Bulldogs Highlights

General Information

NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
Past Conferences: Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
City: Orangeburg, South Carolina
Arena: SHM Memorial Center
NCAA Tournaments: 5 (1989, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003)


National Championships: None
Conference Titles: 6 (1943, 1989, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003)

Team History

As with many of the HBCU basketball teams, South Carolina State’s origins are a little sketchy. South Carolina State joined the SIAC in 1935, winning the conference tournament in 1943 and finishing as runner-up in 1948. Ed Martin took over the program and soon turned the program into a Division II power, with the Bulldogs appearing in the NCAA Division II Tournament in 1958, 1961, 1963, 1966, and 1967.

The Bulldogs were one of the original members of the MEAC in 1970 and competed in the NAIA Tournament in 1973. On June 8, 1978, the MEAC became a Division I conference, which elevated South Carolina State to the top tier of college sports. It was a bit of a struggle for the Bulldogs until Cy Alexander took over the program for the 1988-89 season. Alexander ended a run of nine straight losing seasons in his first year and led the team to the conference title and their first NCAA Tournament appearance the following year.

After a couple of down seasons, Alexander got the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament in 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2003. As a No. 15 or No. 16 seed in all five tournaments, the Bulldogs lost each game. Alexander took the head coaching job at Tennessee State after the 2002-03 season, which was the last time South Carolina State advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs did play in the 2016 CIT after posting a 19-15 record.

All-Time Records

  • Points Scored

    • Harry Nickens, 1,851
    • Thurman Zimmerman, 1,774
    • Roderick Blakney, 1,716
  • Rebounds

    • Rodney Mack, 1,166
    • Carl Green, 1,086
    • Dexter Hall, 1,055
  • Assists

    • Khalif Toombs, 508
    • Darrell Gilmore, 467
    • Curtis Faust, 426


How Many South Carolina State Players Have Been Drafted by NBA Teams?

South Carolina State has had seven players drafted, all of them being selected between 1967 and 1982. Six of the seven players were taken in the seventh round or later. Tom Boswell, taken in the first round of the 1975 draft, is the lone exception.

How Long Has South Carolina State Been Called the Bulldogs?

South Carolina State has been called the Bulldogs since 1927, when the school was known as South Carolina State Agriculture and Mechanical Institute.

Has South Carolina State Ever Beaten Clemson?

The Bulldogs are 1-14 against the Tigers all-time, with the lone victory coming at Clemson’s Littlejohn Coliseum on December 11th, 1999. South Carolina State jumped out to a 34-24 halftime lead and hit 14 of 16 foul shots down the stretch to take their only victory over Clemson.

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