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Game preview: Gamecock men hit the road to UMass

Back at it again.

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina (5-3) vs. Massachusetts (5-3)

Start time: 7 p.m.

TV: CBS Sports Network

Last game

After a rough run in the Cancun Challenge that saw South Carolina suffer the indignity of getting smoked by Gregg Marshall’s Wichita State and then fall short against a Northern Iowa rally, the Gamecocks got back in the win column with a 74-65 victory over George Washington. Veteran big man Maik Kotsar, who had been quiet offensively to start the season, enjoyed a coming out party with 17 points and nine rebounds, while A.J. Lawson (14 points) and Jermaine Couisnard (12) also stood out for the Gamecocks.

What to watch for

First and foremost: KEYSHAWN BRYANT BACK. The dynamic and athletic forward, one of South Carolina’s most promising youngsters last season, is finally ready to go after sitting out to rest a surgically-repaired knee. His return should be a big boost for the Gamecock offense in particular, and I’m looking forward to seeing his dunks again.

This is South Carolina’s first true road game of the season, and it’s the return trip for a home-and-home series that started in 2017 (which, as you might recall, was an extremely stressful last-minute win for USC). Much like the Gamecocks, the Minutemen started off hot this season with five straight wins before getting mired in their three-game slump. Three players average double figures for UMass, led by T.J. Weeks (15.5 points), Carl Pierre (11.9), and Tre Mitchell (11.6). The Minutemen don’t really have a signature win this season, but are coming off a pretty bad 82-57 loss to Rutgers. The Gamecocks should hopefully be able to start another winning streak tonight.