SOUTH CAROLINA ENTERS POSTSEASON SHORT-HANDED …
Five members of the University of South Carolina men’s basketball team have been suspended “indefinitely” by head coach Frank Martin for an undisclosed “conduct issue.”
The suspensions of TeMarcus Blanton, Eric Cobb, Jamall Gregory, Chris Silva and Marcus Stroman were announced less than forty-eight hours after the Gamecocks barely missed out on what would have been the program’s first NCAA tournament bid in twelve years.
The announcement was made just two hours prior to South Carolina’s tipoff against High Point in the opening round of the 2016 National Invitation Tournament (NIT) – in which the Gamecocks have drawn the top seed in their region.
Of the suspended players, Silva – a 6-foot-9, 205-pound freshman forward from Libreville, Gabon – is the biggest loss. He played in all 32 games for Martin’s squad – averaging 5.4 points and 4.5 rebounds per contest in just over thirteen minutes of playing time. Stroman, a 6-foot-2, 183-pound sophomore guard, appeared in 29 games – averaging 2.3 points and two rebounds per game in just shy of fifteen minutes of action. Cobb, a 6-foot-10, 275-pound freshman forward, played just over six minutes per game – appearing in 24 contests.
Gregory, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound freshman guard from Washington, D.C., averaged just 6.7 minutes per game in 20 contests – while Blanton, a 6-foot-5, 209-pound freshman guard from Locust Grove, Georgia, averaged just four minutes per game in eight contests.
South Carolina tips off against High Point at 7:00 p.m. EDT. That game will be televised nationally by ESPNU.