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Gamecocks Open Three Game Homestand Hosting UAB Thursday

Men's Basketball 

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.

ARENA: Colonial Life Arena (18,000)
  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
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 guard Jermaine Couisnard and rookie guard Devin Carter led Carolina with 16 points each, and graduate student guard James Reese V tallied 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 forward Wildens Leveque posted 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 guard Jermaine Couisnard and junior forward Wildens Leveque led the Gamecocks with 14 points each, while Couisnard dished out a game high seven assists in the win.
> Head coach Frank Martin is in his 10th season leading the Gamecocks.  He is assisted by associate head coach Chuck Martin (fifth season), assistant coaches Will Bailey (second season) and Brian Steele (first season), and the director of operations is Andy Assaley (10th season).  
> South Carolina posted a 101-76 exhibition win vs. Benedict on Nov. 4.  James Reese V led 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 forward Keyshawn Bryant (14.4 ppg), junior guard Jermaine Couisnard (10.1 ppg) and junior forward Wildens Leveque (6.1 ppg).
> Junior guard Jermaine Couisnard is 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 in Devin Carter, Ta'Quan Woodley and Jacobi Wright.  Six transfers are also set for their first season at Carolina in Chico Carter Jr. (Murray State), Josh Gray (LSU), Brandon Martin (USC Upstate), James Reese V (North Texas), Erik Stevenson (Washington) and AJ Wilson (George Mason).

> There will be several familiar faces at Colonial Life Arena when the Gamecocks face UAB on Thursday.  Carolina head coach Frank Martin is 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), while Andy Assaley - Carolina's director of MBB operations - served as an assistant and Gamecock strength coach Scott Greenawalt held the same position for the Bearcats. Ah, memories!
> Gamecock assistant coach Will Bailey played 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.

> 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 guard James Reese V led all scorers with 21 points, behind nine made field goals, including a trio of 3s in the contest.
> Senior guard Erik Stevenson added 14, connecting on a game high four makes from 3-point range. Rookie guard Devin Carter added 13, and sophomore forward Josh Gray scored 10.
> Gray was dominant on the boards, collecting 12 rebounds including four on the offensive glass.
> Returning junior forward Wildens Leveque battled 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.

> First-year assistant coach Brian Steele is 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.

:52 - Junior guard Jermaine Couisnard almost 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 forward Wildens Leveque posted 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 guard Erik Stevenson struggled 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 guard Devin Carter was 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.

> South Carolina head coach Frank Martin, and his son, senior forward Brandon 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

> 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.


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