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Jan. 19, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina begins a two-game SEC homestand when Tennessee visits Columbia for the first time since the 2013 campaign on Tuesday for a 9 p.m. ET, matchup set to be broadcast on ESPNU. The Gamecocks enter Tuesday’s matchup with a 7-2 record in home contests this season, including a 1-1 mark in league play. Rich Hollenberg (pxp) and Dino Gaudio (analyst) will have the call for ESPNU.

Game Date: Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015
Game Time: 9 p.m. ET
Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000)
Broadcast: ESPNU/WatchESPN
Talent: Rich Hollenberg (pxp), Dino Gaudio (analyst)
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst)
Sirius: 136; XM: 190
Series: Tennessee leads 40-23
Last Meeting: 59-44 Tennessee win, March 14, 2014, in Atlanta, Ga. (SEC Tournament)

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– 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.
– Despite battling back from a 10-point halftime deficit to tie the contest midway through the second half, South Carolina suffered a 71-68 setback at Auburn on Saturday, falling to 1-3 in SEC play. Four Gamecocks scored in double figures, as the squad hit 50% from the field. Sophomore guard Duane Notice paced Carolina with 16 points, marking his sixth game this season with 15 or more points. Senior guard Ty Johnson added 13, sophomore guard Sindarius Thornwell chipped in 13 as well, and junior forward Laimonas Chatkevicius posted his first-ever SEC double-double with 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
– Johnson has posted double-figures in all four SEC games to date, and leads Carolina with 14.8 points per game in league play, hitting a stellar 47.5% from the field, and 88.9% (16-18) from the free throw line.
– South Carolina is averaging 75.9 points per game in home contests this season, holding a +16.1 scoring margin over its opponents in those contests.
– The South Carolina men’s golf team will be honored at halftime of Tuesday’s game. The Gamecocks head into their spring season with plenty of momentum after recording three top-five finishes in four fall events, including two tournament wins. Carolina has finished in the top five in 12 of its last 15 events, including five tournament titles.
– Major General Bradley Becker, the Fort Jackson Commanind General will also be honored at Tuesday’s game vs. Tennessee.
– Carolina snapped a brief two-game losing streak on Jan. 13 when it posted a 68-66 win over visiting Alabama at Colonial Life Arena. South Carolina survived shooting slumps at both the beginning and end of the contest, and the Crimson Tide missed a game-winning 3 attempt at the buzzer. Senior guard Tyrone Johnson led Carolina for the third-straight game with 13 points, while junior forwards Mindaugas Kacinas and Michael Carrera chipped in 10 and 12 points, respectively. The duo each pulled down a team high eight rebounds as well.
– The Gamecocks enter Tuesday’s matchup with an RPI of 108. South Carolina has victories this season over three teams in the top 55 of the RPI in Iowa State (15), Oklahoma State (33) and Alabama (52).
– South Carolina suffered its second loss of the SEC season on Jan. 10, falling on the road to Ole Miss, 65-49. The Gamecocks struggled on both ends of the floor, hitting just 18-of-49, including a 4-of-20 mark from 3-point range. Ole Miss wasn’t much better from the floor, however, they hit 50% from beyond the arc and 81.8% at the free throw line.
– The Gamecocks are in their 24th season of competition in the Southeastern Conference in 2015. Carolina owns a 139-237 (.369) all-time record in SEC play.
– Frank Martin owns a 60-62 (.491) all-time record in conference games.

The Coaches vs. Cancer Suits And SneakersTM Awareness Week (January 19-25, 2015) is a nationwide event that unites coaches across the country to raise awareness about the fight against cancer, and promote the American Cancer Society as a place for help and support. While coaching games during the week, coaches wear sneakers with their game attire as a visible reminder about the importance of nutrition and physical activity in reducing one’s cancer risk. Frank Martin and his staff will wear sneakers on the sideline vs. both Tennessee and Kentucky this week.

The Volunteers are led by first-year head coach Donnie Tyndall, and bring an 11-5 overall record, including a 3-1 mark in SEC games, into Tuesday’s matchup in Columbia. The Vols have won two straight entering the game, having posted a home win over Arkansas last Tuesday, and a 59-51 road win at Missouri on Saturday. Tennessee is led by senior guard Josh Richardson on the offensive end, as he posts 15.9 points and a team-high 3.5 assists per outing. Richardson is averaging 14.0 points per SEC game, including 20 points in the home win vs. Arkansas. Junior guard Kevin Punter also contributes 10.2 points per game in overall games. The Vols are 8-1 in home games this season and 2-1 in road games, also posting a victory on the road at Mississippi State to begin league play. Their lone road loss came at NC State in mid-December. The Vols rank among SEC leaders in turnover margin, sitting at third with a mark of +2.5; they are also fifth in offensive rebounds per game with 12.3 per outing. The Vols, then led by head coach Cuonzo Martin, advanced to the 2014 NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen.

The Vols hold a 40-23 upperhand in the all-time series against South Carolina, but Carolina holds a slight 14-13 advantage in games played in Columbia. Tennessee has won 14-straight meetings between the two schools. The Gamecocks’ last win was also their last home win vs. UT, an 81-64 victory on Feb. 17, 2007. The team’s met once last in last year’s regular season and once in the SEC Tournament. The Vols won on their home court, 72-53 on Feb. 8, and eliminated the Gamecocks from their tourney run with a 59-44 win on March 14, in Atlanta.

15/11 – Junior forward Laimonas Chatkevicius put together the best statistical performance in an SEC game for his career with 15 points and a game high 11 rebounds at Auburn. Chatkevicius posted seven points and seven rebounds in the first half alone. He hit 7-of-10 attempts from the field in the game, and nine of his board came on the defensive glass. It marked his second-career and first-ever SEC double-double. Chatkevicius provides 9.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game this season.
36.5% – South Carolina held Auburn to just 36.5% from the field, marking the 10th opponent this season that the Gamecocks have held under 40% from the field. Carolina owns a 9-1 record in those games.
4-7 – Auburn marked the first opponent this season that has scored more fast break points than the Gamecocks, as the Tigers held a 7-4 advantage in the category. South Carolina has out-scored all but two opponents in fast break points, as Cornell matched the Gamecocks’ four fast break points.
33.5 – South Carolina is averaging 33.5 points in the paint this season, and has out-scored its opponents 15 times this season in points in the paint, holding a 10-5 record in those contests.
6 – Sophomore guard Duane Notice has led or tied for the team lead in scoring a team-best six times this season, including his 16-point effort at Auburn. Notice paces the Gamecocks with 12.4 points per game in overall games this season.
4th – South Carolina ranks fourth in the SEC in average home attendance, as an average of 10,695 fans attend Carolina home games this season.
4th – South Carolina ranks fourth in scoring defense in the SEC, as opponents average just 60.7 points per game.
4th – The Gamecocks rank fourth in the SEC in free throw percent, hitting 72.1 percent at the charity stripe this season.
2nd – South Carolina ranks second in the SEC in rebounding margin with a mark of +6.4 for the year. The Gamecocks are 9-3 this season when they out-rebound their opponent.

South Carolina will host top-ranked Kentucky on Saturday at Colonial Life Arena at Noon on ESPN. South Carolina is 1-10 all-time vs. the AP No. 1, with the lone win coming against the Wildcats on Jan. 26, 2010, in Columbia. Kentucky has won six of the last seven meetings between the two schools, but the Gamecocks won the last matchup, a 72-67 win over the then-No. 17/15 Wildcats on March 1, 2014, also in Columbia.