Dons Notes: South Carolina State Preview


Nov 14, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; South Carolina State Bulldogs guard Edward Stephens (1) dribbles the ball past Washington Huskies forward Donaven Dorsey (42) during the second half at Alaska Airlines Arena. Washington defeated South Carolina State 77-59. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina State Bulldogs at San Francisco Dons

Date: Sunday, November 16, 2014

Location: War Memorial Gym – San Francisco, CA

Time: 5:00 PM PT


Projected Starters

South Carolina State

Patrick Kirksey

Devin Joint

Darryl Palmer

Edward Stephens

Ty Soloman

San Francisco

Mark Tollefsen

Matt Glover

Kruize Pinkins

Tim Derksen

Derrell Robertson

Opening Night Notes

South Carolina State

The Bulldogs come off a rough game in Seattle, Washington as they were defeated by the Washington Huskies 77-59. The Huskies led the entire game as junior Bulldog Karon Wright led South Carolina State with 14 points and Edward Stephens picked up a team high 6 rebounds. The Huskies had a clear height advantage over the Bulldogs and capitalized on this opportunity all night. To make matters worse for the Bulldogs, last years leading scorer, Jalen Wright, left the floor in the second half with an apparent leg injury. He did not return for the rest of game.

South Carolina State was picked to finish 12th out of 13 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference this year. Bulldogs Head Coach Murray Garvin is not only faced with the challenge to push his players at every practice and game but also has accepted the challenge to bring the South Carolina State athletic department to the next level. This season will be a big picture type of year for the Bulldogs and small victories will go a long way. He has sold his player on his R.U.N. philosophy. This acronym stands for Are You In and illustrates how important it is for Bulldogs players to buy into the vision Garvin has for his program.

South Carolina’s opening series is on the road. They have already traveled to Seattle and will continue to San Francisco and Virginia. This is an exciting start for the Bulldogs and are hoping to prove they are different than the teams before them that have lost 20 games. They were given a huge size disadvantage on Friday, but they will hope to capitalize on a even playing field against the Dons.

San Francisco

Every player on Rex Walter’s squad remembers the final seconds of their WCC Championship semi-final matchup against BYU at the Orleans area. The three pointer in OT that would have brought the Dons to the Championship game. There has been six and half month wait to get another crack at winning it all. The Dons have been eagerly waiting.

San Francisco has a clear goal for the 2014-2015 campaign – win the WCC Tournament. Even though the Tournament may not be until March, USF will need the entire season to answer some key questions about their team. Primarily, how will the point guard surplus be handled? Will a healthy Matt Glover excel in his new starting role as point guard? How will incoming red shirts Uche Ofoegbu and Derrell Robertson make immediate impacts on the floor? And finally, who is going to step up and take the scoring void that Cole Dickerson’s left on the court due to his graduation?

There is one definitive claim for the Dons this year – this team has some depth. A deep bench and a taller line up will give the Green and Gold a luxury USF has not enjoyed in recent rosters. Time will only tell how the 2014-2015 Dons will define themselves – it all starts on Sunday.


Many of the USF guards, including freshman Frankie Ferrari and Devin Watson, find time on the floor as USF “Kruize” to a 79-63 victory at the Hilltop. Mark Tollefsen leads the team in scoring and rebounding.