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Gamecocks Host Mizzou Saturday

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Gamecocks Host Mizzou Saturday

Men's Basketball | 1/11/2019 | GCF Staff Report | From USC Sports Information

COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina (7-7, 2-0 SEC) looks for its fourth-straight win on Saturday when it hosts Missouri (9-4, 0-1 SEC) in an afternoon matinee at Colonial Life Arena.  Tip time is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET on the SEC Network with Richard Cross (play-by-play) and Debbie Antonelli (analyst) on the call.

STARTING FIVE> South Carolina is 2-0 in SEC play for the first time since 2017 following a thrilling 87-82 OT win over No. 14 Mississippi State on Tuesday.  In a fast-paced, physical contest, junior forward Maik Kotsar put up a monster game, scoring a career high 25, to go along with nine rebounds and two assists.  
> Senior forward Chris Silva recorded his fourth double-double of the season (19th career) against the Bulldogs with 11 points and 12 rebounds.  He also led the Gamecocks in assists (4) and blocks (3).  He has now scored 10+ in seven straight games, averaging 15.4 points per game during the stretch.
> Carolina's offense is clicking on all cylinders during the current three-game win streak, averaging 85.0 points per game during the stretch, and hitting 44.7 percent from the field.  Silva (16.7), senior guard Hassani Gravett (15.0), Kotsar (12.0), rookie guard A.J. Lawson (11.3) and fellow rookie, forward Keyshawn Bryant (11.3) are all in double figures over the last three games.
> Gravett continues to pace the Gamecocks from beyond the arc.  His 40.3 percent from range this season is a team high, and he has connected on multiple 3s in eight games.  In two league games, he leads the Gamecocks with 19.5 points per game, and he has hit 6-of-13 from beyond the arc (46.2 percent).
> South Carolina's DI only strength of schedule is at 31 in the most recent NET information from the NCAA (Jan. 10).  Carolina's net is currently 152.  Entering last weekend's contest vs. Florida, South Carolina's NET was 214.

THROUGH THE FIRST 14 GAMES...
> The Gamecocks are 7-7 overall, 2-0 in league games and 5-4 at home following Tuesday's win over Mississippi State ... reigning SEC Co-Defensive player of the year Chris Silva paces the Gamecocks with 12.8 points per game and 7.1 rebounds per contest ... Rookie guard A.J. Lawson has 12.7 points per game and senior guard Hassani Gravett is at 11.3 ... Eight Gamecocks average at least 6.3 points per game ... The Gamecocks are right in the middle among SEC teams with a free throw percent of 71.6 ... The Gamecocks are forcing 16.3 opponent turnovers per game, third in the league, and 42nd nationally.

FRANK MARTIN
> 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 97-95 (.505) all-time in league play.

QUICK HITS
> 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 30-40 (.428) 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
> The Gamecocks are 7-7 overall and 2-0 in league games entering Saturday's matchup vs. Mizzou.
> Carolina currently rides a three-game win streak, its longest of the season.
> In home games, Carolina averages 75.2 points per game, led by Lawson's 13.1.
> During the current win streak, five different Gamecocks average double-figures, led by Silva's 16.7 per game.  
> In games that it has won, Carolins holds a +7.9 rebound margin.
> The Gamecocks are fifth in the SEC with a +2.1 turnover margin (overall games).
> 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 TIGERS
> Missouri is 9-4 overall this season and 0-1 in SEC contests, having suffered an 87-63 loss to Tennessee at home on Tuesday.
> The Tigers are led by head coach Cuonzo Martin in his second season.  
> Three average double-figures on the year, led by Jordan Geist's 13.8 per game.  Mark Smith (11.7) and Jeremiah Tilmon (10.2) are also in double figures.
> Missouri averages 43.3 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from 3-point range, which is an SEC best, and ranks 24th nationally.
> Notable Tiger wins this season include victories over Oregon State, UCF, Xavier and Illinois.
> Missouri is tied for second in the league, allowing opponents to score just 65.0 points per game.
> The Tigers have used the same starting lineup in all 13 of their games this season.

COMING UP NEXT
The Gamecocks will hit the road for a pair of SEC matchups next week, first traveling to Nashville to face Vanderbilt (Jan. 16), before a trip to Baton Rouge to face LSU (Jan. 19) in weekend action.  Both matchups will be broadcast on the SEC Network.

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