COLUMBIA, S.C. -
South Carolina continues SEC play on the road on Saturday when it travels to face Missouri for a 4 p.m. ET matchup versus the Tigers. South Carolina nearly won last season's meeting at Mizzou Arena, holding a 13-point lead in the second half, but unable to close the victory. This weekend marks the American Cancer Society and National Association of Basketball Coaches, Coaches versus Cancer weekend. The Gamecock coaching staff will be wearing sneakers on the sideline for the event.
OPENING TIP Date: Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 Tipoff: 4 p.m. ET Location: Columbia, Mo. Arena: Mizzou Arena (15,061) Series: Missouri leads 2-0 (Mizzou leads 1-0 in Columbia, Mo.) Last Meeting: Missouri win, 90-68, on Feb. 28, 2013, in Columbia, S.C. Broadcast: SEC TV/ESPN3 Talent: Mike Morgan (pxp), Barry Booker (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 133-226 (.370) all-time record in SEC play.
- Frank Martin owns a 54-51 (.514) all-time record in conference play.
- Martin owns a 6-6 record during his head coaching career vs. Missouri, all but two of those contests coming while the head coach at Kansas State. In Columbia, Mo., Martin is 1-5.
- It was announced on Jan. 16 that junior guard Tyrone Johnson suffered a right foot fracture in the Jan. 15 game at Texas A&M, which required surgery. Johnson is out indefinitely. The Plainfield, N.J., native has played in 16 contests this season for Carolina, averaging 11.2 points and a team best 3.4 assists per game. He tallied 11 double-figure scoring games and 11 games with at least three assists prior to his injury.
- After hitting 15-of-15 from the free throw line last week combined at A&M and vs. Ole Miss, senior guard Brenton Williams now qualifies for ranking in the NCAA statistics (min. 2.5 makes per game), and leads the nation in free throw percentage at 98 percent (50-of-51/Jan. 20). He has missed just one free throw dating back to the Feb. 28, 2013 game vs. Missouri. Williams was 2-of-2 from the line at Georgia on Wednesday.
- South Carolina suffered a 97-76 loss in SEC play on the road at Georgia on Wednesday, despite a career high 26 points from freshman guard Sindarius Thornwell and 18 points from senior guard Brenton Williams. South Carolina's bigs were in foul trouble the duration of the contest, with both Mindaugas Kacinas and Desmond Ringer on the bench with three fouls by the eight-minute mark of the opening half. Georgia also won the battle of the boards, out-rebounding the Gamecocks 39-27, including 13 on the offensive glass, which led to 15 second-chance points.
- In overall games, South Carolina ranks sixth in the SEC in free throw percentage (68.6), second in 3-point field goal percentage (36.9), sixth in 3-point field goal percentage defense (31.1) and fifth in offensive rebounds per game (13.0).
- The Gamecocks held a 10-point lead at halftime against Ole Miss, but the Rebels came back to out-score the Gamecocks 48-37 in the second half and claim a 75-74 win last Saturday at Colonial Life Arena. Freshman guard Sindarius Thornwell posted the first double-double of his career with teams highs of 24 points and 11 rebounds in the game. Senior guard Brenton Williams did not hit a basket in the contest, but was a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line, including making three from the line with just six seconds to play to pull the Gamecocks within one of the Rebels at the time.
Coaches vs. Cancer, Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend
The Coaches vs. Cancer program is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. The Coaches vs. Cancer Suits And Sneakers Awareness Weekend (January 24-26, 2014) is a nationwide event that unites coaches across the country to raise awareness about the fight against cancer, and promote the American Cancer Society as a place for help and support. While coaching games during the weekend, coaches wear sneakers with their game attire as a visible reminder about the importance of nutrition and physical activity in reducing one's cancer risk. University of South Carolina head men's basketball coach Frank Martin and his wife Anya hosted the Inaugural "Coaches vs. Cancer" benefit, the "B-Ball of the South" in early May at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia. The event was a fantastic success, raising more than $140,000 from charitable donations and a live auction, which benefited Coaches vs. Cancer.
The Tigers enter Saturday's matchup versus South Carolina with a 14-4 overall record, which includes a 2-3 mark in SEC games to date ... The Tigers are 9-1 in home contests this season at Mizzou Arena, with the lone loss coming in the SEC opener vs. Georgia on Jan. 8 ... The team is led by head coach Frank Haith in his third season in Columbia ... Haith is 3-1 all-time vs. South Carolina ... Junior guard Jabari Brown leads the team with 19.3 points per game, including a 21.6 per game average in league games, which leads the SEC ... Brown has scored 20 or more points in three-consecutive games entering Saturday's action, including a career high 28 points on Tuesday at LSU ... The guard tandem of Brown and junior Jordan Clarkson combine for 38 points per game ... Missouri is averaging 74.4 points per game in home games this season ... The Tigers rank tops in the league in free throw percentage (72.2), fourth in field goal percentage (45.8) and second in field goal percentage defense (38.7).
Among Freshmen In The SEC ... Sindarius Thornwell ranks fifth in scoring (12.8) and tied for fifth in steals (1.0) ... Demetrius Henry ranks eighth in rebounding (4.3) ... Duane Notice ranks fifth in assists (2.9) and 12th in scoring (6.9).
The Tigers and Gamecocks have met just twice on the hardwood, with Missouri winning both those matchups last season. Mizzou won the meeting in Columbia, Mo., 71-65, on Jan. 22 and claimed a 90-68 victory over the Gamecocks at Colonial Life Arena on Feb. 28.
By The Numbers 18.0 - Freshman guard Sindarius Thornwell has played stellar in five SEC games thus far in 2014, averaging 18.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. Also impressive are his shooting percentages, as the Lancaster, S.C., native has hit 54.7 percent from the field and 57.1 percent from beyond the arc. 28.2 - South Carolina is averaging 28.2 fouls per game in SEC games this season, compared to 23.2 per game of its opponents. 8 - South Carolina dished a near season low eight assists at Georgia on Wednesday. On the flip side, Georgia's 21 assists on 27 made baskets marked a Gamecock opponent season high.
South Carolina returns to Colonial Life Arena after a two-game road swing to host Texas A&M in the second matchup between the two schools this SEC season. The Aggies posted a 75-67 win on Jan. 15 in College Station. Game time is set for 7 p.m. ET, with the contest to be broadcast on ESPN3.