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Nov. 13, 2015


Game Information

Date: Sat., Nov. 14, 2015

Tipoff: 7 p.m.

Location: Columbia, S.C.

Arena: Colonial Life Arena


Broadcast: SEC Network+

Radio: 107.5 (in Columbia)/Listen!

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina officially begins the 2015-16 campaign on Saturday, hosting Norfolk State from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The meeting is the first all-time between the two schools.


A reminder to fans! Bring your football ticket from the Carolina football game vs. Florida to receive free admission to the Gamecock men’s hoops game vs. Norfolk State!


– South Carolina is in its 108th season of varsity basketball in 2015-16.
– Carolina is led by fourth-year head coach Frank Martin. Alongside him are associate head coach Matt Figger, assistant coaches Perry Clark and Lamont Evans and director of men’s hoops operations, Andy Assaley.
– The game versus Norfolk State begins a stretch of five games in 10 days for Carolina, as the hoopsters host Oral Roberts on Monday before traveling to the Virgin Islands for three games at the Paradise Jam next week.
– The Gamecocks return at least 72 percent of their stats in all major categories, including returning five of their top six scorers, with junior guard Duane Notice’s 11.7 points per outing in 2014-15 leading the pack.
– Four seniors don the Garnet and Black this season in Michael Carrera, Laimonas Chatkevicius, Mindaugas Kacinas and Brian Steele. Due to recurring knee issues, Steele will serve as a student assistant coach this season.
– Carolina owns an 78-29 (.728) 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 81-56 victory over North Florida in last season’s lid lifter.
– Carolina returns eight letterwinners, including four starters from last season’s squad.
– Seven newcomers join those eight returning letterwinners, including freshmen guards PJ Dozier, Jamall Gregory and John Ragin, rookie forwards, Raymond Doby, Chris Silva and Eric Cobb and R-sophomore transfer Jarrell Holliman.
PJ Dozier was named to the 2015 McDonald’s All-American squad, earning the start in the contest. Dozier is the fourth McDonald’s All-American in Gamecock history, the others include PJ’s uncle, Terry Dozier, South Carolina’s all-time leading scorer BJ McKie and Rolando Howell.


Norfolk State enters the 2015-16 campaign with 12 active players, which includes seven newcomers. The Spartans were picked to finish third in the MEAC in the league’s preseason poll of head coach and SIDs, after finishing last season with a 12-4 mark. The Spartans lost one of their top offensive threats due to transfer in forward RaShid Gaston, but the squad returns R-senior guard Jeff Short who paced the team a year ago with 19.1 points per game, which ranked second in the MEAC. Short was recently named to the Lou Henson Award watch list, an honor given to the top mid-major player in D-I by Did you know? – NSU has made a 3-point field goal in 181 straight games. The squad is led by head coach Robert Jones in his third season.


54.6% – Forward Mindaugas Kacinas enters his senior campaign ranking seventh in Carolina history with a career field goal percent of 54.6. Kacinas has led the team in the category the past two seasons.
12.6 – Keep an eye on senior forward Michael Carrera. The three-year starter finished last season posting 12.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game over the course of the final five games of the campaign.
7 – R-freshman guard TeMarcus Blanton posted seven points in six minutes of action vs. Allen in the exhibition matchup last weekend. Blanton missed all of last season due to a hip injury suffered in the preseason. 3.0 – In the spring of 2015 the Gamecocks posted their fifth-straight semester of a 3.0 cumulative team GPA or higher.
71.0 – In three seasons under the direction of Frank Martin the Gamecocks average 71.0 percent from the free throw line, and Carolina has ranked in the top half of the league in the category all three of those seasons. Carolina’s 73.7 percent from the stripe last season saw the squad rank second in the SEC and third in Gamecock history.


The Gamecocks have a short turnaround, as they host Oral Roberts on Monday evening. Game time for the matchup is set for 7:30 PM and the game will be broadcast on the SEC Network with Dave Neal (pxp) and Chris Spatola (analyst) on the call. The series between the Gamecocks and Golden Eagles is tied at one, with each team winning the meeting on its home court. Monday’s matchup marks the first since the 1988-89 campaign between the two schools.