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Paris Named Finalist for Naismith National Coach of the Year
Men's Basketball  . 

Paris Named Finalist for Naismith National Coach of the Year

South Carolina Athletics

Second-year head coach one of four finalists for major award ; winner to be announced at Final Four

ATLANTA, Ga. – Head coach Lamont Paris was named one of four finalists for the 2024 Werner Ladder Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year on Monday The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced. Houston’s Kelvin Sampson, Iowa State’s T.J. Otzelberger and UCONN’s Dan Hurley are the other three finalists.

The 2024 Werner Ladder Naismith Trophy for Men’s College Coach of the Year announcement will take place on Sunday, April 7, at the Naismith Awards Brunch during the Final Four in Phoenix. The Phoenix Art Museum will host the event. SiriusXM will simulcast the live announcement on SiriusXM College Sports Radio (Channel 84).

Paris, who was named the SEC’s Coach of the Year by the league’s coaches and the AP, helped lead the team back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2017 this season. He and has staff engineered the greatest single-season turnaround in program history, improving the team’s win total by 15 games from last season to this season.

South Carolina’s 25 regular season wins were a new program record and the team’s 26 overall wins are tied with the 2016-17 Final Four team for the most single-season wins in program history. Paris becomes just the sixth coach in program history to lead his team to the NCAA Tournament (Frank McGuire, Bill Foster, Eddie Fogler, Dave Odom and Frank Martin).

The Gamecocks finished the season with a 26-8 overall record and a 13-5 record in SEC games as the team T-2nd in one of the best, deepest leagues in the country. The 13 SEC wins were 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 also won a game in the SEC Tournament for the first time since 2018 with an 80-66 victory over Arkansas in round two back on March 14.

The SEC and Big 12 tied for the most NCAA Tournament bids in the country by a single conference with eight schools each selected for March Madness.

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 finished this season with a 12-5 record in true road and neutral site games this season.

The Gamecocks were one of just 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 and have remained there the past seven 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.

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

Dan Hurley – UCONN

T.J. Otzelberger – Iowa State

Lamont Paris – South Carolina

Kelvin Sampson – Houston