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Gamecocks Face Saint Mary's At Diamond Head Classic On Sunday

 

Dec. 21, 2013

South Carolina begins play at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic with its first-ever meeting against West Coast Conference contender Saint Mary's on Sunday, Dec. 22. The contest will be televised on ESPNU at 11 p.m. ET. The Gamecocks will play three games at the Classic, all of which will be televised on the ESPN family of networks. Depending on results, South Carolina will face either host Hawaii (7-2) or Boise State (8-2) in the event's second round on Dec. 23.

OPENING TIP
Date: Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013
Tipoff: 11 p.m. ET
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Arena: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300)
Series: First Meeting
Last Meeting: N/A
Broadcast: ESPNU
Talent: Roxy Bernstein (pxp), Miles Simon (analyst)
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network/107.5 The Game in Columbia
Sirius: 91; XM: 91
Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst)
Game Notes | Live Stats | @GamecockMBB on Twitter | Tickets | Diamond Head Classic Website

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.
- South Carolina looks to snap a three-game losing streak when it faces Saint Mary's on Sunday, as USC Upstate posted a 74-68 victory over the Gamecocks on Thursday at Colonial Life Arena. The game was the second of an eight-game, 18-day stretch for Carolina. Freshman guard Sindarius Thornwell led Carolina with 19 points in the contest, while junior guard Ty Johnson added 11. Thornwell, Johnson and rookie guard Duane Notice each added three assists in the game.
- Foul trouble for the Gamecocks' bigs was a major factor in Thursday's contest, as freshman forwards Demetrius Henry and Desmond Ringer each had four fouls midway through the second half, with sophomore forward Laimonas Chatkevicius also collecting his fourth foul of the game with considerable time on the clock. Henry would eventually foul out, the third time this season he has fouled out of a contest.
- Sophomore forward Michael Carrera was suspended for Thursday's contest after his involvement in a post-game altercation vs. Manhattan in the handshake line. Carrera will return for the Gamecocks at the Diamond Head Classic.
- Sunday's contest vs. Saint Mary's marks the first neutral site contest of the season for Carolina. The Gamecocks put together a 3-1 neutral site record last season, with their lone loss coming to Mississippi State in the SEC Tournament in Nashville. The Gamecocks won two neutral site games in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, as part of the Hoops For Hope Challenge in November, before a December victory over Manhattan at the Barclays Center in New York City. Carolina averaged 60.0 points per game in those contests last season.
- South Carolina head coach Frank Martin owns a 20-20 record in neutral site contests in his career.
- The Gamecocks are 0-3 on the road this season, averaging 57.7 points per game, and hitting just 35.6 percent from the floor in those contests. Thornwell paces the team in road games with 12.3 points per outing, while Mindaugas Kacinas pulls down a team best 6.3 rebounds per game.
- Kacinas currently leads the Gamecocks and ranks ninth in the SEC with 8.0 rebounds per contest. His 3.4 offensive rebounds per contest are a team best and also rank sixth in the league.
- Senior guard Bruce Ellington and junior forward Carlton Geathers both participated in winter graduation ceremonies last Monday. Both earned their degree in sociology.
- Free throw shooting was the difference in the Dec. 17 game vs. Manhattan, as the Jaspers escaped Colonial Life Arena with an 86-68 win over the Gamecocks. The victory was Manhattan's seventh-straight on the road. The Jaspers hit a stellar 34-of-39 from the free throw line, a mark of 87.2 percent. The Gamecocks attempted just one less from the line, but hit just 22-of-38 for the game, including 9-of-19 in the opening half. Thornwell led the Gamecocks with 17 points in the game, including 10 from the charity stripe.

 

 

Diamond Head Classic Schedule
Sunday, Dec. 22
1 - Iowa State v George Mason (ESPNU) 5:30 p.m.
2 - Oregon St. v Akron (ESPNU) 7:30 p.m.
3 - South Carolina v Saint Mary's (ESPNU) 11:00 p.m.
4 - Boise State v Hawai'i (ESPNU) 1:00 a.m. (23rd)

Monday, Dec. 23
5 - gm 1 loser v gm 2 loser (ESPNU) 2:30 p.m.
6 - gm 1 winner v gm 2 winner (ESPNU) 4:30 p.m.
7 - gm 3 winner v gm 4 winner (ESPN2) 9:00 p.m.
8 - gm 3 loser v gm 4 loser (ESPNU) 11:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 25
9 - 7th Place Game (ESPN3) 1:30 p.m.
10 - 5th Place Game (ESPNU) 4:00 p.m.
11 - 3rd Place Game (ESPN2) 7:30 p.m.
12 - Championship Game (ESPN2) 8:30 p.m.

Scouting Saint Mary's
Saint Mary's enters Sunday's contest with a 9-0 record on the year, and receiving votes in both the Associated Press and Coaches Polls this week ... The Gaels, a perennial contender in the West Coast Conference, are led by head coach Randy Bennett in his 13th season ... Saint Mary's has quality victories this season already versus Akron and at Boise State ... Sunday's contest in Hawaii marks just the second of the season away from the Gaels' home court for the squad ... Junior forward Brad Waldow paces the squad with 17.6 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per outing ... Stephen Holt (13.3), James Walker III (11.3) and Beau Levesque (11.0) all contribute double-digits as well entering tournament play.

Series vs. Saint Mary's
Sunday's meeting marks the first between the Gamecocks and Gaels.

Possible Second Round Opponent Info
Hawaii
The Rainbow Warriors host the fifth annual Diamond Head Classic this week and host Boise State in the event's opening round ... Hawaii owns a 7-2 record on the season and enters Sunday's matchup vs. the Broncos having won their last five games ... Hawaii's losses this season have come to New Mexico and fellow SEC opponent Missouri ... Senior forward Christian Standhardinger paces the squad with 18.4 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per contest ... Hawaii is led by head coach Gib Arnold in his fourth season ... The Rainbow Warriors own a 1-0 lead in the all-time series with the Gamecocks, as they earned a 70-94 victory in Honolulu on Dec. 4, 1981.

Boise State
The Broncos enter tournament play with an 8-2 record having dropped their last two contests, at Kentucky and vs. Saint Mary's ... Junior guard Anthony Drmic paces four Boise State players averaging double-figure points entering tournament play with 18.6 per contest, Derrick Marks (17.7), Jeff Elorriaga (12.9) and Ryan Watkins (10.1) contribute double-digits as well ... Watkins' 9.7 rebounds per game are a team best ... The team is led by head coach Leon Rice in his fourth season... The Gamecocks and Broncos have no previous meetings on the hardwood.

By The Numbers
10 - 10 different Gamecocks average at least 11.0 minutes per contest, led by junior guard Tyrone Johnson's 29.9 minutes per game.
9 - Nine different Gamecocks average at least 5.2 points per game, with freshman guard Sindarius Thornwell leading the bunch with 13.6 points per outing.
35.6% - In three road contests this season, South Carolina is averaging just 35.6 percent from the field, 34.5 percent from 3-point range and just 64.5 percent from the charity stripe.
11 on 13 - South Carolina dished 11 assists on 13 made baskets in the first half of last Thursday's contest vs. USC Upstate, but connected for just four assists on 10 made baskets in the second half.

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