Nov. 25, 2015
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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina returns home to host Lipscomb on Friday following three neutral site contests at the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas last weekend. The Gamecocks own a 1-0 all-time record vs. Lipscomb.
– 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 Gamecocks captured the 2015 Paradise Jam championship on Monday after defeating Tulsa 83-75 in the finale. For the second straight game, five Gamecocks registered double-figures, led by senior forward Laimonas Chatkevicius’ game-best 17. Fellow senior forward Michael Carrera was just one rebound shy of a double-double with 16 points and nine boards.
– South Carolina’s 5-0 start to the season is the best start since the 2003-04 Gamecocks began the year 8-0.
– South Carolina hit 50% from the floor vs. the Golden Hurricane, the second-straight game where Carolina hit at least 50% from the floor (54.4% vs. Hofstra).
– South Carolina senior forward Mindaugas Kacinas and junior guard Sindarius Thornwell were both named to the Paradise Jam All-Tournament Team. Thornwell was named the event’s MPV after averaging 13.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and just 1.7 turnovers per game. Thornwell also collected 2.3 steals per outing, including a season high five vs. Tulsa.
– Friday’s game vs. Lipscomb marks the fifth game in 14 days for the Gamecocks.
– Did you know? South Carolina has led all five of its games this season at halftime by an average of of nearly seven points.
– Led by senior forward Mindaugas Kacinas’ 18 points, all five Gamecock starters scored in double figures, and Carolina posted a 94-84 victory over a previously undefeated Hofstra squad, in the semi-final round of the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas on Nov. 22. The game, which didn’t end until past 12:30 AM local time, saw both team’s shoot above 50 percent from both the floor and 3-point range. Junior guard Sindarius Thornwell dished a team best six assists, and rookie point guard PJ Dozier put together the best game of his young career with a 12-point, nine-rebound effort in the win.
Lipscomb enters Friday’s contest having already played seven games on the year, owning a 3-4 mark in those contests. The Bisons were picked to finish third in the Atlantic Sun this season. Most recently the Bisons played at the Men Against Breast Cancer Challenge, dropping two contests, but winning their finale against Florida Atlantic. Three Lipscomb players average double-figures entering the game vs. Carolina, led by J.C. Hampton’s 14.9 points per game. Josh Williams (11.3) and Nathan Moran (11.0) also contribute double-digits. The Bisons lead the NCAA with 185 3-point attempts per game, which is 26.4 attempts per outing. They connect on 34.4 percent of thos attempts. They also rank among the nation’s best with 17.6 assists per outing, thanks to 5.0 helpers per game from Moran. Lipscomb is led by head coach Casey Alexander in his third season.
KACINAS SHINES AT PARADISE JAM
Senior forward Mindaugas Kacinas put together one of the best stretches of his career in the Garnet and Black in three games at the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam. Kacinas paced the Gamecocks with a career high 23 points in the opening-round win vs. DePaul, hitting career marks with 10 makes on 15 attempts at the free throw line. He followed with an 18-point, 5-rebound effort in the win vs. Hofstra, hitting 9-of-10 from the floor. He concluded tournament action as one of five Gamecocks in double figures with 11 and eight rebounds in the championship win vs. Tulsa. For the event, he averaged a team high 17.3 points per game. On the year, Kacinas is second on the team behind forward Laimonas Chatkevicius with 14.4 points, and a team high 7.0 rebounds per game.
BY THE NUMBERS
41 – The senior trio of Mindaugas Kacinas, Laimonas Chatkevicius and Michael Carrera average 41.0 points per game this season for Carolina.
36 – South Carolina trailed for only 36 seconds in three games at the Paradise Jam, all against Hofstra. The Gamecocks have trailed in just two contests this season, Oral Roberts and vs. Hofstra.
48.4% – The Gamecocks shot 48.4 percent from the floor in three games at the Paradise Jam, led by senior forward Mindaugas Kacinas’ 65.5 percent (19-29) at the event.
148 – South Carolina’s front court (Kacinas-Chatkevicius-Carrera-Dilva-Cobb) combined for 148 of Carolina’s 253 points at the Paradise Jam, 68%.
37 – South Carolina’s 37 made shots vs. Hofstra were the most for the Gamecocks under the direction of Frank Martin and the most since posting 35 makes vs. Elon on Nov. 19, 2010.
44 – South Carolina’s 44 points in the paint vs. Hofstra marked a season high in the category and the most since Carolina posted 42 points in the paint vs. NC A&T on Dec. 30, 2014.
The Gamecocks continue a four-game homestand, hosting Western Carolina on Monday night at 7 p.m. That contest will be broadcast on the SEC Network