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Scouting South Carolina Upstate

By Steve Yanda

Virginia will host a South Carolina Upstate squad Monday night that is in its final season of transition from Division II to Division I. The Spartans are welcoming in 10 newcomers -- eight freshmen and two junior college transfers -- to a program that returns only four players from last season's 6-23 effort.

Not surprisingly, USC Upstate is predicted to finish last in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

Coach Eddie Payne and the Spartans opened their season with a 66-35 loss at Michigan on Saturday. Their leading returning scorer, senior forward Mezie Uzochukwu (6-foot-5, 215 lbs.), tallied two points on 1 of 2 shooting and two rebounds against the Wolverines.

Reserve junior forward Chalmers Rogers (6-foot-7, 215 lbs.) recorded a team-high seven points and nine rebounds at Michigan. Junior guard Carter Cook (6-foot-5, 220 lbs.) was the only other Spartan to score more than five points. Cook tallied six points.

As you might imagine, USC Upstate did not shoot particularly well against Michigan. The Spartans shot 22.2 percent from the field and made 12 attempts all night. They shot 4 for 24 (16.7 percent) from three-point range.

But hey, it was just one game. Maybe the Spartans were just having an off night. Maybe.

USC Upstate's other starters included redshirt freshman forward Ricardo Glenn (6-foot-7, 260 lbs.), senior guard Josh Chavis (5-foot-9, 174 lbs.) and sophomore guard Tony Dukes (6-foot-2, 175 lbs.).

The Spartans primary reserves -- aside from Rogers -- are freshman forward Babatunde Olumuyiwa (6-foot-7, 210 lbs.), freshman forward Torrey Craig (6-foot-6, 200 lbs.) and freshman guard Marquis Sloan (6-foot-0, 185 lbs.).

In four tries, USC Upstate never has defeated an ACC opponent. The Spartans closest margin of defeat in that quartet of games was 12. Boston College defeated USC Upstate, 67-55 on Dec. 14, 2008.

By Steve Yanda  | November 15, 2010; 7:55 AM ET
Categories:  Men's Basketball  
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