Gamecocks Begin Road Swing At Vanderbilt Wednesday
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina is set for a pair of SEC matchups on the road this week, starting Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET at Vanderbilt. The contest, the first between the two schools in Nashville since 2017, will be broadcast on the SEC Network with Roy Philpott (play-by-play) and Mark Wise (analyst) on the call.
> South Carolina is 3-0 in the SEC for just the third time since joining the league after the 85-75 win over Missouri on Sunday. Carolina was also perfect through the first three conference contests in 1997 (SEC champs) and in 2017 (advanced to first Final Four).
> South Carolina’s offense has been surging as of late, averaging 85.0 points per game over the current four-game win streak. On the year, Carolina is averaging 75.5 points per game and three are averaging double figures – Silva (12.9), Lawson (12.6) and Gravett (11.3).
> In the win over Missouri, Carolina forced 20 Tiger turnovers which led to 33 points on the offensive end. In league play, Carolina is forcing 17.0 turnovers per game, which lead to an average of 20.7 points per game.
> The Gamecocks were clutch at the free throw line in Sunday’s win over Missouri, hitting 29-of-35 attempts, good for 82.9 percent from the stripe. Though he was 0-of-6 from the field, senior guard Hassani Gravett was a flawless 12-of-12 (both marks were a career high) at the line. Silva was 6-of-7, and Haase improved his team-leading mark to 87.5 percent after hitting all six of his attempts at the line.
> Starting with Wednesday’s matchup at Vanderbilt, Carolina will play five of its next seven contests on the road – with home matchups against nationally ranked foes, Tennessee and Auburn during the stretch.
THROUGH THE FIRST 15 GAMES…
> Carolina is 8-7 overall on the year and 3-0 in SEC games … After trading wins and losses through the first seven games of the season, Carolina then lost four-straight, but the Gamecocks have now won four straight … Three are in double figures, with Silva leading the way with 12.9 points per game … Rookie guard A.J. Lawson contributes 12.6 points per game, and his 3.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game are team highs … Seven active Gamecocks average at least 20 minutes per game, and seven average at least 5.8 points per game.
> South Carolina head coach Frank Martin is in his seventh season leading the Gamecocks and 12th season overall as a head coach in 2018-19. Martin, the 2017 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year (CollegeInsider.com), led South Carolina to its first Final Four and a school record 26 wins in 2016-17. In his 11 complete seasons as a head coach, Martin has led his teams to at least 21 wins seven times. Martin is a native of Miami, Fla., and a graduate of FIU.
> Prior to his time on the sidelines in the college ranks, Martin spent 15 years in high school coaching in Miami, Fla., including the last seven as a head coach. He was part of five state championships as an assistant at Miami Senior High School (1985-93), before earning two titles as the program’s head coach (1995-98). Highlighting Martin’s stint as the head coach of the program were consecutive 30-win seasons and consecutive Florida 6A State Championships in 1996 and 1997, with his 1997 squad earning a 36-1 overall record and ranking No. 4 in the USA Today Top 25 Poll. He also served as the head coach at North Miami Senior High School (1993-95) and one season at Booker T. Washington High School (1999-2000).
> Among active Division I head coaches, South Carolina’s Frank Martin holds the seventh-highest (tied with Michigan’s John Beilein) NCAA Tournament winning percentage (.667) behind only Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, North Carolina’s Roy Williams, Kentucky’s John Calipari, Kansas’ Bill Self, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and Villanova’s Jay Wright.
> Martin led team’s are 98-95 (.507) all-time in league play.
> South Carolina is in its 111th season of varsity basketball in 2018-19.
> Gamecock head coach Frank Martin is joined on the sidelines by assistant coaches Perry Clark (6th season), Bruce Shingler (3rd season) and Chuck Martin (2nd season). Andy Assaley is in his seventh season as the director of operations.
> South Carolina is one of 13 DI schools nationally that have two or more former DI coaches serving as an assistant coach. Perry Clark served as the head coach at Tulane, Miami (Fla.) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, while Chuck Martin was the head coach at Marist for five campaigns.
> South Carolina advanced to its first Final Four in 2016-17, which included posting its first NCAA Tounament win since the 1973 campaign when it talied a 93-73 win over Marquette in the First Round.
> The Gamecocks are 24-14 (.631) in neutral-site contests under the direction of head coach Frank Martin, including a 3-3 mark last season.
> Carolina was 15-18 (.454) over the course of the last three seasons in away contests (2015-16, 16-17, 17-18).
> Martin is 30-40 (.428) 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.
> Senior forward Chris Silva was named to the Preseason All-SEC First Team by both the media and coaches; and also named to the Karl Malone Award Watch List, the Naismith Trophy Watch List and the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 Watch List. He was also named a Senior CLASS Award Candidate.
SCOUTING THE GAMECOCKS
> Carolina is 8-7 overall this season and 3-0 in SEC contests.
> Entering the Jan. 5 contest vs. Florida, South Carolina’s NET was 214. After going 3-0 to start leage games, Carolina’s net is at 133 as of Jan. 15.
> The Gamecocks averaged just 65.5 points per game during their recent four-game losing streak, but in the four games since – all wins – Carolina’s offensive is scoring 85.0 points per contest.
> Senior forward Chris Silva averaged 12.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game in two Carolina wins last week. He leads the Gamecocks in all three of those categories this season… 12.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game.
> The Gamecocks average 74.0 points per game in matchups away from home this season (2-3).
> Carolina averaged just 65.8 percent at the free throw line through the first five games of the season, but the Gamecocks are averaging 76.1 percent in the last 10 games.
> In strictly SEC games, Carolina paces the league in offensive rebounds (39) and ranks third in offensive rebounds per game (13.0), is sixth in field goal percent (44.8), fourth in free throw percent (77.9) and second in free throws made (60) and attempted (77).
> South Carolina returns seven letterwinners from last season’s 17-16 squad, including senior guard Hassani Gravett and senior forward Chris Silva.
> Carolina welcomes nine newcomers to its roster this season, including transfers and six freshmen student-athletes. Jair Bolden (transfer/George Washington/guard), redshirt-junior Raymond “Quad” Borup (r-junior/forward), graduate transfer Tre Campbell (transfer/Georgetown/guard), Keyshawn Bryant (freshman/guard), Jermaine Couisnard (freshman/guard), Alanzo Frink (freshman/forward), A.J. Lawson (freshman/guard), T.J. Moss (freshman/guard) and Nathan Nelson (freshman/forward).
SCOUTING THE COMMODORES
> Vanderbilt is 9-6 overall on the season, but 0-3 in SEC contests with losses to Ole Miss, at Georgia and at Kentucky.
> Head coach Bryce Drew is in his third season in Nashville.
> The Commodores average 78.4 points per game, led by Simisola Shittu’s 14.1 points per game. Before his injury, Darius Garland was averaging 16.2 points per game in five contests.
> Shittu also paces the team with 8.1 rebounds per contest.
> Vandy is 8-2 in home games this season, averaging 86.1 points per game in those contests.
> Nine Commodores have scored double figures in a game this season.
> In the SEC stats (overall games), Vanderbilt is seventh in field goal percent defense (41.2), and seventh in assist to turnover ratio (1.0).
COMING UP NEXT
> South Carolina continues SEC action when it travels to face LSU on Saturday in Baton Rouge. Tip time vs. the Tigers is set for 6 p.m. ET on the SEC Network with Kevin Fitzgerald (play-by-play) and Dane Bradshaw (analyst) on the call.