COLUMBIA, S.C. -
The Gamecock men's basketball team (1-0) continues non-conference action when it hosts Morgan State (1-2) on Friday night at Colonial Life Arena. Below are game details and notes for the contest.
OPENING TIP Date: Friday, Nov. 16, 2012 Tipoff: 7 p.m. ET Location: Columbia, S.C. Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000) Series: First Meeting Television: SportSouth Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Eddie Fogler (analyst) Radio: Gamecock IMG Radio Network Talent: Derek Scott (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.
- Friday night's contest vs. Morgan State marks a stretch of three games in seven days for South Carolina.
- The Gamecocks opened the Frank Martin era in thrilling fashion last Sunday, posting their 12th-straight win in a season opener after rallying from a 17-point deficit in the second half to earn an 82-75 overtime victory over Milwaukee in the opening round of the Hoops For Hope Classic in Columbia.
- Freshman forward Michael Carrera posted the first double-double by a Gamecock freshman since the 2008 campaign vs. Milwaukee with 17 points and a game-best 15 rebounds. His 15 rebounds rank him tied for first in the SEC in rebounds per game.
- Carrera was named the SEC Freshman of the Week on Nov. 12 for his outstanding performance vs. the Panthers.
- Nine Gamecocks saw playing time vs. Milwaukee, with Lakeem Jackson playing a team-high 40 minutes.
- Senior guard LaShay Page returned to practice from a hamstring straight on Nov. 7 and he was the high scorer vs. Milwaukee with 19 points.
- Junior guard Brenton Williams was the hero of overtime for Carolina, scoring 12 of 16 Gamecock points in the five-minute session, including a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line.
- 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 20-1 record against current schools in the MEAC conference. Its most common opponent from the league is South Carolina State. The Gamecocks' lone loss to a school from the league came against Coppin State in the 1997 NCAA Tournament.
Scouting Morgan State
The Bears enter Friday's game with a 1-2 overall record after three contests at the Old Dominion Tournament last weekend. Morgan State began its season with a 71-59 victory vs. Texas San Antonio, before suffering losses to ODU and Holy Cross. Senior guard Anthony Hubbard paces the squad with 15.7 points per game, just ahead of senior forward DeWayne Jackson with 14.0 per outing and junior guard Justin Black with 12.0 per game. Hubbard's 9.3 rebounds also are a team high. The Bears were picked third in the 2012-13 MEAC Preseason Poll earlier this month, with Jackson earning preseason first-team honors.
By The Numbers 15 - Freshman forward Michael Carrera collected 15 rebounds in his debut in the Garnet and Black vs. Milwaukee on Sunday. It marked the most rebounds in a game for a South Carolina player since Sam Muldrow collected 16 at Tennessee on Feb. 6, 2010, while it marked the most rebounds by a Gamecock freshman since Mike Holmes collected 16 vs. NC State on Nov. 23, 2007. 38.8% - The Gamecocks held Milwaukee to just 38.8 percent from the field on 26-of-67 shooting. It marked the lowest field goal percentage by a Gamecock opponent since holding Georgia to 38.0 percent (26-66) on March 3. 0 - South Carolina failed to hit a 3-point field goal vs. Milwaukee, marking the first time that Carolina has not hit a 3 in a game since failing to connect from beyond the arc vs. Mississippi State on March 2, 2002, a span of 327 games. 13 - Freshmen forwards Michael Carrera (7) and Mindaugas Kacinas (6) combined for 13 of South Carolina's 17 offensive rebounds vs. Milwaukee. 83.9 - Just one game in, but the Gamecocks lead the SEC in free throw percentage with a mark of 83.9. South Carolina connected on 26-of-31 attempts vs. UWM.
Williams Impressive In Minutes Off Bench
Junior guard Brenton Williams continues to impress off the bench for Carolina. The Kissimmee, Fla., native scored 14 points in 13 minutes - including 12 points in three minutes in overtime vs. Milwaukee. If you look at his last three outings dating back to last season, including the Oct. 30 exhibition vs. Kentucky Wesleyan, and last season's finale vs. Alabama in the SEC Tourney, Williams is averaging 16.3 points in 21.3 minutes per game. Last season he led the team in points off the bench 12 times.
Happy Birthday Colonial Life Arena!
Colonial Life Arena, home of Carolina basketball, celebrates its 10th anniversary this weekend with four home basketball contests. Colonial Life Arena has entertained over 5 million spectators who have attended games, concerts, family shows, and special events. South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner and arena general manager Lexie Boone will commemorate the anniversary with a cake cutting at Friday's night's contest vs. Morgan State.
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 hosts Rider in the second round of the Hoops For Hope Classic on Monday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Carolinas.