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Nov. 13, 2014


COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina opens its 2014-15 season on Friday when it hosts North Florida, beginning the 107th season of varsity basketball at South Carolina. The contest will tip at 7 p.m. ET, and will be broadcast on SEC Network+.

Game Date: Friday, Nov. 14, 2014
Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000)
Broadcast: SEC Network+
Andy Demetra (pxp), Alex English (analyst)
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
Derek Scott (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst)
Sirius: None; XM: None
Live Stats:
Series: First Meeting
Last Meeting: First Meeting

Game Notes | @GamecockMBB | Parking Map | Promotions | Replay Of Coach Martin’s Live Phone Conference Call

Friday’s game will be broadcast on SEC Network+. The game will be available through participating TV providers only through WatchESPN. For more information on SEC Network+, please click HERE

– South Carolina is in its 107th season of varsity basketball in 2014-15.
– The Gamecocks are led by third-year head coach Frank Martin. His associate head coach is Matt Figger, his assistant coaches are Perry Clark and Lamont Evans, and his director of operations is Andy Assaley.
– South Carolina returns 11 letterwinners from last season’s 14-20 team, including starters, sophomore guard Sindarius Thornwell, junior forward Michael Carrera, junior forward Mindaguas Kacinas and sophomore forward Demetrius Henry. Senior guard Tyrone Johnson started nine games before being sidelined with an injury as well.
– Carolina owns a 77-29 (.726) 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 82-44 victory over Longwood in last season’s lidlifter.
– The Gamecocks return 71.3 percent (1,658/2,323) of their scoring from last season. The biggest void was left by the graduation of senior guard Brenton Williams who tallied 505 points.
– South Carolina posted a 92-47 victory over Benedict in the team’s lone exhibition game this season. Johnson led the Gamecocks with 23 points, six rebounds and six assists in the win. Carrera was huge on the boards, collecting 15 rebounds, while junior forward Laimonas Chatkevicius also pulled down double-digit rebounds with 12. Sophomore guard Duane Notice accounted for nine of Carolina’s 23 assists (on 32 made baskets) in the game.

The Ospreys posted a 16-16 record last season, which included a 10-8 mark in Atlantic Sun contests. UNF’s 16 overall wins and 10 A-Sun wins both matched program records for a season. They lost a key inside presence in All-ASun second teamer Travis Wallace who paced the team’s effort on the glass with 7.3 boards per game while adding 12.3 points, but returning is sophomore point guard Dallas Moore. The A-Sun Freshman of the Year in 2013 led UNF with 12.5 points and 2.5 assists per contest. The squad, led by head coach Matt Driscoll in his sixth season, was picked to finished second in the A-Sun Preseason Poll, while Moore, junior guard Beau Beech and sophomore forward Chris Davenport were all picked on the league’s Preseason squad. The No. 2 preseason mark is the highest on record for the Ospreys.

Sophomore guard Sindarius Thornwell was honored with selection to the Preseason All-SEC Second Team on Thursday, the first preseason honor of his career. The Lancaster, S.C., native started all 34 games as a freshman, averaging 13.4 points, 4.1 rebounds 3.0 assists and 1.2 steals in 29.6 minutes per game. After leading all SEC freshmen in scoring and assists in conference games, Thornwell was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team last spring.

23 – Then-freshman guard Duane Notice scored the first 20-point game of his career with a team best 23 points in the SEC Tournament victory over Auburn last March. Notice averaged 8.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists last season. Notice dished a season high eight assists vs. SC State last season, and posted 19 games with at least three helpers.
7.7, 6.7 – Then-sophomore Laimonas Chatkevicius was stellar in the final six games of last season (when the Gamecocks won four of the final six games), averaging well above his career averages with 7.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. That included a career high 16 points in the SEC Tournament victory over Arkansas.
15.6 – Sophomore guard Sindarius Thornwell returns for the Gamecocks after leading the SEC freshmen in points (15.6) and assists (4.0) in league games last season en route to All-Freshman Team honors. Thornwell is Carolina’s top returning scorer, as he posted 13.4 points per game last season. He tallied seven 20-point games, which included six during the SEC campaign to set a Gamecock record for 20-point games by a rookie in league play.

“Real happy with our guys. I thought we played to the way we practiced. Guys were more mature, were stronger. Given the fact that we’ve practiced 13 times and in 13 practices we’ve only devoted three and a half to what we do defensively, it was good to see our guys playing through the disciplines that we teach. That’s what happens when you have experience on your team. You have guys that believe in the culture and they embrace it and they understand it. Then they go out and execute.” – Frank Martin aftet the Oct. 26 exhibition win vs. Benedict College

The Gamecocks host Baylor on Tuesday as part of ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. The game is set to tip at Noon at Colonial Life Arena, and will be broadcast on ESPN. Baylor claimed a narrow 66-64 victory over the visiting Gamecocks last November in Waco. Then-sophomore Michael Carrera hit a lay-up at the end of regulation, but it was just nano seconds after the final buzzer. Baylor leads the all-time series between the two schools 3-2.

The 2015 edition of the SEC Tournament will be held in Nashville, Tenn., at Bridgestone Arena. The tournament was last held in the Music City in 2013. South Carolina owns a 4-4 record in Tournament games played in Nashville. The SEC Network will televise the first three days of the SEC Basketball Tournament (March 11-15), while the semifinals and championship game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.

Season tickets for Gamecock men’s basketball are still on sale via the South Carolina Ticket Office. Fans should call 1-800-4SC-FANS, or visit to purchase. Also available are three Mini-Plans, described below.

Football/Basketball Combo Pack (football, men’s and women’s basketball)
Football/basketball combo ticket package, which includes one ticket to the football game versus South Alabama (Nov. 22), the men’s basketball game versus Clemson (Dec. 19) and the women’s basketball game versus Southern California (Nov. 15). Cost for the package is just $39.

Saturday 5-Game Mini-Plan (men’s basketball)
The Saturday 5-Game Mini-Plan includes tickets to Oklahoma State, Georgia, Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Kentucky. Package prices start at $65 for upper level seats and $85 for lower level seats, which is a savings of 15%.

Flex Plan (men’s basketball)
For $99 fans will receive eight ticket vouchers redeemable for upper deck tickets to any game except Kentucky.