South Carolina Opens SEC Play vs. No. 9/9 Auburn Tuesday
Gamecocks seeking first win over top-10 opponent since beating No. 10/12 Kentucky in 2020
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina (9-3, 0-0 SEC) opens league play vs. No. 9/9 Auburn (12-1, 1-0 SEC) on Tuesday night at Colonial Life Arena. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. (ET) with doors opening 1 hour prior. Dave Neal (pxp) and Daymeon Fishback (color) have the call for the SEC Network broadcast.
Single game tickets are still available for purchase by clicking here.
ARENA: Colonial Life Arena (18,000)
BROADCAST: SEC Network
PLAY-BY-PLAY: Dave Neal
ANALYST: Daymeon Fishback
RADIO: Gamecock Radio Network
IN COLUMBIA: 107.5 The Game
PLAY-BY-PLAY: Derek Scott
ANALYST: Casey Manning
SIRIUS: — | XM: 381 | SXM APP: 971
WATCH: WatchESPN/ESPN App
LIVE STATS: GamecocksOnline.com
SERIES: Auburn leads, 27-19
IN COLUMBIA: Auburn leads, 12-8
NEUTRAL: tied, 3-3
SERIES TREND: Auburn has won three-straight
LAST MEETING: 109-86, Auburn win on Jan. 23. 2021 at Colonial Life Arena
> The team’s last victory over a top-10 opponent came two seasons ago on Jermaine Couisnard’s buzzer beater vs. No. 10/12 Kentucky to knockoff the Wildcats 81-78 on Jan. 15, 2020
> The Gamecocks are 12-18 all-time in SEC openers and 4-5 under head coach Frank Martin (first season was 2012-13)
> South Carolina bounced back with a 105-75 win over Army on Dec. 22 ; the team eclipsed the century mark for the second time this season (first time to score 100+ on multiple occasions since 1995-96) ; the Carters (Devin and Chico) combined for 42 points as the team shot 58.6 percent from the floor (41-of-70) ; the team’s 61 points in the first half marked the team’s first time scoring 60+ in a half since tallying 65 in the Second Round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament vs. Duke in Greenville, S.C.
> The Gamecocks fell on the road at in-state rival Clemson, 70-56, on Dec. 18 ; Carolina limited the Tigers to just 33.3 percent shooting, but also struggled offensively with a 32.7 percent shooting clip (second lowest of season) and a season-low four assists ; Chico Carter Jr. led the team with a season-high 21 points (2-for-4 3FGs, 9-for-10 FTs)
> South Carolina scored the most points in the Frank Martin era and its most points in a game since 1995 (won 112-61 vs. The Citadel on 12/21/95) in a 110-51 victory vs. Allen (Dec. 14) ; the 15 players suited up for Carolina each scored in the game ; Brandon Martin had his first career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds – he also had a career-high five assists ; the Gamecocks dished out 31 assists total, the second best mark in program history (school record is 33 in win over Georgia Southern in 1976).
> Rookie guard Devin Carter matched his career high with 16 points, and he pulled down a team best seven rebounds, while graduate student guard James Reese V scored 13 – all in the second half – as South Carolina overcame a 16-point first-half deficit to post a 66-65 win over Florida State on Dec. 12 at the No Room For Racism Classic in Rock Hill.
> Following his standout performance in the win over FSU, Devin Carter earned his first-career SEC Freshman of the Week award on Monday, Dec. 13
> Carolina posted a convincing 80-67 win over Georgetown at Colonial Life Arena Dec. 5 in non-conference action. The Hoyas never led in the contest, and the Gamecock defense held Georgetown to just 32.9 percent (23-70) from the floor.
> The Gamecocks fell 80-56 in their first true road contest of the season at Coastal Carolina on Dec. 1. CCU led for the majority of the first half, before the Gamecocks pulled to within one at halftime, however, the Chanticleers out-scored Carolina 44-21 in the second half to capture the non-conference win.
> The Gamecocks trailed for the majority of their contest with Rider at Colonial Life Arena on Nov. 28, but a 3-pointer from senior forward Keyshawn Bryant tied the contest at 36-all with 12:30 to go, and Carolina was able to maintain its lead the remainder of the game to close the 65-58 non-conference win.
> Carolina captured a big win over visiting Wofford on Nov. 23 at Colonial Life Arena, posting an 85-74 victory over the Terriers. Senior guard Erik Stevenson had his best performance this season, hitting nine field goals, including five 3-pointers, en route to a 25-point performance. His six rebounds were also a team best.
> Rookie guard Devin Carter was clutch at the free throw line, hitting all four of his attempts in the final five seconds of play to clinch a 66-63 Gamecock win over visiting UAB at Colonial Life Arena on Nov. 18. The Blazers, who are the preseason pick to win C-USA this season, battled back from a 16-point deficit to make it a one-point game with a minute remaining in the matchup, but Carter sank all four of his attempts late in the contest to secure the Carolina win.
> Following its first loss of the season, Carolina rebounded with a 75-64 victory over Western Kentucky on Nov. 14 in its final contest at the inaugural Asheville Championship. Junior guard Jermaine Couisnard and rookie guard Devin Carter led Carolina with 16 points each, and graduate student guard James Reese V tallied a season high 14 points behind four makes from 3-point range.
> The Gamecocks suffered their first loss of the season on Nov. 12, falling 66-62 to Princeton. Carolina struggled from the field, hitting just 36.2 percent overall, and just 15.4 percent (4-26) from 3-point range. Princeton made 11 3-pointers in the win.
> Junior forward Wildens Leveque posted the first double-double of his career with a dominant 12-point, 10-rebound performance vs. Princeton on Nov. 12. Leveque, who was 6-of-6 from the field, played 32 minutes of action, including 18:52 of the second half. Four of his rebounds were on the offensive end.
> The Gamecocks improved to 84-30 all-time in season openers when they posted a 78-60 victory over USC Upstate in the 2021-22 opener on Nov. 9 at Colonial Life Arena. Junior guard Jermaine Couisnard and junior forward Wildens Leveque led the Gamecocks with 14 points each, while Couisnard dished out a game high seven assists in the win.
> Head coach Frank Martin is in his 10th season leading the Gamecocks. He is assisted by associate head coach Chuck Martin (fifth season), assistant coaches Will Bailey (second season) and Brian Steele (first season), and the director of operations is Andy Assaley (10th season).
> South Carolina posted a 101-76 exhibition win vs. Benedict on Nov. 4. James Reese V led all scorers with 21 in the contest.
> The 2021-22 campaign is the 20th season of basketball at Colonial Life Arena. The facility opened just prior to the 2002-03 campaign.
> South Carolina returns three of its top five scorers from a season ago, including senior forward Keyshawn Bryant (14.4 ppg), junior guard Jermaine Couisnard (10.1 ppg) and junior forward Wildens Leveque (6.1 ppg).
> The Gamecocks welcome nine newcomers to the team this season, including a trio of freshmen in Devin Carter, Ta’Quan Woodley and Jacobi Wright. Six transfers are also set for their first season at Carolina in Chico Carter Jr. (Murray State), Josh Gray (LSU), Brandon Martin (USC Upstate), James Reese V (North Texas), Erik Stevenson (Washington) and AJ Wilson (George Mason).
> A consensus five-star recruit, Auburn is led by 6-10 freshman Jabari Smith, who averages 16.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game
> K.D. Johnson (12.8), Wendell Green Jr. (12.0) and Walker Kessler (10.0) all average double-figures
> The Tigers are currently riding a nine-game winning streak and are fresh off a 70-55 win at home vs. No. 16/16 LSU on Dec. 29 in the team’s league opener
> Auburn leads the country in blocks per game (8.2)
> 10 of the Tigers’ 12 wins have come by 10 or more points so far this season ; their scoring margin is +16.1, good for 21st nationally
> They average 80.2 points a game (32nd nationally) and average 9.8 steals per contest (22nd nationally)
> Auburn turns the ball over just 11.5 times a game, which is the second-best mark in the SEC
DID YOU KNOW?
> First-year assistant coach Brian Steele is one of 28 assistants nationally who are 30 or younger. Steele just turned 28 on Nov. 10. A three-year letterwinner for the Gamecocks on the hardwood (2012-15), Steele saw action in 50 career games in the Garnet and Black, with four starts. After knee injuries dotted his first three seasons on the court, Steele opted to serve as a student assistant coach during the 2015-16 campaign. He did the same during the historic 2016-17 season that saw Carolina reach the Final Four, and then was a graduate assistant manager the following year.
BY THE NUMBERS
3,018 – South Carolina’s six incoming transfer student-athletes combined to score 3,018 points during their college careers prior to joining the Gamecocks, led by Erik Stevenson’s 826 career points.
212 – AJ Wilson saw action in 114 games during his career at George Mason. As a junior, Wilson set GMU’s all-time record for blocks in a single season with 92, and he concluded his career as the school’s all-time record holder in the category with 212 blocks.
87.3% – James Reese V entered action this season having hit 62 of his 71 career attempts at the foul line, 87.3 percent. Reese was 15-of-16 (93.8%) at the line as a freshman at Buffalo, 23-of-24 (95.8%) as a junior at North Texas, and he was 24-of-31 (77.4%) at the free throw line for the Mean Green last season.
69.5% – Leveque is 41-of-59 from the field so far during the 2021-22 season, good for nearly 70 percent
100% – Erik Stevenson is a perfect 26-for-26 at the FT-line so far this season
:52 – Junior guard Jermaine Couisnard almost gave the Gamecocks the winning edge vs. Princeton on Nov. 12, as the East Chicago, Ind., native hit a trio of 3s in the final 52 seconds of play to twice pull the Gamecocks to within three of the Tigers.
12/10 – Junior forward Wildens Leveque posted the first double-double of his career with 12 points, and a game high 10 rebounds vs. Princeton (Nov. 12). Leveque was 6-of-6 from the floor, including a pair of highlight reel dunks in the matchup.
8-for-8 – Rookie guard Devin Carter was a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line in the win vs. WKU (Nov. 14). He had 16 points, dished out a team high four assists and also had eight rebounds.
16 – Carter’s 16 points against the Hilltoppers and his 16 points in the comeback win vs. Florida State (Dec. 12) were season highs at the time.
32 & 45 – Carolina made 32 field goals against Georgetown (Dec. 5), then a season high, and followed that up with 45 made shots vs. Allen (Dec. 14), the most ever in the Frank Martin era.
20 – The Gamecocks dished out 20 assists in the win over the Hoyas, the most since posting 20 in a road win at Georgia last season (Feb. 27, 2021).
31 & 59 – Carolina had 31 assists in the win over the Yellow Jackets, the most in the Frank Martin era and second most in program history. The team also had 59 rebounds, which was the most in the Martin era by six.
10/11 – Senior forward Brandon Martin had his first career double-double in the blowout win vs. Allen ; he had 10 points, 11 rebounds and a career high five assists.
110 – Carolina’s 110 points vs. Allen were its most since 1995.
15 – 15 different Gamecocks scored in the Allen win, including five players in double figures: D. Carter (12), Leveque (12), Green (11), Bryant (10) and Martin (10).
105 – Carolina scored 105 points in a 30-point rout vs. Army (Dec. 22), marking the first time since 1995-96 the team has scored 100 or more on multiple occasions.
22 – Devin Carter scored a career-high 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting vs. the Black Knights
8 – South Carolina has held seven opponents below 40 percent shooting this season.
37.2% – South Carolina has limited opponents to just 37.2 percent shooting this season, the 11th best FG percentage defense in the country (2nd in SEC).
14.2 – Carolina is averaging 14.2 offensive rebounds per game this season, good for second in the SEC and ninth nationally.
FATHER AND SON DUOS
> South Carolina head coach Frank Martin, and his son, senior forward Brandon Martin, are one of 23 father-son coach-player duos in Division I this season. See below for the full list (school: head coach, son):
Boise State: Leon Rice, Max Rice
UConn: Dan Hurley, Andrew Hurley
Detroit Mercy: Mike Davis, Antoine Davis
Illinois-Chicago: Luke Yaklich, Griffin Yaklich
Iowa: Fran McCaffery, Connor/Patrick McCaffery
Liberty: Ritchie McKay, Gabriel McKay
Memphis: Penny Hardaway, Jayden Hardaway
Michigan: Juwan Howard, Jace Howard
Michigan State: Tom Izzo, Steven Izzo
Milwaukee: Pat Baldwin, Patrick Baldwin Jr.
Miss. Valley State: Lindsey Hunter, Caleb Hunter
Nebraska: Fred Hoiberg, Sam Hoiberg
Oklahoma: Porter Moser, Jacob Moser
South Carolina: Frank Martin, Brandon Martin
South Carolina State: Antonio Madlock, Antonio Madlock Jr.
USC Upstate: Dave Dickerson, Dave Dickerson III
Southern: Sean Woods, DeSean Woods
Syracuse: Jim Boeheim, Buddy/Jimmy Boeheim
Texas Southern: Johnny Jones, John Jones
Utah State: Ryan Odom, Connor Odom
Western Illinois: Rob Jeter, III Rob Jeter IV
WKU: Rick Stansbury, Noah Stansbury
Wright State: Scott Nagy, TJ Nagy
> South Carolina heads to Vanderbilt (8-4, 0-0 SEC) for just its third true road contest of the season. Tip time is set for noon (ET) on ESPNU. John Schriffen (pxp) and Carolyn Peck (analyst) will be on the call at Memorial Gym.