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South Carolina basketball releases full non-conference slate

The non-conference schedule for 2015 is highlighted by a trip to the U.S Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam, the trek to Greeville to pay a visit to Clemson, a neutral site game with St. John's and by hosting Memphis to round out the non-conference schedule.

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Even as Gamecock Nation prepares itself for football, Frank Martin and Company are getting ready to start their preparations on a new basketball campaign. Today the Gamecocks released their non-conference portion of the schedule and there are some pretty interesting games on the calendar for the Gamecocks. The full non-conference schedule can be found on GamecocksOnline. Let's take a closer look at 3 of the "bigger" games on the schedule.

At Clemson, December 18th:

Due to construction on Littlejohn Coliseum, the Gamecocks and Tigers will be meeting up at Bon Secours Arena in Greenville, SC for this year's edition of the Palmetto Classic. Last year Carolina routed Clemson to the tune of a 68-45 blowout in Colonial Life. Clemson is coming off a 16-15 season where they managed to win 8 games in the always tough ACC. Clemson's top returners are athletic wings Jaron Blossomgame and Donte Grantham.

St. John's (Naismith Hall of Fame Shootout), December 22nd:

South Carolina will take on the 2015 NCAA tournament participant St. John's in Uncasville, Conn. The Gamecocks will look to get their first ever win over St. John's as the Red Storm currently holds a 4-0 advantage in the series. This might be a good year to do it as they are breaking in a new head coach in Chris Mullin and will look to replace their top 3 scorers from last season and will also have to find someone to take the place of Chris Obekpa, who they lost to transfer.

Memphis, January 2nd:

To close out the non-conference schedule Carolina will look to knock off Memphis as they will be making the trip to the Colonial Life Arena. Memphis is a college basketball blueblood and is coming off a 18 win season in 2014-15. While the Tigers leading scorer, Austin Nichols, transferred, they did manage to pick up a big time transfer in Ricky Tarrant who averaged 13.1 ppg at Alabama last season. He will look to pair up with a key returnee in Shaq Goodwin who averaged 9.6 ppg and 7.1 rpg last year.