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Nov. 17, 2014

Coach Martin
Duane Notice

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina will host Baylor Tuesday for a mid-day matchup as part of ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. It marks the second-consecutive season the Gamecocks and Bears meet in the event, as the team’s battled last season in Waco, with Baylor posting a 66-64 victory on its home court. Tuesday’s contest will be broadcast by ESPN with John Saunders and Len Elmore on the call.

Game Date: Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014
Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000)
Broadcast: ESPN
Talent: John Saunders (pxp), Len Elmore (analyst)
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst)
Sirius: 84; XM: 84
Live Stats:
Series: Baylor leads 3-2
Last Meeting: 66-64 Baylor win, Nov. 12, 2013, in Waco, Texas

Game Notes | @GamecockMBB | Parking Information | Promotions

– 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.
– The Gamecocks tipped off their season with a solid 81-56 victory over North Florida on Friday, led by nine different Gamecocks posting at least six points in the win, led Henry and Johnson with 12 points each. The win pushed head coach Frank Martin’s all-time record in season openers to 8-0 for his career.
– After Friday’s win over North Florida in the 2014-15 season opener, Carolina owns a 78-29 (.728) all-time record in season lidlifters, 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 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.

Baylor easily defeated McNeese State, 80-39, on Friday in the Bears’ season opener. Newcomer Deng Deng recorded 16 points to lead the team in the win, and senior point guard Kenny Chery dished five assists and collected two steals. The squad, led by head coach Scott Drew in his 12th season, was picked to finish sixth in the Big 12’s Preseason Poll. Baylor returns five letterwinners and two starters from last year’s 26-12 team. Seniors Royce O’Neale and Kenny Chery are back, along with juniors Rico Gathers and Taurean Prince and sophomore Ishmail Wainright. The Bears rebounded from a 2-8 start to Big 12 play last season to win seven of their last eight league games. That run continued in postseason play, with the Bears winning three straight games to advance to the Big 12 Championship title game, and BU went on to win a pair of NCAA Tournament games before falling in the Sweet 16.

Major General Bradley Becker from Fort Jackson will be swearing in Army recruits on the court in a special ceremony at halftime of today’s game. Becker is the Fort Jackson Commanding General.

Sophomore guard Sindarius Thornwell was honored with selection to the Preseason All-SEC Second Team last 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.

12 – For the first time in his career, sophomore forward Demetrius Henry led the Gamecocks in scoring, as he and senior guard Ty Johnson both scored 12 points in the season opener vs. North Florida. Henry scored six of Carolina’s first 14 points of the game, all on dunks. He was 6-of-9 from the field in the win.
19 – South Carolina dished 19 assists on 29 made baskets vs. North Florida. Rookie guard Marcus Stroman dished a team high six, while sophomore guard Duane Notice added five, and Johnson four. Combined with the exhibition, the Gamecocks have posted 42 assists on 61 made baskets. Stroman is credited with 12 of those assists, Notice with 10 and Johnson with eight.
0 – After committing seven turnovers in the exhibition, Stroman came back to dish six assists with zero turnovers vs. North Florida.

South Carolina travels to the lowcountry for the 2014 Charleston Classic this week, with the Gamecocks set to open tournament play vs. Cornell on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET. 2014 marks the second time that the Gamecocks will play in the event, as Carolina posted a 2-1 mark in the 2009 Classic, posting wins over LaSalle and USF, before suffering an 85-70 loss to Miami (Fla.) in the championship game. The Gamecocks will play either Penn State or Charlotte in the second round on Friday.

“Really good opening win for us. My biggest concern was that [North Florida] returned all their perimeter players and they were really good last year. They could really score and I thought defensively we did a really good job until a minute and a half to go in the first half. And then I think we got a little immature and we started playing the score rather than playing the game. Then we gave up some 3s there at the end of the first half, which kind of deflated us. When I made those substitutions at 18:30 or whenever it was, I don’t even remember who I put in, I think it was Mindaugas [Kacinas] and Brian Steele. And then we had gotten down to 15 or 16, they popped it back up to 28 or 29 right away and we played really well for that stretch in the second half. I told our team, good opening win, but we didn’t play very maturely in the second half..” – Frank Martin aftet the win vs. UNF on Nov. 14

– South Carolina wins its 13th-straight season opener with the victory over North Florida
– The win vs. the Ospreys also improved Frank Martin’s record in season openers to a perfect 8-0
– In his first college game, rookie point guard Marcus Stroman dished a team high six assists and committed zero turnovers in the game
– Junior forward Mindaguas Kacinas was just one point away from a double-double with a team-high 11 rebounds and nine points vs. the Ospreys
– The Gamecocks cleaned up the glass all night long, allowing the Osprey’s just two live-ball offensive rebounds in the game. The first would not come until the 6:37 mark in the second half, with South Carolina already leading by 27

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.

The statewide Read with the Gamecocks Reading Program continues to promote literacy by creating a three-segment reading program. Tuesday marks the first of these three days for the men’s basketball team and over 90 area elementary schools and over 6,900 students participated in the first segment, many of these schools and students will use the day as a field trip to watch the Gamecocks play Baylor.