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Nov. 19, 2015

Game Information

Date: Fri., Nov. 20, 2015

Tipoff: 6 p.m. ET

Location: St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Arena: UVI Sports & Fitness Center


Broadcast: CBS Sports Network

Radio: 107.5 (in Columbia)/Listen!

ST. THOMAS, USVI — South Carolina begins action at the 2015 U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam on Friday, facing DePaul from The Big East Conference. The meeting is the seventh all-time between the two schools, and the first since the 1999-2000 season. South Carolina will be playing in the Paradise Jam for the first time this weekend.


– 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.
– Beginning with the Norfolk State contest, the Gamecocks will play a stretch of five games in 10 days – NSU, Oral Roberts and then three games at the Paradise Jam beginning on Friday vs. the Blue Demons.
– The Gamecocks held a 33-30 halftime lead against Oral Roberts on Monday, but 19 second-half points from senior forward Laimonas Chatkevicius fueled a 51-36 Gamecock advantage in the second stanza, which resulted in an 84-66 victory for the home team. Chatkevicius finished with a career high 27, while fellow senior Mindaugas Kacinas notched his fourth-career double-double with 12 points and a game high 13 rebounds.
– The Gamecocks committed just six turnovers vs. the Golden Eagles, tied for the fewest during Frank Martin’s time as head coach at Carolina.
– South Carolina is 7-3 during Martin’s tenure in destination tournaments, posting a 4-0 mark at the Hoops For Hope Classic in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in 2012, a 2-1 mark at the 2013 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic and a 1-2 record at the 2014 Charleston Classic.
– 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.
– South Carolina earned an 84-69 victory over Norfolk State in its season opener on Nov. 14. Four Gamecocks scored in double figures, led by junior guards Sindarius Thornwell and Duane Notice with 14 apiece. Senior forward Laimonas Chatkevicius added 13 points and freshman forward Chris Silva posted 12 with a game high nine rebounds.
– South Carolina held the Spartans to just 33.9% from the field on Nov. 14, that marks the 19th opponent in the previous 34 games that Carolina held below 40% from the field.


The Blue Demons enter tournament play with a 1-1 record this season, with a 69-63 win vs. Western Michigan and most recently a 68-62 loss at Penn State. Two average double figures for DePaul in senior forward Myke Henry (16.5) and junior guard Billy Garrett (16.0). Junior center Tommy Hamilton pulls down a team best 8.0 boards per game. DePaul is hitting just 15% from 3-point range, averaging just two makes per game, but the team averages 4.0 blocks per game led by Rashaun Stimage’s 1.5 per outing. Henry led three in double figures with 17 points and nine rebounds in 28 minutes at PSU and Garrett was a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line vs. the Nittany Lions. Head coach Dave Leitao is in his second stint with the program. He served as the head coach from 2002-05.


Senior forward Laimonas Chatkevicius was the star of Carolina’s 84-66 win vs. Oral Roberts on Monday, posting his first-career 20-point effort en route to a career best 27 points. He hit career marks with nine made field goals on 14 attempts, while also pulling down six rebounds. Chatkevicius has steadily improved his numbers during his time in the Garnet and Black. He averaged 4.4 and 4.8 points, respectively, as a freshman and sophomore, before nearly doubling that mark with 8.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game last season. Entering the Paradise Jam, he leads the team with 20.0 points per game, while also pulling down 5.0 rebounds per outing.


13 – Senior forward Mindaugas Kacinas collected 13 rebounds in the matchup vs. Oral Roberts. It was just one shy of matching his career high, which he set in the 2013-14 opener vs. Longwood. In each of his four seasons in the Garnet and Black, Kacinas has had a double-figure rebounding game in either the first or second game of the season.
6 – The Gamecocks committed just six turnovers in the contest vs. Oral Roberts. Since committing 26 turnovers in the exhibition – the Gamecocks cut that in half vs. Norfolk State in the opener with just 13, and most recently just six vs. Oral Roberts.
19.0 – The Gamecocks have pulled down 19 offensive rebounds in both of their contests this season. That mark leads the SEC.
7 – Junior guard Sindarius Thornwell dished a team high seven assists vs. ORU. Thornwell did that without committing a single turnover in the matchup. He ranks tied for fourth in the SEC with an assist to turnover ratio of 3.0.
4 – Junior guard Duane Notice has been solid from 3-point range early on, connecting for three against Norfolk State and four against Oral Roberts. He paces the team hitting 53.8% from range this season, which ranks fifth in the SEC.
4+ – Notice’s four 3s vs. Oral Roberts marked the sixth time in his career that he has hit at least four from beyond the arc in a game.


DePaul owns a 4-2 upperhand in the all-time series with Carolina. Friday’s meeting will be the first neutral-site contest between the two schools.


South Carolina will face either Hofstra or (RV/RV) Florida State in the second round of the Paradise Jam on either Saturday (Nov. 21) or Sunday (Nov. 22). The Gamecocks are 5-0 all-time vs. Hofstra and 14-16 vs. the Seminoles.