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Gamecocks Host Nationally Ranked Vols Saturday
Men's Basketball  . 

Gamecocks Host Nationally Ranked Vols Saturday

Jan. 19, 2018

South Carolina vs. Tennessee

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina hosts No. 21/21 Tennessee on Saturday, aiming for its second win this week over a ranked opponent. The Gamecocks have won three straight in the series with the Vols.


> South Carolina rides a two-game win streak into Saturday’s matchup against No. 21/21 Tennessee, the Gamecocks’ second SEC contest this week versus a ranked opponent.
> Junior forward Chris Silva has been a dominant force through the first six games of league action. His 27 points and eight rebounds were team highs vs. Kentucky, and he paces the Gamecocks and is second in the SEC at 19.3 points per league game. A key number to keep an eye on with Silva, his 27.7 minutes per SEC game are tied for a team high (Myers).
> Trailing by 11 with 12 minutes to play against Kentucky, Carolina out-scored the Wildcats 33-14, led by Silva’s 13, and connected on 14-of-18 attempts at the foul line to clinch the comback win. It was Carolina’s biggest comback win of the season to date.
> Sophomore big Maik Kotsar was key in the win against the Wildcats, especially at the charity stripe. Kotsar connected on 6-of-9 attempts, 5-of-7 in the second half alone. He finished with 12 points and six rebounds in the win. In league games, Kotsar has been stellar from the line, connecting on 13-of-19 attempts, 68.4%, after connecting on just 32.0% (8-of-25) in non-conferecne games.
> South Carolina held Kentucky to just 1-of-11 from 3-point range in the matchup on Tuesday. Combined with the win at Georgia last Saturday, Carolina held the Bulldogs and Wildcats to just 4-of-23 – 17.3% – from beyond the arc.


> Gamecock football will be featured at halftime of Carolina’s matchup vs. Tennessee. Head coach Will Muschamp and several players will be on the court as the squad is recognized for a nine-win season, just the seventh in school history, and a New Year’s Day Outback Bowl win over Michigan.


> South Carolina is in its 110th season of varsity basketball in 2017-18.
> South Carolina advanced to its first Final Four in 2016-17, which included posting its first NCAA Tournament win since the 1973 campaign when it tallied a 93-73 win over Marquette in the First Round.
> The Gamecocks finished the 2016-17 campaign with a 26-11 overall record. The 26 wins were a program record.
> Among active Division I head coaches, South Carolina’s Frank Martin holds the sixth-highest NCAA Tournament winning percentage (.667) behind only Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, North Carolina’s Roy Williams, Kentucky’s John Calipari, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and Kansas’ Bill Self.
> Over the course of the last three seasons (2015-16-present), the Gamecocks are 25-19 (.568) combined in games played away from home (away/neutral).
> South Carolina compiled 51 wins over the course of the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.
> Entering the 2017-18 campaign, Frank Martin has led his team to at least 20 wins in seven of 10 seasons.
> South Carolina played six of its first seven games away from home to begin the 2017-18 campaign, posting a 5-2 record during the stretch.
> Martin is joined on the bench by assistant coaches Perry Clark (fifth season), Chuck Martin (first season) and Bruce Shingler (second season), and director of basketball operations Andy Assaley in his sixth season.
> Clark brings 19 years of head coaching experience to the bench, as he served the combined years as head coach at Tulane, Miami (Fla.) and Texas A&M Corpus Christi, while Chuck Martin served as head coach at Marist for five campaigns.
> Martin is 91-87 (.511) all-time in league play. In his 10 seasons leading a squad through a full slate of league games, his team has posted double-digit conference wins six times.
> South Carolina has improved its conference record in each of Frank Martin’s five seasons leading the squad through the SEC slate. In his first SEC campaign (2013), Martin led his squad to four wins, followed by five win sin 2014, six in 2015, 11 in 2016 and 12 last season.
> South Carolina is in its 26th basketball season as a member of the Southeastern Conference. The Gamecocks are 170-262 (.392) all-time in SEC games.
> South Carolina has 16 games missed to injury this season: Hassani Gravett (3/right ankle sprain); Kory Holden (7/hamstring injury); David Beatty (1/elbow injury); Tommy Corchiani (5 games/left knee injury).


> South Carolina enters Saturday’s matchup against Tennessee with a 12-6 overall record, and a 3-3 mark in SEC games after two-straight league victories – at Georgia and vs. No. 18/16 Kentucky.
> The Gamecocks are 7-1 at home this season following the upset win over the Wildcats on Tuesday.
> The Gamecocks are in the midst of a stretch of four out of five games at home, which began Tuesday vs. UK.
> Junior forward Chris Silva continues to pace Carolina with 14.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game this season. In league play, those numbers are 19.3 and 7.8, respectively.
> In home games this season, the Gamecocks hold a +9.9 scoring margin over their opponents.
> Graduate student guard Frank Booker also averages double-figure points this season (overall games) at 11.3 per contest. Over the course of the last two games, Booker is averaging 17.5 points per game.
> Paced by Silva’s team and league leading 157 free throw attempts this season, Carolina ranks 17th in the country with 459 (25.5 attempts per game) team attempts at the line this season.
> The Gamecocks rank third in the SEC and 33rd nationally in scoring defense, as opponents are averaging just 65.3 points per game on the Carolina defense.


> Tennessee enters weekend action ranked 21st in both the AP and Coaches Polls. The Vols are 12-5 on the season and 3-3 in SEC action after most recently suffering a loss on the road at Missouri on Wednesday.
> Tennessee is led by head coach Rick Barnes in his third season.
> Three average double-figure points for the Vols, led by sophomore forward Grant Williams’ 16.6 per game. Admiral Schofield (13.2) and Jordan Bowden (10.4) also are averaging double figures.
> In league games, Williams is scoring 18.8 per game, and Schofield’s 7.3 rebounds are a team high.
> UT’s SEC wins this season are against Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Texas A&M.
> Tennessee is 3-2 in road games this season, averaging 79.2 points per game in those contests.
> UT ranks among national leaders and is third in the SEC in free throw percentage (76.0%), which is 30th nationally. Tennessee’s 12.59 offensive rebounds per game are second in the SEC and 36th nationally as well.


> Tennessee leads the all-time series with South Carolina, 42-27.
> The series dates back to a 39-24 Carolina home win on Jan. 15, 1927.
> South Carolina leads the series in Columbia, 16-15.
> The Gamecocks have won three straight in the series, but Tennessee has won six of the last 10.


> South Carolina travels to face SEC leader Florida next Wednesday in Gainesville. The 7 p.m. matchup will be broadcast on the SEC Network with Mike Morgan (play-by-play) and Pat Bradley (analyst) on the call. Following the matchup against the Gators, Carolina returns home to host No. 8/8 Texas Tech in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Jan. 27. Tip is set for Noon vs. the Red Raiders.