Liberty (1-1) vs. South Carolina (0-0)
Kansas City, Missouri – T-Mobile Arena
Saturday, Nov. 28, 4 p.m. ET

Last Meeting: First meeting
Series History: N/A

Projected LU Starters:

1 Chris Parker (Sr., 6-1, 170) – 7.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 7.0 apg
2 Darius McGhee (Jr., 5-9, 150) – 22.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.5 apg
10 Elijah Cuffee (Sr., 6-4, 200) – 11.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.5 apg
22 Kyle Rode (So., 6-7, 220) – 3.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 3.5 apg
24 Micaiah Abii (Fr., 6-7, 250) – 14.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.0 apg

Projected South Carolina Starters:

5 Jermaine Cousinard (R-So., 6-4, 216) – 12.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.1 apg
00 AJ Lawson (Jr., 6-6, 177) – 13.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.8 apg
24 Keyshawn Bryant (Jr., 6-6, 195) – 9.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 0.8 apg
10 Justin Minaya (R-Jr., 6-6, 215) – 7.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.1 apg
20 Alanzo Frink (Jr., 6-8, 264) – 5.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 0.5 apg


  • Liberty has defeated six Power Five opponents under McKay and five in the last four seasons.
  • The Flames are 3-1 in its last four games against SEC schools.
  • Micaiah Abii’s 29 points in his first two collegiate games are the most by a Liberty freshman since Seth Curry scored 41 points in 2008.
  • Darius McGhee has scored 44 points in the first two games this season, that is the most by a Liberty player in the first two games since 2006 when Larry Blair scored 57 points.
  • Chris Parker’s 10 assists against Mississippi State are the most by a Liberty player since March 24, 2018 when Lovell Cabbil had 13.
  • The Flames made a program record 19 three pointers against Mississippi State.


The Gamecocks finished 18-13 overall and 10-8 in the SEC a season ago, spending most of the year on the NCAA Tournament bubble before the SEC Tournament and NCAA Tournament was abruptly canceled due to COVID-19. South Carolina fans are expecting the team to improve on their resume with an experienced roster.

Guards A.J. Lawson and Jermaine Cousinard return to lead the backcourt, as they paced the Gamecocks in scoring a season ago with 13.4 and 12.1 points per game, respectively. Lawson was voted to the All-SEC first team and Cousinard was named to the second team. Lawson tested the NBA Draft waters for a second straight offseason but ultimately decided to return to school.

6’6″ veteran wings Justin Minaya and Keyshawn Bryant provide versatility and flexibility. Injuries sidelined both players at times last season, but they are expected to play a big role for South Carolina this season. Junior big man Alanzo Frink started 12 games last season and brings experience at center while returning sophomores Wildens Leveque (6’10) and Jalyn McCreary (6’8″) provide size and depth off the bench.

The Gamecocks will be without 6’11” center Maik Kotsar as the four-year starter has exhausted his eligibility. He was a key part of South Carolina’s 2017 Final Four run and led the team with 6.3 rebounds per game last season while also scoring 11.2 points per contest.

Senior guard Seventh Woods, who sat out last season after transferring from North Carolina, is the most significant addition to the roster.


South Carolina 75, Liberty 65

*photo courtesy Liberty Athletics