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USC Upstate Men's Basketball kicks off season with several high-profile returning players

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

By: Seth Burgess

The 2023-2024 season kicked off for the USC Upstate Men’s Basketball team on Monday, Nov. 6, but that was just the beginning.

The Spartans start off the season against tough opponents from the two from the SEC in South Carolina and Vanderbilt and one from the B10 in Minnesota. With tough opponents in East Carolina, Ball State, Coastal Carolina, Kennesaw State, and Western Carolina also sneaked in there.

The real test for the season starts on Jan. 3, 2024 when Big South competition begins in an away game at UNC Asheville.

Head coach Dave Dickerson emphasized the importance of these in-conference play.

“My main goal at Upstate is to become the first coach in this program’s history to lead this team to the NCAA tournament,” said Dickerson when asked about expectations.

Justin Bailey, a returning sophomore, during the team's season opener in Columbia. [RYAN FRYE]

Notable players returning for Upstate this year are Trae Broadnax (R-Jr., G) and Justin Bailey (So., G) both of which were selected to the Big South Preseason All-Conference Second-Team.

Upstate was ranked 6th in the conference preseason poll.

Upstate soundly defeated Erskine College in exhibition play by a score of 78-44, before losing to the Gamecocks 82-53. The Spartans will compete next against the Vanderbilt Commodores on 11/10.

For more information on the USC Upstate Men’s Basketball Schedule: 2023-24 Men's Basketball Schedule - University of South Carolina - Upstate (

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