Gamecocks Battle Wildcats Tuesday At Rupp Arena
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina (11-10, 6-2) travels to face No. 5/5 Kentucky (18-3, 7-1 SEC) on Tuesday at Rupp Arena in Lexington, marking the fourth top-five opponent the Gamecocks will have faced already this season. Tip time is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET vs. the Wildcats, with Tom Hart (play-by-play) and Andy Kennedy (analyst) on the call for the SEC Network.
> Carolina looks for its fourth SEC road win on Tuesday when it travels to face No. 5/5 Kentucky at Rupp Arena. The meeting is the only between the two former SEC East foes this year, and it marks the third top-five opponent the Gamecocks have faced this season.
> The Gamecocks look for their third road win in the history of the series on Tuesday. The last Carolina win at Rupp came on Jan. 31, 2009, behind a turnaround jumper from Gamecock great Devan Downey with three seconds remaining in the contest. The only other Carolina win in Lexington came in a 72-66 overtime contest on March 2, 1997, a win which captured the outright SEC title for Carolina. BJ McKie's 22 points, anchored by a 13-of-14 mark at the free throw line, led the Gamecocks in the win.
> Carolina won its third SEC road game of the season, and held steady in fourth place in the league standings with a wire-to-wire 86-80 win at Georgia last Saturday. Senior forward Chris Silva was dominant, especially in the opening half, sharing game-high honors with rookie guard A.J. Lawson, as the duo scored 19 points each. The Gamecocks shot 56.9 percent from the field, including an 11-of-16 (68.8%) mark from 3-point range, with Tre Campbell, Hassani Gravett and Felipe Haase each connecting on a trio of 3s in the win.
> Senior forward Chris Silva has been a force in league play to date. He paces the Gamecocks with 16.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per contest. He's also averaging 65.1 percent from the field, and 79.3 percent from the line (46-58), along with three double-doubles. In SEC road contests, Silva is averaging 11.5 points per outing.
> In last season's victory over the Wildcats, Silva led three Gamecocks in double figures with a then-career high 27 points, hitting nine shots from the field and nine at the stripe. The Carolina defense forced 16 Kentucky turnovers, turning those into 15 points on the opposite end. Holding UK to just 1-of-11 from 3-point range was another key in the victory, which broke a string of four-straight Wildcat wins in the series.
COACHES VS. CANCER 3-POINT CHALLENGE
> Frank Martin and the Gamecock men's basketball team has joined forces with the NABC and the American Cancer Society for the Coaches vs. Cancer 3-Point Challenge, which will take place during the month of February. During the month, every 3-pointer the Gamecocks make will help raise money to beat cancer. The 3-Point Challenge is a nationwide program that unites basketball teams and their fans for a common cause -- ending cancer. Fans can join the 3-Point Challenge and help beat cancer on the court by pledging a donation for every 3-pointer the Gamecocks make in February by visiting http://www.pledgeit.org/cvc19-south-carolina. During the month, Gamecock fans can keep up with the leaderboard at www.3pointchallenge.org.
THROUGH 21 GAMES...
> Carolina is 11-10, which includes a 7-5 mark at home, a 3-4 record on the road and a 1-1 mark in neutral site matchups
> The Gamecocks are 2-3 against ranked opponents this season, with wins over No. 14/14 Mississippi State and No. 16/15 Auburn
> Carolina is 4-2 in games decided by five points or less
> The Gamecocks are 4-1 playing on Tuesday's
> Rookie guard A.J. Lawson and senior forward Chris Silva have led or shared the team lead in scoring eight times each this season
> Silva has 12 games with two or more blocks
> Gravett has 12 games with multiple 3-pointers this season and leads Carolina with 39 on the year
> Rookie forward Keyshawn Bryant's 19 dunks on the year are a team high
> Carolina is 8-2 this season when leading at the half
> South Carolina head coach Frank Martin is in his seventh season leading the Gamecocks and 12th season overall as a head coach in 2018-19. Martin, the 2017 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year (CollegeInsider.com), led South Carolina to its first Final Four and a school record 26 wins in 2016-17. In his 11 complete seasons as a head coach, Martin has led his teams to at least 21 wins seven times. Martin is a native of Miami, Fla., and a graduate of FIU.
> Prior to his time on the sidelines in the college ranks, Martin spent 15 years in high school coaching in Miami, Fla., including the last seven as a head coach. He was part of five state championships as an assistant at Miami Senior High School (1985-93), before earning two titles as the program's head coach (1995-98). Highlighting Martin's stint as the head coach of the program were consecutive 30-win seasons and consecutive Florida 6A State Championships in 1996 and 1997, with his 1997 squad earning a 36-1 overall record and ranking No. 4 in the USA Today Top 25 Poll. He also served as the head coach at North Miami Senior High School (1993-95) and one season at Booker T. Washington High School (1999-2000).
> Among active Division I head coaches, South Carolina's Frank Martin holds the seventh-highest (tied with Michigan's John Beilein) NCAA Tournament winning percentage (.667) behind only Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, North Carolina's Roy Williams, Kentucky's John Calipari, Kansas' Bill Self, Michigan State's Tom Izzo and Villanova's Jay Wright.
> Martin led team's are 101-97 (.510) all-time in league play.
> South Carolina is in its 111th season of varsity basketball in 2018-19.
> Gamecock head coach Frank Martin is joined on the sidelines by assistant coaches Perry Clark (6th season), Bruce Shingler (3rd season) and Chuck Martin (2nd season). Andy Assaley is in his seventh season as the director of operations.
> South Carolina is one of 13 DI schools nationally that have two or more former DI coaches serving as an assistant coach. Perry Clark served as the head coach at Tulane, Miami (Fla.) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, while Chuck Martin was the head coach at Marist for five campaigns.
> South Carolina advanced to its first Final Four in 2016-17, which included posting its first NCAA Tounament win since the 1973 campaign when it talied a 93-73 win over Marquette in the First Round.
> The Gamecocks are 24-14 (.631) in neutral-site contests under the direction of head coach Frank Martin, including a 3-3 mark last season.
> Carolina was 15-18 (.454) over the course of the last three seasons in away contests (2015-16, 16-17, 17-18).
> Martin is 31-41 (.430) against ranked opponents as a head coach. His teams have four wins over opponents ranked in the top five, and two wins over opponents who are ranked No. 1.
> Senior forward Chris Silva was named to the Preseason All-SEC First Team by both the media and coaches; and also named to the Karl Malone Award Watch List, the Naismith Trophy Watch List and the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 Watch List. He was also named a Senior CLASS Award Candidate.
SCOUTING THE GAMECOCKS
> Carolina looks for its seventh SEC win of the season on Tuesday at Kentucky. Should the Gamecocks win, it would be just the 10th time Carolina would hit the seven-win mark since joining the SEC for the 1992 campaign.
> Carolina's NET is listed at 103 (as of Feb. 4) and the Gamecocks have five combined Q1 and Q2 wins. South Carolina's strength of schedule is listed at 21.
> Senior forward Chris Silva paces Carolina in several categories, including points (14.1), rebounds (7.0), and blocked shots (2.0) per game, and also in total free throws made (102) and attempted (136).
> Over the course of the last five games, Silva paces Carolina with 20.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per outing. Gravett is averaging 2.2 3-pointers made as well.
> Also over the last five, Gamecock opponents have hit just 29.1 percent from 3-point range (32-110).
> Graduate student guard Tre Campbell has hit a trio of 3s in each of his last two outings, and also dished a career best seven assists (against just two turnovers) in the road win at Georgia.
> Of Carolina's roster, only Silva, Gravett, Kotsar and Hinson have played at Rupp Arena during their career.
> South Carolina returns seven letterwinners from last season's 17-16 squad, including senior guard Hassani Gravett and senior forward Chris Silva.
> Carolina welcomes nine newcomers to its roster this season, including transfers and six freshmen student-athletes. Jair Bolden (transfer/George Washington/guard), redshirt-junior Raymond "Quad" Borup (r-junior/forward), graduate transfer Tre Campbell (transfer/Georgetown/guard), Keyshawn Bryant (freshman/guard), Jermaine Couisnard (freshman/guard), Alanzo Frink (freshman/forward), A.J. Lawson (freshman/guard), T.J. Moss(freshman/guard) and Nathan Nelson (freshman/forward).
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
> Kentucky is 18-3 on the season, and the Wildcats are 12-0 at home.
> Head coach John Calipari is in his 10th season at Kentucky.
> UK rides an eight-game win streak into Tuesday's matchup, with their last loss coming in the SEC opener at Alabama on Jan. 5.
> In homes games, Kentucky averages 80.6 points per game.
> Four average double-figures on the year, led by Keldon Johnson's 14.2 per game. Tyler Herro (13.5), PJ Washington (13.5) and graduate transfer Travis Reid (12.0) are also in double digits.
> Washington was named the SEC Co-Player of the Week on Monday after leading the team in road wins at Vanderbilt and Florida last week. He averaged 20.5 points, 12.0 rebounds and two assists per game during the stretch.
> Kentucky holds a +9.3 rebound margin over its opponents, and Washington's 8.4 rebounds per game are a team high.
COMING UP NEXT
Carolina returns to Colonial Life Arena on Saturday to host Arkansas on Legends Weekend. Tip time for that contest is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on the SEC Network. Longtime Gamecock equipment manager, Mac Credille, who retired in January will be honored on Saturday at halftime.