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DePaul vs. South Carolina recap: Blue Demons drop Paradise Jam opener to Gamecocks

DePaul lost.

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The DePaul Blue Demons' quest to win a preseason tournament game continues, as they dropped Friday night's Paradise Jam opener to the South Carolina Gamecocks 76-61.

For DePaul, a dubious losing streak continues. The Blue Demons last registered a preseason tournament game victory in November of 2011, when they beat Arizona State in the Old Spice Challenge.

2012 saw the Blue Demons lose both of their Cancun Challenge games.

2013 saw DePaul drop a pair of CBE Classic games.

Last year, the Blue Demons didn't partake in a preseason tournament, instead opting to play in late-December's Diamond Head Classic. DePaul dropped all three games.

Regardless of all that, here are three things this game taught us.

DePaul is a work in progress

This game didn't teach us this. But it certainly reiterated it. After a narrow loss to Penn State, there was a glimmer of hope for DePaul to come out strong and knock off the Gamecocks.

That, obviously, didn't happen.

There were a couple good things, like Darrick Wood's 14 points, one off his career high, Erten Gazi continuing to play well, and the fact that DePaul is in the Virgin Islands while Chicago gets eight inches of snow.

There were, however, more bad things than good things. Billy Garrett and Myke Henry combined for just 13 points and seven fouls, Tommy Hamilton couldn't find the net (1-6 from the field), and the Blue Demons turned the ball over 15 times.

When analyzing a team like DePaul, you look for consistency on a game-by-game basis. The Blue Demons lacked any consistency from the Penn State game.

South Carolina's upperclassmen led the way

The Gamecocks were aided in this game by two juniors and a senior.

The two juniors, Duane Notice and Sindarius Thornwell combined for 21 points, as Notice as also 2-2 from beyond the three-point line. Thornwell had 10 rebounds to go around with his 10 points.

The star of the game, for either side, though, was South Carolina senior Mindaugas Kacinas.

Kacinas had a career high 23 points, in addition to his five rebounds and two blocks.

What's next?

The Paradise Jam doesn't get any easier for the Blue Demons going forth.

Florida State was upset by Hofstra on Friday afternoon, so the Blue Demons will have to face the Seminoles, one of the best teams in the tournament.

Armed with a solid core of returnees, and a top 10 recruiting class in the nation, the 'Noles likely will use Friday's loss as motivation. It will be up to DePaul to do the same.

For more information about Florida State, visit our friends at Tomahawk Nation.