coppin State on Sunday. Javon Small led ECU with 21 points and 10 assists, while Ezra Ausar had 18 points on 9-of-12 shooting and Brandon Johnson had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Small leads ECU this season with 18.1 points and 5.7 assists per game.
“I thought we got off to a good start on both sides of the basketball,” Schwartz said. “I thought Coppin State made a nice adjustment. They spaced the floor and really started to try and put pressure on us driving the basketball. We had to make an adjustment at halftime on how we could somehow close up the paint a little bit.”
South Carolina (5-5) is coming off an 84-70 road loss at UAB on Wednesday. The Blazers have the nation’s seventh-best scoring offense and put it to work against the Gamecocks. GG Jackson II led South Carolina with 20 points, but UAB had three players score 19 points or more.
“The whole thing is a process. And I think, just stick-to-it-ness and not being easily discouraged, we talk about that,” first-year South Carolina coach Lamont Paris said. “I think we’re learning. And we’re having some successes with some things, which spawns belief in some of those things. Hopefully we can continue that.”
The Pirates and Gamecocks each share two common opponents this season. Both teams beat Presbyterian by double digits, and ECU lost to South Carolina State while the Gamecocks beat their in-state opponent.
South Carolina is the first — and only — Power 5 opponent ECU will face this season. The Pirates are 5-6 all-time against South Carolina and 6-21 against SEC opponents.
–Field Level Media