COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina travels to Tennessee for the only matchup between the two schools this season. The Volunteers posted a 66-61 victory over the Gamecocks in Columbia in last season's only contest between the two schools. Saturday's game will be broadcast on ESPNU.
OPENING TIP Date: Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 Tipoff: 3 p.m. ET Location: Knoxville, Tenn. Arena: Thompson-Boling Arena (21,678) Series: Tennessee leads 38-23 Last Meeting: Tennessee win, 66-61, on Feb. 10, 2013, in Columbia, S.C. (Colonial Life Arena) Broadcast: ESPNU |WatchESPN Talent: Tom Hart (pxp), John Sundovold (analyst) Radio: Gamecock Radio Network/107.5 The Game in Columbia Sirius: N/A; XM: N/A Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst) 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 134-229 (.369) all-time record in SEC play. - Frank Martin owns a 55-54 (.505) all-time record in conference play. - After allowing Auburn to go on a 16-2 run early in the second half, the Gamecocks stormed back with an 18-2 run to leven the game with under eight minutes to play, but the Gamecocks were unable to slow the Tigers down the stretch as they fell 79-74 Wednesday night at Colonial Life Arena. Senior guard Brenton Williams led all scorers with 29 points on a season high 10 field goals, going 6-of-10 from beyond the arc. Despite only scoring eight points, freshman guard Sindarius Thornwell posted season highs in assists (9) and steals (4). Sophmore forward Mindaugas Kacinas added a season high 14 points and freshman guard Duane Notice chipped in 12 points. - South Carolina held a 15-point lead with just under 11 minutes to play at Ole Miss (Feb. 1), but a late run from the Rebels turned the game in the home team's favor as South Carolina fell 75-71 on Saturday. Senior guard Brenton Williams led all scorers with 23 points as he hit 5-of-8 from 3-point range. Thornwell added 20 points and a career high six assists. - The Gamecocks earned their first conference win of the season on Jan. 29 in an 80-52 win over Texas A&M, after holding a 20-point halftime lead. Freshman guards Duane Notice and Sindarius Thornwell paced the Gamecocks with 19 points, four rebounds and three assists apiece. - Carolina's defense held the Aggies to 35.6 percent shooting from the field, and did not a allow a double-digit scorer for the first time this season. - 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 6-of-6 from the free throw line last week at Ole Miss, senior guard Brenton Williams continues to lead the nation in free throw percentage at 95.8 percent (69-of-72/Feb. 1). - In this season's first meeting vs. Ole Miss, the Gamecocks held a 10-point lead at halftime, 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. - Senior guard Brenton Williams posted the second 30-point game of his career last Saturday at Missouri, hitting a career high seven 3s, while adding a perfect 9-of-9 mark from the free throw line. Williams scored 22 of those points and hit five 3s in the second half. - Despite 32 points from Williams and sophomore forward Michael Carrera's first double-double of the year with 16 points and 11 rebounds, South Carolina fell to 0-6 in league play with an 82-74 loss at Missouri on Jan. 25. The Gamecocks dished 12 assists, and committed just 11 turnovers, but poor shooting in the contest - 23-of-59 (39.0%) from the field - saw the home team post the win.
Scouting Tennessee The Volunteers enter Saturday's matchup with a 14-8 overall record, which includes a 5-4 mark in SEC games ... Tennessee, however, holds a 3-1 mark on its home court, falling only to Texas A&M on 57-56 on Jan. 11 ... The squad is led by head coach Cuonzo Martin in his third season ... The Vols' offense is Jordan McRae who ranks fifth in the conference at 19 points per game ... Inside, Jarnell Stokes is averaging a double-double in all games on the year with 13.8 points and 10.4 rebounds per game and is the only player in the SEC averaging a double-double in league play (13.8 ppg/12.1 rbg) ... Stokes has recorded a double-double in each of his last four games and has 13 on the season.
Tennessee Series Saturday's meeting vs. Tennessee marks the 62nd all-time between the two schools ... The Vols won the last meeting, 66-61, on Feb. 10, 2013, at Colonial Life Arena to take a 15 game lead in the series (38-23) ... The Gamecocks have been unable to defeat the Vols in the last 12 games, with their last win coming in South Carolina on Feb. 17, 2007.
By The Numbers 3 - The Gamecocks have won three of 11 games when the scoring margin is 10 points or less. 4 - Senior guard Brenton Williams has recorded at least four 3-pointers in five consecutive games after hitting 6-of-10 on Wednesday vs. Auburn. 4 - Freshman guard Sindarius Thornwell recorded a season high four steals on Wednesday against the Tigers, with three coming during an 18-2 run. 4 - Four Gamecocks played 30-plus minutes vs. Auburn (Kacinas, Notice, Thornwell, Williams). 6 - South Carolina played six of their nine SEC games against teams that reside in the top half of the conference. 7 - Thornwell has recorded double-figures in seven of nine SEC games, including four with 20-plus points. 9 - After recording a season high six assists at Ole Miss (Feb. 1), Thornwell went three better in his next game, dishing nine against Auburn, the most of any Gamecock in single game this season. 13 - With 29 points on Wednesday, Williams has recorded double-figures in 13 of his 14 games. 39 - Thornwell has played 39 minutes per game in his last two games, averaging 14 points, four rebounds, 7.5 assists and two steals. 40 - Since the injury to Tyrone Johnson on Jan. 15, Thornwell and Williams have stepped up their scoring numbers. The duo is averaging a combined 40 points over the last six games, 12.8 points above their combined season average.
Up Next The Gamecocks will be back at Colonial Life Arena on Wednesday night for their only meeting Vanderbilt this season. Game time is set for 8 p.m. ET, and the game will be broadcast on SECTV.