East Carolina Pirates vs. South Carolina Gamecocks Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 9th 2023


The perfect season is gone for South Carolina, however there could be more good things to come for the program.

The Gamecocks will look to get back on track on Saturday afternoon when they visit East Carolina in Greenville, N.C.

“We’ll go back to the lab and look at and evaluate some of these things,” South Carolina coach Lamont Paris said. “We have a good team and we played relatively well for most of the game (in a 72-67 loss to Clemson on Wednesday). Just weren’t able to finish it off.”

Saturday’s contest will be the second true road game of the season for the Gamecocks (7-1). This also is the last true road game of the team’s non-conference schedule.

South Carolina will play at East Carolina for the first time since a 78-51 victory on Jan. 13, 1988. The teams are tied 2-2 in all-time games in Greenville.

The series is knotted at 6-6 after East Carolina won 64-56 last year at the neutral site of Greenville, S.C.

The Pirates (6-3) haven’t played since Monday’s 63-52 home victory against Maryland-Eastern Shore.

“We have to take advantage of every single second during the game, regardless of the score, up or down,” East Carolina coach Mike Schwartz said. “That’s what we’ll focus on as we have a really good South Carolina team coming in.”

Schwartz said the Pirates have been stressing defense, particularly in halfcourt situations.

Meechie Johnson is coming off a 26-point outing for South Carolina. He has led the Gamecocks in scoring in four games this season, including scoring more than 20 points in three consecutive contests.

South Carolina’s Stephen Clark posted a season-high 10 points against Clemson. He averaged 16.3 points per game last season for The Citadel.

“Stephen is a great teammate, great role player,” Johnson said. “He knows how to play his role well. And when it’s time for him to score, he scores the ball well.”

Clark is at 3.9 points per game this season.

For East Carolina, RJ Felton (16.3 points per game), Brandon Johnson (15.3) and Ezra Ausar (14.4) are the leading scorers. Ausar was back for Monday’s game following a one-game absence, producing 18 points and 10 rebounds.

“Ezra played within himself on offense,” Schwartz said. “He has not had the practice time over the last couple of weeks. He kept the game simple for himself. He went to his strengths.”

–Field Level Media

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