Upstate, Converse, Presbyterian on the Hardwood
USC Upstate- Tyler Shugart
The USC Upstate Men’s basketball team has gotten off to a rough start in the 2021-2022 season. The Spartans are 2-6 in the early going with their two wins coming against St. Andrews and South Carolina State.
In the early going the Spartans have been led by Bryson Mozone who is averaging 14.4 points per game and Jordan Gainey who is averaging just over ten points per game.
Upstate has struggled at times this season to take care of the basketball averaging north of fourteen turnovers per game. The Spartans are outshooting their opponents from behind the three point line this season .358 to .291 and they also have an overall better field goal percentage .446 to .404.
Dorman product Jalen Breazeale is averaging 5.1 points per game but has had a couple of double-digit scoring games, one coming in his debut against South Carolina and Western Carolina.
The Spartans are off this week for exams but will resume action on Saturday as they travel to take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at 7:00pm. The game will be televised on Bally Sports South/Southeast. The Spartans will then travel to Knoxville to take on Tennessee on December 14th at 7pm.
Listen each Monday at 8:00am to Bump and Run where Tyler Shugart is joined by Spartans head coach Dave Dickerson.
Converse- Alex Smith
The inaugural Men’s basketball season at Converse is underway and the team is off to an impressive start. Coach Ryan Saunders has the team sitting at 4-3 overall, and 3-2 in conference play. The Valkyries have been getting production from a mix of veteran transfer players, as well as a handful of Freshmen that have been asked to play big minutes early in the season.
Junior point guard Jimmie Sanders III has been a key part of the team’s success leading the team with 16.9 points per game while shooting 42% from three. Along with Sanders in the backcourt is Sigurd Lorange who averages better than 15 points per contest. The two guards provide a nice one-two punch offensively, while the post players have excelled on the defensive end. Freshmen Jay Mitchell and Earl Burgess have both been named Conference Defensive Player of the Week already this season, with Burgess leading the conference in blocked shots.
The Valkyries already own conference wins over King, Erskine and North Greenville and they will look to add Lees-McCrae to that list this weekend. There’s still a long way to go, but this team has exceeded expectations up to this point. With several road games coming up after this weekend, Coach Saunders will learn a lot about his team and where they stack up in the Conference Carolinas.
The Presbyterian College Blue Hose Basketball team is off to its best start in the D1 era at 6-3. The Blue Hose have been led by Sophomore G Rayshon Harrison who is averaging 19 points per game despite not having his 3 point shot be a consistent factor yet this season. PG Trevon Reddish-Rhone is averaging 9 points per game which is up after his 16 point performance in the 90-61 win over Bob Jones Friday Night.
Monday Night PC travels to Morehead St. who features former Dorman Cavalier Ta’lon Cooper. PC will travel to College of Charleston this Sunday for a 2pm tip.
So far this season for PC, it’s been the defense that has stood out the most. The Blue Hose are holding teams on average to under 70ppg and Sophomore G Kobe Stewart has 15 steals in the first 9 games this season while Senior F Brandon Younger has 10.
PC’s 3 loses have been to much larger Basketball programs…Clemson, Cincinnati and 13th ranked Tennessee. Conference play begins in January and the Blue Hose, including Monday’s game have 6 nonconference games left.