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Gamecock Gameday: Carolina Concludes Regular Season At Ole Miss Saturday Night
Men's Basketball  . 

Gamecock Gameday: Carolina Concludes Regular Season At Ole Miss Saturday Night

March 3, 2017

Game Information

Date: Sat., March 4, 2017

Tipoff: 8:30 p.m. ET

Location: Oxford, Miss.

Arena: The Pavilion at Ole Miss (9,051)

Tickets: Click To Purchase

Broadcast: SEC Network

Radio: 107.5 (in Columbia)/Listen!

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina travels to Oxford to face Ole Miss in the regular-season finale on Saturday night. The Gamecocks, currently in third place in the SEC standings, have secured a double-bye in next week’s SEC Tournament, and aim to hold steady for the No. 3 seed with a win over the Rebels. Carolina won the first meeting between the two schools early in the SEC campaign, posting a 67-56 win over Ole Miss in Columbia on Jan. 14.


— 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.
– Senior guard Sindarius Thornwell would scored 17 of his 22 in the second half, and sophomore forward Chris Silva posted the third double-double of his career with 15 points and 11 rebounds, in Carolina’s 63-57 victory over Mississippi State earlier this week on Senior Night in Columbia. Carolina did not shoot the ball well, hitting just 34.0% of its attempts, but the Gamecock defense held the Bulldogs to just 36.4% in the game and 26.9% from 3, while forcing 20 turnovers (for the second straight game) to clinch the home-court win.
– The Gamecocks look to lock up the No. 3 seed in next week’s SEC Tournament with a win in Oxford on Saturday. A win would be the 13th of the SEC season for Carolina, the second-most ever in SEC play (1997 team won 15 games).
– 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).
– SEC Player of the Year candidate Sindarius Thornwell continued his outstanding season on Tuesday vs. Mississippi State. Thornwell scored a team high 22 points, hitting 11-of-12 from the charity stripe, while also collecting six rebounds, dishing three assists and picking up a pair of steals. Thornwell has scored at least 15 points in 22 games this season and has 14 20-point scoring games.
– 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 30.9% of the team’s scoring over the course of the last five games. Overall this season, he accounts for 23.0% of Carolina’s scoring. In league play, that number jumps to 29.9%. Only one other player in the last 18 SEC seasons has accounted for more of his team’s scoring in SEC games and had winning SEC seasons than Thornwell. UT’s Ron Slay accounted for 31.3% of the Vols scoring during the 2003 league campaign.
– In league play, Carolina opponents are averaging 18.5 turnovers per contest. Two straight opponents – Tennessee and Mississippi State – both committed 20 turnvers. It marked the sixth and seventh SEC opponents that have committed at least 20 turnovers.
– Through 30 games this season, South Carolina has held the opposing team’s top scorer to below his season average in 23 of those games.
– South Carolina has forced at least 15 turnovers in every SEC game this season except the Arkansas game (the Razorbacks had 13). 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 28.6 percent from beyond the arc this season. Carolina has held eight opponents to below 20% from 3-point range this season and 17 opponents below 30%.
– South Carolina leads the SEC in several defensive categories entering Saturday’s matchup vs. the Rebels. In overall games, Carolina is tops in scoring defense (64.1), FG% defense (39.4%) and 3-point FG% defense (28.6%), and is first in steals (7.9 per game). In strictly league games, Carolina is third in scoring defense (67.8), second in 3-point FG% defense (30.5%) and first in steals (7.9 per game). – Individually in the SEC statistics (overall games), Thornwell is second in the league in scoring (21.0), is sixth in rebounds (7.3), first in steals (2.2) and seventh in offensive rebounds per game (2.6). Dozier is seventh with 1.7 steals per outing.
– South Carolina was 15-3 at home during the regular season, averaging 75.7 points per game and hitting 41.8% 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 88-83 (.514) 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 167-258 (.392) all-time in SEC games.
– The Gamecocks currently rank 27th in the NCAA RPI (games through March 1), which is third in the SEC behind Florida (3rd) and Kentucky (8th).
– South Carolina has 12 top 100 RPI and 16 top 150 RPI wins this season.


– The Rebels are 18-12 on the year, and hold a 9-8 record in SEC games.
– Ole Miss is 12-5 in home games this season, including a 5-3 mark in SEC home games.
– Including the Jan. 14 matchup vs. the Gamecocks, Ole Miss is 8-6 in its last 14 games and is 3-2 in its last five games.
– Most recently Ole Miss suffered a 70-55 loss at Alabama on Wednesday night. Freshman guard Tyree Breein led the squad with 14 points in the loss.
– Three average double-figure points for the Rebels in overall games in Deandre Burnett (16.5), Sebastian Saiz (14.9) and Terence Davis (14.4).
– Saiz leads the SEC with his 10.8 rebounds per game. That mark ranks among the top 10 nationally. He has 323 total rebounds this season, including 94 on the offensive glass (3.1 per game).
– The Rebels ranks second in the SEC and 20th nationally at the free throw line, connecting on 76.2% (602-790) of their attempts.
– Burnett’s 89.9% (178-198) from the free throw line leads the SEC and is 14th nationally.
– The Rebels are led by head coach Andy Kennedy in his 11th season. Kennedy and Gamecock head coach Frank Martin coached together at Cincinnati prior to Kennedy’s appointment at Ole Miss and Martin’s move to Kansas State as an assistant.


The all-time series between South Carolina and Ole Miss is tied at 18-all after the Gamecock win earlier this season in Columbia. The Gamecocks captured just their second win in Oxford in an overtime thriller last season behind a strong 19-point effort from then-senior Michael Carrera. Prior to that win, Carolina’s only other victory on the road in the series came in an 80-77 win on Feb. 2, 2008. Devan Downey’s 25 points, seven assists and five steals paced the Gamecocks in that win. Carolina’s three-game win streak vs. Ole Miss matches a stretch of three-straight wins from 2007-09 for the longest Gamecock win streak in the series.


-South Carolina sophomore guard PJ Dozier was named to the 2017 SEC Community Service Team on Thursday. This season marks the 19th that the SEC has named its Community Service Team in men’s basketball. Dozier has done outstanding work in community outreach during his time at Carolina, reading to local schools, helping with Meals on Wheels and the annual 8K In 8 Days campaign to name a few.


+3.8 – South Carolina leads the SEC and is 10th nationally with a turnover margin of +3.8.
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.
16 – Sophomore forward Chris Silva scored a career high 16 points in Carolina’s win vs. Ole Miss on Jan. 14, and has matched the mark three times in league play, most recently vs. Arkansas on Feb. 15.
17.4 – South Carolina leads the SEC and ranks fifth nationally with 17.4 forced turnovers per game.


South Carolina has earned a double-bye in next week’s SEC Tournament and will play as either the No. 3 or No. 4 seed at the event. The Gamecocks also earned a double-bye last season. Carolina will open action at the Tournament on Friday, March 10 at either 3:30 ET or 9:30 ET.