Gamecocks Headed West for Pair of Road Games
Carolina faces Texas A&M Saturday and Mississippi State Tuesday
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina (12-7, 3-4 SEC) hits the road today for a two-game swing at Texas A&M (15-5, 4-3 SEC) and Mississippi State (13-6, 4-3 SEC). Tipoff at Reed Arena against the Aggies on Saturday is set for 8:30 p.m. (ET).
Paul Sunderland (pxp) and Daymeon Fishback (color) will be onsite for the call on the SEC Network broadcast.
The Gamecocks will stay in College Station for two days before traveling to Starkville to take on the Bulldogs on Tuesday night. Carolina will travel a total of 1,845 miles in the air over the course of the five-day road trip.
VENUE: Reed Arena (12,989)
BROADCAST: SEC Network
PLAY-BY-PLAY: Paul Sunderland
ANALYST: Daymeon Fishback
RADIO: Gamecock Radio Network
IN COLUMBIA: 107.5 The Game
PLAY-BY-PLAY: Derek Scott
ANALYST: Casey Manning
SIRIUS: — | XM: 382 | SXM APP: 972
WATCH: WatchESPN/ESPN App
LIVE STATS: GamecocksOnline.com
SERIES: SC leads, 8-4
IN COLLEGE STATION: tied, 3-3
SERIES TREND: Carolina has won five-straight over the Aggies dating back to a season sweep in 2019
LAST MEETING: 78-54, Carolina win on Jan. 6, 2021 at Colonial Life Arena
SCOUTING TEXAS A&M
> The Aggies are sixth in the country in both turnovers forced (18.4) and steals per game (10.6) – they lead the SEC and rank 10th nationally in turnover margin (+4.9).
> They are just one of six teams in the country with 200 or more steals so far during the 2021-22 season.
> A&M ranks 56th in scoring defense (64.0) and 58th in field goal percentage defense (40.4) – both are fourth best in the SEC.
> Similar to Carolina, they play a lot of different bodies in a balanced attack. They have six players who average 7.9 points per game or more.
> Quenton Jackson is the team’s leading scorer averaging 13.0 points per game. Henry Coleman III is the other player who averages double figures at 10.6 points per game.
> In the last two games, South Carolina has outscored its opponents 59-20 in the final 10 minutes of the second half ; the team has shot 64.5 percent (20-of-31) in the stretch while limiting opponents to just 38.9 percent (7-of-18) and forcing 11 turnovers
> The Gamecocks had another big second half in the team’s second straight victory over Vanderbilt, 70-61, on Wednesday night (Jan. 26) ; Carolina used a 15-1 run from the 13:28 to 8:35 in the second half to take control of the game ; James Reese V scored a season-high 19 points after going 3-of-6 from long range, his eighth game of the season with three or more makes from downtown ; Jermaine Couisnard (14) and Erik Stevenson (13) joined Reese in double figures ; Couisnard scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half off the bench ; as a team, the Gamecocks had just two turnovers and pulled down 14 offensive rebounds in the second half
> South Carolina was dominant in the second half en route to a 83-66 comeback victory over Georgia (Jan. 22) ; after trailing by as many as 11 with 14:04 remaining in the game, the Gamecocks went on a 24-0 run in the second half, outscoring the Bulldogs 30-6 the final 10:23 ; Erik Stevenson (20), Keyshawn Bryant (19) and Jermaine Couisnard (15) scored in double figures and combined for 39 of the team’s 47 second half points ; the trio scored all the points during the 24-0 run as well ; it was the team’s 11th-straight victory over Georgia dating back to 2017, the longest win streak in the series all-time
> The Gamecocks lost their third-straight in league play Tuesday night at Bud Walton Arena, falling 75-59 to Arkansas ; Carolina led 40-33 at the half but was outscored 42-19 the final 20 minutes ; the team shot 33.9 percent marking the third-straight contest shooting below 35 percent ; true freshman Devin Carter was a bright spot with 20 points in his first career start
> Carolina fell at home in the team’s most recent outing at CLA, 71-63, to Florida (Jan. 15) ; the Gamecocks had another tough day shooting the ball, finishing the game 26-of-75 (34.7 percent) ; Carolina had just nine turnovers (season low against NCAA D1 competition) and pulled down 21 offensive rebounds in the game (season high against NCAA D1 competition)
> The Gamecocks had a tough second half on the road at No. 22/23 Tennessee on Tuesday (Jan. 11), falling 66-46 after trailing by only six at halftime ; outside of James Reese V (15 points, 6-of-11 FG), Carolina struggled shooting the ball (17-for-49, 34.7 percent) ; the team also was plagued by 23 turnovers
> South Carolina bounced back with a big road win, 72-70 at Vanderbilt (Jan. 8) ; it was a balanced effort for the Gamecocks as all 11 players who saw action in the game scored and had a rebound ; the team shot 54.9 percent (28-for-51), the highest percentage under head coach Frank Martin on the road in league play (second highest in SEC play under Martin only trailing 57.7% vs. Arkansas on 1/26/13) ; Carolina improved to 4-0 when shooting 50 percent or higher this season with the win ; James Reese V limited the SEC’s leading scorer, Scotty Pippen Jr., to just 4-of-11 shooting while forcing seven turnovers ; the victory was just the team’s third at Memorial Gym since 2010 (second under Martin)
> The Gamecocks fell at home, 81-66, to No. 9 Auburn in the team’s first league game earlier this week (Jan. 4) ; Carolina trailed by as many as 21 and rallied late to pull within eight but fell short ; Erik Stevenson matched his season high with 25 points ; he was 5-for-8 from downtown while also pulling down five rebounds and leading the team with four assists
> 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).
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.
64.0% – Wildens Leveque is 57-for-89 from the field so far during the 2021-22 season, good for nearly 65 percent. He leads the team with 16 dunks.
97.1% – Erik Stevenson is a perfect 33-for-34 at the FT-line so far this season. He had a streak of 34-straight makes at the foul line dating back to last season that was recently snapped in the team’s win vs. Georgia (Jan. 22).
: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 & 41 – 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. The team then made 41 shots vs. Army (Dec. 22), the second most in the 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 on Dec. 14, 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.
9 – South Carolina has held nine opponents below 40 percent shooting this season.
54.9% – South Carolina shot 54.9 percent (28-for-51) from the floor in its win at Vanderbilt (Jan. 8). That marks the highest FG percentage in league play on the road under head coach Frank Martin. It’s the second highest FG percentage under Martin in SEC play behind only 57.7 percent in a 75-54 win over Arkansas on Jan. 26, 2013 – his first season in Columbia.
24-0 – The Gamecocks used a 24-0 second half run in the team’s comeback victory over Georgia (Jan. 22). The team ended the game on a 30-6 run the final 10 minutes after trailing by double-digits with just over 14 minutes to play.
39 of 47 – Erik Stevenson (15), Keyshawn Bryant (14) and Jermaine Couisnard (10) scored 39 of the team’s 47 points in the second half of the 83-66 victory over the Bulldogs (Jan. 22).
59-20 – In back-to-back league wins over Georgia (Jan. 22) and Vanderbilt (Jan. 26), the Gamecocks outscored their opponents 59-20 the final 10 minutes of the game.
14 – After pulling down just one offensive rebound the first 20 minutes, Carolina had 14 offensive rebounds in the second half of its win over the Commodores (Jan. 26).
39.8% – South Carolina has limited opponents to just 39.8 percent shooting this season, the 33rd best FG percentage defense in the country (3rd in SEC).
13.6 – Carolina is averaging 13.6 offensive rebounds per game this season, which is second in the SEC and is 11th nationally. The team had a season high (against NCAA D1 competition) 21 offensive boards vs. Florida (Jan. 15).
9-0 – The Gamecocks are undefeated when scoring 70 or more points this season.
10-0 – South Carolina is 10-0 this season when out-shooting its opponent from the field. The team is 4-0 when shooting greater than 50 percent from the floor.
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 will head to Mississippi State (Feb. 1) on Monday rom College Station for a 7 p.m. matchup on Tuesday night at The Hump. Kevin Fitzgerald (pxp) and Jimmy Dykes (color) will be on the call remotely for the ESPNU broadcast.