Gamecocks Open Three Game Homestand Hosting UAB Thursday
COLUMBIA, S.C. -The Gamecocks (2-1) open a three-game homestand at Colonial Life Arena on Thursday when Andy Kennedy's UAB (3-0) Blazers visit Columbia. The meeting is the fourth all-time between Carolina and UAB, and the first meeting since the 1992-93 campaign. Dave Weinstein (play-by-play) and John Williams (analyst) will have the call for the SEC Network+ broadcast, which tips at 7 p.m. ET, while Derek Scott (play-by-play) and Casey Manning (analyst) will have the call over the air for the Gamecock Radio Network.
GAME INFORMATION ARENA: Colonial Life Arena (18,000) BROADCAST: SEC Network+ PLAY-BY-PLAY: Dave Weinstein ANALYST: John Williams RADIO: Gamecock Radio Network IN COLUMBIA: 107.5 The Game PLAY-BY-PLAY: Derek Scott ANALYST: Casey Manning SIRIUS: - |XM: 192 |SXM APP: 963 WATCH: WatchESPN/ESPN App LIVE STATS: GamecocksOnline.com SERIES: South Carolina leads 2-1 IN COLUMBIA: Carolina leads 1-0 SERIES TREND: The Gamecocks have won two straight in the series LAST MEETING: 75-68 Gamecock win on Dec. 28, 1992, at the Hall of Fame Classic in Springfield, Mass.
> The Gamecocks open a three-game homestand at Colonial Life Arena on Thursday when Andy Kennedy's UAB Blazers visit Columbia. The meeting is the fourth all-time between Carolina and UAB, and the first meeting since the 1992-93 campaign.
> Following its first loss of the season, Carolina rebounded with a 75-64 victory over Western Kentucky on Sunday in its final contest at the inaugural Asheville Championship. Junior guardJermaine Couisnardand rookie guardDevin Carterled Carolina with 16 points each, and graduate student guardJames Reese Vtallied a season high 14 points behind four makes from 3-point range.
> Carolina's 45.6 percent (26-57) from the field in the win vs. WKU marked it's best shooting percentage of the season thus far.
> The Gamecocks suffered their first loss of the season on Nov. 12, falling 66-62 to Princeton. Carolina struggled from the field, hitting just 36.2 percent overall, and just 15.4 percent (4-26) from 3-point range. Princeton made 11 3-pointers in the win.
> Junior forwardWildens Levequeposted the first double-double of his career with a dominant 12-point, 10-rebound performance vs. Princeton last Friday. Leveque, who was 6-of-6 from the field, played 32 minutes of action, including 18:52 of the second half. Four of his rebounds were on the offensive end.
> The Gamecocks improved to 84-30 all-time in season openers when they posted a 78-60 victory over USC Upstate in the 2021-22 opener on Nov. 9 at Colonial Life Arena. Junior guardJermaine Couisnardand junior forwardWildens Levequeled the Gamecocks with 14 points each, while Couisnard dished out a game high seven assists in the win.
> Head coachFrank Martinis in his 10th season leading the Gamecocks. He is assisted by associate head coachChuck Martin(fifth season), assistant coachesWill Bailey(second season) andBrian Steele(first season), and the director of operations isAndy Assaley(10th season).
> South Carolina posted a 101-76 exhibition win vs. Benedict on Nov. 4. James Reese Vled all scorers with 21 in the contest.
> The 2021-22 campaign is the 20th season of basketball at Colonial Life Arena. The facility opened just prior to the 2002-03 campaign.
> South Carolina returns three of its top five scorers from a season ago, including senior forwardKeyshawn Bryant(14.4 ppg), junior guardJermaine Couisnard(10.1 ppg) and junior forwardWildens Leveque(6.1 ppg).
> Junior guardJermaine Couisnardis Carolina's top returning assist maker after averaging 3.2 per game last season. For his career, Couisnard has 28 games with three or more assists, including his career high of 10, which he set in a home win over Mississippi State on March 3, 2020.
> The Gamecocks welcome nine newcomers to the team this season, including a trio of freshmen inDevin Carter,Ta'Quan WoodleyandJacobi Wright. Six transfers are also set for their first season at Carolina inChico Carter Jr.(Murray State),Josh Gray(LSU),Brandon Martin(USC Upstate),James Reese V(North Texas),Erik Stevenson(Washington) andAJ Wilson(George Mason).
UAB - GAMECOCK CONNECTIONS
> There will be several familiar faces at Colonial Life Arena when the Gamecocks face UAB on Thursday. Carolina head coachFrank Martinis a long-time friend and colleague of UAB head coach Andy Kennedy, who spent 11+ seasons as the head coach at Ole Miss. Kennedy was assisted by Martin during his one season as head coach at Cincinnati (2005-06), whileAndy Assaley- Carolina's director of MBB operations - served as an assistant and Gamecock strength coachScott Greenawaltheld the same position for the Bearcats. Ah, memories!
> Gamecock assistant coachWill Baileyplayed two seasons at UAB (1995-97) and served as team captain of the 1996-97 squad that reached the NIT. He was also selected as the team's top defensive player in 1997. Bailey's head coach at UAB was Murray Bartow, who will serve as the analyst for the Blazer radio broadcast of Thursday's matchup.
SCOUTING THE BLAZERS
> UAB is 3-0 this season with victories over UNC Asheville, Morehead State and Rhodes College.
> The Blazers were picked as the preseason favorite to win Conference USA this season.
> In its win over Rhodes College, UAB tied a school record with 23 steals.
> Jordan Walker leads four Blazers averaging double-figures this season with 21.0 points per game. Quan Jackson (16.0), Michael Ertel (12.3) and Tavin Lovan (11.5) also average double digits.
> UAB's 16.3 steals per game rank second nationally, and it's scoring average of 95.0 points per game is 10th.
> South Carolina posted a 101-76 win over Benedict Nov. 4 at Colonial Life Arena in exhibition action.
> Gamecock guardJames Reese Vled all scorers with 21 points, behind nine made field goals, including a trio of 3s in the contest.
> Senior guardErik Stevensonadded 14, connecting on a game high four makes from 3-point range. Rookie guardDevin Carteradded 13, and sophomore forwardJosh Grayscored 10.
> Gray was dominant on the boards, collecting 12 rebounds including four on the offensive glass.
> Returning junior forwardWildens Levequebattled foul trouble in the matchup, but he was 4-of-4 from the floor, with four rebounds and two blocks in 15 minutes of action.
> As a team, Carolina hit 56.6% from the floor, connecting on 43-of-76 attempts. The Gamecocks were also solid at the free throw line, hitting 6-of-7 (85.7%) from the stripe.
DID YOU KNOW?
> First-year assistant coachBrian Steeleis one of 28 assistants nationally who are 30 or younger. Steele just turned 28 on Nov. 10. A three-year letterwinner for the Gamecocks on the hardwood (2012-15), Steele saw action in 50 career games in the Garnet and Black, with four starts. After knee injuries dotted his first three seasons on the court, Steele opted to serve as a student assistant coach during the 2015-16 campaign. He did the same during the historic 2016-17 season that saw Carolina reach the Final Four, and then was a graduate assistant manager the following year.
BY THE NUMBERS :52- Junior guardJermaine Couisnardalmost gave the Gamecocks the winning edge vs. Princeton last Friday night, as the East Chicago, Ind., native hit a trio of 3s in the final 52 seconds of play to twice pull the Gamecocks to within three of the Tigers. 12/10- Junior forwardWildens Levequeposted the first double-double of his career with 12 points, and a game high 10 rebounds vs. Princeton. Leveque was 6-of-6 from the floor, including a pair of highlight reel dunks in the matchup. 6- Senior guardErik Stevensonstruggled from the field vs. Princeton, but the Lacey, Wash., native made some big plays down the stretch in the contest. He collected a career high six steals, while also pulling in eight rebounds and dishing out a game high five assists. 8-8- Rookie guardDevin Carterwas a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line in the win vs. WKU on Sunday. He scored a season high 16 points, dished out a team high four assists and also had eight rebounds.
FATHER AND SON DUOS
> South Carolina head coachFrank Martin, and his son, senior forwardBrandon Martin, are one of 23 father-son coach-player duos in Division I this season. See below for the full list (school: head coach, son):
Boise State: Leon Rice, Max Rice
UConn: Dan Hurley, Andrew Hurley
Detroit Mercy: Mike Davis, Antoine Davis
Illinois-Chicago: Luke Yaklich, Griffin Yaklich
Iowa: Fran McCaffery, Connor/Patrick McCaffery
Liberty: Ritchie McKay, Gabriel McKay
Memphis: Penny Hardaway, Jayden Hardaway
Michigan: Juwan Howard, Jace Howard
Michigan State: Tom Izzo, Steven Izzo
Milwaukee: Pat Baldwin, Patrick Baldwin Jr.
Miss. Valley State: Lindsey Hunter, Caleb Hunter
Nebraska: Fred Hoiberg, Sam Hoiberg
Oklahoma: Porter Moser, Jacob Moser South Carolina:Frank Martin,Brandon Martin
South Carolina State: Antonio Madlock, Antonio Madlock Jr.
USC Upstate: Dave Dickerson, Dave Dickerson III
Southern: Sean Woods, DeSean Woods
Syracuse: Jim Boeheim, Buddy/Jimmy Boeheim
Texas Southern: Johnny Jones, John Jones
Utah State: Ryan Odom, Connor Odom
Western Illinois: Rob Jeter, III Rob Jeter IV
WKU: Rick Stansbury, Noah Stansbury
Wright State: Scott Nagy, TJ Nagy
COMING UP NEXT
> Carolina continues its homestand next Tuesday, Nov. 23, when Wofford visits Colonial Life Arena. Tip time vs. the Terriers is set for 7 p.m. ET. Dave Weinstein (play-by-play) and John Williams (analyst) will have the SEC Network+ broadcast.