B.J. Mack is making a fast impression at South Carolina.
The fifth-year forward will look to build off his strong start when the Gamecocks face VMI on Monday night at Columbia, S.C.
The contest is part of the Arizona Tip-Off. Both schools will play two games in Glendale, Ariz., this weekend.
South Carolina is the third college for Mack, who averaged 16 points and 4.5 rebounds in his first two contests for the Gamecocks (2-0).
He made the tiebreaking reverse layup with 20 seconds left on Friday when South Carolina beat Virginia Tech 79-77 in the Hall of Fame Series at Charlotte, N.C. Mack scored 19 points in the game, second on the Gamecocks behind Myles Stute’s 21.
Mack began his career at South Florida in 2019-20 and transferred after one season. He played the next three campaigns at Wofford, earning second-team All-Southern Conference honors in 2021-22 and first-team honors last season.
Mack averaged 16.6 points and 5.6 rebounds and knocked down a career-best 52 3-pointers last season.
“He is a perfect fit because he can shoot, he can post, he can dribble enough if you try and pressure him with a similar size guy,” Gamecocks coach Lamont Paris said last week.
“… His skill set fits perfectly into the stuff that I like to do.”
Stute, a transfer from Vanderbilt, is averaging 15.5 points and has made 7 of 9 shots from 3-point range.
VMI (1-1) is playing its second game against a Division I program this season. The Keydets lost 93-75 at Richmond in their season opener last Monday.
That result leaves the impression VMI will have to put forth a strong effort to knock off the Gamecocks.
“It’s going to be a tremendous test going into an SEC environment,” Keydets coach Andrew Wilson said. “It’s going to be a great test but we’re excited.”
Brennan Watkins is averaging a team-high 15.5 points for VMI, which went 7-25 last season in Wilson’s first campaign.
“We’re a work in progress,” Wilson said. “We’re trying to figure out how to chase that standard every single day. We’re not there yet, but we’re going to get there.”
–Field Level Media