COLUMBIA, S.C. -
South Carolina is set to host Auburn on Saturday in its 2013 SEC home opener at Colonial Life Arena. The meeting marks the 34th all-time between the two schools, with Auburn holding a 19-14 edge in the series. The contest will be televised on the SEC Network (check local listings) with the official tip time set for 1:47 p.m. ET. Mike Morgan (play-by-play) and Jon Sundvold (analyst) will handle the call for the SECN. Fans can also listen on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network via GamecocksOnline.com and on 107.5 The Game in Columbia with Andy Demetra (play-by-play) and Casey Manning (analyst). The Gamecocks aim to break a two-game losing streak to the Tigers on Saturday.
OPENING TIP Date: Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013 Tipoff: 1:47 p.m. ET Location: Columbia, S.C. Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000) Series: Auburn leads 19-14 Last Meeting: Auburn win, 63-52, Jan. 21, 2012, in Auburn, Ala. Television: SEC Network Talent: Mike Morgan (pxp), Jon Sundvold (analyst) Radio: Gamecock IMG Radio Network Sirius: 113; XM: 200 Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst) Tickets | @GamecockMBB | Live Stats | Game Notes | SEC Network Affiliates
Carolina Quick Hits
- South Carolina is in its 105th season of basketball.
- The Gamecocks are led by first-year head coach Frank Martin. His associate head coach is Brad Underwood and his assistant coaches are Matt Figger and Lamont Evans. Andy Assaley is the director of basketball operations.
- The Gamecocks are in their 22nd season of competition in the Southeastern Conference in 2013. Carolina owns a 129-208 (.382) all-time record in SEC play.
- South Carolina suffered a 56-54 loss at Mississippi State on Wednesday in the 2013 SEC Opener. The Gamecocks struggled offensively in the contest, hitting just 39.2 percent (20-51) from the field, a near season worst in the category.
- Frank Martin owns a 50-33 (.602) all-time record in conference play.
- Carolina is 9-12 all-time in its first SEC home contest of the season. The Gamecocks suffered a 67-57 loss to Vanderbilt in last season's league lidlifter in Columbia.
- Junior guard Brian Richardson posted career highs in several categories vs. Mississippi State, including posting a career best 20 points to lead the Gamecocks in the contest. Richardson is enjoying a career year in 2012-13, posting 9.8 points and 3.1 rebounds per contest.
- Carolina's 24 turnovers at Mississippi State on Wednesday marked the second-most in a game this season for the Gamecocks (25 vs. Missouri State).
- Seven Gamecocks currently average at least 20 minutes per game, with Lakeem Jackson leading the way with 31.6 minutes on the court per contest this season.
- Senior forward Lakeem Jackson continued to impress for the Gamecocks, matching a season high with 16 points, hitting 8-of-15 attempts from the floor, in Carolina's win vs. SC State on Jan. 5. Jackson also pulled down eight rebounds, posted two assists and blocked one shot. It marked the third time this season that Jackson has led the team, or shared the team lead, in scoring, while he is consistently among team leaders in the rebounding category.
- Senior guard LaShay Page, a post-graduate student from Dillon, S.C., will not compete with the South Carolina men's basketball team for the remainder of the 2012-13 season due to an academic eligibility issue.
- Carrera, the Nov. 12 SEC Freshman of the Week, did not play vs. Morgan State, Rider or Elon due to a concussion suffered in practice on Wednesday, Nov. 14. He returned to score 18 points vs. Missouri State, including the game-tying 3-pointer at the end of regulation to send the contest into overtime.
- In two overtime games this season, Carolina has hit an impressive 22-of-24 (91.7%) attempts from the free throw line during OT.
Auburn enters Saturday's contest with a 7-7 overall record, including a 1-0 mark in league games after a 68-63 home win vs. LSU on Wednesday. The Tigers have won five of their last seven games, including a 78-72 win over reigning ACC champion Florida State on Jan. 2. Senior guard Frankie Sullivan paces two in double figures with 17.2 points per game, which ranks third in the SEC in scoring. He also plays a team high 32.7 minutes per contest. Junior Allen Payne is averaging 14.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per contest over the course of the last three games. He scored a career high 15 points in the win vs. LSU. The Tigers are led by head coach Tony Barbee in his third season.
By The Numbers 6.0 - Over the course of the last six games, junior point guard Eric Smith is averaging a stellar 6.0 assists per game, just over four assists better than his career average. During the last six games, Smith has committed just 16 total turnovers (2.7 per game). 20 - Junior guard Brian Richardson has reached double-digits in each of the last six games, capped by a career best performance of 20 points to lead South Carolina at Mississippi State. Over the course of the last six games, Richardson leads Carolina with 13.5 points per game, while he is averaging 3.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and has hit 42.2 percent of his attempts from the field. 6 - Freshman forward Laimonas Chatkevicius matched a season high with six rebounds in the contest at Mississippi State on Wednesday. 0-17 - South Carolina's last two opponents (SC State, Mississippi State) were a combined 0-of-17 from 3-point range. The Gamecocks rank fifth in the SEC in opponent 3-point field goal percentage with a mark of 30.9 percent. 28 - Mississippi State scored 28 points off of 24 South Carolina turnovers on Wednesday. Gamecock opponents average 18.1 points off of turnovers per contest. +9.4 - In the SEC, South Carolina trails only Missouri (+11.7), the nation's leader, in rebounding margin with a mark of +9.4. The Gamecocks have out-rebounded 13-of-14 opponents this season, with the only exception being Appalachian State.
Up Next For The Gamecocks
South Carolina continues SEC play when it travels to LSU on Wednesday. The contest will be broadcast on ESPN3 with tip time set for 8 p.m. ET.