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Carolina Hosts Mississippi State On Senior Night
Men's Basketball  . 

Carolina Hosts Mississippi State On Senior Night

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina (17-12, 9-7 SEC) returns to Colonial Life Arena to host Mississippi State (19-10, 10-6 SEC) on Senior Night at Colonial Life Arena on Tuesday.  Tip time for the contest is set for 6:30 p.m. ET.  Tuesday’s Senior Night presentation will begin at 6:10 PM at center court.

Arena:  Colonial Life Arena (18,000)
Broadcast: SEC Network
  Play-By-Play: Tom Hart
  Analyst: Andy Kennedy
  Sidelines: Alyssa Lang
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
  In Columbia: 107.5 The Game
  Play-By-Play: Derek Scott
  Analyst: Casey Manning
  SIRIUS: – | XM: 374 | INTERNET: 374
Watch: WatchESPN/ESPN App
Live Stats:
  1-800-4SC-FANS/Arena box office
Series: Mississippi State leads 23-15
  In Columbia: Carolina leads 9-8
  Trend: MSU has won four of the last five
  Last Game: 79-76 Mississippi State win on Feb. 19, 2020, in Starkville

> South Carolina looks for its 10th SEC win of the 2020 campaign on Tuesday when it hosts Mississippi State on Senior Night.  The meeting is the second between the two schools this SEC regular season.  The Bulldogs collected a 79-76 win in Starkville on Feb. 19.
> Senior Day festivities begin at 6:10 PM on Tuesday evening, and Carolina will be honoring senior managers Adam Roach and Davis Diepholz, and senior student-athletes Micaiah Henry and Maik Kotsar. 
> The Gamecocks most recently suffered a 90-86 loss at Alabama last Saturday.  Sophomore forward Keyshawn Bryant posted his third consecutive double-double with career highs of 22 points and 13 rebounds.  AJ Lawson (17), Jermaine Couisnard (12) and Alanzo Frink (10) were also in double figures. 
> Carolina made eight more field goals than the Crimson Tide in the contest, but Alabama connected on 33-of-47 attempts at the free throw line, including 4-of-6 at the line in the final minute of action.
> Kotsar scored the 1,000th point of his career at Alabama.
> Kotsar has been on fire over his last three contests vs. Mississippi State.  In last season’s first meeting, Kotsar scored a career high 25 points behind 10 field goals in the overtime win in Columbia.  In the rematch in Starkville, he added another double-digit performance with 13 points, and earlier this season, he connected on 11-of-17 attempts en route to a team high 24 points on Feb. 19 at Humphrey Coliseum.  Over the last three games vs. MSU, Kotsar is averaging 57.4 percent from the floor, 20.7 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.
> Carolina scored a season high 94 points in last Wednesday’s overtime victory vs. Georgia at Colonial Life Arena.  The contest snapped a two-game losing streak for the Gamecocks, and secured the season sweep over the Bulldogs. 
> Six Gamecocks scored in double figures, including all five in the starting lineup vs. UGA.  Sophomore forward Alanzo Frink was nearly unstoppable underneath the basket, connecting on 8-of-10 attempts, along with a 6-of-9 mark at the free throw line for a career high 22 in the win.  Senior forward Maik Kotsar (19 points/10 rebounds) and sophomore forward Keyshawn Bryant (16 points/10 rebounds) both collected a double-double in the contest.
> As of Monday, March 2, Carolina is 65 in the latest NET rankings.  Carolina has four Q1 wins this season – at Clemson and Virginia, vs. Kentucky and at Arkansas –  and the Gamecocks are 3-3 in Q2 matchups. 
> Carolina’s six road wins are one shy of Kentucky’s seven for the most in the SEC, and are the most by a Gamecock squad since the 2016-17 Final Four team also had six road wins. 
> In home games this season, Carolina is averaging 74.3 points per outing and 42.4 percent from the field.
> Senior forward Maik Kotsar made the 117th start of his career vs. LSU, taking sole possession of second place all-time in career starts at Carolina.  Gamecock great Sindarius Thornwell leads the category with 132 career starts.
> Since the beginning of the 2016 SEC campaign, Carolina is 32-12 (.727) in conference home contests.
> In its 17 wins, the Carolina defense is holding opponents to just 36.1 percent from the field and 25.3 percent from 3-point range.
> Martin is 33-45 (.435) 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.
> The Gamecocks are 6-4 on the road this season, and are 28-37 (43.0%) in road contests dating back to the 2014-15 campaign.
> Sophomore guard AJ Lawson paces the Gamecocks with 13.5 points per game.  Lawson also has a team high 55 3-pointers on the year and is dishing out 1.9 assists per game.
> Kotsar is 23 rebounds away from cracking the top 10 all time in the category.  He sits at 661 for his career, and Gamecock great Sindarius Thornwell is in the 10th position with 684 career rebounds.
> The Gamecocks are holding opponents to just 39.2 percent from the floor, which is second in the SEC and 22nd nationally.
> Carolina has dished at least 13 assists in 22  games, including an SEC season high 22 in the Jan. 18 road win at Texas A&M, and again vs. Georgia on Feb. 26.
> R-freshman guard Jermaine Couisnard is averaging a team high 3.0 assists per game.  He has 23 games this season with two or more assists.
> Carolina has held its opponent to less than 40 percent from the field on 12 occassions, including holding Wyoming to 23.1 percent and only nine made field goals.
> The Gamecocks are 15-3 in games in which they lead at the half.
> Lawson (55), Bolden (45) and Couisnard (34) combine to account for 134 of Carolina’s 168 3-pointers on the year, 79.7 percent.
> Frank Martin teams are known for their tenacious defense and the 2019-20 team is on the mark.  The Gamecocks are second in the league and rank 22nd nationally, holding opponents to just 39.2% from the field.  From 3-point range, opponents have hit just 186-of-626 attempts (29.7%/4th in the SEC/29th nationally), and Carolina is forcing 15.62 turnovers per contest, second in the SEC and 40th in the nation.
> Carolina has held 12 opponents to under 40% from the field and five of those under 30%
> 15 Gamecock opponents were held to under 30% from the field from 3-point range
> 11 opponents have been held to under 20 made field goals
> 15 opponents have committed 15+ turnovers
> Carolina is sixth in the SEC (overall games) with 4.3 blocks per game, second with 7.8 steals and second with a +2.4 turnover margin
> Senior forward Maik Kotsar is having a career year in his senior season. 
> Kotsar has led or shared the team lead in scoring nine times this season, including in five of Carolina’s SEC games.  He has also scored in double figures a career high 19 times.
> Kotsar is had career-best streak of nine straight games scoring in double figures (scored only eight at Alabama on Feb. 29).  During the stretch, Kotsar averaged 15.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.8 blocks and 1.9 steals per game.
> In SEC games, Kotsar is averaging 12.1 points, and team highs of 7.0 rebounds (t-9th in the SEC), 1.6 steals (t-6th) and 1.2 blocks (t-9th) per game.
> Kotsar continues to be the SEC’s active leader with 661 career rebounds, and he is third among active players, and the leading forward with 131 career steals.
> Kotsar is 10 steals away from matching Gamecock great Carlos Powell in career steals for 10th all time in the Garnet and Black (141).
> Kotsar is one of only two in the SEC (conference games only) to be ranked in the top 10 in both rebounds (team high 7.0 per game/t-9th in the SEC) and steals (team high 1.6 per outing/t-6th).
> Prior to suffering a hand/wrist injury in the Feb. 1 Missouri contest, r-sophomore forward Justin Minaya was playing strong on both ends of the court for the Gamecocks in SEC action.  In his eight league games, Minaya is averaging 8.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.0 steals per outing.  He has four double-figure outings in SEC action, including a career high 18 points in the Jan. 18 road win at Texas A&M.  Additionally his 31.1 minutes played in SEC games is a team high.
> Mississippi State is 19-10 overall this season and 10-6 in SEC games.
> The Bulldogs have won two straight and four of their last five entering Tuesday’s matchup vs. Carolina.
> MSU is 4-6 on the road this season and 3-5 in SEC road games.
> Sophomore forward Reggie Perry leads MSU with 17.2 points and 9.7 rebounds per game this season.  In SEC games, Perry is averaging 19.2 points and just shy of a double-double with 9.9 rebounds per game.
> Nick Weatherspoon (12.5), Tyson Carter (12.4) and Robert Woodard II (10.8) are also in double figures in league play.
> Mississippi State is one of the top teams in the nation on the glass, as the Bulldogs lead the SEC and are 16th nationally with a +6.9 rebound margin.
> Perry’s 9.7 rebounds per game lead the SEC and rank 36th nationally.
> South Carolina head coach Frank Martin is in his eighth season leading the Gamecocks and 13th season overall as a head coach in 2019-20.  Martin, the 2017 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year (, led South Carolina to its first Final Four and a school record 26 wins in 2016-17.  In his 12 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). Higlighting 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 eighth-highest (tied with Villanova’s Jay Wright) NCAA Tournament winning percentage (.667) behind only Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, North Carolina’s Roy Williams, Texas Tech’s Chris Beard, Kentucky’s John Calipari, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, Kansas’ Bill Self and Virginia’s Tony Bennett.
> South Carolina is led by eighth-year head coach Frank Martin.  Martin, the 2017 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year, owns a 263-172 record in his 13th season as a head coach, and a 145-118 record in his eighth season at Carolina.
> Joining Martin on the sidelines is a veteran staff, including assistant coaches Perry Clark (seventh season), Chuck Martin (third season) and Bruce Shingler (fourth season), director of basketball operations Andy Assaley (eighth season) and strength and conditioning coach Scott Greenawalt (eighth season), and several support staff members.
> South Carolina returns a core group from last season’s squad, while welcoming seven newcomers to Columbia, including five freshmen – Trey Anderson, Jalyn McCreary, Trae Hannibal, Wildens Leveque and Mike Green, transfer Seventh Woods (North Carolina/not eligible this season due to NCAA transfer rules) and graduate transfer Micaiah Henry (Tennessee Tech/immediately eligible).
> Carolina’s top returning scorer, and 2019 SEC All-Freshman Team honoree, is sophomore guard AJ Lawson, who scored 13.4 points per outing last season, while dishing 2.9 assists per game.  Over the summer, Lawson competed for Team Canada at the FIBA U19 World Cup in Greece, leading the Canadians with 16.7 points per outing, including an event-high 31 points vs. Senegal.
> South Carolina returns 43.9 percent of scoring from a year ago, 48.3 percent of its made field goals, and 45.7 percent of its rebounding, following the graduation of All-SEC forward Chris Silva, who led the Gamecocks with 15.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, and 150 made field goals last season.
> Sophomore guard AJ Lawson is Carolina’s top returning scorer after contributing 13.4 points per outing last season.  Lawson, who was named to the Jerry West Award Watch List in October, posted 18 double-figure scoring games last season, including six 20-point performances.
> Sophomore guard AJ Lawson posted his fourth 20-point game of the season with a game-high 24 on eight bade baskets and six made free throws in the win at UMass. 
> The Gamecocks suffered a home loss to Houston on Dec. 8.  The Carolina offense hit just 32.3 percent from the field, and the Cougars claimed the road win.  Senior forward Maik Kotsar led Carolina with 12 points, and sophomore guard AJ Lawson added 10 in the loss.  Carolina hit six 3s vs. Houston, it’s highest output from beyond the arc since hitting 7-of-19 attempts from range vs. Northern Iowa. 
> Carolina claimed a Palmetto Series point with a big road win over instrastate rival and ACC opponent Clemson Dec. 15 at Littlejohn Coliseum.  The 67-54 victory snapped a three-game Tiger win streak in the series, and was Carolina’s first at Littlejohn since 2011. 
> In that Clemson victory, sophomore guard AJ Lawson scored a team high 20, along with 11 from senior forward Maik Kotsar and 10 from r-junior guard Jair Bolden to round out the Gamecocks in double figures.  The 20-point effort was the fifth of its kind this season for Lawson, who is 11th in the SEC and leads the squad with 16.3 points per outing thus far.
> Prior to the break for the holidays, Carolina upset No. 9 Virginia in Charlottesville with a 70-59 victory on Dec. 22.  The win improved the Gamecocks to 3-0 on the road this season, and it snapped a 22-game home non-conference win streak for the Cavaliers.
> R-junior guard Jair Bolden led four Gamecocks in double figures vs. UVA with a season high 22 points on eight made field goals, including four makes from 3-point range.  AJ Lawson (14), Justin Minaya (12) and Keyshawn Bryant (10) also posted double figures in the win.
> Bolden was named the SEC’s co-Player of the Week following his standout performance vs. Virginia.  It marked Bolden’s first weekly award as a Gamecock.
> The victory on the road vs. the Cavaliers was Carolina’s first on the road over a top 10 opponent since an 81-78 victory at No. 8/8 Texas A&M on Feb. 6, 2016.
> Carolina suffered a 63-56 loss to Stetson in the non-conference finale on Dec. 30.  Only Maik Kotsar (11 points) registered double figures, and the Gamecocks connected on just 20-of-54 (37.0%) attempts from the floor and only 12-of-24 (50.0%) attempts at the free throw line.
> South Carolina suffered an 81-68 loss at home to Florida in its SEC opener on Jan. 7.  Senior forward Maik Kotsar continued his strong play, pacing the Gamecocks with team highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.
> South Carolina suffered a 56-55 loss at Tennessee Jan. 11 in its first SEC road contest of the season.  Senior forward Maik Kotsar concluded a monster week with a 17-point, eight-rebound performance, and r-freshman guard Jermaine Couisnard led all bench scorers with 15. 
> South Carolina collected its first win of the 2020 SEC campaign on Jan. 15, as r-freshman guard Jermaine Couisnard sank a long 3-point buzzer-beater to give the Gamecocks an 81-78 upset win over No. 10/12 Kentucky at Colonial Life Arena.  The win was Carolina’s second this season over a top-10 opponent.
> Couisnard led four Gamecocks in double figures with a season high 26 in the win over UK.  TJ Moss added 10, his first double-figure outing of the season, Justin Minaya scored 11 and sophomore forward Keyshawn Bryant had a season high 15 points.
> The Gamecocks won their second-straight and captured their first SEC road win on Jan. 18 with a dominant victory at Texas A&M.  Carolina matched its school record with 16 made 3-pointers in the contest, behind a career high five from R-junior guard Jair Bolden.
> R-sophomore forward Justin Minaya scored a career best 18 points in Carolina’s win vs. the Aggies.  He hit six baskets, including four 3s, also dished five assists and pulled down eight rebounds in a career best 40 minutes.  He became the first Gamecock to play all 40 minutes of a contest since Duane Notice hit the mark – also vs. the Aggies – on Feb. 21, 2015.
> R-freshman guard Jermaine Couisnard followed up his standout performance vs. Kentucky with another strong outing vs. A&M.  He hit seven baskets, including three 3-pointers, for 17 points, and also dished three assists. 
> Couisnard was named the SEC Freshman of the Week on Jan. 20 following his standout week vs. Kentucky and Texas A&M.  The following day he was also named the CBS Sports/USBWA National Freshman of the Week.
> The Gamecocks suffered an 80-67 road loss at No. 16/16 Auburn on Jan. 22.  R-freshman guard Jermaine Couisnard led the Gamecocks with 16 points, while Justin Minaya (14), AJ Lawson (11) and Jair Bolden (10) were also in double figures.  Carolina hit 47.5 percent (29-61) from the field vs. the Tigers, but were just 3-of-9 from the free throw line, compared to an 18-of-21 mark at the line from Auburn.
> The Gamecock offense was on fire in Carolina’s 90-64 win over Vanderbilt at home on Jan. 25.  Eleven different Gamecocks marked the scoring column, with five of those in double figures led by 14 from both AJ Lawson and Justin Minaya.  Minaya pulled down a career best 12 rebounds – six on the offensive glass – for his second-career double-double.  As a team, Carolina hit 33-of-61 from the field (54.1%) and 17-of-24 (70.8%) at the free throw line.
> Rookie forward Jalyn McCreary posted the first double-figure scoring game of his career with 11 in the win vs. Vanderbilt. 
> South Carolina picked up its third quadrant one win of the season with a 79-77 road victory at Arkansas on Jan. 29 night.  The Gamecocks never trailed in the contest, and led by as many as 11 in the opening half.  Arkansas pulled to within a point with 28 seconds remaining on a Mason Jones free throw, before Jermaine Couisnard hit one of his two attempts from the line to push the Carolina lead back to two with 26 seconds to play. 
> Sophomore guard AJ Lawson was big on both ends of the court vs. the Razorbacks, scoring a team high 19 points, while also picking up a steal.  He also defended Arkansas’ final 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
> Guard Trae Hannibal played 15 minutes during the second half of the win at Arkansas, and the rookie scored a season high 11 points to help lift the Gamecocks in the win.  He was 4-of-7 from the floor, and made 3-of-6 attempts at the foul line.
> South Carolina extended it’s winning streak to three straight when it posted a convincing 76-54 home victory over Missouri Feb. 1.  Three were in double figures for Carolina, led by Kotsar’s 21 points.  It marked Kotsar’s first 20-point outing of the year and his second career.
> South Carolina saw its three-game win streak come to an end on when it suffered an 84-70 loss on the road at Ole Miss on Feb. 5.  Breein Tyree led the Rebels with 38 points on 12 made baskets in the win. 
> R-freshman guard Jermaine Couisnard continued his hot streak on the offensive end, scoring a season high 28 vs. Ole Miss.  It was his second 20-point game of the year.  He connected on eight field goals, one shy of matching his season high, and hit a season best nine free throws.  He made six of his eight field goals in the second half.  Couisnard paces the Gamecocks in SEC action with 16.1 points per game. 
> Kotsar had a strong outing against the Rebels as well, especially in the first half when he scored 12 of his 19 points.  Kotsar also led the Gamecocks in rebounds (8), blocks (3) and steals (3) on Wednesday.
> For his efforts Feb. 5 vs. Ole Miss, when he scored a season high 28 points, and his 19-point performance in last the Feb. 8 home win over A&M, Jermaine Couisnard was named the SEC Freshman of the Week for the second time this season. 
> South Carolina captured its sixth road win of the season when it defeated Georgia 75-59 in Athens on Feb. 12.  The Gamecocks held the Bulldogs to just one field goal in the first 14 minutes of the game to build a double-digit lead they would never give up.  Sophomore guard AJ Lawson led four Gamecocks in double figures with a game high 20 points.
> A crucial steal, followed by four straight makes at the free throw line in the final 23 seconds by senior forward Maik Kotsar would be the difference in Carolina’s 63-61 home win over Tennessee on Feb. 15.  Kotsar led the Gamecocks with 13 points and eight rebounds, and the senior secured Carolina’s eighth SEC win of the season.
> The numbers show just how close of a contest it was vs. the Vols – both teams with 20 baskets, both with four 3-pointers, and the difference was Carolina’s 19 makes at the charity stripe compared to 17 by the Vols.  Kotsar was 7-of-8 at the line for Carolina and R-freshman guard Jermaine Couisnard was 7-of-11, as the duo accounted for 14 of Carolina’s makes at the line.
> South Carolina saw its three-game win streak halted when it suffered a 79-76 loss at Mississippi State (Feb. 19).  Senior forward Maik Kotsar scored a season high 24 points – just one shy of matching his career high – on a career high 11 made field goals vs. the Bulldogs.  Jermaine Couisnard (17) and AJ Lawson (12) were also in double figures in the loss.
> Five Gamecocks scored in double figures for just the second time in SEC play in the matchup vs. LSU, however, the Tigers withheld a late Gamecock rally to close the 86-80 win on Feb. 22 in Coumbia.  Carolina was held to just 37.3 percent (28-75) from the floor, and LSU hit 25-of-31 (80.6%) attempts at the free throw line in the win.
> R-junior guard Jair Bolden hit a trio of 3-pointers off the bench vs. LSU, scoring 15 points in 19 minutes of action.  It marked Bolden’s 14th double-figure scoring outing of the season, and his 13th game this season with multiple makes from 3-point range.
1,000 – Senior forward Maik Kotsar became the 46th member of the Carolina 1,000 point club in last Saturday’s matchup at Alabama.  Kotsar is averaging a career best 11.0 points per game this season.
22/13 – Sophomore forward Keyshawn Bryant scored a career high 22, and pulled down a career high 13 rebounds in Carolina’s matchup at Alabama.  Bryant has recorded a double-double in three straight games (LSU (first career), Georgia, Alabama)
22 – Sophomore forward Alanzo Frink scored a career high 22 points on 8-of-10 field goals and a 6-of-9 mark at the charity stripe vs. Georgia last Wednesday.  He added 10 points at Alabama.
2+ – R-junior Jair Bolden hit a trio of 3s vs. Alabama, his 14th game this season with multiple makes from beyond the arc.
10+ – Depth is a strength for Carolina this season, and 11 different Gamecocks are averaging at least 10 minutes per contest.
70+ – SC is 14-6 this season when it scores 70+ points.
> South Carolina debuted its throwback jerseys for the first time this season for the Dec. 8 matchup vs. Houston.  Fans can visit the official online store at to purchase the full line of throwback gear. 
> The uniforms are inspired by the look of the uniforms from the 1970’s era of Gamecock basketball. 
> The Gamecocks got their first win in their throwback uniforms in the upset victory over No. 10/12 Kentucky on Jan. 15 and posted wins in the uniforms vs. Vanderbilt on Jan. 25 and Missouri on Feb. 2.

> The Gamecocks conclude the regular season at Vanderbilt on Saturday for a 12:30 p.m. ET tipoff on the SEC Network.  Richard Cross (play-by-play) and Mark Wise (analyst) will have the call from Memorial Gym.