Gamecock Gameday: Carolina Hosts Mississippi State On Senior Night
Feb. 27, 2017
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina looks to clinch a two-game bye in next week’s SEC Tournament with a win on Tuesday night vs. Mississippi State. The game will also mark Senior Night, as the Gamecocks will celebrate five senior manangers and a trio of senior guards in Justin McKie, Duane Notice and Sindarius Thornwell.
– 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 the Coaches Top 25 Poll 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).
– South Carolina captured its 11th win of the SEC season on Saturday with a 27-point win over Tennessee. Four scored in double-figures for the Gamecocks, led by sophomore guard PJ Dozier’s 19. Senior guard Duane Notice was key in a big second half for the Gamecocks, as he hit five 3s in the game, including three in the first five and a half minutes of the second half. The Gamecock defense was strong against the Vols, holding UT to just 7.7% from 3-point range (1-13) and 33.3% overall in the game.
– SEC Player of the Year candidate Sindarius Thornwell continued his outstanding season on Saturday vs. Tennessee. Thornwell scored 15 points, while matching teammate Chris Silva with a team high six rebounds. He also collected two assists and a steal. Thornwell has scored at least 15 points in 21 games this season.
– Thornwell was 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 31.4% of the team’s scoring over the course of the last five games. Overall this season, he accounts for 22.7% of Carolina’s scoring. In league play, that number jumps to 29.6%. Only two other players in the last 18 SEC seasons have accounted for more of his team’s scoring in SEC games and had winning SEC seasons than Thornwell (Ron Slay, UT, 2002-03, 31.3%/Marcus Thornton, LSU, 2008-09, 29.8%).
– In league play, Carolina opponents are averaging 18.4 turnovers per contest. Most recently Tennessee committed 20 turnovers. It marked the sixth SEC opponent that has committed at least 20 turnovers.
– Through 29 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 second in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to just 28.7 percent from beyond the arc this season. Carolina has held eight opponents to below 20% from 3-point range this season and 16 opponents below 30%.
– South Carolina leads the SEC in several defensive categories entering Tuesday’s matchup vs. the Bulldogs. In overall games, Carolina is tops in scoring defense (64.4), FG% defense (39.5%) and 3-point FG% defense (28.7%), and is second in steals (7.8 per game). In strictly league games, Carolina is second in 3-point FG% defense (30.8%) and second in steals (7.8 per game).
– Individually in the SEC statistics (overall games), Thornwell is second in the league in scoring (21.0), is fifth in rebounds (7.3), first in steals (2.2) and seventh in offensive rebounds per game (2.6). Dozier is seventh with 1.6 steals per outing.
– South Carolina is 14-3 at home this season, averaging 76.4 points per game and hitting 42.2% 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 87-83 (.511) 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 166-258 (.391) all-time in SEC games.
– The Gamecocks currently rank 30th in the NCAA RPI (games through Feb. 26), which is third in the SEC behind Florida (6th) and Kentucky (7th).
– South Carolina has 12 top 100 RPI wins this season.
– Eight different Gamecocks average at least 12 minutes per game, and six different players provide at least five points per outing.
South Carolina celebrates eight seniors on Tuesday night, including five student managers and a trio of senior guards. On the managers, Dalton Abel, Paul Dransfield and Will Saxman, along with head senior managers Jacob Freeze and Treis Huggins will be honored. Senior student-athletes, Justin McKie, who is enjoying a career year in 2016-17, along with 1,000-point scorers Duane Notice and Sindarius Thornwell will be honored. Senior Night festivities will begin at 6:40, so fans are encouraged to arrive early!
SCOUTING MISSISSIPPI STATE
– The Bulldogs are 14-14 on the year overall and hold a 5-11 mark in SEC games.
– MSU has lost six-straight games entering Tuesday’s contest vs. South Carolina.
– Mississippi State is 2-6 in road games this season, with those two wins coming at LSU and at Arkansas early on in the SEC campaign.
– MSU is led by head coach Ben Howland in his second season.
– Three average double-figure points for the Bulldogs, led by sophomore guard Quindarry Weatherspoon’s 16.5 per outing. He also paces the team in league games with 14.9 points per game.
– Freshman guards Lamar Peters (11.3) and Mario Kegler (10.3) also provide double-digit points per game in overall games this season.
– Mississippi State is seventh in the SEC in field goal percent (44.4%), sixth in 3-point field goal percent (35.4%) and fourth in 3-point field goal percent defense (32.6%).
– Weatherspoon ranks seventh in the SEC in scoring (16.5 ppg) and sixth in steals (1.7 per game).
– Weatherspoon led the Bulldogs in their most recent outing at Vanderbilt with 15 points. He hit three 3s in the contest.
MISSISSIPPI STATE SERIES
Mississippi State holds a 19-13 lead in the all-time series with South Carolina, but the series is tied at 7-7 in games played in Columbia. Carolina has held the advantage in the series over the course of the last five meetings, winning four of those five games. The Gamecocks posted a four-point win earlier this season in the first meeting between the two schools in Starkville.
BY THE NUMBERS
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.
124 – Senior guard Sindarius Thornwell is the career leader at Carolina with 124 starts.
184 – Senior guard Sindarius Thornwell now ranks in the top 10 in career steals at Carolina with 184, including 51 this season.
175 – South Carolina is 175-82 all-time at Colonial Life Arena, including an 14-3 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.
632 – Sindarius Thornwell ranks third among active players in the SEC with 632 career rebounds.
1,339 – Senior guard Duane Notice ranks 20th all-time at Carolina with 1,339 points. He is just five points away from surpassing Tom Riker (1,343) for 19th all-time.
1,760 – Senior guard Sindarius Thornwell ranks in fifth place all-time at Carolina with 1,760 career points. Thornwell is 142 points away from passing Devan Downey (1,901) for fourth place all-time. Thornwell is just the sixth Gamecock to score at least 1,700 points during his career.
3,099 – Senior guards Duane Notice and Sindarius Thornwell have combined to score 3,099 points during their time in the Garnet and Black.
South Carolina concludes the SEC regular-season on the road on Saturday, traveling to face Ole Miss at The Pavilion in Oxford. The meeting will be the second between the two schools this season. Carolina tallied a 67-56 win in Columbia on Jan. 14. Tip time vs. the Rebels is set for 8:30 p.m. ET on the SEC Network with Dave Neal (pxp) and Kyle Macy (analyst) on the call.