Jan. 8, 2018
South Carolina at Alabama
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina will play two on the road this week, starting with Tuesday night's matchup in Tuscaloosa. The Gamecocks look for their first win at Coleman Coliseum since the 2009 SEC campaign.
> South Carolina notched its first SEC win of the season on Saturday behind a career performance from Chris Silva. The junior forward led the Gamecocks with a career best 27 points, hitting nine baskets, and posting a 9-of-12 mark from the free throw line. Silva paces Carolina, and ranks third in the SEC in strictly league games with 22.0 points per game.
> The Gamecock defense was solid against the Commodores, holding Vanderbilt to just 35.2 percent from the field and 27.6 percent from 3-point range. Entering the game, Vandy's top three scorers - Roberson, Fisher-Davis and LaChance - were averaging 38.7 points per game, but the Gamecocks held the trio to a combined 24 points and 7-of-22 from the field.
> South Carolina begins a tough stretch, playing two on the road this week - at Alabama and at Georgia - before returning home for two the following week, against No. 17/14 Kentucky, and No. 23/22 Tennessee.
> Graduate student guard Wesley Myers scored a season high 17 points in last Saturday's win over Vanderbilt, with all of his scoring coming in the second half. Playing just six minutes in the opening half due to foul trouble, Myers connecting on 4-of-5 attempts in the second half, and hit 8-of-12 at the free throw line in the final 20 minutes to help secure the Gamecock win.
> In four road games this season, Carolina is averaging 67.0 points per game, paced by 17.0 per game from Silva, and 11.8 per game from graduate student guard Frank Booker. The Gamecocks hold a +9.3 rebound margin over opponents in road games as well.
> South Carolina is in its 110th season of varsity basketball in 2017-18.
> South Carolina advanced to its first Final Four in 2016-17, which included posting its first NCAA Tournament win since the 1973 campaign when it tallied a 93-73 win over Marquette in the First Round.
> The Gamecocks finished the 2016-17 campaign with a 26-11 overall record. The 26 wins were a program record.
> Among active Division I head coaches, South Carolina's Frank Martin holds the sixth-highest NCAA Tournament winning percentage (.667) behind only Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, North Carolina's Roy Williams, Kentucky's John Calipari, Michigan State's Tom Izzo and Kansas' Bill Self.
> Over the course of the last three seasons (2015-16-present), the Gamecocks are 24-18 (.571) combined in games played away from home (away/neutral).
> South Carolina compiled 51 wins over the course of the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.
> Entering the 2017-18 campaign, Frank Martin has led his team to at least 20 wins in seven of 10 seasons.
> South Carolina played six of its first seven games away from home to begin the 2017-18 campaign, posting a 4-2 record during the stretch.
> Martin is joined on the bench by assistant coaches Perry Clark (fifth season), Chuck Martin (first season) and Bruce Shingler (second season), and director of basketball operations Andy Assaley in his sixth season.
> Clark brings 19 years of head coaching experience to the bench, as he served the combined years as head coach at Tulane, Miami (Fla.) and Texas A&M Corpus Christi, while Chuck Martin served as head coach at Marist for five campaigns.
> Martin is 89-86 (.508) all-time in league play. In his 10 seasons leading a squad through a full slate of league games, his team has posted double-digit conference wins six times.
> South Carolina has improved its conference record in each of Frank Martin's five seasons leading the squad through the SEC slate. In his first SEC campaign (2013), Martin led his squad to four wins, followed by five win sin 2014, six in 2015, 11 in 2016 and 12 last season.
> South Carolina is in its 26th basketball season as a member of the Southeastern Conference. The Gamecocks are 168-261 (.391) all-time in SEC games.
SCOUTING THE GAMECOCKS
> South Carolina is 10-5 on the year and 1-2 in SEC games following last Saturday's 71-60 home win over Vanderbilt.
> The Gamecocks have four wins away from home this season, with two of those - at Wofford and at FIU - true road wins.
> Junior forward Chris Silva led Carolina in the win over the Commodores behind a career high 27 points, while also pulling down a team high eight rebounds.
> Silva has led or shared the team lead in scoring in nine games this season, including in four of the last five.
> Sophomore guard Evan Hinson earned the first start of his Gamecock career against Vanderbilt. He scored a career high six points in 13 minutes of action.
> Freshman big Jason Cudd provided a much needed spark off the bench for Carolina against the Commodores. In a season high 15 minutes, Cudd blocked a shot, which turned into a fast-break 3 from Justin Minaya at the opposite end, and he also had the first dunk of his career during the opening half.
> Over the course of the last five games, Silva is averaging a team high 16.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. He is also averaging 8.8 free throw attempts per game over the stretch.
> Silva's 127 free throw attempts on the season (8.46 attempts per game) lead the SEC. He is just ahead of Alabama's Collin Sexton, who has 122 attempts on the year.
> South Carolina will face both SEC schools who are in the football national championship game this week on the hardwood, first Tuesday's contest at Alabama, before traveling to Georgia this weekend.
SCOUTING THE CRIMSON TIDE
> Alabama is led by head coach Avery Johnson in his third season. Johnson is 3-1 all-time vs. Carolina.
> The Crimson Tide is 9-6 on the year, and 1-2 in SEC games. Most recently, Alabama suffered a 65-46 loss on the road at Georgia last Saturday.
> Four average double-figure points for the Tide, led by freshman guard Collin Sexton's 20.6 per game. John Petty (11.9), Donta Hall (11.4) and Dazon Ingram (11.1) also average double-figures.
> Hall paces the squad with 7.2 rebounds per game. Hall has three double-doubles this season.
> Alabama averages 75.4 points per game in home contests this season, and is 6-2 in those games.
> Alabama ranks sixth in the SEC (overall games) with a field goal percent of 46.0 this season, and the Tide ranks ninth in field goal percent defense, as opponents average 40.9 percent per game.
> In games through Jan. 6, Alabama is ninth nationally and second in the SEC with 6.3 blocks per game.
> Individually in the SEC stats, Sexton leads the league with 20.6 points per game.
> Alabama holds a 28-16 upperhand in the all-time series with South Carolina.
> The Tide holds a 15-2 advantage in games played in Tuscaloosa.
> Carolina is in search of its first win in Coleman Coliseum since Feb. 14, 2009, when the Gamecocks won at the buzzer.
> Alabama has won six of the last 10 and two straight.
> South Carolina continues road action this weekend when it travels to face Georgia on Saturday in Stegeman Coliseum. Mike Morgan (play-by-play) and Dane Bradshaw (analyst) will have the 1 p.m. ET call on the SEC Network.