Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+
Paris Named Semifinalist for Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year
Men's Basketball  . 

Paris Named Semifinalist for Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year

South Carolina Athletics

Second-year head coach has helped engineer the greatest single-season turnaround in program history this season with 15-win improvement

ATLANTA, Ga. – Head coach Lamont Paris was named one of 10 semifinalists for the 2024 Werner Ladder Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year on Friday The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced. He’s the only coach in the Southeastern Conference on the list.

Paris just completed his second season guiding the Gamecock men’s basketball program and its been a season to remember for his tean. He was named the SEC Coach of the Year by the league’s coaches and Associated Press this past season, guiding Carolina to a 25-6 overall and 13-5 Southeastern Conference regular season record. The team’s 25 regular season wins are a program record. With the Gamecocks’ win over Arkansas in the second round of the SEC Tournament Thursday afternoon, the team has now tied the 2016-17 Final Four squad for the most wins in program history in a single season with 26.

Paris and his staff helped engineer the greatest single season turnaround in program history with the team’s 14-win improvement from last season’s 11-21 mark and a T-2nd finish in the SEC. 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 boasts an impressive 12-3 record in true road and neutral site games this season. That’s the best mark in the SEC and tied for the best mark in the nation amongst the Power Six with No. 1/1 Houston, No. 2/2 UCONN and No. 3/3 Purdue.

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 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 finish 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.

Carolina faces No. 12/12 Auburn (24-7, 13-5 SEC) in the SEC Quarterfinals today. Estimated tip-off is 3:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN. The Gamecocks are seeking the program’s first trip to the SEC Semifinals since 2006 when Carolina defeated Kentucky to make its second ever SEC title game appearance.

2024 Werner Ladder Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year Semifinalists

Amir Abdur-Rahim – South Florida

Hubert Davis – North Carolina

Dan Hurley – UCONN

T.J. Otzelberger – Iowa State

Matt Painter – Purdue

Lamont Paris – South Carolina

Kelvin Sampson – Houston

Josh Schertz – Indiana State

Kyle Smith – Washington State

Danny Sprinkle – Utah State