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Wedding & Event Venue Near Hilton Head Island, SC.

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Your Magic Moment Awaits

Your wedding day. Without a doubt, it's one of the most significant events you will ever experience - when you and the love of your life officially seal the deal and get married. On this day, your friends and family will gather to celebrate the next step in your life. Photographers will be running around snapping photos, catering plates delicious food for guests to enjoy, and the DJ sets the mood for a night of fun and libation. You've worked extra hard to make everything look perfect and run smoothly. You have examined every moving part down to the tiniest detail. At the center of all your effort is your wedding venue in Hilton Head Island, SC.

Your event space can mean the difference between an unforgettable event and an average occasion. Capturing your uniqueness as a couple is paramount to a memorable wedding. But, without the right venue location and staff, your unforgettable event can turn into a painfully average occasion. Fortunately, at Abney Hall, you won't ever have to worry about dingy reception spaces and crummy chow halls.

Constructed in Hilton Head Island, SC, in 1962, Abney Hall is 15,000 square feet and sits on 500 acres of land, making it a large wedding venue unlike any other. Abney Hall was originally the home of Mrs. Josephine Abney, a Hilton Head Island native who was a lifelong philanthropist. Mrs. Abney devoted much of her time and effort towards supporting charities, educational institutions, hospitals, and other noble efforts. Today, Abney Hall stands tall as a symbol of love, both in our community and for the couples who choose to get married here.

Abney Hall is an exclusive event experience unlike any other, surrounded by verdant forests and sparkling ponds. Our venue is a natural fit for several occasions, including:

Special Event Space Hilton Head Island, SC

Weddings

 Event Venue Hilton Head Island, SC

Bridal Showers

 Event Space Hilton Head Island, SC

Bridal Portraits

 Rehearsal Dinner Venue Hilton Head Island, SC

Rehearsal Dinners

 Bridal Shower Venue Hilton Head Island, SC

Corporate Events

 Business Event Space Hilton Head Island, SC

Much More!

 Wedding Space Hilton Head Island, SC

The Top Wedding Venue in Hilton Head Island, SC

The beginning of your life starts at Abney Hall. With our team by your side, we can create the fairy tale wedding you have dreamed about since childhood. Whether you have 100 guests or 1,000, our waterfront ceremony locations and French-inspired courtyard are perfect for your big day. Celebrate in luxurious style surrounded by shady magnolia trees, a private forest, large ponds, and the beauty of Mother Nature. While our venue location and aesthetic have been praised far and wide, so too have the practical aspects of Abney Hall. Looking for a relaxing, comfortable spot for your bridal party to get ready in? We offer an entire floor in the Abney Hall residence to get the bridal party ready. Want to make your groomsman feel extra-special too? We've got a private, plush house just feet from a sparkling pond that is a proper hangout spot for the guys in your group.

To make life easier on you, we also offer Abney Hall as your go-to spot for rehearsal dinners. Why book an expensive restaurant or travel to another location when unmatched beauty and convenience are right at your fingertips? Abney Hall is just the place for that very important dinner the night before your big day. We are also happy to host your bridal shower at Abney Hall. Our venue makes for one of Hilton Head Island's most unique bridal shower settings, where your family and friends can gather to give gifts and be merry before you walk down the aisle.

With such a large, magnificent house and a vast property, Abney Hall also makes for an unforgettable location for your bridal portraits and other wedding-related photography needs. Don't take our word for it - book a tour and see for yourself why so many new brides and grooms choose Abney Hall as their wedding venue in Hilton Head Island.

 Wedding Venue Hilton Head Island, SC

What Sets Abney Hall Apart from Other Wedding Venues in Hilton Head Island?

You've already found the person you want to spend the rest of your life beside. The next step? Finding the perfect wedding venue for your ceremony, reception, and celebration of your lifelong commitment to one another. Remember, the backdrop for photos, dancing, eating, and all other activities will be at your wedding venue. That's why we work so hard to set Abney Hall apart from our competitors - so you and your guests can focus on love and living your new life while we work with your vendors and photographers to make your magic night a reality.

Here are just a few reasons why guests choose Abney Hall as their wedding venue in Hilton Head Island, SC, along with some helpful tips from our experienced wedding venue staff:

Venue Size

Choosing the appropriate-sied venue for your desired guest count is a critical decision. A venue's capacity affects the number of people you need to consider having at your ceremony and reception. As you're first starting out, we recommend having a guest count in mind as you're searching for the right venue. Try to stick with that number. You may fall in love with a particular venue, but if its max capacity can't accommodate your guest count, it may be time to cross them off your list.

 Corporate Conference Hall Hilton Head Island, SC
Abney Hall Pro Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

Keep in mind that this is your big day. You shouldn't feel obligated to invite the college roommate you shared a dorm with for one semester. At the end of the day, your wedding venue should be one that can accommodate those closest to you. Abney Hall is equipped for both small and large weddings, consisting of 500 acres of forest, ponds, and lush natural beauty. Whether you want an intimate wedding with only your best friends or a grand ceremony with hundreds of people, we have the right amount of room to make you comfortable.

Location and Nearby Lodging

On your big day, you're likely to have friends and family traveling in from other parts of the state or country. These folks will need a place to stay during and even after your wedding. Accessibility and ease are important factors when it comes to choosing your wedding venue for both you and your guests.

Located in Hilton Head Island, SC, Abney Hall is situated in a memorable, natural setting, giving your wedding a private vibe in the midst of Mother Nature. While we pride ourselves on having a secluded wedding event space, our venue is within an easy driving distance of hotels and vacation rentals.

Abney Hall Pro Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

When you contact us for a tour, make sure to speak with our experienced venue manager about nearby hotels and shuttle service options. We understand that your guest's comfort and convenience are important, and we're happy to work with you to figure out the best way to get your guests to Abney Hall.

Venue Staff

At Abney Hall, our staff has earned its reputation as one of the industry's most friendly, accessible teams. We will provide you with a purpose-minded point of contact that can help answer questions relating to timelines, preferred vendors, and every aspect of your wedding. When you tour our wedding venue in Hilton Head Island, SC, for the first time, we want you to feel like you have all the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision.

We would be happy to go over:
  • Venue Pricing
  • Ceremony Specifics
  • Reception Specifics
  • Catering Possibilities
  • Decorating Possibilities
  • Entertainment Options
  • Photography and Photo Opportunities
  • Venue Amenities
  • Bridal Party Needs
  • Groomsman Needs

At Abney Hall, our goal is to be your first resource when it comes to setting up and coordinating the details of your wedding day.

Decor

When it comes to your wedding's decor, you probably already have a few ideas in mind. We love it when our brides and grooms have a vision in mind because one of our greatest joys is turning that vision into a reality. At Abney Hall, our team is available to help you and your decorator fit, accent, and accommodate your fairy-tale wedding - whatever that may be.

Are you looking to dress up your wedding with decorations galore? Just want to add a few accents that tie into your preferred color palette? Abney Hall is versatile and ready to help however we are able.

 Reception Hall Hilton Head Island, SC
Abney-Hall-Pro-Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

If you're thinking about bringing in your own greenery, lighting, floral pieces, and more, we recommend discussing your vision with us on your initial tour of our event space. That way, we can get a head start on making your big day exactly how you envision it.

Photo Opportunities

10 years from now, when you and your spouse are celebrating your anniversary, you will pull out photographs from your wedding and will reminisce about the unforgettable time you spent at Abney Hall. Your wedding photos will be with you forever, and as such, we work closely with you and your photographer to suggest extra-special photo op spots that you can only find on Abney Hall grounds.

From the grand staircase and French-inspired courtyard to our manicured gardens and lovely pond, there is no shortage of photo-op locations for your photographer to choose from. As one of the most popular wedding venues in Hilton Head Island, SC, we have worked with dozens of photographers over the years.

Our experience has allowed us to cultivate a list of preferred photographers - all of whom have the talent to take your pictures to the next level in a setting they're familiar with. We encourage you to check out our gallery to get a sense of the scope of our wedding venue and gain inspiration from other happy couples.

Abney-Hall-Pro-Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip

The gallery on our website is extensive but be sure to check out our Facebook and Instagram pages as well. We keep our social pages updated with recent wedding photographs, giving you an incredible resource that you can use for your own photography purposes.

Special Event Space Hilton Head Island, SC

The Premier Corporate Event Venue in Hilton Head Island, SC

Abney Hall is known across the United States for our stunning weddings, but we also play host to some of the largest corporate events in South Carolina. Why choose a bland, lifeless meeting space when you can enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature coupled with a professional atmosphere? If you have an important team-building event or corporate conference that you have to coordinate, look no further than Abney Hall.

The epitome of class and style, our corporate event space is large, lavish, and chock-full of onsite amenities for you and your co-workers to enjoy. If your team needs a morale boost, don't bring them to the local Olive Garden for a cheap lunch. Treat them to a refreshing experience in our main dining room, where we can work with you to incorporate your catering options with the goals of your event.

When the hard work is done, and your team needs a breather, what better way to relax than with a quick dip in our pool? To burn off a little steam, head over to our brand-new tennis court - the perfect place to get some exercise in an ultra-private setting while you enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Don't forget to bring your fishing poles for a couple of hours of fishing. There's even an opportunity to go hunting if you wish.

 Event Venue Hilton Head Island, SC

Elegance at Its Finest - Only
a Phone Call Away

If you're ready to learn more about Abney Hall as your wedding venue, don't hesitate to reach out. We would love to hear more about your plans, your vision, and your needs. We know that planning a wedding isn't easy. It takes time, attention to detail, and a whole lot of patience. Our goal is to help provide you with all the info you need to learn more about our venue. Once you decide on a date, we'll work closely with you and your vendors to craft a wedding experience that you will treasure for the rest of your life.

Our available dates for your big day are going quick, especially during peak seasons like spring and fall. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation
 Event Space Hilton Head Island, SC

Latest News in Hilton Head Island, SC

This SC bakery is the best in the state, Yelp says. Have you tried it?

Yelp blog recently published an article featuring the “best pastries in every state and province,” and this South Carolina Lowcountry bakery made the list.Located on Hilton Head Island, Hilton Head Soc...

Yelp blog recently published an article featuring the “best pastries in every state and province,” and this South Carolina Lowcountry bakery made the list.

Located on Hilton Head Island, Hilton Head Social Bakery was named as the best bakery in the state by the crowd-sourced reviews platform.

“We are here to make Hilton Head Social Bakery a perfect spot for friends, family and visitors on this beautiful Island,” says Chef Feret on the Hilton Head Social Bakery’s website. “We love the people here in Hilton Head, everyone has been so kind and welcoming. We are proud to be a part of this community.”

Hilton Head Social Bakery, found at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina, displays views of docked boats, yachts and shimmering watery views. This location can be found at 17 Harbourside Lane in building one.

The Hilton Head Social Bakery is locally owned by award-winning chef Philippe Feret and his wife. Ferret has seemingly spent his life in the kitchen. It all began where he is now — a bakery. According to his bakery’s website, “Mr. Feret is originally from Normandy, France and grew up working in his father’s bakery in Paris at age 5.”

This isn’t the first time the popular Hilton Head bakery has been featured or named as a favorite.

Earlier this year, Garden & Gun magazine featured the Hilton Head Social Bakery as they opened their second location on the south end of the island in a location that was once a Dairy Queen.

Hilton Head Social Bakery South, the Social Bakery’s second location, is located at 1018 William Hilton Parkway on the island.

In June, Travel + Leisure named the “13 Best Things to Do on Hilton Head Island.” Hilton Head Social Bakery was named as a “cute breakfast spot” that visitors should prioritize.

Overall, the bakery seems to offer something everyone enjoys with many even stating that the treats are “too beautiful to eat.”

Beaufort County under tropical storm watch as Nicole continues to strengthen

Beaufort County was placed under tropical storm and storm surge watches Tuesday afternoon as Tropical Storm Nicole continues to track and strengthen as it aims to hit Florida later this week.About 400 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida, Nicole, which has sustained 60 mph winds, was already whipping up marine waters along South Carolina’s coast, according to the National Weather Service.Nicole is expected to strengt...

Beaufort County was placed under tropical storm and storm surge watches Tuesday afternoon as Tropical Storm Nicole continues to track and strengthen as it aims to hit Florida later this week.

About 400 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida, Nicole, which has sustained 60 mph winds, was already whipping up marine waters along South Carolina’s coast, according to the National Weather Service.

Nicole is expected to strengthen to hurricane status and, once it crosses the Florida peninsula, whatever is left of the system is expected to take a sharp turn northeast.

According to the National Weather Service, a watch indicates that the event could happen in Beaufort County within the next 48 hours. A tropical storm watch relates to the possibility for storm-force winds, while a storm surge watch means there’s potential for life-threatening inundation from rising water that is moving inward from the coastline.

During a Tuesday afternoon weather briefing, Ron Morales, meteorologist with the Charleston office, said coastal flooding, beach erosion and dangerous surf conditions remain the biggest concerns for the Beaufort County area as Nicole nears.

Morales said the area could see 2 to 4 inches of rain through Saturday, and tides could affect coastal flooding. Locally higher rainfall amounts are possible, he said, adding that the greatest amount of rain will fall Thursday night and into Friday..

“Rainfall is very difficult to figure out far in advance,” the meteorologist said. “If this behaves like a more typical tropical system … a lot of times that tends to put the heaviest rainfall on the eastern semi-circle of the storm, which is largely over our coastal areas.”

Storm surge has the potential to be 1 to 3 feet above ground in areas of the county that are surge prone, with the highest threat beginning Wednesday morning until Thursday evening. Morales said to plan for a possible storm surge amount of 1 foot above ground.

Tropical storm force winds, lashing between 35-45 mph with gusts to 55 mph, are possible early Friday morning and into the afternoon, the Tuesday afternoon NWS alert said. Residents should prepare for limited wind damage. However, there are already gale force marine conditions over Atlantic waters, Morales said and added that high winds could begin Wednesday night.

As of Tuesday, meteorologists said there was a marginal threat for tornadoes in Beaufort County, but that could change depending on the route Tropical Storm Nicole takes.

“When you get these inland tracks ... that leaves us on the east side of circulation, which tends to be the kind of favorite zone for tornadic activity with a tropical system,” Morales said. “The issue here is how much instability will there be? In other words, how much will the air want to go off on its own and create a storm? We don’t need a lot.”

Beaufort County is also under a high surf advisory until 6 a.m. Saturday, meaning large breaking waves of 4 to 6 feet are expected in the surf zone. Inexperienced swimmers should stay out of the water, the NWS advised.

“When looking at the wind, the surge, the tornado, the flooding rainfall, these are what you should prepare for,” Morales said. “It’s what you should consider a reasonable worst case scenario.”

This story was originally published November 8, 2022 4:46 PM.

From Myrtle Beach to Hilton Head, expect coastal erosion possible from Nicole

Another storm means more worry.Coastal South Carolina is bracing for another round of erosion, just over a month after surge from Hurricane Ian damaged dunes and washed away sand from several beaches along the Atlantic Ocean.Large breaking waves up to 6 feet from Tropical Storm Nicole — which made landfall in Florida as a hurricane and is expected to weaken to a tropical depression before its core passes over South Carolina — are expected for parts of the coast until early Nov. 12. The rush could lead to significant...

Another storm means more worry.

Coastal South Carolina is bracing for another round of erosion, just over a month after surge from Hurricane Ian damaged dunes and washed away sand from several beaches along the Atlantic Ocean.

Large breaking waves up to 6 feet from Tropical Storm Nicole — which made landfall in Florida as a hurricane and is expected to weaken to a tropical depression before its core passes over South Carolina — are expected for parts of the coast until early Nov. 12. The rush could lead to significant erosion on beaches that aren’t equipped to handle much more.

Ann Wilson has worked as a park ranger for Myrtle Beach State Park since 1994. She said Ian’s dune destruction was the worst she has seen, even worse than Hurricane Matthew, which hit as a reduced Category 1 in 2016.

“If we had an Ian right now, everybody’s in trouble,” Wilson said.

She likened the protective role of sand dunes in storms to the role of offensive linemen protecting the quarterback in a football game.

“Sand dunes are our first line of defense against storms, wind and waves,” Wilson said. “The sand dunes did their job during Ian. It was a really rough game, and a lot of our players went out on injured reserve. If we had a Super Bowl tomorrow, we’re barely going to show up.”

After Hurricane Hugo decimated the dunes in 1989, regrowth efforts took place along the coastline. But Ian destroyed 20 to 30 feet of sand dunes off the park’s shoreline, which equate to decades’ worth of regrowth.

Because Nicole is not expected to hit the coast as directly or as forcefully as Ian, Wilson said she does not anticipate many issues related to flooding beyond areas where flooding typically occurs during storms, like in Garden City or Cherry Grove in North Myrtle Beach.

“The dunes will rebuild, but it’s not up to us on a timeframe,” Wilson said.

The U.S. Geological Survey said 55 percent of South Carolina’s dunes are forecast to face some level or erosion and about one percent could become inundated.

Pawleys Island, bordered to the west by Pawleys Creek and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, saw several feet of storm surge brought on by Ian that washed sand and debris into the roads and collapsed the Georgetown County town’s pier.

Nicole’s march toward the Upstate on its way to the mid-Atlantic region and beyond brought street-level flooding during high tide the morning of Nov. 10, with similar flooding seen on the Charleston peninsula.

Subsequent high tides on Pawleys Island should be less severe, said Town Administrator Daniel Newquist.

“I think it’s what we anticipated,” Newquist said. “We anticipated, during the high tide period, water coming over the creek bank and into the roadways.”

Newquist said he planned to inspect the town’s beaches during the afternoon low tide. In an email to island property owners, he said the town is “certainly” concerned about the potential for beach erosion so soon after Ian.

Of beach damage from Ian, Newquist said “fairly significant” erosion occurred and that beach renourishment undertaken in previous years was vital in protecting seaside properties. The Army Corps of Engineers began surveying the sands of Pawleys Island days after Ian’s landfall.

“We’re going to leverage whatever resources are available to us to get the beach back in good shape, but we did get a decent start, I think, with the dune repair work that’s been done with our contractor,” Newquist said.

Folly Beach also lost a good bit of sand during Ian. And the city had already hit its renourishment triggers prior to the storm, said Eric Lutz, the city’s director of building, facilities and public works.

But Lutz said the Charleston County beach should be OK during Nicole.

“There will just be less of it to sit on at each high tide,” he said in an email.

Flooding from Ian was mostly under elevated houses on the east end of the island and the marsh side.

The city also expected flooding on the back of the island from Nicole. To prep, staff was checking storm drains and putting barricades and cones in place for possible road closures.

Nicole Elko, president of Elko Coastal Consulting, said Folly Beach has little to no capacity to withstand additional erosion from another storm. She is working as a coastal consultant for the city.

“Fortunately, the dune system is robust along most of the island, and that will help protect the upland infrastructure,” Elko said.

The city is in the process of requesting federal emergency rehabilitation assistance, partly because of the lack of storm protection and flood mitigation in place to buffer from another hurricane, Elko said.

Other beaches in the Lowcountry also noted damage to dunes and loss of sand during Ian, but they weren’t particularly worried this time around.

“We’re not really doing anything to prevent that situation other than warning residents to be careful if they go in the ocean,” said Andy Benke, Sullivan’s Island town administrator.

Officials in Kiawah Island and Edisto Beach said they did not see measurable impacts from Ian.

Although coastal erosion wasn’t a big issue on Hilton Head Island either, the town started preparing for Nicole this week by removing beach mats, wooden trash bins and umbrella boxes up to the dune lines in beach areas.

Town officials reported high tide coupled with storm surge on Nov. 10 brought “considerable flooding” along some roads and island beaches. Along with flooding, officials warned residents about beach erosion, rough surf and dangerous rip currents.

Nicole Ziege contributed from Myrtle Beach and Mike Woodel from Georgetown County.

Hurricane Wire is a pop-up newsletter during hurricane season that delivers anyone who lives on the East Coast all the information they need to know as storms brew in the Atlantic and beyond.

10 South Carolina Beaches Worth Visiting In The Winter (Over Summer)

South Carolina is known for its miles of spectacular coastline and parade of beach town destinations that are perfect for summer getaways. However, once the temperatures drop and the hordes of summer crowds depart, these beautiful beaches transform into off-season retreats that still offer intrepid travelers plenty to see, do, and experience. The following are some of SC’s absolute best beaches for the ultimate idyllic winte...

South Carolina is known for its miles of spectacular coastline and parade of beach town destinations that are perfect for summer getaways. However, once the temperatures drop and the hordes of summer crowds depart, these beautiful beaches transform into off-season retreats that still offer intrepid travelers plenty to see, do, and experience. The following are some of SC’s absolute best beaches for the ultimate idyllic winter vacation full of sun, sand, and off-season adventure.

Hilton Head

Known as “America’s Favorite Island,” Hilton Head is so much more than one of South Carolina’s most visited summer beach towns; it’s also a lovely escape in the off-season for those looking for year-round beachy vibes. And with an average daytime temperature in the low-to-mid 60s, the weather is just balmy enough to still enjoy (most) of HH’s most popular outdoor activities—without the summer crowds.

Folly Beach

The popular Folly Beach is just minutes from downtown Charleston, making it an ideal spot to take a winter break. Temperatures in the 60s throughout make for cooler days that are still perfect for Low Country exploring, while nearby Charleston has a number of fun winter activities that are just a stone’s throw away from Folly Beach’s laidback vibes and picturesque beauty.

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach is undoubtedly one of South Carolina’s top-rated beaches throughout the summer—but in the off-season, the beautiful beach town is still a bustling hub of activities and events that make it a wow-worthy winter destination, too. And while it may be too cool to take a dip, MB’s outdoor scenery is just as lovely as it is in the summer.

Kiawah Island

Kiawah Island is a secluded beach town escape whose year-round laidback vibes make it the perfect place to visit in winter’s cooler months. Undoubtedly, one of the best reasons to visit Kiawah is its relaxing atmosphere—made even better by the lack of summer crowds—but there are still plenty of outdoor activities and recreation on tap for outdoor enthusiasts, too.

Isle Of Palms

Isle of Palms may be known for its stellar summer recreation; however, this Charleston area beach is so much more than a warm weather retreat. Throughout the off-season, this picturesque SC beach’s tranquil (and mostly crowd-free!) vibes become the perfect getaway for those looking for a beachfront vacay with plenty to see and do during the cool(er) winter months.

Sullivan’s Island

A neighbor to Isle of Palms located at the mouth of the lovely Charleston harbor, Sullivan’s Island is the perfect mix of small-town charm and relaxing, beachside fun. Home to beautiful beaches, outdoor adventures, and nearby activities galore, Sullivan’s Island is the perfect winter getaway.

Pawley’s Island

Known as one of America’s oldest and best summer resort communities, Pawley’s Island may seem like an exclusively warm weather destination. However, when the summer crowds leave, there are still plenty of things to see and do in this historic SC beach town.

Murrells Inlet

A popular fishing village near Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet is packed with charm, history, and wonderful waterfront scenery that make it a gorgeous year-round getaway. From pirate lore to oodles of outdoor recreation, SC’s “seafood capital” is a fun-filled winter retreat.

Litchfield Beach

Well known for its pristine white sand and turquoise waters that make for an idyllic summer retreat, Litchfield Beach is no less beautiful during the cool(er) winter months. Come for the activities like fishing and biking, but stay for the relaxing, scenic vibes available year-round.

Surfside Beach

Located near Myrtle Beach, the spectacularly scenic Surfside Beach is known as a popular family-friendly destination throughout the summer. However, there’s plenty to do here during the off-season, too, for those looking to escape the warm weather crowds.

What to watch for tonight in Lamont Paris’ first taste of USC-Clemson rivalry

Lamont Paris doesn’t hate Clemson. Not yet. Maybe in time he will, or maybe he won’t.The first-year South Carolina head coach — and Ohio native — knows how much the USC-Clemson rivalry means to both programs and to the state in which he’s now residing. But with just one game under his belt, Paris is much more focused on getting his Gamecocks to adjust to his style of play.“(The r...

Lamont Paris doesn’t hate Clemson. Not yet. Maybe in time he will, or maybe he won’t.

The first-year South Carolina head coach — and Ohio native — knows how much the USC-Clemson rivalry means to both programs and to the state in which he’s now residing. But with just one game under his belt, Paris is much more focused on getting his Gamecocks to adjust to his style of play.

“(The rivalry) doesn’t do anything specifically for me,” Paris said after Thursday’s practice. “I want to build a team. I want to win all of them, and so I’ll approach this game like I do any. I’ll talk to our guys about approaching the game like we do any other.

“But it’s great for the fans. The fans are a little more excited and juiced up. Maybe there will be another couple thousand people that show up in this game because it’s the rivalry, so that’s always great. It’s fun.”

After narrowly defeating visiting S.C. State 80-77 on Tuesday, the Gamecocks will host the rival Tigers at Colonial Life Arena at 7 p.m. Friday. It’ll only be the second time in 171 meetings that the schools face off in November — an unusually early test for both teams.

Brad Brownell’s Clemson team is coming off a season-opening win over The Citadel, in which veterans Chase Hunter (23 points) and Hunter Tyson (19 points) paced the team in scoring. Coming off summer knee surgery, Clemson star P.J. Hall didn’t play in the Tigers’ first game and appears unlikely to suit up Friday as he works his way back to full health.

For the Gamecocks, Paris said Thursday that he expects Illinois transfer forward Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk to be available in some capacity after he sat out the season opener due to a leg injury. Bosmans-Verdonk was not wearing a boot during Thursday’s practice.

Paris also said point guard Meechie Johnson is progressing from the leg injuries he suffered during Tuesday’s win. Johnson was able to re-enter the contest after both injuries. Both players seem on track to play, although it’s possible their minutes could be limited, and Paris said he wants to see how they respond on gameday.

After allowing 77 points to the Bulldogs, defense has been the area of emphasis for the Gamecocks leading up to Friday’s rivalry clash, with Paris working to simulate game situations and teach the intricacies of his system.

Though much of USC’s roster is new, there’s still a level of excitement from players to perform well against their Upstate rivals. Former Cardinal Newman star and current Gamecock guard Chico Carter Jr. is one of the players who wants to put on a show for his hometown.

“Growing up in Columbia, everyone wanted to be at the Clemson-South Carolina game,” Carter said. “So this means a lot for the city. And being from the city, it means a lot to me.”

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