Gamecock Gameday: #19/16 Men's Hoops Travels To Face Mississippi State Saturday Night
Feb. 10, 2017
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina aims for its 20th win of the 2016-17 campaign and its 10th win of the SEC season on Saturday when it travels to face Mississippi State at Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville. The Gamecocks look to rebound after suffering just their second loss of the conference season on Tuesday to Alabama in a quadruple overtime thriller at Colonial Life Arena.
– 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.
– South Carolina remains in the national rankings this week, checking in at No. 19 in the AP poll and No. 16 in the Coaches Poll. South Carolina has been ranked in the AP poll for eight weeks this season and in the Coaches Poll for nine weeks.
– South Carolina looks for its 20th win of the season on Saturday in Starkville. It would mark the first time the Gamecocks have had back-to-back 20-wins seasons (25-9 during 2015-16 campaign) since the 2003-04 (23-11), the 2004-05 (20-13) and the 2005-06 (23-15) seasons when the Gamecocks posted three-straight 20-win campaigns.
– The Gamecocks are also looking for their 10th SEC win of the year on Saturday vs. the Bulldogs. It would mark just the fifth double-digit win total in SEC play for Carolina in its 26-seasons in the league. It would also be just the second time that Carolina would have back-to-back seasons with double-digit league wins, as the Gamecocks posted 11 last season. (15 SEC wins in 1997, 11 in 1998).
– South Carolina is just 3-10 in games played in Starkville after suffering a 68-58 loss at MSU last season.
– Despite an historic 44-point, 21-rebound effort from senior guard Sindarius Thornwell, the Gamecocks suffered a 4OT home loss to Alabama on Tuesday. Carolina made just 3-of-30 attempts in the first half, trailing the Crimson Tide 32-16 at halftime. Propelled by Thornwell’s heroics, the Gamecocks were able to regroup in the second half to force the overtime sessions. The loss was Carolina’s first SEC home loss of the season.
– Senior guard Sindarius Thornwell has been named to the Naismith Trophy Top 30 list, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today. The list is comprised of the nation’s top players who are in consideration for the 2017 Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year award.
– Thornwell is just 34 points away from reaching 1,000 career SEC points (regular-season games only).
– South Carolina’s backcourt has accounted for 80.8% of scoring over the course of the last five games.
– In league play, Carolina opponents are averaging 19.3 turnovers per contest. Most recently, Alabama committed 24 turnovers on Feb. 7.
– South Carolina has forced at least 15 turnovers in every SEC game this season. Texas A&M’s 25 marked an opponent season high in the category, and Alabama was just behind with 24 giveaways.
– South Carolina currently leads the nation in 3-point field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to just 26.6 percent from beyond the arc this season.
– South Carolina leads the SEC in several defensive categories entering Saturday’s matchup at Mississippi State. In overall games, Carolina is tops in scoring defense (62.7), FG% defense (38.1%) and 3-point FG% defense (26.6%), and is first in steals (8.3 per game). In stricly league games, Carolina is first in FG% defense (40.5%), in 3-point FG% defense (27.2%) and first in steals (8.8 per game).
– Individually in the SEC statistics, Thornwell is second in scoring (20.4), second in rebounds (7.7), first in steals (2.3) and fourth in offensive rebounds per game (2.8). Notice ranks eighth in 3-point field goal percent (33.8) and Dozier is fifth with 1.8 steals per outing.
– South Carolina is 13-2 at home this season, averaging 76.1 points per game and hitting 42.0% from the field.
– The Gamecocks are 5-2 in away games this season (4-1 in SEC games), and average 69.7 points per game and have hit 40.7% from the field.
– South Carolina head coach Frank Martin is 85-80 (.515) all-time in conference games.
– Martin is 23-32 (.418) against ranked opponents as a head coach. His teams have four wins over opponents ranked in the top five, and two wins over opponents who are ranked No. 1.
– South Carolina is in its 26th basketball season as a member of the Southeastern Conference. The Gamecocks are 164-255 (.391) all-time in SEC games.
– The Gamecocks currently rank 25th in the NCAA RPI (games through Feb. 9), which is third in the SEC behind Florida (7th) and Kentucky (13th).
– Eight different Gamecocks average at least 12 minutes per game, and seven different players provide at least five points per outing.
– South Carolina has forced its opponent into at least 15 turnovers in every SEC game this season. In league action, Carolina forces an average of 19.3 turnovers per game.
– Senior guard Sindarius Thornwell tallied a career high 44 points in the 4OT contest vs. Alabama. It marked the most points in a game by a Gamecock since Cedrick Hordges also had 44 vs. Biscayne, Dec. 1, 1979.
THORNWELL’S HISTORIC NIGHT VS. ALABAMA
Senior guard Sindarius Thornwell put forth an historic performance in Carolina’s four-overtime loss to Alabama on Feb. 7 at Colonial Life Arena. His 44-point performance tied for the fourth-most points in a game by a Gamecock and the most in a game since 1979, while his 21-rebounds were the most by any player in the SEC this season and the most by a Gamecock since 1993. Below are some notes on his performance:
– Thornwell set the SEC record for made free throws in a game with 25 vs. the Crimson Tide. He broke a record held by LSU’s Pete Maravich of 22 made free throws in a game vs. Florida in 1969.
– Thornwell’s 25 made free throws and 33 attempts were both South Carolina school records.
– Thornwell’s 44 points marked the first 40-point game by a Gamecock since Michael Foster had 40 in a win vs. Vanderbilt on Dec. 28, 1986, in New Orleans. That game was a double-overtime contest.
– Thornwell’s 44 points marked the most in a game by a Carolina player since Cedrick Hordges had 44 vs. Biscayne on Dec. 1, 1979.
– Thornwell’s 21 rebounds marked the first 20-rebound game by a Gamecock since Emmett Hall pulled down 23 vs. the College of Charleston on Dec. 22, 1993.
– The 21 rebounds by Thornwell were the most by a player in the SEC this season, and tied for the 15th-most by any player nationally (games played through Feb. 8).
– Thornwell became the first Gamecock to record two games with at least 30 points in a season since Devan Downey had six games with 30 or more points during the 2009-10 campaign.
SCOUTING MISSISSIPPI STATE
– The Bulldogs enter Saturday’s contest with a 14-9 overall record, including a 5-6 mark in SEC games. Mississippi State has lost three of its last five and five of its last seven games.
– MSU is 9-4 at home this season, including a 3-2 mark in SEC home games.
– Ben Howland leads the Bulldogs in his second season in Starkville.
– Three average double-figure points for Miss. State, led by sophomore guard Quindarry Weatherspoon’s 17.3 per game. He also paces the squad in league contests with 15.7 per outing.
– Weatherspoon leads the SEC in 3-point field goal percentage, hitting 42.0 percent of his attempts this season.
– Freshman guards Lamar Peters (12.4) and Mario Kegler (10.1) also average double-figures in overall games.
– Mississippi State put together a 9-3 mark in non-conference games this season, with wins over Boise State, Oregon State and Georgia State to name a few.
– The Bulldogs rank sixth in the SEC in FG % (45.1) and third in 3-PT FG% defense (31.9).
MISSISSIPPI STATE SERIES
Mississippi State leads the all-time series with South Carolina 19-12, including a 10-3 upperhand in games played in Starkville. The teams split the regular-season series in 2016, with each squad winning on its respective home court. South Carolina’s last win in Starkville came in a 74-62 decision on March 8, 2014.
South Carolina hosts Arkansas on Wed., Feb. 15, before beginning a two-game road swing at Vanderbilt on Sat., Feb. 18. Tip-off vs. the Razorbacks next Wednesday is set for 6:30 PM ET, with the matchup set to be broadcast on the SEC Network with Dave Neal (pxp) and Chris Spatola (analyst) on the call.
BY THE NUMBERS
34 – South Carolina scored a season high 34 points off of 22 LSU turnovers in the win at the Maravich Center on Feb. 1.
43 – South Carolina has out-scored its opponent in points in the paint in 43 of the last 58 games dating back to last season. The Gamecocks are 38-5 in those games, including a 14-2 mark this season when scoring more points in the paint than its opponent.
53.7% – South Carolina collects an assist on 53.7 percent of its made baskets this season (323/601).
62.7 – South Carolina ranks 15th in the country and leads the SEC in scoring defense, as opponents are averaging just 62.7 points per game this season.
62 – The senior trio of Sindarius Thornwell (22), Duane Notice (27) and Justin McKie (13) accounted for 62 points in the Carolina win over Auburn on Jan. 24.
98 – South Carolina’s 98 points scored vs. Auburn marked the third-most every scored in an SEC game and the most ever scored during the Frank Martin era.
119 – Senior guard Sindarius Thornwell is the career leader at Carolina with 119 starts.
175 – Senior guard Sindarius Thornwell now ranks in the top 10 in career steals at Carolina with 175, including 42 this season.
174 – South Carolina is 174-81 all-time at Colonial Life Arena, including an 13-2 mark this season.
300 – Senior guard Duane Notice collected the 300th assist of his career at Memphis on Dec. 30.
500 – Sophomore guard PJ Dozier tallied the 500th point of his career in the Jan. 28 win at Missouri.
602 – Sindarius Thornwell ranks fourth among active players in the SEC with 602 career rebounds.