South Carolina played its exhibition game Wednesday without Keyshawn Bryant (knee injury) and Jermaine Couisnard (illness). When USC officially begins the 2019-20 season next Wednesday against North Alabama, one sidelined Gamecock is expected to be available while the other isn’t.
Frank Martin announced after Carolina’s win over Columbia International University that Bryant, who recently had a cyst drained in his knee, will be “gone for a while.” He compared the injury to what happened to Alanzo Frink at the beginning of last season and estimated Bryant’s absence to be four to six weeks.
Couisnard, meanwhile, woke up Wednesday with a fever. Martin is hopeful the redshirt freshman guard returns Friday when the Gamecocks get back to practice.
Bryant is coming off a freshman season in which he averaged 9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. The athletic wing has been lauded by Martin this offseason for his improved skill set. He was expected to either start at small forward or be a sixth man candidate behind Justin Minaya.
He now could be out through the Houston game on Dec. 8.
“The injury is a cartilage issue behind the knee cap,” Martin said. “That’s the same thing Alanzo had, same thing Keyshawn’s got. That’s why he developed that cyst. At first, there was no pain. It was just a ball. So they drained it. And that was Monday. Then on Tuesday, he showed up and he had a pain in his knee.
“Like we do at this school, we don’t let anyone ever go on the field or on the court or whatever if there’s any doubt about their health, which is the way it needs to be.”
Martin said an MRI on Bryant revealed a piece of cartilage lodged in the back of his knee, which created the cyst. Frink missed six weeks last season.
“I’m hoping that it’s closer to four weeks,” Martin said. “Alanzo was exactly six weeks. I’m hoping it’s closer to four, but if it’s six, it’s six. We can’t control that.”
Freshman Trae Hannibal left Wednesday’s game with cramps. The Hartsville guard didn’t score and had an assist in six minutes.