Paradise Jam Preview - DePaul vs. South Carolina

The DePaul Blue Demons travel to the Virgin Islands to participate in the 2015 Paradise Jam tournament this weekend.  We preview the opening game in this report.

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons vs. South Carolina Gamecocks – Friday, November 20th, 5:00 p.m. Central – St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Television – CBS Sports Network

Radio – WSCR AM 670 (2nd half only)

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Game Preview

DePaul (1-1) is coming off of a disappointing loss at Penn State that was certainly winnable for the Blue Demons.

DePaul’s biggest weakness has been their shooting from the perimeter.  The Blue Demons have shot a paltry 15.4 percent in the first two games.  To defeat South Carolina in St. Thomas, they sure will need to shoot a lot better than that.

South Carolina is coming off a season where the Gamecocks finished 17-16 and 6-12 in the SEC. 

This is head coach Frank Martin’s fourth year in Columbia.  When Martin was at Kansas State he went to the NCAA Tournament four times in five seasons.  At South Carolina, he has yet to make the postseason.

South Carolina is 2-0 so far following convincing wins over Norfolk State and Oral Roberts.

The Gamecocks have four players averaging in double figures all of whom are veteran players.

Senior forward Laimonas Chatkevicius is averaging 20 points and five rebounds per game and shooting 63.6 percent from the floor.  He scored a career high 27 points in the win over Oral Roberts

The guy that DePaul will really need to look out for is junior guard Duane Notice.  Notice is averaging 16 ppg and is a sharpshooter from beyond the arc.  He’s gone seven of 13 on threes for the season so far.

Then there is junior guard Sindarius Thornwell with his 12.5 points and 4.5 assists per game.

The other half of South Carolina’s Lithuanian duo is senior forward Mindaugas Kacinas, who is averaging 10 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.

Former DePaul commit Raymond Doby has been a non-factor for the Gamecocks, having played only one minute this season.

This game will be a low scoring tough defensive battle.  South Carolina is holding their opponents to 35.7% shooting, which is a trademark of Frank Martin’s teams.

This game represents an opportunity for DePaul to take down a top 50 team.  South Carolina is presently ranked 47th in Ken Pomeroy’s College Basketball Ratings.  DePaul is sitting at number 116.

The Blue Demons will face either Florida State or Hofstra in the second game in the Virgin Islands.  If DePaul defeats South Carolina, their next game will be on Sunday night.  If the Blue Demons should lose to the Gamecocks, then they will play on Saturday night.

This is DePaul’s second trip to St. Thomas for the Paradise Jam.  In 2009, the Blue Demons finished third in the tournament after beating Northern Iowa 60-52, losing to 10th ranked Tennessee 57-53, and then defeating St. Joseph’s 58-51.  DePaul guard Will Walker was named to the All-Tournament team.

The Last Time

On, Nov. 27, 1999 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 19th ranked DePaul beat South Carolina 58-46 to capture a third place finish at the Puerto Rico Shootout.

Four Blue Demons finished in double figures.  Paul McPherson scored 14 points to lead the way for DePaul.

Steven Hunter and Kerry Hartfield chipped in 12 points apiece, while Bobby Simmons added 10 points.

Quentin Richardson managed just five points and five rebounds in 25 minutes.

Aaron Lucas, Herbert Lee Davis and Tony Kitchings notched eight points each for South Carolina, who had no players reach double figures.

South Carolina Roster

No.         Name    Pos.       Hgt.        Wgt.      Cl.           Exp.       Hometown/High School/Last School       Major

5              TeMarcus Blanton           G             6-5          215         RS FR     HS           Locust Grove, Ga./Luella              Sport and Entertainment Management

24           Michael Carrera                F              6-5          214         SR           3VL         Anzoátegui, Venezuela/Montrose Christian School                Sociology

14           Laimonas Chatkevicius   F              6-11       245         SR           3VL         Klaipeda, Lithuania/South Kent School   Hotel Management

23           Eric Cobb             F              6-9          296         FR           HS           Jacksonville, Fla./St. Francis Academy (Baltimore)                Undecided

2              Raymond Doby F              6-6          233         FR           HS           Cahokia, Ill./Montrose Christian School  Undecided

15           PJ Dozier              G             6-6          200         FR           HS           Columbia, S.C./Spring Valley       Sport and Entertainment Management

4              Jamall Gregory  G             6-2          202         FR           HS           Washington, D.C./Coolidge         Sport and Entertainment Management

31           Jarrell Holliman F              6-7          200         RS SO    1VL         Alpharetta, Ga./Alpharetta/Elmhurst College     Music

25           Mindaugas Kacinas          F              6-7          229         SR           3VL         Klaipeda, Lithuania/Word of Life Fire Traditional School   Hotel Management

20           Justin McKie       G             6-4          197         JR            2VL         Columbia, S.C./Irmo       Political Science

10           Duane Notice    G             6-2          218         JR            2VL         Woodbridge, Canada/St. Michael's/St. Thomas More (Oakdale, Conn.)              Broadcast Journalism

21           John Ragin          G             6-2          177         FR           HS           Eastover, S.C./Cardinal Newman              Undecided

30           Chris Silva            F              6-9          220         FR           HS           Libreville, Gabon/Roselle (N.J.) Catholic                Business

35           Brian Steele        F              6-5          204         SR           3VL         Greenville, S.C./Wade Hampton School Sport and Entertainment Management

1              Marcus Stroman               G             6-2          185         SO          1VL         Columbia, S.C./Keenan Sport and Entertainment Management

0              Sindarius Thornwell        G             6-5          215         JR            2VL         Lancaster, S.C./Oak Hill Academy              Sociology

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