COLUMBIA, S.C. -
South Carolina hosts LSU on Saturday in its 2014 SEC home opener at Colonial Life Arena. Both the Gamecocks and Tigers look for their first league victory of the season after Carolina fell at 10th-ranked Florida on Wednesday, and LSU suffered a home loss to Tennessee on Tuesday. The meeting on Saturday between the Gamecocks and Tigers marks the 29th all-time between the two schools.
OPENING TIP Date: Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014 Tipoff: 1:47 p.m. ET Location: Columbia, S.C. Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000) Series: South Carolina leads, 15-13 Last Meeting: LSU win, 64-46, on Feb. 14, 2013, in Columbia, S.C. Broadcast: SEC TV/ESPN3/Watch ESPN Talent: Joe Davis (pxp), Joe Dean (analyst) Radio: Gamecock Radio Network/107.5 The Game in Columbia Sirius: 108; XM: 199 Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst) SEC TV Affiliates | Game Notes | Live Stats | @GamecockMBB on Twitter | Tickets
Carolina Quick Hits
- South Carolina is in its 106th season of basketball.
- The Gamecocks are led by Frank Martin in his second year. Matt Figger is the associate head coach, and Perry Clark and Lamont Evans are assistant coaches. Andy Assaley is in his second year as the director of operations for the Gamecocks.
- The Gamecocks are in their 23rd season of competition in the Southeastern Conference in 2014. Carolina owns a 133-222 (.374) all-time record in SEC play.
- Carolina is 9-13 all-time in its first SEC home contest of the season. The Gamecocks suffered a 74-71 loss to Auburn in last season's SEC home opener.
- Frank Martin owns a 54-47 (.534) all-time record in conference play.
- South Carolina suffered a 74-58 loss on the road to 10th-ranked Florida on Wednesday in the SEC opener for both schools. The Gamecocks were unable to find the basket until the middle of the first half, and the Gators used a 14-1 run to open the contest to open up a 13-point lead at the half. South Carolina responded during the second 20 minutes of action, hitting 54.5% (12-22) from the field in the half, but Florida scored 40 points in the paint, compared to 16 from the Gamecocks and closed the 16-point victory. Junior guard Ty Johnson led the Gamecocks off the bench with 12 points, his third-straight game leading Carolina in point production off the bench. Senior guard Brenton Williams, a Kissimmee, Fla., native posted his sixth-sraight double-figure scoring contest with 10 points.
- Entering Saturday's contest vs. LSU, South Carolina's strength of schedule ranks 25th in the country according to CBSSports.com and 28th according to ESPN.com.
- South Carolina ranks sixth in the SEC in free throw percentage (68.6), second in 3-point field goal percentage (37.2), third in field goal percentage defense (40th in the country) (29.4) and fourth in offensive rebounds per game (13.4).
- Prior to Wednesday's loss at Florida, in the previous five games (4 wins, 1 loss) Carolina was averaging 75.0 points per game, and hit 45.2 percent (131-290) from the floor, 40.3 percent (27-67) from 3-point range and 72.3 percent (86-119) from the free throw line. Senior guard Brenton Williams tallied double-digits in each of those five games, averaging 17.4 points per game during the stretch, hitting 50.9 percent from the field and 53.6 percent from 3-point range. Junior guard Tyrone Johnson added 10.4 points and 3.4 assists during the stretch, and rookie guard Duane Notice, who posted double-figures in four of the five games, added 11.4 points and 4.4 assists per game during the span.
LSU enters Saturday's contest with a 9-4 record, including an 0-1 mark in league play after suffering a 68-50 home loss to Tennessee in the SEC opener for both schools on Tuesday ... The squad is led by head coach Johnny Jones in his second season ... LSU has dropped two-straight contests, having suffered a 74-70 loss to Rhode Island on Jan. 4 ... The Tigers boast some of the top stat producers in the league, especially the guard tandem of senior Andre Stringer and junior Anthony Hickey, who combine for 6.5 assists per game, and rank first and second in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio ... Freshman forward Jordan Mickey ranks second in the league and tops among rookies with 3.7 blocks per game; he has 48 blocks already this season ... Mickey also ranks tied for seventh in the SEC with teammate Johnny O'Bryant III with 7.5 rebounds per outing ... O'Bryant, the junior forward, leads the team with 14.5 points per game ... O'Bryant was an All-SEC Preseason First-Team pick and he has 10 double-figure scoring games this season ... The Tigers rank fifth in the SEC in scoring offense (75.8), second in field goal percent defense (38.1), third in blocked shots (6.5 per game), second in assists (14.9 per game) and second in steals (9.2 per game).
Among Freshmen In The SEC ... Sindarius Thornwell ranks seventh in scoring (10.7) and tied for fifth in steals (1.1) ... Demetrius Henry ranks sixth in rebounding (4.9) ... Duane Notice ranks fifth in assists (2.9) and 13th in scoring (6.8).
South Carolina leads the all-time series aginst LSU 15-13 after the team's split a pair of contests last season, with each squad winning the away contest. The Gamecocks own a 6-7 record vs. the Tigers in games played in Columbia, including a 1-2 record in the last three home contests vs. LSU.
By The Numbers 21 - South Carolina committed a near season high 21 turnovers in the contest at Florida, including 15 in the first half vs. the Gators. UF scored 22 points off of Gamecock turnovers on Wednesday. 6 - Senior guard Brenton Williams has posted double-figures in six-straight games entering Saturday's matchup vs. LSU to match the longest consecutive double-figure scoring streak of his career. 16.2 - Williams is averaging 16.2 points per game over the course of the last six games, hitting 49.2 percent of his attempts from the field, which includes a 50 percent mark from 3-point range. Williams is playing 27.8 minutes per contest during the stretch and has gone a perfect 16-of-16 from the free throw line. 6 -Duane Notice continues to impress over the course of the last several games, as the rookie guard is averaging 5.8 assists compared to 3.5 turnovers per outing during the stretch. Notice has hit double-figures in two of the last three games as well. 54.5% - After hitting just 31.6 percent from the field in the first half at Florida on Wednesday, the Gamecocks responded with a 12-of-22 performance in the second half for a mark of 54.5% from the field. It marked the highest single-half performance by a Florida opponent in the O'Connell Center this season. 1.9 - Junior guard Tyrone Johnson ranks fifth in the SEC in assist-to-turnover ratio with a mark of 1.9.
Plans Announced For Carolina Basketball Legends Weekend Commemorating Frank McGuire
South Carolina head basketball coach Frank Martin, along with his wife Anya, the Carolina Basketball Legends Club, and the entire coaching staff have announced plans for the "2014 Legends Weekend, Commemorating Frank McGuire," to be held Jan. 17-18, in Columbia. The event begins on Friday evening with a street topping ceremony at Colonial Life Arena, and concludes at Saturday's 4:30 p.m. contest versus Ole Miss when all Carolina legends will be honored during pre-game festivities, to include an autograph session starting at 3:15 p.m. on the arena concourse featuring those players from the McGuire era. Recognition of all Carolina legends will be held during pre-game, beginning at approximately 4 p.m., on the court, and a celebration of the 2013 football season will occur at halftime (details to follow soon on GamecocksOnline.com).
City Days For Charlotte, York and Rock Hill at LSU Game
The University of South Carolina Athletics Department, along with The Gamecock
Club and My Carolina Alumni Association, have partnered in creating several City
Chapter Days throughout the 2013-14 basketball season for both the Gamecock
men's and women's teams. The City Chapter Days will give Gamecock Club and Alumni Chapters a game at Colonial Life Arena that is dedicated specifically to their respective members and local business. During each game different chapter leaders and business owners will be recognized for their contributions and support of Gamecock Athletics. We welcome Gamecocks from the Charlotte, York and Rock Hill areas to the LSU contest.
South Carolina travels to Texas A&M on Wednesday for an 8 p.m. ET matchup vs. the Aggies. The contest will be televised on SEC TV (check local listings).