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Found 547 results

  1. ByJOHN DEL BIANCO May 21, 3:22 PM Frank Martin gets his seniors to excel. The track record speaks for itself and its abundant over just the last three seasons at South Carolina. FULL STORY: https://247sports.com/college/south-carolina/Article/South-Carolina-Gamecocks-basketball-Maik-Kotsar-senior-season-Frank-Martin--132213821/
  2. ByJOHN DEL BIANCO 5 hours ago Chris Silva is displaying his athleticism and ability at the Pro Basketball Combine. South Carolina’s two-time All-SEC selection has put up big numbers on the court and in combine measurements drills at the Mamba Sports Academy in Newbury Park, Calif. FULL STORY: https://247sports.com/college/south-carolina/Article/South-Carolina-Gamecocks-basketball-Chris-Silva-Hassani-Gravett-Pro-Basketball-Combine--132246330/
  3. Scouting USC signee Wildens Leveque: ‘High motor guy that’s really good defensively’ May 10, 2019 Wildens Leveque is scheduled to arrive in Columbia on May 29 to begin his South Carolina basketball career. What are the Gamecocks getting in the 6-foot-10, 225-pound center from Gould Academy in Maine? The State asked both Leveque and Gould coach Cory McClure for a preview. ON LEVEQUE’S STRENGTHS Leveque: “At Gould Academy, I rebound a lot and I have no problem rebounding. Blocking shots is one of my favorite things to do.” McClure: “Watching him over the last 12 months, the buttons that we’ve all pushed are gonna be the ones that Frank (Martin) pushes. You’re gonna see a high motor guy that’s really good defensively. Rim protector, rebounder, finisher around the rim.” ON LEVEQUE’S IMPROVEMENT AS A HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR Leveque: “My post moves. Learning how to score the ball. When I was young, I wasn’t really like a scoring threat. I was still figuring it out. But especially scoring the ball in the post, finding out my bread and butter moves and running the floor, especially that. I’ve done a lot better job of running the floor, staying in shape. “Hook shot. I’ve been working on my post fade, my touch around the rim, expanding, shooting 3s.” McClure: “When I first got him, he had showed the ability to be a guy with a high motor, but hadn’t yet learned how to sustain that level of energy and effort. That’s been the biggest change in him this year, is being a high-motor, high-energy guy for what ended up being later in the year. I barely took him out of the game, whereas last year you kind of had to manage his minutes because of fatigue and what not. He was a young kid, he was still kind of new to the game. But he’s still grown leaps and bounds in that regard over the last 12 months. “That’s kind of what his bread and butter is — volume rebounder, rim protector. His offensive game is growing, but I think he’s nowhere near what he’s going to be in the next 12 to 24 months.” ON COMPARISONS TO CHRIS SILVA Leveque: “Man, he has a really great motor. Honestly, I think the motor that he has makes him do what he does really great, just playing really hard, grabbing boards, blocking shots, scoring the ball. Him, just having that motor and that mindset that he’s gonna kill every game, which makes me just want to play harder and understand that’s why he’s so good at what he does. It’s because of his motor. “How the motor just makes him become and stay consistent throughout the game. It’s nice. It’s great.”
  4. ByJOHN DEL BIANCO 23 hours ago The final 247Sports Top247 rankings for the high school basketball Class of 2019 was revealed on Monday afternoon. Two of South Carolina’s four signees have made the list. Both incoming Gamecocks ranked in the Top247 are in-state prospects. Hartsville point guard Trae Hannibal rose a few spots from 212 to 208. Legacy Early College (Greenville) forward Jalyn McCrearyclimbed 10 spots from 228 to 218. ***Final Top247 for 2019*** | The 10 best basketball recruiting classes in 2019 FULL STORY: https://247sports.com/college/south-carolina/Article/South-Carolina-Gamecocks-basketball-recruiting-Gamecocks-Trae-Hannibal-Jalyn-McCreary-ranking-2019-final-Top247-131821344/
  5. Two South Carolina basketball signees ranked among nation’s top 150 players May 07, 2019 For only the third time since Rivals started such a list, South Carolina has two signed basketball recruits among the national site’s final ranking of top 150 players. Jalyn McCreary is the country’s No. 133 player in the 2019 class and Trae Hannibal is No. 146, according to the rankings released Tuesday. Rivals began its “Top 150” rankings in 2003. USC that year had No. 92 Renaldo Balkman and No. 101 Brandon Wallace. In 2014, signed Gamecocks Marcus Stroman (94) and TeMarcus Blanton (135) made the list. McCreary is a 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward from Georgia who spent last season at Legacy Early College in Greenville. He’s a three-star prospect. “(McCreary) found a great fit — both ways around, for the program and for the prospect,” Rivals analyst Corey Evans told The State last month. “He’s a hard nose, tough, versatile prospect who can play the three or the four. Had a really, really good senior year with Legacy Charter there in South Carolina. He really came on towards the end.” McCreary is ranked No. 228 by 247Sports. Hannibal is 6-foot-2, 200-pound point guard from Hartsville. He’s a three-star prospect who averaged 27 points, eight rebounds and four assists as a senior. “Hannibal’s an in-state guy, is gonna want to play for the program, play hard,” Evans said. “He’s tough as nails. He scores the ball, but I think he can be a facilitator type as well. I think Trae’s really going to help that program out.” Hannibal is ranked No. 208 by 247Sports. Northeast big man Wildens Leveque and California wing Trey Anderson are the other member of USC’s ‘19 class. South Carolina’s class is ranked No. 44 by Rivals and ninth in the SEC. Clemson also has two recruits in the top 150 — No. 102 Chase Hunter, No. 144 Al-Amir Dawes. State products to make the list include Tennessee-bound Josiah James (18), Georgia-bound Christian Brown and Alabama-bound Juwan Gary (98). ALL-TIME SOUTH CAROLINA RECRUITS RANKED IN RIVALS TOP 150 2019 class — Jalyn McCreary (133), Trae Hannibal (146) 2017 — David Beatty (149) 2016 — Sede Keita (90) 2015 — PJ Dozier (37) 2014 — Marcus Stroman (94), TeMarcus Blanton (135) 2013 — Sindarius Thornwell (43) 2011 — Damien Leonard (85) 2010 — Damontre Harris (64) 2003 — Renaldo Balkman (92), Brandon Wallace (101)
  6. Report: South Carolina to take on Big Ten team in Canada to kick off 2019-20 season May 02, 2019 The South Carolina Gamecocks’ men’s basketball team will be taking a trip abroad this upcoming season. According to a report from NJ.com, the Gamecocks will head to Toronto to play a regular-season game on Saturday, Nov. 16.
  7. ByJOHN DEL BIANCO 5 hours ago South Carolina guard and 2019 SEC Sixth Man of the Year Hassani Gravett will have the opportunity to workout in front of multiple NBA teams as he will participate in the Professional Basketball Combine. Completely unrelated to the NBA Draft Combine, the PBC is a secondary opportunity for aspiring pros to workout in front of multiple pro teams at one time. FULL STORY: https://247sports.com/college/south-carolina/Article/South-Carolina-Gamecocks-basketball-Gamecocks-guard-Hassani-Gravett-Profession-Basketball-Combine--131840003/
  8. By JC SHURBURTT South Carolina men’s basketball completed a 16-16 season in March with a loss to Final Four participant Auburn in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals. While the final outcome of the season was disappointing- it was the second straight season the team was passed over for a NIT berth following the Gamecocks own Final Four run in 2017- the immediate future is bright.There is no reason why South Carolina and head coach Frank Martin can’t return to the NCAA Tournament in 2019-20 given several key factors. Here are the reasons to be optimistic. FULL STORY: https://247sports.com/college/south-carolina/LongFormArticle/South-Carolina-Basketball-Gamecocks-and-Frank-Martin-return-an-experienced-and-talented-team-for-2019-20-131439580/#131439580_1
  9. Lawson a projected first-round pick in 2020 NBA Draft By JOHN WHITTLE Most people are focused right now on the 2019 NBA Draft, including South Carolina men’s basketball player A.J. Lawson. The All-SEC Freshman team performer recently declared for the draft, but has left the door open to return to the Gamecocks’ program for his sophomore season. (CLICK TO READ ARTICLE) 247SPORTS
  10. By David Cloninger dcloninger@postandcourier.com COLUMBIA — Blame it on Wyoming.That game defines South Carolina’s basketball season more than any other. Yes, the Gamecocks lurched through multiple injuries. Yes, Frank Martin did a terrific job with what he had, improving the team so that even with the injuries, USC finished in the SEC’s top four for the third time in four years. FULL STORY: https://www.postandcourier.com/sports/gamecocks-see-brighter-basketball-future-we-re-going-to-be/article_991d03d2-61ef-11e9-86c5-1bc6aea03f48.html
  11. By JOHN WHITTLE South Carolina basketball star A.J. Lawson still hasn’t officially decided whether or not he will go through the NBA Draft process. On Monday night at the Gamecock Gala, the Freshman All-SEC selection said he will lean on those around him when it comes time to make a decision. (Click to view & read article) 247sports
  12. Collyn Taylor • GamecockCentral.com SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS BASKETBALL It’s been a tumultuous few hours for Frank Martin, who had his name surface for the Cincinnati head coach job only to pull his name out of the running less than 24 hours later. FULL STORY: https://southcarolina.rivals.com/news/gamecock-commits-react-to-martin-turning-down-cincinnati-interview
  13. Frank Martin staying at South Carolina April 12, 2019 Frank Martin’s name has been attached to a couple of openings this coaching cycle but South Carolina’s coach has put an end to the speculation — he’s staying in Columbia. After being mentioned as the possible frontrunner to land the UNLV job, the latest speculation tabbed Martin as Cincinnati’s choice to replace Mick Cronin, who left the Bearcats to take over the UCLA job. However, Martin has just nixed all that talk, according to Jeff Goodman of Stadium. “South Carolina coach Frank Martin tells Stadium he will not meet with Cincinnati about opening: ‘I thought about it, because of Huggs and my time there, but I love my boss and South Carolina — so I have decided not to meet with them,'” Goodman recently tweeted out. Martin has served as South Carolina’s coach for seven seasons, leading the Gamecocks to a 129-106 record during that time. He has made only one NCAA Tournament appearance during that span (2016-17) but he led South Carolina to the Final Four that season.
  14. What Ray Tanner said about the South Carolina men’s basketball program March 27, 2019 South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner on Wednesday made his monthly appearance on 107.5 The Game’s “Halftime Show” with hosts Jay Philips and Tommy Moody. The majority of the interview was about Frank Martin and the noise surrounding the USC men’s basketball program. Here’s what Tanner said: ON SOUTH CAROLINA (16-16 OVERALL) NOT MAKING THE NIT “Coach Martin takes his team to Nashville (for the SEC Tournament). He’s got to play Auburn. We had beaten Auburn earlier and you’re hoping maybe you win a couple games and maybe you get in the (NCAA Tournament) conversation or if you win the whole thing, you get back to the postseason. “I was certain — I was certain — we were gonna be in the NIT. I was certain. I did make a few calls just to try to hear some things I wanted to hear. And we didn’t get in. I feel like we should have been in. “I know the teams that are in, some of them have lost already, I knew what their overall records were and just felt like we should have been in.” USC went 11-7 and finished fourth in the SEC. Against Division I competition, it went 15-16 overall. Tanner said he asked specifically if there was a record requirement (i.e. .500 or better) to make the 32-team field. “And they said, ‘Well, I’m not sure a team has ever been invited.’ I said, ‘Is that the criteria?’ ‘No.’ OK, well we finished fourth in the Southeastern Conference. “There were a lot of teams that were well under .500 in their league and they got in, with a similar record — 15-16, 16-16. That’s where I got a little ruffled when it came to that. I was like, ‘Our team’s better than that. We would have been playing in New York (for the NIT semifinals).’” Texas (16-16, 8-10 Big 12), Butler (16-16, 7-11 Big East), Arkansas (17-15, 8-10 SEC), Indiana (17-15, 8-12 Big 10) and Nebraska (18-16, 6-14 Big 10) made the NIT. ON THE MARKETING OF THE MEN’S BASKETBALL PROGRAM “It’s not just men’s basketball. It’s all of our sports. It’s important to us that we try to get people in the seats. Women’s softball has a game (Wednesday), it’s important that we get as many people there as possible. “(South Carolina senior associate AD for marketing and branding) Eric Nichols does one heckuva job. He received a national award a couple years ago for his efforts in marketing. He’s one of the best in the business. We promote all of our sports and we spend a lot of time and effort in basketball. We’ve invested money into that, as well as we do with women’s basketball and football and the other sports. “We don’t miss anything as far as the promotional aspect is concerned. We do everything we can to get people in the building. We have great fans that buy tickets. We’re not a school that’s selling 3 and 4,000 season tickets. We’re higher than that. As I said, we’re fourth in the league in attendance, which is pretty strong in the Southeastern Conference. Three of the last four years, we’ve finished in the top four (of the SEC standings), which includes when we played on the last weekend of the year in 2017. So a lot of good things have happened. “But we certainly support our basketball program at a high level. “ ON THE NOTION OF SOUTH CAROLINA AS A ‘FOOTBALL SCHOOL’ “Basketball has certainly been important here for a long time. I hear that talk, too, but I’m not going to give you AD speak, but we’re broad-based. We want all our teams to do well, but I think you will see consistency among our sports if you delve into it. They’re not going to get the attention that football and basketball gets, but we do have success across all of our sports. ... I love our fans. I think we have great fans. I’ve been in that arena all year and there have been some really electric atmospheres. Are there games that you would like to see a few more people maybe in the area you pointed out, in the end zones? Absolutely. I’d love to see the place packed all the time. “But we have good attendance. Should we sit on our laurels? No, we should continue to try and grow and create a home court environment (where it’s) hard to beat us.” ON POSSIBLE SEATING RECONFIGURATION AT COLONIAL LIFE ARENA “Obviously I don’t have our season ticket seating chart in my possession, but we sell 8,000-plus season tickets for men’s basketball all in the lower bowl area. All around the arena, you know that we have upgraded some seating. And just like you suggested, we would like that to be as full, especially in the lower bowl, as possible. We do have a big arena. A lot of of the new basketball facilities are 8,9,10-thousand and when you pack them in at our place, it’s 17 or 18,000, if you go in the upper deck. So we have the same concerns that we try to get an area that’s covered. “Sometimes you do have openings in the end zone. And sometimes those are season tickets for people who are not at the game. We have the Forever Loyal program, where if someone’s not coming, you can pass your tickets on. And there was some success in that, but we’d like for it to increase a little bit next year. Those things can happen. “But we were fourth in attendance in the SEC. We have a pretty big building and we were fourth in attendance. A lot of good things are happening. We’re not ashamed of our attendance.” ON POSSIBILITY OF TARPING THE UPPER DECK “There’s been some discussions. One day, Coach Martin and I were visiting. We had a discussion about possibly doing the lower bowl only, which is about 10,000 seats, which is what a lot of our schools in our conference have done. I don’t know if we’ll ever get there because there’s been a lot of games where we’re above 10,000. I think there were a number of times that Coach Martin’s exceeded 11,000. Coach (Dawn) Staley does that. So I don’t think we can really go there. “But because you are so big, some of those games — especially mid-week games and early on where you don’t get as many people into the building into the right spots ... I’m not sure we don’t have enough people in the building, but I think you hit on the point that we need them more strategically located at times. And that’s something I want to take a look at. … I’m certainly going to take a look at that because that certainly is important. Our fans are great. We’re not in a position that a lot of schools are around the country with technology and a drop-off in attendance, a drop-off in season ticket holders. We’re in much better shape than a lot of universities. And I’m proud of that. I’m very grateful for our fan base.” ON BASKETBALL FACILITIES “Our student-athletes live at 650 (dorms), so our men’s and women’s basketball players literally walk across the street to the practice facility, where they have food served, it’s where our dietician and nutritionist are, it’s where our weight room is, it’s where our locker rooms are, it’s where their practice floors are. We got two full practice floors and two wings over there. Coach Martin and his staff have brand new offices, Coach Staley’s office was done last year over there. “We spent almost 11 million dollars on the practice facility in the last three years. It includes the ribbon board and the scoreboard over at Colonial Life Arena. So we’ve upgraded those areas. They’re really, really nice. I think it has really enhanced the recruiting opportunity.” Are further enhancements coming to the men’s basketball program? “We’ve never stopped. We’re always going to do something, whether it’s a new opportunity for graphics or player opportunities, we’re going to continue to try to do as much as we can.”
  15. Collyn Taylor • GamecockCentral.com SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS BASKETBALL Jermaine Couisnard’s long and unusual freshman year is finally over. The Gamecocks’ guard, who was dealing with academic issues coming to school, sat out his freshman season but Frank Martin said the scoring guard is full steam ahead and will be able to play once next season starts. Jermaine Couisnard || Photo by Chris Gillespie “He’s been cleared to practice from day one. He’s been cleared to play from day one. That’s never been a question. It was just freshmen eligibility and games that was in question,” Martin said. “I’m going to say this and I don’t think his family will get mad, but he’s a 3.4 student GPA-wise. I don’t see him being academically ineligible. He’s been very good as a student here. He’s good to go.” Also see: Latest football and basketball recruiting scoop Couisnard is a scoring combo guard the staff was very high on coming out of a postgrad year at Montverde Academy in the 2018 class after averaging 29.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists his senior season playing in Chicago. He wasn’t able to play in any games this season but did practice with the team all year and stay in basketball shape. Outside of not traveling for road games, Couisnard was at every home game on the Gamecock bench. He’ll return next season with a talented group of freshmen that are now finally all healthy. Martin said Tuesday the team is working back to full health and shouldn’t have any injury problems when they start summer workouts in June. After a season-ending ankle and foot surgery, TJ Moss is finally out of his cast and boot and is walking around normal again. He’s not able to go full-bore yet but that will be coming sooner rather than later. Moss played in seven games as a freshman with three starts, fighting through a nagging foot injury at the time. He averaged 6.3 points and 1.9 rebounds while shooting 39 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from three. “He’s one of the guys I met with yesterday and he said this is one of the first times in a long time he can walk and have no pain in his foot,” Martin said. “It’s a matter now of strength before he gets cleared. The plan with him is when we get back June 3 for summer school he’s fully cleared and it’s all systems go.” Also see: Latest team scoop from spring practice AJ Lawson is also back to full health after two separate ankle injuries threw a wrench in the final three weeks of his freshman year. The All-Freshman guard who averaged 13.9 points and shot 41.3 percent from the field in 28 starts sprained his ankle against Alabama with three games left in the regular season. He came back to practice for the SEC Tournament and rolled his other ankle before giving it a go against Auburn and not making the impact he probably wanted: one rebound in 13 minutes. Since the season ended Lawson’s been able to get back to 100 percent and is full-go once the team starts individual work next week. “He was really depressed on the flight out there. His spirits were better Thursday morning and he gave it a go in practice,” Martin said. “He was stiff but he got through practice and then he just wasn’t healthy enough to play. He’s good. He’ll be ready to go when we work out on Monday or Tuesday.” Also see: What Coleman Hutzler said in his spring availability Justin Minaya has also been cleared to resume workouts after a knee injury in November sidelined him for the year and Jason Cudd is close to being cleared after dislocating his knee in January. Both redshirted this season and will be redshirt sophomores entering the 2019-20 year. Martin also said freshman forward Alanzo Frink, who battled knee and ankle injuries all season, is fully healthy as well.
  16. Frank Martin will be available to the media on Tuesday, March 26, Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. at Colonial Life Arena.
  17. What: Second round of NCAA tournament Who: No. 4 seed South Carolina (22-9, 13-3 SEC) vs. No. 5 seed Florida State (24-8, 10-6 ACC) When: 2 p.m., Sunday, March 24 Where: Halton Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina Watch: ESPN2 or WatchESPN app Listen: 107.5 FM in Columbia At stake: Winner advances to the Sweet 16 in Greensboro, North Carolina, next Saturday, and will play the winner of No. 1 seed Baylor’s pod. So we meet again: For the third time in the last five years, South Carolina and Florida State are meeting in the postseason — the first two times, a trip to the Final Four was on the line. Now, a Sweet 16 berth hangs on the outcome, but the personnel from those first two meetings, both of which South Carolina won by single digits, is gone. Neither coach is thinking too much about the past. “It doesn’t matter who the opponent is. It’s not that this provides any extra incentive. It’s an opponent that stands in front of your opportunity to go to a Sweet 16,” FSU coach Sue Semrau said. That being said, Staley knows that for the fans, it might mean something a little extra to beat Florida State. “The familiar name of Florida State brings a lot of memories back for our fans, so hopefully they can bring their energized selves in here and will us to another victory,” Staley said. What to watch for: The Seminoles struggled to put away pesky No. 12 seed Bucknell on Friday, winning 70-67, but Staley credited the close game to the lengthy break FSU had since its previous game, and she said she expects another “knock-out, drag out” contest between the programs. “As much as you try to simulate games in practices, it is difficult,” Staley said. “Now that they have gotten their feet wet, they will get up to play us as we will get up to play them.” Specifically, South Carolina guard Bianca Jackson and Te’a Cooper cited Florida State’s offensive rebounding as an area of emphasis for the Gamecocks — the Seminoles have an offensive rebounding percentage of 37.6 percent, a top-35 mark in the country. Leading the way, 6-foot-2 sophomore forward Kiah Gillespie averages 16.2 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, while also taking and making the most 3-pointers of any player on the team. The entire team’s versatility will likely force at least one Gamecock post player out on the perimeter, as they were against Belmont in the first round. Staley and her players also identified junior point guard Nicki Ekhomu as a dangerous option for FSU — she averages roughly 15 points and four assists per game and has the Seminoles’ top 3-point percentage. “She’s a three-way scorer. She can get to the rim, her mid-range is nice and her 3-point shooting is respectable,” Staley said.
  18. A winless season is remarkably bad. I was shocked to see it happened (winless). Have to make this move if you are Vandy.
  19. Collyn Taylor • GamecockCentral.com SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS BASKETBALL With the news yesterday of South Carolina being left out of the NCAA Tournament and NIT, it means the careers of Chris Silva, Hassani Gravett and Tre Campbell are over at South Carolina are over. Those three will all explore options in professional basketball but won't suit up for South Carolina again. Campbell leaves after just one season as a graduate transfer but for Silva and Gravett, that duo is one of the more decorated in Gamecock history. Now that their careers are over, the two longest-tenured seniors in Silva and Gravett on the team opened up about some of their career highlights, their favorite teammates and which opposing players they hated going against. Also see: Latest scoop on a few high-profile targets Favorite game Silva: “Probably the Duke one or Kentucky (games). Those are the two that always stick in my head. Duke because ESPN had us with a two percent chance of winning that game. That got us fired up. In the first half of the game we couldn’t make shots but the defense was tough and we were still in the game. in the locker room the coaches and players were talking and we walked out confident that we could get this thing done. It was a crazy game.” Gravett: “Probably when I dropped my career high against Florida in a road game, SEC opener. It was real fun. Bloomin’ Onion.” Favorite teammate(s) Silva: “There were a whole bunch of friends that turned into family. I can’t think of one. if I had to chose, we were all tight but PJ (Dozier) and John (Ragin) were with me every day and always doing something with me.” Gravett: “Probably Chris. That’s my senior brother. We’ve bene through it together. I’d known Chris before I got here. We didn’t have a relationship but I knew of him from different AAU tournaments.” Also see: Georgia's head coach shares his thoughts on a "really scary" Gamecock team Hardest player to compete against Silva: “Probably Grant (Williams) and (Robert) Williams from Texas A&M; probably those two. Yante Maten was tough too; I’m not going to lie. He was tough. He was the guy when I was facing him I knew it was going to be a battle and a good game.” Gravett: “I don’t know if I want to answer that. Tremont was probably the most difficult person I guard. But I plan on taking my game past this year. Maybe I’ll meet up with him again in the tournament. You never know.” “I did well against (Fletcher Magee). I was happy he wasn’t able to get the catches or the shots he wanted. He was a big-time shooter.” Also see: Gamecocks impress local hoops prospect The two were major factors in South Carolina's 2017 Final Four run with Silva starting in the Gamecocks' front court with Gravett playing a big role off the bench behind Sindarius Thornwell, PJ Dozier and Duane Notice. They blossomed into their own players over their careers with Silva earning All-SEC honors his last two years on campus, including being named Co-Defensive Player of the Year as a junior. Gravett, after a rough junior year, had a senior year to remember shooting over 40 percent from three and earning SEC Sixth Man of the Year honors.
  20. WE LOSE: CHRIS SILVA TRE CAMPBELL HASSANI GRAVETT WE GAIN: TRAE HANNIBAL TREY ANDERSON WILDENS LEVEQUE OK FANATICS, ANY OTHER CHANGES/UPDATES/POSSIBILITIES???
  21. By David Cloninger dcloninger@postandcourier.com Mar 14, 2019 Updated 15 hrs ago COLUMBIA — They win Sunday, they’re in the NCAA tournament. But South Carolina may have to at least get to Sunday’s championship game of the SEC tournament to feel really solid about playing in any postseason event. While NIT “bracketology” (a fuzzy projection at best) has the Gamecocks solidly in as a No. 4 seed, the Gamecocks’ overall record is concerning. At 16-15, they’re in line with a couple of historical markers. Since the NCAA took over the NIT in 2007, it dropped the rule of having to be a game over .500 to participate. But also since then, it’s only taken a team that finished .500 once. North Carolina, 16-16 after the 2010 ACC tournament, was selected for the NIT. Otherwise, the NIT has mostly hovered around 17-15 or 16-14 as its cutoff. If the Gamecocks don’t win a game in the SEC tournament they’ll be 16-16, just as the Tar Heels were nine years ago. Unlike UNC then, the Gamecocks didn’t win the national championship the year before. USC didn’t make the NIT last year after finishing 17-16, in part because the tournament gives automatic berths to all regular-season champions that don’t win their conference tournaments and aren’t picked for the NCAAs. Twelve of the 32 NIT slots were taken before the Gamecocks even got to the table. This year is shaping up the same way. There are already eight slots taken due to upsets — Lipscomb, Campbell, Hofstra, Wright State, Loyola Chicago, St. Francis (Penn.), South Dakota State and Belmont — with 15 mid-major tournaments left to play. While Belmont might still squeak into the NCAA tournament, it’s a pick-’em for other bubble teams. Gonzaga didn’t win the West Coast tournament, but was going to the NCAAs anyway. That means there had to be room made for WCC champ St. Mary’s, which pushed another NCAA bubble team into the NIT. Clemson is likely out of the NCAA picture after losing in the first round of the ACC tournament, which probably puts it in the NIT and takes away another spot. As the expression says, it flows downhill, and without a strong performance in Nashville this weekend, the Gamecocks may be up to their ankles in the overflow. The Gamecocks’ sole focus is to win and keep winning. Frank Martin is 5-6 in the SEC tournament, going 1-1 last year, and hopes to at least reach Saturday’s semifinals since the Gamecocks haven’t yet gotten there during his tenure. “You got to play three games in three days, and it’s three hard games. The regular season is about coaches and players trying to figure out who we are as a team. And it’s a constant fight, every day,” Martin said. “Postseason’s about the players. It’s no longer about my wishes or my desires or who can my team become.” The Gamecocks haven’t reached the semifinals since 2006, which was the end of an 11-year stretch when they reached the semis six times. USC has twice reached the championship game (1998 and 2006) and lost by 30 points the first time and by two the second. USC did all it could to give itself the easiest path toward winning three games in three days, earning the fourth seed for the double-bye and in the same bracket as regular-season champ LSU. Playing the No. 1 seed Tigers is no picnic, but there’s also no telling where LSU’s head is following the suspension of coach Will Wade. “Around this time of the year, everybody’s tired,” SEC Sixth Man of the Year Hassani Gravett said. “For us, it feels really, really good to have these days off and have that extra energy boost we’ll have with the double-bye.” Saturday would be a first for Martin’s Gamecocks. Sunday would likely cement a postseason berth. Win 40 minutes Sunday and the NIT can have whoever it would like, since the Gamecocks will be headed elsewhere. Lawson healing Freshman A.J. Lawson, who has missed the last three games after severely spraining his ankle against Alabama, should be ready to play Friday. “I feel like I’ve been healing very quickly,” Lawson said Tuesday. “I’m trying to get on the court as much as I can, do more things, and as the day goes on, see how it goes.” Lawson has to get his conditioning back after missing so much time, but as Martin said following the regular-season finale, Lawson probably could have played then. It will depend on his pain tolerance and his ability to run the floor.
  22. NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Before he gets honored as an SEC Legend at the SEC Tournament, Carlos Powell got back to being a member of the South Carolina men’s basketball team. The former Gamecocks standout put on a practice jersey to serve as another body for head coach Frank Martin to use in Thursday’s morning practice at Memorial Gym on the campus of Vanderbilt University. In the below tweet sent out by the Gamecocks, Powell is pictured standing in front wearing the gray No. 30 jersey. Without a full roster of healthy bodies, Martin smiled when asked about Powell’s participation. “He looked good. Carlos is always around," Martin said. "Anytime he’s not overseas, and I think he just retired and wants to coach as a profession, for the last seven years anytime he’s home he is always in there working out. He’s a workout fiend. I used to love watching him play. It was great. It’s one of the great things of where I coach at, that there are guys like that around all the time. They have taken pride in what we do and it just worked out that he was here for being honored as a legend. You guys have heard the story, we’re down bodies. We had to do some up and down stuff and having him in there was real good." Powell, a Florence native, has been all around the world as a professional basketball player. He was the Venezuelan professional league's MVP in 2017, but has also played in countries like Portugal, Ukraine, China, Iran, Israel, Korea and Argentina. No. 4 seed South Carolina faces No. 5 seed Auburn on Saturday afternoon on ESPN. Tip is scheduled to be 25 minutes after the conclusion of the 1 p.m. contest between No. 1 seed LSU and No. 8 seed Florida. From USC Athletics Communications and Public Relations Powell earned four letters in the Garnet and Black and ranks eighth all-time in scoring with 1,541 career points (8th all-time). He was part of Carolina's 2004 NCAA Tournament team, and helped the Gamecocks capture the 2005 Postseason NIT championship. His senior season he averaged 53.0 percent from the field, scoring 540 points and averaging 16.4 points per game. He led the Gamecocks in scoring as a sophomore, junior and senior, while also leading the team in rebounds per game his final two campaigns. Following his career at Carolina, Powell has had a successful professional career on the hardwood.
  23. Chris Clark • GamecockCentral.com @GCChrisClark South Carolina head basketball coach Frank Martin expects standout freshman guard AJ Lawson to play against Auburn in the SEC Tournament, he told media on Thursday evening. Lawson would come off the bench if he indeed suits up against the Tigers, Martin said. The staff is unsure as to how many minutes Lawson will play on Friday, with Martin saying it would depend on how the game unfolds. Lawson's minutes limitation will be based more on his conditioning than his ankle, according to the Gamecocks' head man. The Gamecocks, after earning a double bye for the tournament, will play Auburn on Friday at approximately 3:30 ET. Earlier in the week, Lawson was named to the SEC's All-Freshman team. He's averaging nearly 14 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 3 assists per game this season.
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