COLUMBIA, S.C. -
South Carolina travels to Texas A&M on Wednesday, continuing early season SEC action against the Aggies. The meeting marks just the second all-time between the two schools. The Gamecocks are still in search of their first league victory of the year, while A&M is currently 2-0 in conference play after a home win vs. Arkansas and most recently a road victory at Tennessee. The game will be broadcast on SEC TV.
OPENING TIP Date: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 Tipoff: 8 p.m. ET Location: College Station, Texas Arena: Reed Arena (12,989) Series: Texas A&M leads 1-0 Last Meeting: Texas A&M win, 74-56, March 2, 2013 in College Station, Texas Broadcast: SEC TV/ESPN3/Watch ESPN Talent: Dave LaMont (pxp), Joe Dean (analyst) Radio: Gamecock Radio Network/107.5 The Game in Columbia Sirius: N/A; XM: N/A 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 133-223 (.363) all-time record in SEC play.
- Frank Martin owns a 54-48 (.529) all-time record in conference play.
- The Gamecocks are still in search of their first SEC win of the season after dropping a 71-68 decision to visiting LSU in the SEC home opener last Saturday at Colonial Life Arena. The Gamecocks put together a 9-0 run late in the second half after trailing by as many as 14, but LSU was able to hold on for the victory. Freshman guard Sindarius Thornwell scored a season high 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field and a 6-of-9 mark from the free throw line. Thornwell's 25-point effort marked the first time a Gamecock freshman has tallied 25 points in an SEC contest. He tallied 13 points in the first half alone. The Tigers out-rebounded the Gamecocks 42-32, the second-largest margin this season for a Carolina opponent in the category.
- For his play last week vs. 10th-ranked Florida and LSU, Thornwell was named the SEC Freshman of the Week on Monday. He averaged 17.5 points and 4.5 rebounds, hitting 66.7 percent from the field in the two games. It is the first-career weekly honor for Thornwell.
- In overall games, South Carolina ranks fifth in the SEC in free throw percentage (68.7), second in 3-point field goal percentage (37.2), third in 3-point field goal percentage defense (31st in the country) (29.3) and fourth in offensive rebounds per game (13.1).
- Over the course of the last two games, Carolina his hit 42.7 percent (38-89) from the field compared to 47.5 percent (48-101) from its opponents. South Carolina has held opponents to just 27.0 percent (10-37) from 3-point range, which is second to only Texas A&M (25.0%) in strictly SEC games this season.
- South Carolina suffered a 74-58 loss on the road to 10th-ranked Florida in the SEC opener for both schools on Jan. 8. 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 Wednesday's contest vs. Texas A&M, South Carolina's strength of schedule ranks 28th in the country according to CBSSports.com and 25th according to ESPN.com.
Scouting Texas A&M
Texas A&M enters Wednesday's game tied with Florida, Georgia and Kentucky with a perfect 2-0 mark in league games this season after a home win vs. Arkansas in the SEC opener and most recently a 57-56 road victory at Tennessee on Saturday ... The team is led by head coach Billy Kennedy in his third season in College Station ... Junior forward Jamal Jones leads the team with 10.9 points per game, and junior forward Kourtney Roberson adds 10.4 and a team best 7.7 rebounds per contest, which ranks tied for sixth in the league in overall games ... Sophomore guard Alex Caruso, a College Station native, leads the SEC with 5.1 assists per game and ranks fourth in the league with a team best 2.4 steals per outing ... The Aggies are 10-1 in home games this season with their lone loss coming against North Texas.
Among Freshmen In The SEC ... Sindarius Thornwell ranks seventh in scoring (11.7) and tied for sixth in steals (1.1) ... Demetrius Henry ranks seventh in rebounding (4.6) ... Duane Notice ranks fifth in assists (2.8) and 15th in scoring (6.3).
Texas A&M Series
The Aggies won the only other previous meeting between the two schools, which came in a 74-56 win over the Gamecocks last season in league play in College Station. Following Wednesday's game, the two teams will meet again in Columbia on Jan. 29.
By The Numbers 20 - Thus far in SEC play (two games), South Carolina is averaging 20.0 turnovers per game. Compare this to non-conference play, when the Gamecocks averaged just 13.2 turnovers per contest. 25 - Freshman guard Sindarius Thornwell scored a season high 25 points vs. LSU on Saturday. It marked the first time a Gamecock freshman has posted 25 points in an SEC game. 7-26 - The guard tandem of senior Brenton Williams and junior Tyrone Johnson went a combined 7-of-26 (26.9%) from the field vs. LSU. From the free throw line, Williams was 3-of-4 and Johnson 6-of-8.
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.
The Gamecocks return home to host Ole Miss on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET. The game vs. the Rebels will be broadcast on FSN.