Mar 11, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks guard Sindarius Thornwell (0) steals the ball in the first half against the Georgia Bulldogs during the SEC tournament at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

NIT Preview: South Carolina Vs. High point

South Carolina will host No. 8 High Point Tuesday night to open up the National Invitation Tournament. The Gamecocks (24-8) are coming off of a loss in SEC tournament quarter finals against Georgia. Head coach Frank Martin believes his team has worked hard to be No.3 and believes his team is deserving of being invited to the NCAA.

Heading into NIT competition the Gamecocks will have to leave the 64-65 loss behind them and focus on High Point. The Panthers (21-10) have an aggressive team with a lot of talented players. Redshirt-junior forward Miles Bowman Jr. was named the 2016 all tournament team after an amazing performance in the Big South Championship’s. Bowman executed a pair of weekend games averaging 21.0 points and 11.5 rebounds. Forward redshirt-senior John Brown was named both Big South defensive player of the year and Big South player of the year. He averaged 19.6 point and 7.1 rebounds.

This is the Panthers first time going to the Big South Semifinals since 2010-11. The Panthers are having an amazing season and were on a seven game winning streak before falling to No. 4 UNC Asheville. High Point will definitely go into the NIT with high momentum from the season. Although, Brown and guard Adam Weary who earned second team all-Big South honors won’t be present for the NIT, which are two key players for the panthers.

Five members of USC will be out on indefinite suspension due to conduct issues. Players TeMarcus Blanton, Eric Cobb, Jamall Gregory, Chris Silva, and Marcus Stroman.

The Gamecocks earned the No.1 seed in the  NIT having set a team record winning 24 games on the season. Martin says his team will be ready to play again and wants to continue to compete and focus on what’s ahead for the team.

Tip off is set for 7 p.m. in South Carolina at the Colonial Life Arena. The meeting will be the first between the Gamecocks and the Panthers.

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