COLUMBIA, S.C. -
The Frank Martin era official begins at South Carolina on Sunday when the Gamecock men's basketball team hosts Milwaukee in the 2012-13 season opener. Below are game details and game notes for the contest.
OPENING TIP Date: Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012 Tipoff: 3 p.m. ET Location: Columbia, S.C. Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000) Series: First Meeting Television: FSN Talent: Dave Neal (pxp), Larry Conley (analyst) Radio: Gamecock IMG Radio Network Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst) Tickets | @GamecockMBB | Live Stats
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.
- South Carolina returns nine letterwinners from last year's squad, including senior forward Lakeem Jackson, the lone returning senior.
- The contest vs. Milwaukee is part of the Hoops For Hope Classic. The Gamecocks will host Rider as part of the tournament on Nov. 19 before two contests in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to conclude tournament play.
- For the fifth-consecutive season, South Carolina opened its campaign with an exhibition win against Kentucky Wesleyan. The Gamecocks defeated the Panthers 75-55 during the 2008-09 campaign, earned a 78-55 win in 2009-10, collected a 71-58 victory over KWC to open the 2010-11 campaign and posted a 69-59 win vs. the Panthers last season. A lay-up from junior guard Brenton Williams with just 2.6 seconds left on the clock propelled Carolina to a 68-67 victory vs. KWC on Oct. 30.
- Williams was the high scorer in the exhibition with 22 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor and a 9-of-10 effort from the free throw line. Senior forward Lakeem Jackson posted a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
- Carolina owns a 75-29 (.721) all-time record in season openers, including a perfect 10-0 record in the last 10 seasons. The last season-opening loss for the Gamecocks came against the Ohio Valley's Tennessee Tech during the 2000-01 season, as the Golden Eagles edged the Gamecocks, 73-67. The Gamecocks earned an 75-50 win over Western Carolina in the 2011-12 season opener.
- The Gamecocks welcome four newcomers to their squad this all. Laimonas Chatkevicius (Fr., 6-11, F), Mindaugas Kacinas (Fr., 6-7, F), Michael Carrera (Fr., 6-5, F) and LaShay Page (Sr., 6-2, G) will don the Garnet and Black this fall. Page is a one-year transfer from Southern Mississippi.
- South Carolina returns 80.3 percent of its 3-point field goals from last season. Returners combined to hit 164 of the 204 attempts from beyond the arc last year.
- Entering the regular season, sophomore guard Damien Leonard is the top returning scorer with 6.8 points per game last season. Junior guard Bruce Ellington led all returners with 11.0 points per game, but Ellington will not join the basketball squad until the end of the football season.
- Carolina owns a 4-2 record against current schools in the Horizon League, including a 3-1 mark in home contests. The last time the Gamecocks played against a school from the league was during the 2005-06 campaign when South Carolina posted a 65-35 win vs. Detroit in Columbia.
UWM returns three starters and eight letterwinners from a team that posted a 20-14 mark a season ago when the Panthers qualified for the postseason for the second year in a row, earning a spot in the College Basketball Invitational. Milwaukee's season ended with a loss at TCU in the first round of the postseason. Milwaukee aims for its third 20-win season in the last four years along with its ninth top four league finish in 11 years in 2012-13. The team is led by Rob Jeter, long-time assistant at Wisconsin, in his eighth season. The Panthers posted a convincing 76-46 victory over Mary on Friday night in their season opener in Milwaukee. UWM shot 43.1 percent from the floor, with forward Kyle Kelm leading three in double-figures with 15 points.
By The Numbers 56.5 - The Gamecocks return just 56.5 percent of its scoring from a year ago. The team will miss the 380 points scored from graduated senior Malik Cooke. 23.4 -Frank Martin's teams average 23.4 wins per year, with each of his teams posting at least 21 victories every season. He led his Kansas State teams to five postseason appearances, including four trips to the NCAA Tournament. 22 - Junior guard Brenton Williams scored 22 points in the exhibition victory vs. Kentucky Wesleyan on Oct. 30. If a regular-season contest, the mark would have been a career high in points for the Kissimmee, Fla., native, while his nine made free throws would have also set a career high.
The 2012-13 non-conference slate features 10 home dates, including one exhibition, to be played at Colonial Life Arena, two trips to New York City and an international visit to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to highlight the lineup. In the non-conference portion of its schedule, the Gamecocks will take part in three events, including the Hoops for Hope Classic with games in Columbia and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, the annual SEC/BIG EAST Challenge, as well as the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational. The latter two will see the Gamecocks travel to New York City.
Up Next For The Gamecocks
South Carolina welcomes Morgan State to Colonial Life Arena on Nov. 16 for a 7 p.m. ET matchup. The contest will be televised on SportSouth.
2013 SEC Tournament
The 2013 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament will be played March 13-17 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. The men's basketball tournament has expanded to include all 14 teams and will be seeded 1-14. The tournament will begin on Wednesday, March 13 with matchups between the No. 11 and No. 14 seeds and the No. 12 and No. 13 seeds. The winners will advance to meet the sixth and fifth seeds, respectively, on Thursday. Also playing on Thursday with be the No. 8 and No. 9 seeds and the No. 7 and No. 10 seeds. The top four seeds in the tournament will receive byes until Friday's quarterfinal round.