The Gamecocks have been victorious in four of their last five games with the point guard in the lineup, but they will have to win without Ellington when South Carolina Upstate visits Saturday.
Ellington returned to the football team as a wide receiver, preparing for the Capital One Bowl Jan. 2, after scoring a season-high 17 points in a victory over Wofford Wednesday. The Gamecocks were 2-4 without Ellington to start the season. They will need more offense against a well-rested USC Upstate squad. The Spartans have not played since Dec. 19 when they beat Florida Gulf Coast for their second straight win.
The Spartans (8-5) scored 79 and 80 in two wins to start the league season before their break. Upstate, averaging almost 16 turnovers, coughed the ball up 23 times in the two games. Sophomore Torrey Craig leads the team in scoring (16.2) and rebounding (7.4), but was just 5-of-25 from the field the last two contests. Freshman Ty Greene has taken a lead role with 21 points each in the last two, making 8-of-11 from 3-pointrange. Sophomore Ricardo Glenn had his first two career double-doubles in his last two outings.
Others will have to step up if the Gamecocks (6-6) are to be competitive in the SEC, even when Ellington returns. Ellington has averaged 9.5 points in his six games and Malik Cooke is the only player in double figures scoring at 12.3. Cooke will have to rebound from 1-of-9 shooting against Wofford.
Freshman Anthony Gill had just two points against Wofford after scoring in double figures four straight games. The Gamecocks are averaging 62.5 points and 41.8 percent shooting. South Carolina shoots almost 20 times from 3-point range per game.