It would appear that Michael Carrera is just that important to the South Carolina gamecocks and Frank Martin.
After beating Rider 88-76 without him, Carolina hosted Elon and lost 65-53. The only player to score more than nine points was Lakeem Jackson. He was also the only player in double digit rebounds for South Carolina. Oh, he was also the only player who took more than four shots to shoot 50 percent or better.
Then Carrera came back.
Against Morgan State, he came off the bench and missed just one of his seven shots, one of his six free-throws, drained his only three pointer, grabbed five rebounds, had an assist, a steal and a block, and scored 18 points in just 21 minutes (he was in constant foul trouble). Carolina won in overtime 74-67.
Against Arkansas Little Rock, Carrera started, but played just 12 minutes, because of, you guessed it, even more foul trouble.
The Gamecocks won the game, and the Hoops for Hope Classic Championship behind Brenton Williams 17 points on seven-of-seven shooting.
Carolina benefited from ALR shooting 47 percent on its 23 foul shots, because the Gamecocks turned the ball over nine more times than the Trojans.
So, basically… The Gamecocks are 2-1 in their last three games, Michael Carrera needs to stay out of foul trouble, and Frank Martin is bringing home a trophy from some town in Mexico I’ve never heard of.
Oh yeah, they play at St. Johns Thursday in the Big East, SEC Invitational (or whatever that non-tournament is calling itself this year).