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Gamecock Gameday: Carolina Hosts Louisiana Tech In Season Opener Friday
Men's Basketball  . 

Gamecock Gameday: Carolina Hosts Louisiana Tech In Season Opener Friday

Nov. 10, 2016

Game Information

Date: Fri., Nov. 11, 2016

Tipoff: 6:30 p.m.

Location: Columbia, S.C.

Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000)

Tickets: Click To Purchase

Broadcast: SEC Network+

Radio: 107.5 (in Columbia)/Listen!

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina hosts Louisiana Tech on Friday in the season opener for both schools at Colonial Life Arena. The meeting is the second all-time between the two programs and the first since the 1960-61 campaign. Friday’s matchup will be broadcast on SEC Network + with Burch Antley (pxp) and former Gamecock Carey Rich (analyst) on the call. The matchup vs. the Bulldogs marks the first in a stretch of three games in five days for Carolina to open up the 2016-17 season.


– South Carolina is in its 109th season of varsity basketball in 2016-17.
– On the sidelines, Frank Martin is joined by associate head coach Matt Figger, assistant coaches Perry Clark and Bruce Shingler, and director of operations Andy Assaley.
– The contest vs. Louisiana Tech marks Carolina’s first official matchup on its new court, which features a Block C logo at center court, a lighter wood grain and South Carolina Palmetto Trees in the corners.
– South Carolina returns two starters and eight letterwinners from last season’s squad that posted a 25-9 overall record, matching the Carolina record for total wins.
– Carolina owns an 79-29 (.731) 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 84-69 victory over Norfolk State in last season’s lidlifter.
– Those returning starters feature the only backcourt in the SEC with two 1,000-point scorers, in senior guards Sindarius Thornwell and Duane Notice. The duo accounted for 24.2 points and 6.1 assists per game last season.
– Thornwell was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team last March, while Notice was named the league’s Sixth Man Of the Year.
– The Gamecocks return just 49.4 percent of their scoring from a year ago, with the departure of three senior starters in Michael Carrera (14.5 ppg), Laimonas Chatkevicius (10.2 ppg) and Mindaugas Kacinas (9.9 ppg).
– The Gamecocks began the 2015-16 season 15-0, their best start since the 1933-34 campaign.
– Carolina welcomes nine newcomers to the squad this season in Tommy Corchiani, Rakym Felder, Hassani Gravett, Khadim Gueye, Evan Hinson, Kory Holden, Sedee Keita, Maik Kotsar and Ran Tut.
– The Gamecocks are undefeated in exhibition contests under the direction of Frank Martin with wins over Kentucky Wesleyan (2012-13), USC Aiken (2013-14), Benedict (2014-15), Allen (2015-16) and Newberry (107-89).


– The Bulldogs are led by second-year head coach Eric Konkol.
– La Tech posted a 23-10 record last season, including a 7-7 mark in road games.
– La Tech’s top returner is fifth-year senior big man Eric McCree who averaged 16.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game last season to earn All-Conference honors.
– McCree was named to the Preseason All-Conference USA team last month.
– La Tech was picked seventh in the Preseason Conference USA poll by the league’s coaches.
– The Bulldogs defeated Southern Arkansas 86-69 in their lone exhibition of the season on Nov. 3.
– Returning to the hardwood for the Bulldogs this season are senior forward Qiydar Davis and sophomore center Joniah White, who missed the majority of last season due to injuries.


South Carolina opened its 2016-17 season with a 107-89 exhibition win over Newberry College on Nov. 6 at Colonial Life Arena. Carolina shot 50.0 percent from the field in the game en route to its offensive outburst. Senior guard Sindarius Thornwell led all players with 34 points on 13-of-24 shooting. Thornwell recorded a double-double with 11 rebounds, which led the team. He also led the team with five assists and five blocks.


Senior guard Sindarius Thornwell was named to the Preseason All-SEC First Team on Thursday by the league’s coaches. Thornwell enters the season as the league’s high scorer for active players with 1,278 career points. This marks the third-straight season that Thornwell has garnered preseason honors from the coaches, as he was named to the Preseason All-SEC Second Team prior to his sophomore and junior campaigns.


Prior to Friday’s season opener, members of the South Carolina Student Veterans Association will receive the game ball from head coach Frank Martin. On Friday, the group was able to open the Student Veteran Center at the Thomas Cooper Library, which will be a place for veterans to connect while on campus. Members of the Association will also be on court with the Gamecocks during the National Anthem.


South Carolina continues its stretch of three games in five days to open the 2016-17 campaign when it hosts Holy Cross on Sunday. Game time vs. the Crusaders is set for 6 p.m. ET on the SEC Network with Kevin Fitzpatrick (pxp) and Dane Bradshaw (analyst) on the call.


2,310 – Senior guards Duane Notice and Sindarius Thornwell have combined to score 2,310 points during their time in the Garnet and Black.
463 – Sindarius Thornwell ranks third among active players in the SEC with 463 career rebounds.
37.7 – Duane Notice enters the season ranked seventh in Carolina history in career three-point field goal percentage with a mark of 37.7% (150-397).
14 – Sophomore guard PJ Dozier had 14 games with at least three assists last season.