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Paris Wins AP SEC Coach of the Year
Men's Basketball  . 

Paris Wins AP SEC Coach of the Year

South Caorlina Athletics

He becomes first head coach in program history to be named SEC Coach of the Year by the Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Head coach Lamont Paris made history again on Tuesday as he was named AP SEC Coach of the Year the organization announced. He is the first coach ever at South Carolina to be named AP SEC Coach of the Year. The Gamecocks joined the league in 1991-92.

Fourteen reporters who cover the SEC vote for the annual AP postseason awards.

Paris and his staff helped engineer the greatest single season turnaround in program history with the team’s 14-win improvement and a T-2nd finish in the SEC. South Carolina went 25-6 and 13-5 in league play this season. The 25 regular season wins are the most in program history. The 13th SEC wins are the second most in program history behind only the 1996-97 SEC Champion squad (went 15-1 to win first and only league crown in Gamecock history).

The Gamecocks won seven SEC games on the road this season, tying the 1996-97 team for the most SEC victories away from home in a single season. Carolina boast an impressive 11-3 record in true road and neutral site games this season. That’s the best mark in the SEC and T-2nd best mark in the nation amongst the Power Six with No. 2/2 UCONN and No. 1/1 Houston. No. 3/3 Purdue has the best record in true road/neutral site games at 12-3.

South Carolina was 3-3 against AP Top-25 opponents this season. The Gamecocks are one of 18 teams in the country with multiple top-10 wins and one of five teams in the nation with a top-five true road win. Carolina beat No. 6/6 Kentucky 79-62 at home on Jan. 23 and No. 5/5 Tennessee, 63-59, in Knoxville on Jan. 30. Per Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time the Gamecocks had defeated a pair of top-10 teams in a three-game stretch since 1968. Carolina’s win over the Vols was the team’s first AP Top-Five road victory since defeating No. 3 Kentucky, 72-66, on March 2, 1997.

The top-25 wins were a part of a seven-game SEC win streak for the Gamecocks this season, the longest win streak for the team in league play since the 1996-97 squad started SEC action 11-0. South Carolina had the best scoring defense in the SEC this season, allowing just 66.4 points per game. The team held 24 opponents below 70 points this season which led the SEC and T-5th nationally. The Gamecocks held 13 SEC opponents below 70 points which also led the league.

The Gamecocks returned to the top-25 for the first time since 2017 back in Week 14 on Feb. 5. Carolina, who is ranked No. 15/16 this week, has remained there the past six weeks and will likely the regular season ranked in the AP Top-25 Poll for the first time since being ranked No. 14 in the final AP Poll of 1998. The Gamecocks have been ranked as high as No. 11 in both major polls this season, the highest top-25 mark for the program since being slotted 11th in Week 7 (Dec. 29) of the 1997-98 season.

2023-24 AP All-SEC Awards


Guard — Antonio Reeves, Kentucky, 5th year, 6-6, 195, Chicago.

Guard — Mark Sears, Alabama, Sr., 6-1, 185, Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

u-Guard — Dalton Knecht, Tennessee, 5th year, 6-6, 213, Thornton, Colorado.

Forward — Johni Broome, Auburn, Jr., 6-10, 240, Plant City, Florida.

t-Forward — Tolu Smith, Mississippi State, grad, 6-11, 245, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

t-Forward — Jonas Aidoo, Tennessee, Jr., 6-11, 240, Durham, North Carolina.

t-tied for first team.


Guard — Wade Taylor IV, Texas A&M, Jr. 6-0, 175, Dallas.

Guard — Reed Sheppard, Kentucky, Fr., 6-3, 187, London, Kentucky.

Guard — Zakai Ziegler, Tennessee, Jr., 5-9, 171, Long Island, New York.

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

Forward — Jaylin Williams, Auburn, grad, 6-8, 245, Nahunta, Georgia.

Forward — Tyrese Samuel, Florida, grad, 6-10, 239, Montreal.


Coach of the Year — Lamont Paris, South Carolina.

u-Player of the Year — Dalton Knecht, Tennessee.

Newcomer of the Year — Dalton Knecht, Tennessee.

u-denotes unanimous pick.