“They’re not terrible,” Iowa men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery said of South Carolina State.
They’re not good.
If you’re willing to brave Wednesday’s expected rotten weather to see Iowa play the Bulldogs of Orangeburg, I have one question for you: Why?
SCSU is 4-7, and is fresh off a 102-51 pounding at Missouri. The Bulldogs made 29 percent of their field goal tries, 26.1 percent of their 3-pointers. But they did make 83.3 percent of their free-throws. Five out of six, to be precise.
South Carolina State has also lost to Kennesaw State. And the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Webber International is a business school in Babson Park, Fla. Claflin has lost four in a row, and has fallen twice to Livingstone and Johnson C. Smith. Webber International is an NAIA school, Claflin is NCAA Division II.
South Carolina State’s second-leading scorer is Adama Adams. He goes by “Louis.” Naturally.
The top scorer for the Bulldogs, like Adams, is a guard. He is Khalif Toombs, a senior from Atlantic City, N.J. He is 5-foot-9. He has 92 career starts. He averages 37 minutes per game. He played 39 minutes in the loss at Missouri. That’s right, a starter played 39 minutes in a 51-point loss. He averages about 14 points and 5 assists. He’s got to be a gamer.
SCSU has been to five NCAA tournaments as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion, most recently in 2003. The Bulldogs are 0-5 in the NCAAs, never coming closer than 15 points. The opponents were Oklahoma, Stanford, Kentucky, Kansas and Duke.
It’s not easy being the little guy.
Here’s hoping the Bulldogs don’t have any weather-related hassles getting home from Iowa. Because they won’t be bringing home a win to warm them if they have to extend their trip to the Midwest.