Men's College Basketball
Preview
South Carolina vs Texas-El Paso
When: 10:30 AM ET, Friday, November 17, 2017
Where: The HTC Center, Conway, South Carolina

Coming off its Final Four appearance a season ago, South Carolina seemed like a heavy favorite to win the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, especially after the event was moved less than three hours away to Myrtle Beach following the devastation on the island following Hurricane Maria. The Gamecocks failed to bring much aggressiveness with them in their opening-round loss, however, and the result will be a consolation-bracket game Friday morning against UTEP in Conway, S.C.

"I don't care what you do defensively, the object of the game is to get the ball between two defenders on offense. On defense, the object of the game is don't let the ball get between two defenders. We never got between two defenders (and) they got it between two defenders whenever they wanted," South Carolina coach Frank Martin said following his team's 69-65 loss to Illinois State on Thursday. The Gamecocks shot a woeful 29.5 percent against the Redbirds' zone and committed 32 fouls, allowing their opponent to shoot 39 free throws. The Miners held a five-point edge over Boise State with 54 seconds remaining in their first-round matchup Thursday, but the Broncos scored the game's final seven points to come away with the 58-56 victory. After scoring the first 32 points of the game in last Friday's season-opening 100-50 rout of Division III Louisiana College, UTEP fell behind by as many as 13 late in the first half Thursday before making its rally.

TV: 10:30 a.m. ET, ESPNU

ABOUT SOUTH CAROLINA (2-1): Like most of his fellow starters - the Gamecocks' first five shot a combined 11-of-39 from the field - Hassani Gravett (3-of-13) struggled offensively, but the 6-2 junior still tallied a career-high nine rebounds to go along with 10 points and five assists. Preseason All-SEC second-team selection Chris Silva missed his only field-goal attempt versus the Redbirds but still managed to reach double figures in scoring after posting single-game career highs for free throws made (10) and free-throw attempts (14). Gravett (2-of-10 on 3-pointers) and leading scorer Frank Booker (3-of-10), who also finished with 10 points Friday, contributed to South Carolina's woeful 9-for-32 effort beyond the arc; the Gamecocks entered the contest having connected on 43.5 percent of their 3-point attempts.

ABOUT UTEP (1-1): Keith Frazier - a 6-5 guard - is off to a fast start this season, averaging 17.5 points and 9.5 rebounds after erupting for 22 points and 10 rebounds Thursday; the former SMU and North Texas transfer knocked down three consecutive 3-pointers during one 1 1/2-minute stretch midway through the second half. Matt Willms (11.5 points, 7.5 boards, 3.5 blocks) was the other Miner in double figures, as the 7-1 senior center finished with 11 points, eight rebounds, five blocks and two steals. Isiah Osborne earned praise from coach Tim Floyd for his second-half contributions, but the sophomore guard could muster only five points and six rebounds against Boise State after leading the team with 17 points in the opener.

TIP-INS

1. Martin's next win will be his 99th at South Carolina.

2. After outscoring Louisiana College 26-6 in points off turnovers in the opener, UTEP lost the same battle 14-8 on Thursday.

3. The Gamecocks have held each of their three opponents below 37 percent from the field.

PREDICTION: South Carolina 68, UTEP 64
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
South Carolina 2-1 L1 1-0 1-0 0-1 0-1 2-0 0-0
Texas-El Paso 1-1 L1 1-0 0-0 0-1 0-1 1-0 0-0
Last Meeting
South Carolina Texas-El Paso
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
No previous meeting.
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
South Carolina N/A
Texas-El Paso N/A
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
South Carolina N/A
Texas-El Paso N/A
Assists Player  
South Carolina N/A
Texas-El Paso N/A
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
South Carolina F. Booker 36 50.0 3
Texas-El Paso K. Frazier 35 46.2 5
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
South Carolina C. Silva 26 7 19
Texas-El Paso K. Frazier 19 2 17
Assists Player  
South Carolina H. Gravett 10
Texas-El Paso E. Gilyard 10
Quickchart Matchup
blue bar South Carolina Off vs  red bar Texas-El Paso Defense
blue bar 72.0 Points For
red bar 58.0 Points Against
blue bar 40.1 FG%
red bar 35.0 FG%
blue bar 38.7 Reb
red bar 36.0 Reb
red bar Texas-El Paso Off vs  blue bar South Carolina Defense
red bar 56.0 Points For
blue bar 60.3 Points Against
red bar 34.4 FG%
blue bar 35.7 FG%
red bar 39.0 Reb
blue bar 29.0 Reb