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March 4, 2015

Coach Martin
Tyrone Johnson

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina hosts No. 18/18 Arkansas on Thursday in the final regular-season home contest for the Gamecocks. The contest will serve as Senior Night for three Gamecocks as well. The meeting is the second between the two schools this season. The Razorbacks posted a 75-55 win in Fayetteville on Feb. 3. Thursday’s contest will be broadcast on ESPN2 with Joe Tessitore (pxp) and Sean Farnham (analyst) on the call.

Game Date: Thursday, March 5, 2015
Game Time: 7 p.m. ET
Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000)
Broadcast: ESPN2/WatchESPN/ESPN3
Talent: Joe Tessitore (pxp), Sean Farnham (analyst)
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst)
Sirius: 84; XM: 84
Series: Arkansas leads 16-12
Last Meeting: 75-55 Arkansas win on Feb. 3, 2015, in Fayetteville, Ark.

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South Carolina will honor three seniors prior to Thursday’s contest vs. Arkansas. Senior manager Reggie Gallant, junior guard Austin Constable and senior guard Tyrone Johnson will be honored prior to tip in a ceremony slated to begin at approximately 6:45 p.m.

– 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 snapped a two-game winless streak with a convincing 81-68 win over visiting Mississippi State last Saturday. The Gamecocks posted their highest field goal percentage of the SEC season vs. the Bulldogs, connecting on 46.3 percent (25-54) of their attempts. Three were in double figures, but senior guard Tyrone Johnson led the pack with a career high 28 points. He also had career numbers from the free throw line, hitting on 13-of-15 attempts. Junior forward Laimonas Chatkevicius shined again, hitting his career high for the second-straight contest with 18 points, while adding nine rebounds.
– South Carolina currently sits in 11th place in the most updated SEC standings (March 4).
– Arkansas won the first 2015 meeting between the two schools, 75-55, at Bud Walton Arena on Feb. 3. Undermanned due to injuries, the Gamecocks committed 20 turnovers in the contest, which the Razorbacks converted into 21 points.
– Following Thursday’s contest vs. Arkansas, South Carolina concludes the regular season at Tennessee on Saturday. UT won the first 2015 matchup between the two schools, 66-62, in Columbia. The Vols shot 57.5 percent from the field in the contest.
– Freshman guard Marcus Stroman returned for the Gamecocks at Alabama after missing the previous four games due to a throat infection. Stroman saw 14 minutes of action vs. the Crimson Tide. Stroman, however, was unavailable for the Mississippi State contest due to a recurrence of the throat infection.
– South Carolina has four victories this season over teams in the top 50 of the RPI (March 3) in Iowa State (14), Georgia (35, twice) and Oklahoma State (43).
– The Gamecocks are in their 24th season of competition in the Southeastern Conference in 2015. Carolina owns a 143-245 (.368) all-time record in SEC play.
– Frank Martin owns a 64-70 (.477) all-time record in conference games.
– South Carolina suffered a 59-51 loss on the road at Alabama on Feb. 24, despite a career high 18 points and nine rebounds from junior forward Laimonas Chatkevicius. Sophomore guard Duane Notice added 16 points, including four 3s, but a late 10-3 run from the Crimson Tide secured the Alabama victory.

Arkansas is ranked No. 18 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Polls this week. The Razorbacks own a 23-6 overall record, which includes a 12-4 mark in SEC play. Including its Feb. 3 victory over the Gamecocks, Arkansas won seven-straight contests until suffering an 84-67 loss at top-ranked Kentucky last Saturday. Sophomore forward Bobby Portis leads the Razorbacks and ranks second in the SEC with 17.5 points per game, while his team-leading 8.5 rebounds per game rank fourth in the league. Those numbers rise to 18.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per game in conference play. Junior guard Michael Qualls also provides double figures with 15.2 points per outing. Senior guard Rashad Madden’s 4.7 assists per game are second in the league, and as a team, Arkansas leads the SEC and ranks sixth in the nation with 16.9 assists per outing. Head Coach Mike Anderson is in his fourth season leading the Razorbacks.

Arkansas leads the all-time series with the Gamecocks 16-12 after a 75-55 win in Fayetteville earlier this season. South Carolina does hold a 7-4 advantage in games played in Columbia, which includes six-straight home games dating back to the 2003 campaign.

19 – South Carolina dished an SEC season high 19 assists in the win vs. Mississippi State. Over the course of the last three games, South Carolina has collected an assist on 73.3% of its made baskets.
13.0 – Sophomore guard Duane Notice has registered 13.0 points per game over the course of the last five games to lead Carolina. During that stretch he also has a team best 3.6 assists per outing. Notice scored 13 points, with five assists and a steal in Saturday’s win vs. Mississippi State.
73.7% – South Carolina ranks second in the SEC (overall games), hitting 73.7% (417-566) from the free throw line this season. That number currently ranks third all-time in Carolina history. The 1971 squad holds the school record, as it hit 74.3% (635-855) from the charity stripe.
70.2 – South Carolina is averaging 70.2 points per game in home games this season, including 63.3 points per game in SEC home contests.
18 – Junior forward Laimonas Chatkevicius posted a career high 18 points at Alabama on Feb. 24 and hit the same mark on Saturday vs. Mississippi State. He hit 7-of-12 attempts from the floor and was a perfect 4-of-4 at the free throw line vs. the Crimson Tide, and connected on 8-of-13 attempts from the floor vs. the Bulldogs. 8.5 – Chatkevicius is averaging 8.3 rebounds per game over the course of the last four games. He collected five at Georgia, 11 vs. A&M and nine at Alabama and vs. Miss. State.
3.5 – Among freshmen in the SEC, Marcus Stroman ranks fourth in overall games with 3.5 assists per outing. In strictly league games, he ranks third with 2.6 per outing.
10-8 – The Gamecocks are 11-8 this season when out-rebounding their opponent. 4th – South Carolina ranks fourth in the SEC in average home attendance, as an average of 11,617 fans attend Carolina home games this season.
61.9 – South Carolina ranks third in scoring defense in the SEC (overall games), as opponents average just 61.9 points per game.
89.7% – Senior guard Tyrone Johnson ranks second in the SEC in strictly league games at the free throw line, as he has hit 89.7% (52-58) from the charity stripe.
45 – According to ESPN’s BPI (March 4), South Carolina’s strength of schedule ranks 34th in the nation this season.

South Carolina concludes the regular season on the road at Tennessee on Saturday in a 4 p.m. ET matchup vs. the Vols. The contest will be broadcast on FSN. UT won the first 2015 matchup between the two schools, 66-62, in Columbia on Jan. 20.