The Hoops for Hope Classic will take place (mostly) in Mexico over Thanksgiving break. I say “mostly” because the first legs of that tournament will be played on college campuses across the country in the coming days. The South Carolina Gamecocks are a part of that tournament, and they will take on the Rider Broncos at Colonial Life Arena tonight at 7 pm.
Even if the Gamecocks lose (which they shouldn’t) they’ll still head to Mexico to take on Missouri State in what is essentially the first real game of the first round.
At 2-1, the Broncos have wins over Robert Morris and Monmouth, and a loss to Stony Brook.
Junior guard Nurideen Lindsey leads Rider with 16 points per game this year on 56 percent shooting and 45 percent three point shooting. Daniel Stewart, a junior forward, leads the team in rebounding at seven boards per game.
I mention those two players and those four stats, because as a team, the Broncos will live and die bye them this year; In just three games Rider has hit 22 of their 60 three-point attempts and grabbed 37 rebounds per game. Also, the Broncos shoot the ball at just over 40 percent per game.
For the Gamecocks, LaShay Page will look to continue his impressive start to the year; He’s scoring 19.5 points per game on 41 percent shooting and an impressive 85 percent shooting from the free-throw line.
Lakeem Jackson will have to play bigger than he is (again) for the Gamecocks to win the battle on the glass. He’s averaging seven rebounds and 10 points per game this year.
It’s unknown as of right now if Michael Carrera, who won SEC Freshman of the week honors for his 17 point, 15 rebound performance in SC’s opening night victory over Milwaukee, will play. If he does, he’ll help alleviate some of the pressure on Jackson and forward R.J. Slawson, and help establish an offensive presence around the rim in the half court, something Carolina sorely missed against Morgan State.
Again, tip-off is at 7pm at Colonial Life Arena.