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Gamecock Gameday: Carolina Hosts Tennessee On Saturday Afternoon
Men's Basketball  . 

Gamecock Gameday: Carolina Hosts Tennessee On Saturday Afternoon

Feb. 24, 2017

Game Information

Date: Sat., Feb. 25, 2017

Tipoff: 1 p.m. ET

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 will play two of its final three regular-season contests at home, beginning on Saturday when Tennessee travels to Columbia. The Gamecocks won the first meeting between the two schools this season early in SEC play, posting a 70-60 victory at Thompson-Boling Arena on Jan. 11. South Carolina is currently tied for third place in the league standings with Arkansas.


– 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 is receiving votes in both the AP and Coaches Top 25 Polls this week. South Carolina has been ranked in the AP poll for nine weeks this season and in the Coaches Poll for 10.
– South Carolina captured its 20th win of the season on Feb. 11 in Starkville. It marked 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 posted their 10th SEC win of the season in Starkville as well, marking just the fifth double-digit win total in SEC play for Carolina in its 26-seasons in the league. It’s also just the second time that Carolina has had back-to-back seasons with double-digit league wins, as the Gamecocks posted 11 last season. (15 SEC wins in 1997, 11 in 1998).
– Carolina aims for its 11th SEC win of the campaign on Saturday vs. Tennessee. It would mark the second-straight season with 11 league wins, and it would tie for the second-most all-time (15 in 1997).
– Despite a 23-point, 10 rebound performance from senior guard Sindarius Thornwell, South Carolina suffered its third-straight loss in an 81-66 deicision at No. 13/12 Florida on Tuesday night in Gainesville. Fellow senior guard Duane Notice was also in double-figures with 16 on the night. After not connecting for a 3-pointer in the first matchup between the two schools, Florida hit nine 3s and out-rebounded Carolina in the 15-point win.
– SEC Player of the Year candidate Sindarius Thornwell continued his outstanding season on Tuesday at Florida. He scored a team high 23 points, pulled down a team best 10 rebounds, while also dishing two assists and collecting three steals. It marked his second-straight game with three takeaways and his fifth double-double of the season.
– Thornwell has been named to the Naismith Trophy Top 30 list, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced on Feb. 9. 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 has accounted for 38.9% of the team’s scoring over the course of the last five games.
– In league play, Carolina opponents are averaging 18.3 turnovers per contest. Most recently Florida committed 16 turnovers.
– Through 28 games this season, South Carolina has held the opposing team’s top scorer to below his season average in 22 of those games.
– South Carolina has forced at least 15 turnovers in every SEC game this season except the Arkansas game. Texas A&M’s 25 marked an opponent season high in the category, and Alabama was just behind with 24 giveaways.
– South Carolina currently ranks third in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to just 29.2 percent from beyond the arc this season. – South Carolina leads the SEC in several defensive categories entering Saturday’s matchup vs. the Vols. In overall games, Carolina is tops in scoring defense (64.7), FG% defense (39.8%) and 3-point FG% defense (29.2%), and is second in steals (7.9 per game). In strictly league games, Carolina is third in 3-point FG% defense (31.9%) and second in steals (7.8 per game).
– Individually in the SEC statistics (overall games), Thornwell leads the league in scoring (21.2), is fifth in rebounds (7.4), first in steals (2.3) and sixth in offensive rebounds per game (2.7). Dozier is seventh with 1.7 steals per outing.
– South Carolina is 13-3 at home this season, averaging 76.1 points per game and hitting 42.0% from the field.
– The Gamecocks are 6-4 in away games this season (5-3 in SEC games), and average 69.3 points per game and have hit 41.7% from the field.
– South Carolina head coach Frank Martin is 86-83 (.508) all-time in conference games.
– Martin is 23-33 (.417) 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 165-258 (.390) all-time in SEC games.
– The Gamecocks currently rank 29th in the NCAA RPI (games through Feb. 23), which is third in the SEC behind Florida (8th) and Kentucky (10th).
– South Carolina has 11 top 100 RPI wins this season.


– Tennessee enters Saturday’s game with a 15-13 overall record, which includes a 7-8 mark in SEC games.
– The Vols have lost four of their last six games, but had won four-straight prior to that.
– UT is led by head coach Rick Barnes in his second season. Barnes was the head coach at Texas prior to his time in Knoxville.
– Three average double-figure points for the Vols, led by Robert Hubs III’s 14.3 per game. In league games he provides 13.7 per outing, while Grant Williams paces the squad with 14.3 per game.
– UT ranks sixth in the SEC in scoring offense (76.1 ppg), seventh in scoring margin (+2.9), sixth in free throw percent (72.0%) and fifth in rebounding offense (38.2).
– Individually in the SEC stats, Hubbs III is 15th in scoring (14.3 ppg), fifth in field goal percent (48.6%) and ninth in minutes played per game at 31.9.
– UT is 4-5 in away contests this season with three of those road wins during league play – at Texas A&M, at Vanderbilt and at Auburn.
– Williams paced the Vols in their last outing vs. Vanderbilt, posting 11 points with 10 rebounds, while Hubbs III added a team high 16 points.


Tennessee holds a 42-26 advantage in the all-time series with South Carolina, but the Gamecocks have won two straight and three out of the last four meetings between the two schools. The series is tied at 15-all in games played in Columbia, and Carolina won the most recent meeting last season at Colonial Life Arena, 84-58, late in the conference campaign.


1.4 – Sophomore forward Chris Silva is averaging 1.4 blocks per game this season, which is a team high.
1.7 – PJ Dozier’s 1.7 steals per game is second on the team and ranks seventh in the SEC. Dozier has five games this season with at least three steals, and collected a season high four steals vs. FIU.
2.3 – Senior guard Sindarius Thornwell is averaging 2.3 steals per game this season, which leads the SEC and ranks 13th nationally. He is also averaging a league best 2.6 steals per SEC game.
2.982 – The Gamecocks excelled in the classroom during the fall semester, as the team posted a cumulative GPA of 2.982.
5+ – Senior guard Sindarius Thornwell dished a team high five assists in the win over Auburn on Jan. 24, marking the 26th game of his career with five or more helpers.
6 – South Carolina committed just six turnovers in the win vs. A&M on Jan. 7, trying for the fewest in the Frank Martin era.
8 – South Carolina committed just eight turnovers in the home win vs. Georgia on Feb. 4.
8-8 – Sophomore forward Chris Silva was a perfect 8-of-8 from the charity stripe in the win over Auburn on Jan. 24.
13 – South Carolina’s 13 steals vs. FIU on Dec. 4 marked a season high in the category, surpassing the previous high of 12 vs. Syracuse.
13 – Senior guard Justin McKie scored a career high 13 points in the win over Auburn on Jan. 24. He hit 5-of-7 from the floor, including a career best 3-of-4 from range.
14-15 – Senior guard Sindarius Thornwell set then-career highs when he hit 14 free throws on 15 attempts at Kentucky on Jan. 21. Thornwell missed his first free throw of the game, and went on to finish 14-14 from the line the rest of the way.


South Carolina hosts Mississippi State on Tuesday in a 7 p.m. ET matchup on ESPNU. The game will serve as Senior Night for a trio of Carolina guards in Justin McKie, Duane Notice and Sindarius Thornwell. Senior managers Dalton Abel, Paul Dransfield and William Saxman, along with head senior managers Treis Huggins and Jacob Freeze will also be honored during the Senior Night Ceremony. Mike Couzens (pxp) and Brooke Weisbrod (analyst) will have the call for ESPNU.