BROOKLYN, N.Y. -
South Carolina travels to New York City for the second time this season when it faces Manhattan on Saturday in a neutral site, non-conference matchup, at the newly opened Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The contest marks the eighth meeting all-time between the two schools, and the first since the 1981 season. The contest will not be televised, but live streaming will be available via a link on BarclaysCenter.com and GamecocksOnline.com. Fans can also listen on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network with Andy Demetra (play-by-play) and Casey Manning (analyst) on the call.
OPENING TIP Date: Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012 Tipoff: 5:30 p.m. ET Location: Brooklyn, N.Y. Arena: Barclays Center (17,732) Series: South Carolina leads 5-2 Last Meeting: South Carolina win, 90-62, Jan. 15, 1981; in Columbia, S.C. Television: None Radio: Gamecock IMG Radio Network Sirius: 94; XM: 198 Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst) Tickets: BarclaysCenter.com | @GamecockMBB | Live Stats | Free Live Video | Game Notes
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.
- It was close at the end, but the Gamecocks held on for a 74-69 victory over visiting Appalachian State on Wednesday night at Colonial Life Arena.
- Entering Saturday's contest vs. Manhattan, the Gamecocks are 2-0 this season in neutral site contests, having won both on-site games (vs. Missouri State, UALR) competing at the Hoops For Hope Classic in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico late last month to caputre the Classic title.
- Freshman forward Mindaugas Kacinas posted the first double-double of his career with 12 points and a game-best 12 rebounds vs. the Mountaineers. He also played a season high 34 minutes, posting three assists and three blocks as well.
- Junior guard Eric Smith dished a career high nine assists vs. Appalachian State, including seven in the first half, which matched his previous career high. Smith leads the Gamecocks with 4.0 assists per game.
- Senior forward Lakeem Jackson posted a season high 16 points vs. App State on 8-of-11 shooting from the field. Jackson ranks among SEC leaders with a 63.0 shooting percentage (46-73).
- The Gamecocks errupted for a season-high 91 points in a 17-point victory vs. Jacksonville on Dec. 7. Freshman forward Michael Carrera paced four Gamecocks in double-figures with 17 points, while he also collected a team high nine rebounds.
- South Carolina hit a stellar 62.5 percent (10-16) from 3-point range vs. Jacksonville, led by a perfect 4-of-4 effort from junior guard Brian Richardson, and a 4-of-5 performance from Brenton Williams. The duo lead Carolina in shooting percentage from beyond the arc, as Richardson has hit 43.8 percent (14-32) and Williams 50.0 percent (18-36).
- Among freshmen in the SEC, Michael Carrera ranks fifth in scoring (10.0 per game) and third in rebounding (7.3 per game). He has two double-doubles and has posted four double-figure scoring games entering Saturday's contest vs. Manhattan.
- Also among freshmen in the SEC, Mindaugas Kacinas ranks fifth in field goal percentage (58.5 percent)
- Carolina owns a 16-7 all-time record against current schools in the Metro Atlantic Conference.
Manhattan enters Saturday's contest with a 3-6 overall record after most recently suffering a 75-48 loss at LIU Brooklyn last Sunday. The Jaspers are 3-1 in games played in NYC this season after the loss. Junior forward Rhamel Brown has 16 blocks this season through nine games, after setting the single-season Manhattan record for blocks in a season last year with 84. Junior guard Michael Alvarado posts 11.2 points per game and Brown adds 9.7 per outing. As a team the Jaspers have hit just 39.0 percent from the field this season. The team is led by Kentucky alum Steve Masiello.
Cousy Award Candidates
Senior guard LaShay Page and junior guard Bruce Ellington were both named candidates for the 2013 Bob Cousy Award on Thursday. The annual honor, named for Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic Bob Cousy, reognizes the top point guards in men's college basketball. There are over 80 candidates for the 2013 award, with the list narrowed down to 20 finalists in mid-January.
By The Numbers 9 - Junior guard Eric Smith dished a career high nine assists vs. Appalachian State on Wednesday, marking the most assists in a game from a South Carolina player since Devan Downey also collected nine at Tennessee on March 9, 2008. 16, 3 - Over the course of the last two games, Smith has dished 16 assists, against just three turnovers. He saw 24 minutes of action vs. Jacksonville and 23 minutes vs. App State. 10-of-13 - In Wednesday's contest vs. Appalachian State, the Gamecocks were clutch from the free throw line in the final five minutes of play. Carolina hit 10-of-13 from the line, including a 5-of-5 effort from LaShay Page. 56.2% - Junior guard Brenton Williams continues to impress on the offensive end. His 56.2 percent (41-73) from the field leads the South Carolina guards, and his 50.0 percent (18-36) from 3-point range is a team best. He was 3-of-4 from the field vs. App State, including a perfect 2-of-2 from beyond the arc. +9.4 - The Gamecocks continue to hold a solid rebounding margin over opponents, however, Appalachian State became the first team this season to out-rebound Carolina. 19.0 - Over the course of the last two games, South Carolina is averaging 19.0 assists per game.
Up Next For The Gamecocks
Following the holiday break, South Carolina will host Presbyterian as part of a doubleheader with the Gamecock women's team on Dec. 29. Game time is set for 1 p.m. ET with the contest televised on CSS.