South Carolina Upstate Spartans
Head Coach: Eddie Payne (Year 11)
11-12 Finish: 3rd in the Atlantic Sun. (13-5 conference, 21-13)
|Fr.||F||Dee Washington||6-4||200||Franklin NC||Rabun Gap Nacoochee|
|Fr.||F||Zach Lillie||6-7||210||Athens GA||Athens Christian|
|Fr.||C||Michael Buchanan||6-11||250||Las Vegas NV||Palo Verde HS|
|Jr.||G||Jeremy Ford||6-1||170||Varnville SC||Cleveland St. CC|
|Jr.||F||David Lighty||6-7||215||Darlington SC||Spartanburg Methodist|
Roster Breakdown: USC Upstate returns their top seven players just a year after finishing third in the Atlantic Sun conference. The scariest part? Not one of those seven players is going to be a senior this year.
Torrey Craig is the star player and has been for the past two years. He has a good all around game and he’s certainly going to be even better this year.
Biggest Losses: Carter Cook and Chalmers Rogers were the biggest losses but both were role players and can be easily replaced.
Biggest Addition: Both Jeremy Ford and David Lighty seem to be limited players. We don’t anticipate that either will have much impact so we will cop out and say that the biggest additions will be the improvements of the current members of the team.
Impact Freshman: It doesn’t appear that any of Upstate’s incoming freshmen were very highly recruited coming out of high school, but we will give head coach Eddie Payne the benefit of the doubt on this.
We’re going to give the athletic Zach Lillie the honor of being the “impact freshman.” The 6’8” Athens product is an excellent shot blocker and rebounder, and should be able to play right away.
Breakout Star: Upstate has so many young players with potential who could take the next step, but we will roll with the safe pick and say A-SUN Freshman of the Year Ty Greene.
Greene averaged 11 points, 2.5 assists and shot 40% from three as a true freshman.
Analysis: There really aren’t many bad things to say about the direction that USC Upstate is heading in. They just gained full membership to the A-SUN last year after their four year waiting period was up, which means they were eligible for the conference tournament for the first time.
USC Upstate will finish no worse than third place in conference play.Follow @KSUOwlHowl