Jan. 1, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina begins the 2015 portion of its schedule on Saturday with a neutral site matchup against No. 9/9 Iowa State at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The meeting will be the first all-time between the two schools, however, Gamecock head coach Frank Martin is very familiar with the Cyclones, having amassed a record of 7-3 versus Iowa State during his time in the Big 12. The matchup will be broadcast on CBSSN with Andrew Catalon and Steve Lappas on the call.
Game Date: Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015
Game Time: 6 p.m. ET
Arena: Barclays Center (17,732)
Talent: Andrew Catalon (pxp), Steve Lappas (analyst)
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst)
Sirius: 84; XM: 84
Series: First Meeting
– 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 posted its sixth-straight win with a deciding 91-54 victory over visiting North Carolina A&T on Dec. 30 at Colonial Life Arena. Six Gamecocks scored in double figures, including all five starters, with Mindaugas Kacinas posting a team high 16 off the bench. South Carolina held the Aggies to just 16 points in the first half, and NC A&T hit just 32.7% (18-55) from the field for the game.
– Kacinas’ 16 points vs. North Carolina A&T marked the first time that he has led Carolina in scoring this season. He was a perfect 5-of-5 from the field and a flawless 6-of-6 from the charity stripe. He also collected seven rebounds to up his team-leading rebounds per game mark to 6.8.
– South Carolina ranks among the top 50 in 12 categories in the most updated NCAA statistics.
– Saturday’s game vs. Iowa State marks the second time that the Gamecocks will play at the Barclays Center under the direction of Frank Martin, as Carolina posted a 63-57 win over Manhattan at the venue on Dec. 22, 2012, Martin’s first season leading South Carolina.
– In the Dec. 31 NCAA RPI rankings, the Gamecocks rank 128.
– South Carolina was a perfect 5-0 during the month of December, and has not suffered a loss since a 68-63 decision vs. Akron on Nov. 23 at the Charleston Classic.
– The Gamecocks posted a 26-point win versus visiting Coker College on Dec. 21 with a final score of 78-52. Four Gamecocks scored in double-figures, led by sophomore guard Duane Notice’s team-best 19 points. Junior forward Michael Carrera pulled down a team high eight rebounds in his second contest back after missing three games due to a concussion.
SCOUTING IOWA STATE
Iowa State enters Saturday’s matchup against the Gamecocks riding a seven-game win streak, most recently posting an 83-33 win vs. Mississippi Valley State on New Year’s Eve. The Cyclones own a 10-1 record on the year, with their lone loss coming to Maryland at the CBE Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City on Nov. 25. ISU ranks among the top 10 in several categories in the most recent NCAA stats, including leading the nation in assist to turnover ratio, and ranking third in assists per game. Also of note, the Cyclones lead the nation in fewest fouls, committing just 13.9 per game this season. Five different ISU players average double-figures, including All-Big 12 performer, junior forward Georges Diang who leads the pack with 16.1 points per outing. Sophomore guard MontÃƒÂ© Morris paces the Cyclones with 5.5 assists per game, which ranks 30th nationally. Morris has only 10 turnovers against 61 assists this season, ranking him first in the nation in assist to turnover ratio at 6.22. Saturday’s matchup in the fourth at a neutral site for the Cyclones this season, and they enter with a 2-1 record in those games. ISU has played two SEC opponents in Alabama and Arkansas this season, winning both of those contests. Head coach Fred Hoiberg is in his fifth season in Ames. The win over Mississippi Valley State was the 100th of his career.
IOWA STATE SERIES
Saturday’s matchup vs. Iowa State is the first-ever between the Gamecocks and Cyclones.
BY THE #’S
4 – South Carolina ranks fourth nationally in field goal percentage defense (33.7%), and the mark is second in the SEC behind Kentucky’s 29.7%.
Top 10 – South Carolina’s contest vs. Iowa State on Saturday marks Carolina’s first game vs. a top 10 opponent since facing No. 1/1 Florida on March 4, 2014.
8 – During his seven-plus seasons as a head coach, Frank Martin has eight victories over opponents ranked in the Top 10, which includes two wins over a team ranked No. 1.
7.3+ – Six different Gamecocks are averaging at least 7.3 points per game this season, with three – Duane Notice (13.2), Sindarius Thornwell (11.4), and Laimonas Chatkevicius (10.7) – averaging double-figures.
7+ – At least one of Carolina’s point guards has dished seven or more assists in each of the last three games. Rookie Marcus Stroman collected seven helpers vs. North Carolina A&T, which came after he collected a season high eight vs. Coker. In the matchup vs. archrival Clemson, senior guard Ty Johnson set a new career high with nine assists vs. the Tigers.
+16.5 – South Carolina ranks second in the SEC and 17th nationally with a scoring margin of +16.5.
10+ – Thanks to the fantastic research from voice of the Gamecocks Andy Demetra, we know that the Gamecocks have defeated six-straight opponents by double-digits for the first time since the 1944-45 campaign.
12 – South Carolina ranks among the top 50 in 12 different categories in the most updated NCAA stats (Dec. 31).
SHEPPARD RETURNS FROM INJURY
Freshman forward Shamiek Sheppard made his collegiate debut on Tuesday vs. North Carolina A&T, after missing the first 10 games of the season due to a knee injury suffered this summer which required surgery. Sheppard battled through the rehab process and was nearly a month ahead of his projected schedule for return. The Brooklyn, N.Y., native will play just his second college game in front of his hometown crowd on Saturday at the Barclays Center. He’ll look to follow up a three-point, two-rebound effort in five minutes played vs. North Carolina A&T in his debut.
South Carolina returns to Columbia to host Florida on Jan. 7 in the Southeastern Conference opener for both schools. The Gators lead the all-time series 42-24 and have won six-consecutive meetings.