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South Carolina Welcomes No. 5/4 Kentucky Tuesday
Men's Basketball  . 

South Carolina Welcomes No. 5/4 Kentucky Tuesday

Gamecocks have won past two meetings at Colonial Life Arena over Wildcats

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina (13-9, 4-6 SEC) returns to action tomorrow night welcoming in No. 5/4 Kentucky (19-4, 8-2 SEC). Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. (ET) with the doors opening 1 hour prior at Colonial Life Arena.
Karl Ravech (pxp), Jimmy Dykes (analyst) and Marty Smith (sideline reporter) will be on the call for the ESPN broadcast. It’s the second-straight nationally televised contest for the Gamecocks.
South Carolina has won the past two meetings in Columbia against the Wildcats.
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VENUE: Colonial Life Arena (18,000)
            PLAY-BY-PLAY: Karl Ravech
            ANALYST: Jimmy Dykes
            SIDELINE REPORTER: Marty Smith
RADIO: Gamecock Radio Network
            IN COLUMBIA: 107.5 The Game
            PLAY-BY-PLAY: Derek Scott  
            ANALYST: Casey Manning
             SIRIUS: | XM: 381 | SXM APP: 971
SERIES: UK leads, 53-13
            IN COLUMBIA: UK leads, 20-9
            NEUTRAL: UK leads, 4-2
SERIES TREND:  Teams have split the last four meetings, winning on their home floors
LAST MEETING: 92-64, Kentucky win on March 6, 2021 at Rupp Arena
> The Wildcats are one of the top offensive teams in the nation. They average 81.2 points per game, which leads the SEC and is 11th nationally. They also lead the SEC in field goal percentage at 48.9 percent, which is ninth in the country. Kentucky is +17.2 in scoring margin which leads the SEC and ranks fifth nationally.
> UK is stout defensively as well and they are also one of the top rebounding teams in the country. So far this season, they’ve allowed 64.0 points per game (fourth SEC, 48th nationally) and have limited teams to 40.3 percent shooting (fourth SEC, 47th nationally). They average 41.2 rebounds per game (leads SEC, eighth nationally) and are +11.2 in rebounding margin (leads SEC, second nationally). 
> The Wildcats are led inside by double-double machine Oscar Tshiebwe. He is second in the country this season with 17 double doubles (leads the SEC).
> Tshiebwe leads the nation in total rebounds (349), rebounds per game (15.2) and offensive rebounds per game (5.1). He also averages a team-best 15.8 points per game (sixth in the SEC).
> UK is balanced offensively as five total players average double figures.
> Georgia transfer Sahvir Wheeler leads the SEC and ranks third nationally in assists per game (7.0). TyTy Washington also ranks in the top-10 of the SEC in assists per game (sixth at 4.1). The backcourt duo is 1-2 in the league in assist to turnover ratio.

> South Carolina is facing back-to-back top-25 opponents for the first time this season in No. 22/20 Tennessee and No. 5/4 Kentucky. Since 2012-13, the Gamecocks are 17-32 (9-13 at home) against ranked teams under head coach Frank Martin. A victory over the Wildcats would be the team’s highest ranked win at home since a 68-62 victory vs. No. 1/1 Kentucky, Jan. 26, 2010, at CLA.
> The Gamecocks have posted back-to-back home wins over the Wildcats at Colonial Life Arena the past two matchups in Soda City. Carolina won 76-68 over No. 18/16 Kentucky in 2018. The Gamecocks rallied from 14 points down in the second half behind 27 points and eight rebounds from Chris Silva. Carolina outscored the Wildcats 36-14 the final 12:28 of the game. In 2020, Carolina again rallied from 14 down in the second half and won 81-78 over No. 10/12 Kentucky. Jermaine Couisnard made a buzzer beater 3 as the horn sounded. He finished with 26 points  (then a career high) behind nine made field goals and four 3s. The Gamecocks outscored the Wildcats 40-26 the final 11:39 of that game.
> When Keyshawn Bryant (5-0) and Jermaine Couisnard (7-1) score 10 or more points this season the Gamecocks are a combined 11-1. The duo has scored in double figures in the same game three times (vs. Rider, vs. Georgia and at Texas A&M).
> The Gamecocks were outscored 48-28 in the second half in a 81-57 loss to No. 22/20 Tennessee on Saturday. Carolina led 28-26 with 4:48 to go in the first half, which was a back-and-forth, physical affair. The Volunteers made 14 3s and shot 51.9 percent from behind the 3-point line. Carolina was just 17-of-54 in the game, shooting a season-low 31.5 percent. Tough shooting has been a consistent theme in the team’s six league losses. The Gamecocks are a combined 128-for-353 (36.3 percent) in those games.
> In a recent three-game stretch from Jan. 26 to Feb. 1, James Reese averaged 18.0 points and 2.3 assists per game. He was 20-for-30 (64.5 percent) from the field and 7-for-14 from behind the arc. He averaged 33.7 minutes per contest and had just one turnover. Reese leads the team in points (11.8) and minutes (31.4) in nine SEC games.

> The Gamecocks traveled 1,845 air miles over the course of a five-day road trip (Jan. 28-Feb. 1) through College Station and Starkville.
> South Carolina used a late 16-1 run to pull within 12 with 38 seconds remaining but it was too little too late as Mississippi State snapped the Gamecocks’ three-game win streak with a 78-64 win at Humphrey Coliseum on Feb. 1 ; the Bulldogs led 45-23 at the break on the heels of 60 percent shooting (18-30) the opening 20 minutes of the game
> The Gamecocks won three-straight in league play from Jan. 22-29 vs. Georgia, vs. Vanderbilt and at Texas A&M to bounce back from a 1-4 start ; it marked the first three-game win streak in SEC action since 2019-20 when the team did it twice that year winning six-of-seven games from Jan. 25-Feb. 15.
> South Carolina used three big second half runs in the team’s recent three-game win streak (Jan. 22-Jan. 29) to take control in winning efforts ; after trailing by as many as 11 with 14:04 remaining vs. Georgia (Jan. 22), the Gamecocks went on a 24-0 run, outscoring the Bulldogs 30-6 the final 10:23 ; Carolina used a 15-1 run from the 13:28 to 8:35 in the second half vs. Vanderbilt (Jan. 26) ; after trailing by double digits the first half at Texas A&M (Jan. 29), the Gamecocks used a 17-1 run over a 4:21 stretch to build an 11-point lead, 54-43, with 9:27 to go at Reed Arena
> In the team’s recent three-game win streak (Jan. 22-29), Carolina outscored its opponents by an average of 17.0 points in the final 20 minutes of the game ; the Gamecocks are 46-of-93 (49.5 percent) from the field and 16-for-34 (47.0 percent) from 3 in the stretch
> In home wins against Georgia (Jan. 22) and Vanderbilt (Jan. 26), South Carolina outscored its foes 59-20 in the final 10 minutes of the second half ; the team shot 64.5 percent (20-of-31) in the stretch while limiting the Commodores and Bulldogs to just 38.9 percent (7-of-18) and forcing 11 turnovers
> South Carolina grabbed its first lead of the game at Texas A&M, 46-43, on a made 3 by Jermaine Couisnard with 11:34 remaining and did not look back, winning the team’s third-straight (sixth overall over the Aggies) at Reed Arena, 74-63 on Jan. 29 ; James Reese scored a season high 20 points ; Couisnard (13), Erik Stevenson (13) and Keyshawn Bryant (12) finished in double figures as well as the Gamecocks shot 53.8 percent (14-of-26) from the field and 63.6 percent (7-of-11) from downtown the final 20 minutes ; after going 3-of-8 at the FT-line the first half, Carolina was 12-of-14 (85.7 percent) in half two
> The Gamecocks notched the team’s fifth-straight win at Colonial Life Arena (dating back to 2014) over Vanderbilt, 70-61, on Jan. 26), James Reese V led the team with 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) ; 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 team’s 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 at Bud Walton Arena, falling 75-59 to Arkansas on Jan. 18 ; 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 last game 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 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) ; the Gamecocks were shorthanded missing several key players in COVID protocols
> 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 had 16 points and he pulled down a team-best seven rebounds, while 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 ; Reese turned the tides in the game with a 10-0 run all by himself ; following his standout performance in the win over the Seminoles, 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 for it’s fourth-straight
> Erik Stevenson hit five 3s to lead Carolina to an 85-74 victory at home over Wofford (Nov. 23)
> 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 UAB Nov. 18 at CLA ; 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
> 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 ; Jermaine Couisnard and Devin Carter led Carolina with 16 points each, and James Reese V tallied a season high 14 points behind four 3s
> The Gamecocks suffered their first loss of the season on Nov. 12, falling 66-62 to Princeton in a neutral site matchup at the Asheville Championship; 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 ; Wildens Leveque posted his first career double-double in the game with 12 points and 10 rebounds on 6-of-6 shooting
> The Gamecocks improved to 84-30 all-time in season openers with a 78-60 victory over USC Upstate on Nov. 9 at Colonial Life Arena ; Jermaine Couisnard and 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’s 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) 
> The 2021-22 campaign is the 20th season of South Carolina 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 in 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 in 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)
> 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.
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.
60.8% – Wildens Leveque is 59-for-97 from the field so far during the 2021-22 season, good for nearly 61 percent. He leads the team with 17 dunks.
97.6% – Erik Stevenson is 41-for-42 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).
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.
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.
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.
11 – South Carolina has held 11 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.
11 – All 11 players scored and had a rebound for South Carolina in the team’s win against the Commodores. Six different players recorded an assist, eight different players tallied a steal and five different players recorded a block in the team victory.
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).
40.3% – South Carolina has limited opponents to just 40.3 percent shooting this season, the 44th best FG percentage defense in the country (3rd in SEC).
13.2 – Carolina is averaging 13.2 offensive rebounds per game this season, which is second in the SEC and is 14th nationally. The team had a season high (against NCAA D1 competition) 21 offensive boards vs. Florida (Jan. 15).
10-0 – The Gamecocks are undefeated when scoring 70 or more points this season.
11-0 – 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.
> 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 MartinBrandon 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 has back-to-back road games at Georgia (6-17, 1-9 SEC) and Ole Miss (12-11, 3-7 SEC). Tipoff in Athens is set for 2 p.m. (ET) on Saturday. Roy Philpott (pxp) and Mark Wise (analyst) will be on-site for the SEC Network broadcast at Stegeman Coliseum.