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  1. Silva on Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 Watch List Third major award watch list for the senior All-SEC player GCF Staff Report Men's Basketball | 11/6/2018 FULL RELEASE FROM JOHN R. WOODEN AWARD LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The preseason accolades continue to roll in for senior forward Chris Silva as he was named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 Watch List today. Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for the most prestigious honors in college basketball, the Wooden Award All-American Team and Most Outstanding Player Award. The Libreville, Gabon, native started all 33 games for Carolina last season leading the team in points per game (14.3), rebounds (8.0), field goal percentage (46.7%), blocks (1.4), free throws attempted (283) and free throws made (213). He was named First Team All-SEC by the league's coaches and was voted the SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Silva, a Preseason First Team All-SEC selection this year by both the coaches and media, was recently named to the Naismith Trophy Watch List and the Karl Malone Award Preseason Watch List as well. Silva is one of nine players in the SEC to be named to the Wooden Award Watch List. Click here to see the full list of student-athletes. The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2019 John R. Wooden Award Men's Player of the Year. Players not chosen to the preseason list are still eligible for the Wooden Award midseason list, late season list, and the National Ballot. The National Ballot consists of 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the Wooden Award. Nearly 1,000 voters will rank in order 10 of those 15 players when voting opens prior to the NCAA Tournament and will allow voters to take into consideration performance during early round games. The Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the Elite Eight. The winner of the 2019 John R. Wooden Award will be presented during the ESPN College Basketball Awards on Friday, April 12, 2019. The Gamecocks begin the 2018-19 campaign tonight against USC Upstate at 7 p.m. ET on SEC Network+ with Burch Antley (pxp) and Alex English (color) on the call. Doors at Colonial Life Arena open one hour prior to tipoff.
  2. Five things we learned about the Gamecocks from the SC Pro-Am July 30, 2018 Carey Rich sat courtside all week, watching Gamecocks from as young as A.J. Lawson to as established as Carlos Powell. No matter the age, talent was evident during the SC Pro-Am, Rich’s baby. The former South Carolina point guard and longtime contributor to the local hoops scene has been the leader of this event for seven years. It concluded Sunday with a Carolina-heavy championship before a good crowd at Heathwood Hall. “One word that comes to mind for me was consistency,” Rich said, looking back on a week that began with Sindarius Thornwell and P.J. Dozier battling each other. “From day one, we had an unbelievable crowd all three games. Players were consistent with showing up and all of the games were consistently competitive. “Right now, if there’s one word that best describes my emotion, it’s probably just the level of consistency that the entire Pro-Am showed over the last four days.” Carey Rich sat courtside all week, watching Gamecocks from as young as A.J. Lawson to as established as Carlos Powell. No matter the age, talent was evident during the SC Pro-Am, Rich’s baby. The former South Carolina point guard and longtime contributor to the local hoops scene has been the leader of this event for seven years. It concluded Sunday with a Carolina-heavy championship before a good crowd at Heathwood Hall. “One word that comes to mind for me was consistency,” Rich said, looking back on a week that began with Sindarius Thornwell and P.J. Dozier battling each other. “From day one, we had an unbelievable crowd all three games. Players were consistent with showing up and all of the games were consistently competitive. “Right now, if there’s one word that best describes my emotion, it’s probably just the level of consistency that the entire Pro-Am showed over the last four days.” Powell, the 2005 NIT MVP who also played in Venzezuela last year and narrowly beat Downey for league MVP honors, had three double-doubles in four games. 2. T.J. Moss has a scorer’s mentality What Frank Martin liked about Moss on the recruiting trail was his successful transition from scoring at Memphis East High School to distributor at Findlay Prep in Nevada. The incoming freshman point guard was back in a scoring mode at the Pro-Am. His 25 points per game led the nine active Gamecocks participating. (He also took a USC-high 60 shots.) “Moss is more of a scoring point guard, so to speak,” Rich said, “nice size.” 3. USC should be fine with Tre Campbell at PG Moss and Campbell were on the same team at the Pro-Am. They combined for 47.3 points per game. USC went through a season-long battle at finding point guard consistency last season. The Gamecocks have addressed the position with the Moss and Campbell additions. Campbell, a graduate transfer from Georgetown, appears poised to take on a starting role. “He’s already run a major college offense before,” Rich said, “you can tell. He’s driven, he’s motivated. “He didn’t play last year because of injury. Came out of high school highly touted, so he’s motivated to finish his college career in a fashionable manner.” 4. Lawson ‘jumps out at you’ It’s important to note A.J. Lawson was ranked among the class of 2019’s 40 best player before he reclassified late in the spring. The Candaian showed his potential at the Pro-Am by averaging 17.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and shooting over 51 percent from the floor. “That’s the one guy that jumps out at you because his overall skill set is multi-dimensional,” Rich said. “He’ll be able to play every position on the perimeter -- 1, 2 and 3. He does it in a very comfortable manner, he does it with a flair. “He’s the one guy I know will certainly have every opportunity to come in and impact this team right away.” 5. A healthier Hassani Gravett on tap for 2018-19 Beyond the new guys, three veteran Gamecocks participated. Kotsar won a title, Jason Cudd teammed with Dozier and Hassani Gravett showed off his skills at full strength. Gravett said Wednesday that the ankle injury that sidelined him for three games in the middle of last season lingered as the year continued. “My ankle had issues and I wasn’t able to display any athleticism,” Gravett said. “During this offseason, I’ve just been trying to get back in the groove of making athletic plays, whether it’s crashing the boards or showing that ability when I do get in the lane.” Gravett averaged 16.7 points and four assists at the Pro-Am. A 22-game starter a year ago, Gravett’s role for 2018-19 will be interesting to watch. Can he start again? Or, with Campbell and Moss in the fold, is Gravett used as a top bench option who can play both guard spots? --------------------------- How the Gamecocks did at the SC Pro-Am A.J. Lawson: 17.6 points per game, 6.3 rebounds per game, 1.3 assists per game, FG percentage of 51.2 Alanzo Frink: 13 ppg, 4 rpg, 61.1 percent Hassani Gravett: 16.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 4 apg, 41.3 percent Keyshawn Bryant: 9.3 ppg, 6 rpg, 1 apg, 40.5 percent T.J. Moss: 25 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 3.7 apg, 45 percent Tre Campbell: 22.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 3.6 apg, 42.1 percent Jason Cudd: 4.6 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 60 percent Maik Kotsar: 12 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 3 apg, 62 percent Jair Bolden: 17.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.3 apg, 51.2 percent THE STATE
  3. Gamecocks have one of basketball's best returning players, national analyst says July 07, 2018 Recent buzz surrounding the South Carolina men's basketball program has revolved around those players coming in and those players who have departed. But the Gamecocks are also returning four starters for the 2018-19 season, Chris Silva chief among them. The reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year and all-league first-teamer chose to come back for his senior season after testing the NBA waters.. He's considered an SEC Player of the Year candidate, but where does the powerful 6-foot-9 forward rank nationally? Andy Katz, a longtime ESPN contributor who now covers college hoops for NCAA.com, recently revealed his list of top returning players for this upcoming season. Silva didn't land in the top 20, but was one of an additional 12 players to make honorable mention. Silva averaged a team-high 14.3 points, 8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks for USC in 2017-18. He led the country in free-throw rate and finished second nationally in fouls drawn per 40 minutes. He has a chance to lead the Gamecocks in scoring and rebounding two consecutive seasons. That hasn’t happened in Columbia since Carlos Powell from 2003-05. Silva is one of seven SEC players among the 32 Katz listed. That's two more than any other conference, echoing what Frank Martin said last week during a teleconference with league media members. "Our league right now is the hardest league in the country, plain and simple," said the Carolina coach, "because guys like (Arkansas' Daniel) Gafford are coming back, Chris Silva is coming back, (Kentucky) P.J. Washington coming back, (Jontay) Porter at Missouri." The SEC sent a league-record eight teams to the NCAA tournament last season.
  4. South Carolina basketball has reason for optimism after roster makeover June 27, 2018 As South Carolina’s 2018-19 men’s basketball roster stood on April 23, Gamecock fans were crossing their fingers about what was to come next. Rakym Felder was let go from the program that morning, leaving USC without an experienced point guard. Meanwhile, Chris Silva and Brian Bowen, the presumed vital pieces for success, were exploring NBA opportunities. The team’s confirmed leading returning scorer at the time was Maik Kotsar – at 8 points per game. Just over two months later, the narrative has changed. Feel free to think optimistically about the Gamecocks after not only A.J. Lawson’s commitment, but what Frank Martin and his staff have accomplished in the aftermath of Felder’s dismissal. A brief timeline: May 8 – Tre Campbell, a point guard from Georgetown, commits to USC as a graduate transfer May 21 – Silva opts to return to USC for his senior season May 30 – Bowen, after learning he wouldn’t be eligible to play in college next season, turns pro June 1 – Trae Hannibal, a point guard from Hartsville, becomes first member of USC’s 2019 recruiting class June 2 – Jair Bolden, a combination guard from George Washington, commits to USC as a traditional transfer June 2 – Keyshawn Bryant, a 6-foot-7 wing from Florida, commits to USC in ’18 class June 26 – Lawson commits, finalizes USC’s ’18 class What these moves did for USC ▪ The Gamecocks got the experienced point guard they coveted. Campbell wasn’t producing at an eye-popping rate as a Hoya – see 3.7 points and 1.3 assists per game – but the next game he appears in will be his 85th on the college level. That beats the likely alternative option of T.J. Moss getting heavy PG minutes as a freshman. ▪ Silva’s return means Carolina has a chance at having the SEC Player of the Year for the second time in three seasons. The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 14.3 points and 8 rebounds a game last season, despite still adjusting to being his team’s No. 1 option. He’ll enter his senior campaign as that centerpiece from the get-go. If he applies properly the feedback he received from NBA personnel, the Gamecocks will feature one of the league’s most dominant players on a night-in, night-out basis. ▪ The wing position is solidified with the additions of Bryant and Lawson. Whether that combination makes up for the departure of Bowen is up for debate, but at least the spot was addressed. Lawson was a top 40 player in the 2019 class – Bowen was a top 20 player in the 2017 class – before he reclassified to ’18. He’s a polished player who has excelled on the international level. Bryant, an explosive athlete, is a tad raw, but is a nice option off the bench. Lawson and rising sophomore Justin Minaya can be interchangeable at both the small forward and shooting guard positions. ▪ The 2019-20 roster starts to take shape with Hannibal and Bolden. Bolden, who averaged over 11 points per game as a sophomore at GW, will likely have more of an immediate impact, but Hannibal’s pledge could have more long-term benefits as he’s the first of the state’s top players in a loaded ’19 class to commit to a college. (He’s AAU teammates with Josiah James.) What didn’t happen for USC ▪ A few hours after Hannibal’s announcement, D.J. Burns committed to Tennessee. Burns, of Rock Hill, was heavily targeted by the Gamecocks, but, like a number of past S.C. prep stars, chose to leave the state. The 6-9, 280-pound forward would have given Martin a natural replacement for Silva. Freshman Alanzo Frink, 6-6, 260, is now in that mold. ▪ Devonte Bandoo, one of the top junior college guards in the country, committed to Baylor after visiting South Carolina. ▪ Bowen never played in a game for South Carolina. When the five-month possibility became a reality, it wasn’t shocking. Bowen was deeply connected to the FBI case and the NCAA didn’t seem all that urgent in ruling on his eligibility. The departure stings, though, because of what could have been. The last McDonald’s All-American to play for the Gamecockshelped them reach the Final Four. Top starting lineup options 1. PG Campbell, SG Minaya, SF Lawson, PF Silva, C Kotsar 2. PG Campbell, SG Jermaine Couisnard, SF Minaya, PF Silva, C Kotsar 3. PG Campbell, SG Hassani Gravett, SF Minaya, PF Silva, C Kotsar Scholarship breakdown Rising seniors (3): Silva, Gravett, Campbell Juniors (2): Kotsar, Bolden* Sophomores (3): Minaya, Felipe Haase, Jason Cudd Freshmen (5): Lawson, Moss, Couisnard, Frink, Bryant *Sitting out this upcoming season due to NCAA transfer rules Note: Rising junior guard Evan Hinson's scholarship counts toward football. THE STATE
  5. Exploring Brian Bowen's options as NCAA, NBA deadline looms May 29, 2018 The deadline for early entry college players to decide to stay in the NBA draft or return to school is Wednesday. That’s all day Wednesday, as in until 11:59 p.m. Every second could matter when it comes to Brian Bowen and South Carolina. The NCAA has still yet to rule on the freshman’s eligibility. As of Tuesday afternoon, his clearest option of playing basketball during the 2018-19 season is at the professional level. Jason Setchen, Bowen’s lawyer since the fall when Bowen became centrally connected to an FBI investigation into college hoops, tweeted the following Saturday evening: “The fact that the NCAA is still sitting on the Bowen file is mind boggling. The NBA withdrawal deadline is May 30! There has been no new information on this case for 6 months. What are they waiting for? It is beyond egregious to do this to a 19 year old.” The NCAA has not responded to a request by The State for information on the Bowen case. Meanwhile, the 6-foot-7 wing has worked out for a number of NBA teams, including the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons early last week. Most popular NBA mock draft sites are not projecting Bowen to be taken during the two-round event on June 21, however. Because he hasn’t played competitively in over a year, Bowen is thought to best improve his stock by returning to USC and putting game action on film. But the former Louisville signee does not have that choice at the moment. So what are his choices? ▪ If he doesn’t get drafted, Bowen could be signed by an NBA team to a two-way contract, meaning he’d spend the bulk of next season in the G League and not more than 45 days with that NBA team. Former Gamecock P.J. Dozier did this with the Oklahoma City Thunder in October. ▪ NBA teams, however, are only allowed to sign up to two players to two-way contracts. If Bowen doesn’t land a two-way deal, he can sign a standard one-year contract with the G League – and not an individual team – essentially becoming a free agent. ▪ Bowen was asked during the NBA combine if he’d consider playing overseas and he responded with: “To me, it’s really just school or the next level, NBA.” ▪ There’s no stopping Bowen from removing his name from the draft, even if the NCAA hasn’t ruled on his eligibility before Thursday. But would he want to risk more waiting? Sure, the season doesn’t begin until November, but what if the NCAA, which has given no sign of urgency in this situation, waits until minutes before the opening game to tell him he can’t play? Now he’s lost two seasons of basketball. It’s likely Bowen’s future is known this week. Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/sports/college/university-of-south-carolina/usc-mens-basketball/article212100944.html#storylink=cpy Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/sports/college/university-of-south-carolina/usc-mens-basketball/article212100944.html#storylink=cpy THE STATE
  6. VIDEO: Frank Marin News Conference May 9, 2018 Gamecocks Basketball Coach Frank Martin addresses off-season roster movement South Carolina Men’s Basketball Coach Frank Martin addressed the media on Wednesday to address where his roster sits going into the final week of the basketball signing period. As his roster currently sits, the Gamecocks have 11 of their 13 scholarship spots filled after the adding three incoming freshmen and one player in the graduate transfer market. South Carolina suffered major defections including the graduation of Wesley Myers and Frank Booker and the departures of Kory Holden, Ibrahim Famouke Doumbia, Khadim Gueye, David Beatty and Rakym Felder. The case of Felder proved to be most compelling, as he provided a natural fit at a position of need for the Gamecocks, but Martin said there were things Felder did not do off the court to satisfy keeping him on the team South Carolina has two players currently testing the NBA Draft process, with Chris Silva attending workouts with the Brooklyn Nets, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Oklahoma City Thunder, while Brian Bowen will attend the NBA Draft Combine on May 16th. Both players have until May 30th to decide to stay in the draft or return to school, but Bowen is not likely to know the status of his NCAA eligibility by then. Martin believes that Bowen wants to play for the Gamecocks if the NCAA will allow him to do so South Carolina’s three confirmed freshmen (Jermaine Cousinard, TJ Moss & Alanzo Frink) have all signed their letters of intent to play with the Gamecocks. USC also received a commitment earlier this week from graduate-transfer point guard Tre Campbell from Georgetown, but Martin cannot speak about him until he signs his transfer papers The Gamecocks have until May 16th to add freshmen players via the regular signing period, but can add transfers through the summer.
  7. FeatheredCock

    Rakym Felder finds new home

    Rakym Felder finds new home May 08, 2018 Former South Carolina basketball player Rakym Felder has signed to play his redshirt sophomore season at New Mexico Junior College. Felder, who played point guard for South Carolina’s Final Four team as a freshman in 2016-17, retweeted the news, which was first reported by JucoRecruiting.com. Coach Frank Martin announced in late April that Felder would not be back with the Gamecocks next season after sitting out the 2017-18 campaign.
  8. Brian Bowen 'absolutely loves it' at South Carolina. Will the NCAA let him stay? May 07, 2018 Brian Bowen plans to participate in next week’s NBA draft combine. Jason Setchen, Bowen’s lawyer, confirmed as much Monday. The combine, held May 16-20 in Chicago, is designed for prospects to display their talents in front of all 30 teams, allowing both parties to get a feel for how next month’s draft might play out. Duke’s Marvin Bagley will be there, as well as Alabama’s Collin Sexton and Missouri’s Michael Porter. That trio is likely lottery-bound. They’ll be competing, like a majority of the 66 other participants, with professional dreams in mind. Agents have been hired – or will be – and the college days are over. Bowen, however, doesn’t quite fall in that group. The January South Carolina enrollee still very much wants to play for the Gamecocks. “He absolutely loves it there,” Setchen told The State. “He doesn’t want to leave. He’s in a great place, he’s comfortable. He went through all that hardship at Louisville, and he landed at South Carolina. He loves the people there, he’s been embraced by the program. “There’s nothing he would want more than to successfully play basketball there and give back to Frank and the community for taking a chance on him.” Bowen’s time with Frank Martin and USC could be over in three weeks. May 30 is the deadline for early entry college players to decide whether to stay in the draft or return to school. Bowen is a freshman without a single college game on film. As has been well-documented, the former Louisville recruit is at the center of the FBI’s probe into college basketball. The NCAA must reinstate Bowen in order for the 6-foot-7 McDonald’s All-American to touch the floor. Bowen, Setchen, Martin and USC have been waiting on the NCAA’s ruling for months. “Every student-athlete, including Brian, has the right to due process, if nothing else,” Setchen said. “And we feel as though we have not been afforded that – and it’s a point of frustration. The hope is that the NCAA will make their best efforts to give us some direction prior to the withdraw deadline, which is 10 days after the combine has concluded. “In fairness to Brian, he should be able to make an informed decision as a 19-year-old young man who needs to make a career decision.” The NCAA ruled on March 20 that Auburn forward Daniel Purifoy, once classified as ineligible because of the FBI investigation, can play in 2018-19 after he serves a 10-game suspension. Bowen, who signed with Louisville in summer 2017, spent the fall semester enrolled at the school but didn’t play. Though not mentioned directly, Bowen was identified later as the “unnamed player” that Adidas funneled $100,000 to at the request of a Louisville coach. The FBI alleges that Brian Bowen Sr., Brian Bowen’s father, received a payment worth $19,500. Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino was fired as part of the ordeal. Bowen, speaking to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman in December, denied knowledge of the alleged payments. “There’s no way I’m involved in it,” Bowen said. South Carolina hasn’t made Bowen available to the media since his arrival, but Martin and others around the program have applauded his presence. Bowen practiced with the Gamecocks the second half of last season. “I can tell you,” Martin said during a recent “Spurs Up” tour stop in Lancaster, “after being around him for three months, he’s an unbelievable kid.” THE STATE
  9. NBA combine invites are out. One Gamecock is in and one is not, per report May 04, 2018 Chris Silva did not receive an invitation to the NBA combine, according to a report Friday from Yahoo Sports. The South Carolina junior forward declared for the NBA draft on April 17 without hiring an agent. He can return to the Gamecocks for his senior season. The combine, which runs May 16-20 in Chicago, will feature one USC connection in Brian Bowen. Like Silva, Bowen has not hired an agent. However, the former Louisville signee is wrapped in the FBI’s probe into college basketball and still must be reinstated to play in games. The freshman’s declaration is seen as a precautionary move in case the NCAA doesn’t make its ruling by the end of the month. May 30 is the deadline for college players to decide to go pro or head back to school. Silva, named SEC co-defensive player of the year in 2017-18, can still work out for NBA teams. He’s not projected to be taken in most popular mock drafts. “With the opportunity to declare,” USC coach Frank Martin said last month, “he will be able to gather more information and get a feel for what the NBA’s opinions of him are. We are excited for Chris and that the rules allow him the opportunity to test the waters.” There are several examples of college players declaring for the draft one year, but coming back to school and improving their stock the next. The list includes 2017 first-round picks Justin Jackson of North Carolina, Caleb Swanigan of Purdue and Josh Hart of Villanova. Silva, who led USC in points, rebounds and blocks last season, could be a preseason SEC player of the year candidate. He could still receive a combine invite if others opt to back out. “I think everybody loves his energy and his intensity level,” said ESPN draft analyst Jonathan Givony. “Any time you’re a guy that plays as hard as he does, that’s impressive. “But I don’t know if he’s really shown what separates him at this stage. You’re watching the NBA playoffs and there really isn’t much of market these days for big guys who aren’t really good passers or outside shooters. You have to have something that really separates you in today’s NBA, and I’m not really sure he’s shown what it is yet, besides just his sheer energy and toughness and intensity.” Clemson NBA hopefuls Marcquise Reed and Shelton Mitchell also were not invited. Five players from Kentucky are on the list, according to Yahoo.
  10. Rakym Felder says goodbye to USC, sends message to Gamecock Nation May 03, 2018 Rakym Felder's South Carolina basketball career officially ended last week when Frank Martin announced the twice-suspended guard would not be joining the team next season. Felder's career as a USC student apparently ended Thursday. "Sophomore Year Is Done Thank You To The University South Carolina For Introducing Me To Some Amazing People Around Campus!!," Felder tweeted at 11:23 a.m. "Coaches, Teammates, Professors, Advisors, Etc. #GamecockNation Time To See What Life Present Moving Forward " Felder is from Brooklyn, New York, but spent a year at Indian Land High School in Fort Mill, S.C. He's a longtime Gamecocks fan. Attempts by The State to contact him have not been returned, but Felder will likely seek another college basketball program. As a freshman in 2016-17, Felder averaged averaging 5.6 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. The backup to P.J. Dozier at point posted nine double-figure scoring games, including a 15-point performance in Carolina’s upset of No. 2 seed Duke in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner, appearing on 107.5 The Game last week, was asked what he would tell potential suitors about Felder. “It would be candid,” Tanner told Jay Philips and Tommy Moody. “Whether it’s coming from Coach Martin or whether it’s coming from me, you talk about all the positive things about a young man like Rakym Felder, but you also have to be honest and transparent about some of the situations that didn’t go well and maybe why they didn’t go well. “So it’s an honesty situation. And then the next school would have to make a decision whether or not they want to engage.”
  11. Jersey big man to visit Gamecocks this weekend MARCH 23, 2018 BY PHIL KORNBLUT LINK: SPORTSTALK Alanzo Frink A year ago USC coach Frank Martin was guiding his team to a Final Four berth. This March he’s on the outside looking in at the tournament but also working to add more talent to his team so that the Gamecocks might make it back to the postseason in 2019. With that in mind, Martin has offered 6-9, 245 pound forward Alanzo Frink of Roselle, NJ and he will make an official visit this weekend. Frink said his high school coach contacted the Gamecocks a couple of weeks ago and alerted them about his development into a major prospect. He said Martin watched his film then watched him in a practice and offered. “I think it’s a big time opportunity because I was under recruited,” Frink said. “I didn’t have any big time schools. When he came down and offered me it was a really big deal because the SEC is big time basketball, and where I play is a real big time basketball place. I was really excited because if I know I can fit in there, I can be a good fit and I can play.” The visit will be Frink’s first close up look at USC, Columbia and the program. He will be coming in with his coach and mother and will be out to educate himself on the Gamecocks. “I want to see how I can fit in, walk thru the campus, campus life and stuff like that,” Frink said. “Basically, I want to see how I fit in with the team, meet the guys. I already know two people on the team (Justin Minaya and Chris Silva) and they said they really like it.” This season Frink averaged 13 points and 8 rebounds a game and said his ability to play inside and out is what stands out the most about him. “I’m a versatile player, can play from the three to the five. I can pass, I can play defense on the wing, I can play inside and out. I have like a big guard mentality you could say. I can pass, I can dribble, I can shoot. I can play in the post. I can play defense on the wing, I can play defense in the post. I’m very strong. I’m more of an inside guy but if I see I have a mismatch, I can play on the wing, like if he’s a bigger guy but slower, I can play on the wing and take advantage of that.” Frink has taken an official visit to James Madison and said he also wants to take officials to Georgetown and St. Bonaventure before making his decision.
  12. South Carolina and Ryan Odom: How close was UMBC's coach to becoming a Gamecock? March 21, 2018 On April 10, 2001, when Dave Odom was introduced as the 30th head coach in South Carolina basketball history, a potential Gamecocks assistant hugged him on the way to the podium. Ryan Odom was 26 years old and already down his father’s career path, working on Jeff Jones’ staff at American University. He stopped in Columbia to see Dad take his new job. But how close was he to staying longer? The younger Odom threw himself into the national spotlight last Friday when he guided a 16-seed to a first-ever win against a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. UMBC not only upset Virginia, it whipped the Cavaliers by 20 points in Charlotte. Dave Odom and his wife, Lynn, watched proudly from inside the Spectrum Center. “It was the best of the best,” Dave Odom said by phone Monday. “There was one of the great hugs of all time.” Ryan Odom’s story has been well-documented. He’s a basketball lifer who credits his father, in charge of Wake Forest from 1989-2001 and USC from 2001-08, for sparking interest. UMBC is the eighth stop of his career, second as head coach. He’s been an assistant at South Florida, Furman, UNC Asheville, American, Virginia Tech and Charlotte. He’s just never called Dad his boss. “He and I talked about it many times,” Dave Odom told The State. “I just felt like he would be better served to let me help him from a distance. He gets enough from me. I thought it would be better for him to go elsewhere to get other experiences, other procedures, other ways of coaching, other ways of handling situations, different methods. I thought that was, in the long run, the right thing to do.” Dave Odom’s first staff at South Carolina included Rick Duckett, Ernie Nestor and Barry Sanderson. Ryan Odom was only discussed. “He wanted to come, and I wanted him to come, but we just resisted it,” Dave Odom said. “Didn’t do it.” He instead worked under the likes of Jones and Seth Greenberg. Jones is now the head coach at Old Dominion. Greenberg has been an ESPN analyst since leaving Virginia Tech in 2012. “He came (to Columbia) when he could,” Dave Odom said. “He would come to three, four games a year in Colonial (Life Arena). And, obviously, on vacations and things like that, he’d come down. “It would be a stretch to say Columbia was ever his home. It wasn’t. He visited there, but he didn’t live there. But he was a Gamecock fan, I can tell you that.” Over the weekend, he turned the majority of the country into Retriever fans. UMBC went 7-25 the year before Ryan Odom took over. He’s now 46-24 as their coach. Dave Odom said the hotel party lasted past 4 a.m. Saturday in Charlotte. “You have to understand UMBC is a university, an institution and a basketball program that had never been through anything like that,” Odom said. “The hotel was full of UMBC fans, administration, cheerleaders, dancers, band members … There was a lot of adult beverages going around.” Dave Odom’s 2004 USC team was the last he’d lead to the NCAA Tournament. Those Gamecocks fell to Memphis in the first round. Fourteen years later, another Odom advanced farther. “To sit there and watch him coach his team, his players respond, the fans were all in unity behind him, and to see them play without fear and with great confidence against, arguably, the best team in the country at that time, it was great,” Dave Odom said. “To come out not only a winner, but a convincing winner and to see him conduct himself with great humility and be a gracious winner, I think just says so much about who he is and what he’s become.” UMBC’s run began March 10 when it knocked off top-seeded Vermont to capture the American East tournament. It ended eight days later with a seven-point loss to Kansas State, stopping the Retrievers just short of the Sweet 16. “I wanted him to go one more round,” Dave Odom said. “The Kansas State game was very winnable. They just didn’t do what they’ve been doing all year long, and that was make jumpers, make open shots. Had they done that, that game would have been easily won. … But none of that — if we back away from it — will darken the feelings that we have as parents for Ryan, the pride we have for him. We’re just so pleased by the way he’s conducted himself and the way he’s coached and taught his players.” THE STATE
  13. Gamecocks use early start to defeat NC A&T; advance to Round-Of-32 (AUDIO) MARCH 16, 2018 BY WILL PALASZCZUK LINK: SPORTSTALK The South Carolina Gamecocks women’s basketball team took care of business on Friday night, winning their opening matchup of the NCAA Tournament, 63-52, over the North Carolina A&T Aggies. A’ja Wilson (Travis Bell/File Photo) USC had to shake off some rust, playing for the first time in 12 days following their SEC Tournament Championship victory on March 4th. After starting with a 15-3 burst to begin the game, the Gamecocks had a pair of stretches in the first 20 minutes where they did not hit a field goal for more than three minutes. USC hit on its last two possessions of the first half, however, building an 18-point lead by halftime. North Carolina A&T wouldn’t go quietly, cutting the deficit to single-digits with less than five minutes to play in the game. South Carolina never allowed the Aggies to get within less than seven, as A’ja Wilson’s basket plus a foul put USC up 11 points with 42.3 to play. A’ja Wilson produced despite a rocky day from the field, scoring 19 points and grabbing 16 rebounds on 6-of-15 shooting. Bianca Jackson added 16 points with 3-of-5 from beyond three. Head Coach Dawn Staley recognized the inconsistent play, saying the Gamecocks would have to play better to advance out of the Columbia pot: Dawn Staley USC Players Postgame Press Conference (A’ja Wilson & Bianca Jackson)
  14. Frank Martin to be guest studio analyst for NCAA Tournament March 14, 2018 South Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin will join CBS Sports and Turner Sports as a guest studio analyst during the NCAA Tournament. Below is the official release from South Carolina: CBS Sports and Turner Sports have added head coaches Brad Underwood (Illinois) and Frank Martin (South Carolina) as guest studio analysts for the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship airing across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV. Underwood will join the Atlanta studio team – host Casey Stern and analysts Brendan Haywood, Candace Parker and Seth Davis – on Thursday and Friday, March 15 and 16, with Martin in Atlanta on Saturday and Sunday, March 17 and 18. Underwood just completed his first season at Illinois and has gone 123-45 (.732) in five seasons as a Division I head coach, securing four NCAA Tournament berths with Stephen F. Austin (2014-16 seasons) and Oklahoma St. (2017). Martin has served as head men’s basketball coach at the University of South Carolina since the 2012-13 season, where he was named the 2017 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year after guiding the Gamecocks to a school-record 26 wins and the first Final Four berth in school history. For the eighth consecutive year, Turner Sports and CBS Sports will provide live coverage of all 67 games from the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship across four national television networks – TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV – and NCAA March Madness Live. This year’s tournament continues with the NCAA First Four™ on truTV presented by Northwestern Mutual, tonight, Wednesday, March 14, at 6 p.m. This year’s NCAA Final Four National Semifinals on Saturday, March 31, along with the National Championship on Monday, April 2, will be televised by TBS, with corresponding TeamCast presentations on TNT and TruTV.
  15. Five things we learned from South Carolina’s basketball season March 12, 2018 South Carolina’s season still had hope late Thursday evening. The visiting locker room in the Scottrade Center presented a typical scene following a postseason loss. Faces were long, stares were blank. The Gamecocks had just fallen to Arkansas in the second round of the SEC tournament. USC would soon be leaving St. Louis, sure, but finality hadn’t sunk in. “I’m a basketball player, and I love playing basketball,” said senior guard Frank Booker, “especially with these guys. If we get to go anywhere, I’d rather keep playing.” Carolina learned Sunday evening future games weren’t in the plans. The Gamecocks didn’t make the 32-team NIT, ending their year with a 17-16 record. Booker, one of two departing players, tweeted shortly after the announcement his gratitude for coach Frank Martin, athletics director Ray Tanner and USC as a whole. “I couldn’t have asked for better teammates, coaching staff and environment to play in.” A look back on Carolina’s 2017-18 campaign with five takeaways: USC met expectations When South Carolina was picked in the preseason to finish 11th in the SEC, it raised some eyebrows at media day in Nashville. Mississippi State coach Ben Howland called the ranking “a joke,” while Martin somewhat took it in stride, noting “I might be happy if we’re 11thbecause the league is so good.” Five months later, the Gamecocks were a No. 11 seed in the SEC tournament. The league then sent a record eight teams to the NCAA tournament. In perhaps the SEC’s deepest year ever, the Gamecocks earned seven wins, including one against the league regular season champion (Auburn), league tournament champion (Kentucky) and the tournament’s No. 3 seed (Florida). The Gamecocks had to manage without SEC player of the year Sindarius Thornwell. They lost more than 70 percent of their scoring, nearly 60 percent of their rebounding and more than 80 percent of their assists from last year’s team. Booker and Wes Myers exceeded expectations Should USC be in the market this spring for another graduate transfer, Martin has Booker and Wes Myers to use as recruiting tools. The unheralded duo, one added last June from Florida Atlantic and the other added in August from Maine, became vital pieces to the 2017-18 team. Booker, who never had finished a season averaging more than 5.7 points a game, was second on USC in scoring at 12.7 ppg. His 85 made 3-pointers are the third-most in a season in school history. Only Booker and Chris Silva scored more in SEC games than Myers (9.9 ppg). He guided the Gamecocks to the upset at then-ranked Florida in January with 22 points. Silva’s season leaves room for improvement With Thornwell, P.J. Dozier and Duane Notice gone, Silva stepped into a leading role for South Carolina this season. This was foreign territory for the junior forward who has spent most of his brief basketball life as a supporter. His finished with a first-team All-SEC nod and co-defensive player of the year honor. He had 10 double-doubles, including three straight to end the year. Martin’s continued prodding of Silva produced a banner year, but the hard coaching won’t stop anytime soon. Silva is set up for a big senior season. Improved guard play should make the double teams come less frequently (see Silva’s 87 turnovers). Better perimeter defending should stop Silva from running into so much foul trouble (see 3.5 fouls per game and five disqualifications). Point guard inconsistency Dozier’s departure combined with Rakym Felder’s legal troubles was always going to make it a challenging season at the USC point guard position. Hassani Gravett, more of a natural “two,” had to handle the majority of PG duties. His good moments – see 19 points at Mississippi State – often were blended with bad – see eight turnovers in that same game. Myers had similar up-and-down stretches. Delaware transfer Kory Holden, who could have helped the position, left the team in February after a series of injuries. South Carolina is 158th nationally in Ken Pomeroy’s offensive efficiency rankings, its lowest placement since 2012-13, Martin’s first season at USC. It shot 39.8 percent, the worst of the Martin era. No consistent closer The Gamecocks missed nine of their final 10 field goal attempts in the five-point loss to Arkansas, a semi-fitting way to end the season. USC missed Thornwell the most at crunch time in 2017-18. After Dec. 30, USC lost seven games by seven points or fewer, four coming against NCAA tournament teams. Perhaps the return of Felder, the possible addition of Brian Bowen or an improvement to Justin Minaya’s game changes this narrative for the Gamecocks next season. THE STATE
  16. South Carolina and the NIT: Final details and how to watch selection show March 11, 2018 The South Carolina men’s basketball team will know its postseason fate Sunday night. The NIT selection show begins at 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU. It can also be streamed via the WatchESPN app. As of Sunday morning, the Gamecocks (17-16) are a No. 5 seed in the NIT bracket projection found on NYCBuckets.com. The site has USC traveling to Boise State for its first round game. The No. 1 seed in that eight-team region is Arizona State. John Templon, who’s been an “NIT bracketologist” on NYCBuckets.com for a decade, told The State on Friday that he feels Carolina is “safely in” in the 32-team field. South Carolina coach Frank Martin told reporters in St. Louis on Thursday -- following USC’s loss to Arkansas in the second round of the SEC tournament -- that the Gamecocks would only accept an NIT bid, eliminating other postseason options such as the CBI or CIT. Carolina is seeking its second NIT bid in three years. The 24-win Gamecocks narrowly missed the NCAA tournament in 2016, essentially making them a lock for the NIT. It won’t be as automatic this year, but the résumé -- which includes four “Quadrant 1” wins -- seems solid enough. “I feel like there’s enough there where they’ll be considered really strongly,” Templon said. “I feel pretty comfortable about having them in the field. There aren’t a ton of teams that have better résumés than South Carolina that are below them. So I feel pretty good about them.” The NIT hands out automatic bibs to those teams that win their conference regular season title, but don’t win their conference tournament. As of Sunday morning, eleven teams -- Middle Tennessee (Conference USA), UNC Asheville (Big South), Vermont (American East), UC Davis (Big West), Florida Gulf Coast (Atlantic Sun), SE Louisiana (Southland), Louisiana (Sun Belt), Wagner (Northeast Conference), Northern Kentucky (Horizon), Hampton (MEAC) and Rider (MAAC) -- fit that profile. Middle Tennessee (24-7) is an NCAA tournament bubble team that could open an NIT spot should the Big Dance coming calling. The NIT automatic bid list could grow to 12 Sunday should Harvard fall to Penn in the Ivy League championship.
  17. Martin and players spoke with the media Monday March 05, 2018 MBB: Myers and Sliva Preview SEC Tournament MBB: Frank Martin Previews SEC Tournament
  18. MBB: 2018 SEC Tournament Bracket Revealed COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina (16-15, 7-11 SEC) will be the No. 11 seed in next week’s 2018 SEC Tournament in St. Louis, Mo., and will face 14th-seeded Ole Miss (12-19, 5-13 SEC) on Wednesday night at approximately 9:30 p.m. ET, at the Scottrade Center. The matchup will be broadcast on the SEC Network with Tom Hart (play-by-play), Jon Sundvold (analyst) and Molly McGrath (sidelines) on the call. South Carolina and Ole Miss met in this season’s SEC opener in Oxford, with the Rebels posting a 74-69 victory at The Pavilion. Junior forward Chris Silva scored 21 and matched his career high with 13 rebounds, while graduate student guard Frank Booker added 21 points, including six 3-pointers. South Carolina owns an all-time record of 20-26 in the SEC Tournament and a 4-5 mark under the direction of head coach Frank Martin. The Gamecocks are 4-4 all-time in the Tournament versus Ole Miss, with Carolina posting a 60-58 win over the Rebels in the last meeting in the postseason event in 2015. The Gamecocks look for their first Tournament win since that victory over Ole Miss.
  19. Senior Duo leads South Carolina Past LSU 83-74 In OT With Videos, Gallery, Stats & More Booker (25) and Myers (23) combine for 48 points in Senior Night win GCF Staff Report March 01, 2018 Men's Basketball vs. LSU, Highlights, Frank Martin, Frank Booker, Wesley Myers, Hassani Gravett — 2/28/18 South Carolina vs. LSU Photo Gallery / Photo Gallery / @GamecockMBB / Final Box/ Final Stats COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Frank Booker scored 25 points and Wesley Myers added 23 to lead South Carolina to an 83-74 overtime win over LSU on Wednesday night. Hassani Gravett scored all six of his points in the extra period, including a 3-pointer to open the period as the Gamecocks (16-14, 7-10 Southeastern Conference) scored the first nine points of overtime. The Tigers (16-13, 7-10) had two shots blocked, two turnovers and missed two free throws, a 3-pointer and a layup in their opening seven possessions of overtime. (MORE)
  20. Senior Duo leads South Carolina Past LSU 83-74 In OT With Videos, Gallery, Stats & More Booker (25) and Myers (23) combine for 48 points in Senior Night win GCF Staff Report March 01, 2018 South Carolina vs. LSU Photo Gallery / Photo Gallery / ​@GamecockMBB / Final Box / Final Stats GAMECOCK STAT LEADERSPoints: Frank Booker (25)Rebounds: Wesley Myers (7)Assists: Hassani Gravett, Wesley Myers (4)Steals: Wesley Myers (3)Blocks: Chris Silva, Hassani Gravett (2)Minutes: Hassani Gravett (38) HIGHLIGHTS: Men's Basketball vs. LSU — 2/28/18 POSTGAME: Frank Martin on LSU — 2/28/18 POSTGAME: Frank Booker, Wesley Myers, Hassani Gravett on LSU — 2/28/18 COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Frank Booker scored 25 points and Wesley Myers added 23 to lead South Carolina to an 83-74 overtime win over LSU on Wednesday night. Hassani Gravett scored all six of his points in the extra period, including a 3-pointer to open the period as the Gamecocks (16-14, 7-10 Southeastern Conference) scored the first nine points of overtime. The Tigers (16-13, 7-10) had two shots blocked, two turnovers and missed two free throws, a 3-pointer and a layup in their opening seven possessions of overtime. South Carolina led 62-47 with 8:08 to go. But LSU finished regulation on a 25-10 run and Tremont Waters' 3-pointer with 3.7 seconds left over 6-foot-10 Maik Kotsar sent the game to overtime tied at 72. The Gamecocks had their own 15-1 run in the middle of the second half. Waters had 19 points and Brandon Rachal added seven points and 13 rebounds for LSU. Chris Silva scored eight points before fouling out with 19.3 seconds left in regulation. While 10 teams are either projected in the NCAA Tournament or on the bubble in the SEC, these two teams likely need to win the SEC Tournament for an NCAA bid. Right now they are trying to avoid the opening day of the conference tournament and needing to win five games in five days for a title. A win Saturday will likely be enough for either team. BIG PICTURE LSU: The Tigers are going to have a winning season with first-year coach Will Wade after being picked to finish last in the SEC before the season started and going 10-21 in 2016-17. But it could have been even better. This isn't the first one LSU has let get away. LSU has now been down double-digits three times in the second half, come back, but not won. South Carolina: Booker and Myers were graduate students brought in to help with a massive drain of talent from South Carolina's Final Four team last year. They were honored on Senior Day and combined for their best game of the season. The win also lets the Gamecocks creep closer to the winning season needed for a possible NIT bid. KEY STAT The Gamecocks shot 61 percent (17-for-28) in the second half and overtime Wednesday night, knocking down eight 3s the final 25 minutes of the game. NOTABLE Head coach Frank Martin's record moves to 13-7 in overtime in his career as a head coach. The Gamecocks played back-to-back overtime games tonight for the first time since the 2005-06 season (vs. Georgia 1/14/06 & at Vanderbilt (1/18/06). After allowing 13 offensive rebounds the first 20 minutes, Carolina allowed just one offensive board combined in the second half and overtime. Graduate transfer guards Frank Booker (25) and Wesley Myers (23) combined for 48 of the team's 83 points (57.8 percent) in their Senior Night farewell at Colonial Life Arena. Booker matched career-highs in points (25) and made 3s (6). He was 8-for-10 from the floor, and 6-for-7 from behind the arc. Myers recorded season-highs in points (23) and rebounds (7). His 11 makes on 14 attempts at the charity stripe are a new career high. Booker, Myers and redshirt junior guard Hassani Gravett each played 38 minutes. UP NEXT South Carolina ends the regular season on the road this Saturday, traveling to face No. 14/15 Auburn in a 3:30 p.m. ET matchup on the SEC Network with Kevin Fitzgerald (play-by-play) and Sean Harrington (analyst) on the call. From USC Sports Information
  21. Gamecocks host LSU on senior night Wednesday Tip time set for 6:30 p.m. ET vs. the Tigers GCF Staff Report Feb. 27, 2018 South Carolina vs. LSU Game Notes / ​Watch / ​Live Stats / ​Clear Bag Policy / ​Promotions / ​Twitter / ​Instagram / ​Facebook / ​Ticket Information GAME INFODate: Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018Tipoff: 6:30 p.m.Location: Columbia, S.C.Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000)Broadcast: SEC NetworkPlay-By-Play: Roy PhilpottAnalyst: Brooke WeisbrodSeries: Carolina leads 17-15Tickets: GamecocksOnline.com/1-800-4SC-FANS COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina hosts LSU on Wednesday in its final regular season home contest of the 2017-18 campaign. Carolina will celebrate two senior managers two student-athletes and a student assistant coach for Senior Night, with festivities beginning at 6:10 p.m. on the court. STARTING FIVE South Carolina begins the final week of regular season play with a Wednesday home contest vs. LSU, marking the first meeting between the two schools this season. Carolina currently sits in 12th place in the league standings with a 6-10 record in conference contests. Junior guard Hassani Gravett erupted for a career high 19 points, hitting a personal best eight shots, but the Gamecocks were out-scored 10-6 in overtime and suffered a 72-68 loss at Mississippi State. Gravett also dished three assists, marking his 17th game with three or more assists this season. Junior forward Chris Silva posted his seventh double-double of the season with 11 points and a game high 12 rebounds at Mississippi State. The 12 boards were just one shy of matching his career high, which he set with 13 in last season’s Final Four contest vs. Gonzaga. After struggling from the field mid-way through the season, the Gamecocks have hit 40 percent or better in four of the last six contests, including connecting on 44.1 percent from the field (26-59) at Mississippi State. After being out-rebounded in each of their four previous contests, South Carolina held a +10 advantage on the boards at MSU, pulling down 40, compared to just 30 by the Bulldogs. Silva, sophomore forward Maik Kotsar (7) and rookie forwards Justin Minaya (6) and Felipe Haase (6) combined for 31 of Carolina’s 40 on the glass. SENIOR NIGHT South Carolina will honor five on Senior Night on Wednesday in senior managers Steven LaPlante and Jason Schick, senior student-athletes Frank Booker and Wesley Myers, and student assistant coach TeMarcus Blanton. Senior Night festivities will begin at 6:10 p.m. SCOUTING THE GAMECOCKS South Carolina is 15-14 overall this season and 6-10 in SEC contests. Carolina will play Wednesday’s final home game of the regular season vs. LSU, before traveling to No. 14/15 Auburn for the regular-season finale on Saturday. Four Gamecocks tallied double figures in the narrow OT loss at Mississippi State, including junior guard Hassani Gravett’s career high 19. In SEC games this season, junior forward Chris Silva’s 15.0 points and 7.8 rebounds per game pace Carolina. Graduate student guard Frank Booker is also in double figures at 12.0 points per game against SEC competition. Silva ranks 30th nationally and third in the SEC with 3.17 offensive rebounds per game. He led the Gamecocks in the category with five at Mississippi State. In home games this season, Carolina holds a +3.9 scoring margin over opponents and a +2.5 rebound margin. Silva’s 15.2 points per home game lead the team. Seven different Gamecocks average 6.1 points or more. SCOUTING THE TIGERS LSU is 16-12 and 7-9 in SEC contests under first-year head coach Will Wade. Rookie guard Tremont Waters paces three in double figures with 15.6 points per game. He also leads the team in SEC games with 14.4 points per outing. Waters is second in the SEC and 27th nationally with 5.8 assists per game in overall games this season. In league games, he is averaging 5.4 per contest. LSU is 3-6 in road games this season and 2-6 in SEC road games with wins at Texas A&M and Arkansas. The Tigers haven’t won a road SEC contest since the Arkansas win on Jan. 10. LSU averages 74.0 percent from the free throw line this season, which is fourth in the SEC. Waters leads the SEC and is 23rd nationally with 2.1 steals per game this season. MORE ABOUT THE SENIORS Below is a closer look at each of our Senior Night honorees: Manager, Steven LaPlante: a native of Richmond, Va., LaPlante is in his third season serving as a manager for the Gamecocks. Manager, Jason Schick: a native of Atlanta, Ga., Schick is in his second second serving as a manager for the Gamecocks. Graduate student guard, Wesley Myers: Myers is a native of Brooklyn, N.Y. He has tallied 10 double-figure scoring games this season, including a season high 22 points in leading the Gamecocks to an upset win at No. 20 Florida in late January. Myers hit a career high five 3-pointer in that win over the Gators, and he hit the mark again in Carolina’s home win over Georgia, en route to a 15-point performance. Graduate student guard, Frank Booker: Booker hails from Augusta, Ga., and was born in Iceland. Leading the Gamecocks from beyond the arc this season, Booker is ninth in the SEC with 2.2 3-pointers made per game, and is just three away from cracking the Carolina top-10 for a single season in made 3s. His six makes from beyond the arc in the SEC opener at Ole Miss marked a career high, and his 25 points scored on eight made baskets in the home contest vs. Mississippi State set his career high for points. Booker has 13 games this season with three or more made 3s and 17 double-figure scoring games. Student assistant coach TeMarcus Blanton: A native of Locust Grove, Ga., just outside of Atlanta, Blanton suffered a serious hip injury during preseason of his freshman campaign (2014-15), that required surgery and months of rehabilitation to return to the court for the 2015-16 season. Blanton would go on to see action in 29 career games, including 21 last season as Carolina marched to the Final Four. He announced in May 2017 that he wouldn’t take the court for the Gamecocks moving forward, but remained with the team, serving as a student assistant coach this season. THE SERIES Carolina leads the all-time series, 17-15. In Columbia, LSU leads 8-7. The Gamecocks have won two-straight over the Tigers, but LSU won the previous three before that. UP NEXT South Carolina ends the regular season on the road this Saturday, traveling to face No. 14/15 Auburn in a 3:30 p.m. ET matchup on the SEC Network with Kevin Fitzgerald (play-by-play) and Sean Harrington (analyst) on the call. From USC Sports Information
  22. Federal documents reveal P.J. Dozier took money from agent while at South Carolina Feb. 26, 2018 P.J. Dozier was a major piece of the South Carolina basketball team which made a thrilling run to the Final Four last season, but now his name is surfacing in the college basketball world for the wrong reasons. The former Gamecocks star is one of the players whose name appears on documents obtained by Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde and Pete Thamel. The report, which was published on Friday, takes a look at federal documents obtained on the “expenditures of prominent former NBA agent Andy Miller, his former associate Christian Dawkins and his agency, ASM Sports.” A look into the balance sheets from ASM Sports, which were dated at the end of 2015, Dozier is listed to have received at least $6,115 from the agency while in school at South Carolina. Dozier was listed among a wide variety of college basketball stars who either met with the agency or accepted loans from them in recent seasons. Former Kentucky stars Nerlens Noel and Bam Adebayo also were implicated in the documents, as well as current Alabama guard Collin Sexton. Forde and Thamel also spotted this detail on current South Carolina player Brian Bowen, who already has involvement in the investigation from attempting to start his college basketball career at Louisville. The implication of Dozier and Bowen in these documents does not necessarily indicate there was involvement or direct knowledge for South Carolina or coach Frank Martin. The university has not yet commented on the details of this report.
  23. WATCH: Frank Martin, Wesley Myers, and Frank Booker meet with the Media today Feb. 26, 2018 Wesley Myers and Frank Booker Media Availability - 2/26/18 Frank Martin Media Availability - 2/26/18 Frank Martin addresses allegations from Yahoo! Sports report South Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin on Monday passionately addressed the allegations which implicated former player PJ Dozier and current assistant Chuck Martin for their interaction with agents. Dozier, according to a balance sheet obtained by Yahoo! Sports, was to be paid $6,115 by the agency ASM Sports while he was at South Carolina. Chuck Martin, according to a separate report from Yahoo!, was referenced in an email of an ASM agent trying to “close the deal” with current Gamecocks forward Brian Bowen while Martin was an assistant for Tom Crean at Indiana. Bowen ended up at Louisville, after his father allegedly accepted a payment of $100,000 in exchange for his son playing for the Cardinals. The younger Bowen, now on the Gamecocks roster practicing but ineligible to play, is petitioning the NCAA for reinstatement to play next season. Frank Martin said he would be “surprised” if either Dozier or Chuck Martin was involved in these dealings, during an exchange with a reporter, Monday.
  24. Gamecocks Come up Short In Overtime At Mississippi State Hassani Gravett scored a career-high 19 points GCF Staff Report Feb. 24, 2018 South Carolina at Mississippi State Photo Gallery / ​@GamecockMBB / Final Box / Final Stats / Photo Gallery / Photo Gallery GAMECOCK STAT LEADERSPoints: Hassani Gravett (19)Rebounds: Chris Silva (12)Assists: Hassani Gravett (3)Steals: Justin Minaya (2)Blocks: Chris Silva (3)Minutes: Hassani Gravett (41) STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) Lamar Peters had 19 points, including five in overtime, to lead Mississippi State past South Carolina 72-68 on Saturday. Tyson Carter and Quinndary Weatherspoon had 13 points apiece for Mississippi State (21-8, 9-7 SEC). Nick Weatherspoon also had 10 points for the Bulldogs before fouling out in the second half. Quinndary Weatherspoon hit two free throws with 6.8 seconds left in overtime to clinch the win for Mississippi State. Hassani Gravett had 19 points to lead South Carolina (15-14, 6-10) and added three assists and a steal. Gravett's 3-pointer at the end of the second half sent the game into overtime. Chris Silva had 11 points and 12 boards despite battling foul trouble. Maik Kotsaw and Felipe Haase also had 11 points for South Carolina. The visiting Gamecocks jumped on Mississippi State early and held an 11-2 advantage in the game's opening six minutes. South Carolina stretched the lead to 13 points with 6:07 remaining in the first half. Mississippi State responded with an 11-2 run to close the deficit to 26-22. Gravett, however, sank back-to-back 3 pointers for the Gamecocks to push the lead back to 32-22. Mississippi State's Tyson Carter responded with a 3 pointer to end the first half and South Carolina held a 32-25 lead at the break. The Bulldogs shot just 33.3 percent in the first half while South Carolina shot 46.2 percent from the field. The Bulldogs were just 2 of 10 beyond the arc and had eight turnovers in the first half. The Gamecocks were 11-0 this year when leading at halftime. BIG PICTURE South Carolina: The Gamecocks have now lost four straight games on the road and finish their road schedule next week. Mississippi State: The Bulldogs have now won seven of their nine games to keep NCAA Tournament hopes alive. The 21 wins mark the most by the Bulldogs since winning 21 in the 2011-12 season. KEY STAT The Gamecocks had a season-high 21 turnovers (13 in the second half and overtime), leading to 22 points for the Bulldogs. NOTABLE Today was South Carolina's first overtime game of the 2017-18 season and its first since a 90-86 four overtime loss to Alabama at home last February. Redshirt junior guard Hassani Gravett tallied new career highs for points (19), made field goals (8) and minutes (41). He sent the game to overtime with his third 3-pointer of the game as time expired in the second half. Junior forward Chris Silva posted his seventh (12th career) double-double of the season after scoring 11 points and pulling down 12 rebounds, one shy of tying a single-game career high. Freshman forward Felipe Haase followed up a strong 12-point outing vs. Georgia with 11 points in 26 minutes off the bench Saturday. He also had six rebounds. UP NEXT South Carolina returns to Colonial Life Arena on Wednesday for Senior Night vs. LSU. The meeting will be the first between the two schools this season. Roy Philpott (play-by-play) and Brooke Weisbrod (analyst) will have the call for the 6:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network broadcast. From USC Sports Information
  25. Gamecocks On The Road At Mississippi State Saturday Tip time set for 3:30 p.m. ET vs. the Bulldogs GCF Staff Report Feb. 23, 2018 South Carolina at Mississippi State Game Notes / Watch / Live Stats / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Ticket Information GAME INFODate: Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018Tipoff: 3:30 p.m. ETLocation: Starkville, Miss.Arena: Humphrey Coliseum (10,575)Broadcast: SEC NetworkPlay-By-Play: Kevin FitzgeraldAnalyst: Sean HarringtonSeries: Mississippi State leads 20-14 COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina travels to face Mississippi State on Saturday in Starkville in the second meeting between the two schools this SEC season. MSU captured an 81-76 win in the first meeting in Columbia on Jan. 31. STARTING FIVE South Carolina rides a two-game win streak into Saturday's matchup at Mississippi State. Four scored in double figures in the Gamecocks' most recent win, a 66-57 decision to Georgia. Junior forward Chris Silva and graduate student guard Wesley Myers led the way for Carolina with 15 points each. Myers matched a career high with five made 3s in the contest, including three in the second half. A season high 13 3s, and a season low five turnovers were the difference in the matchup vs. UGA on Wednesday. Myers (5) and fellow graduate guard Frank Booker (4) combined for nine of Carolina's 13 3s. The five giveaways matched for an all-time low for the Gamecocks under the direction of head coach Frank Martin, matching last season's Final Four squad, who also had a season low five turnovers vs. Gonzaga on the big stage. If the regular season ended today, the Gamecocks would hold the No. 11 seed in the SEC Tournament and would be slated to face 14th-seeded Vanderbilt. Auburn paces the SEC with a 12-3 overall record, followed by Tennessee at 10-5, and there are currently six teams tied with matching 8-7 records. In the first meeting this season vs. Mississippi State, Booker erupted for a career high 25 points, hitting eight shots overall, including five 3s. MSU led by as many as nine midway through the second half, but the Gamecocks battled back to make it a one-possession game in the final minutes. Over the course of the last five games, Booker paces the Gamecocks with 14.6 points per game, and Silva adds 11.8 per outing. During the stretch, the duo are a combined 51-of-61 (83.6%) at the free throw line. SCOUTING THE GAMECOCKS Carolina is 15-13 overall this season and 6-9 in SEC contests after posting back-to-back wins at home over then-No. 10 Auburn and Georgia. Carolina is currently in a tie for 10th place in the SEC standings and would own the No. 11 seed in the league tournament if it started today. South Carolina has four Quadrant 1 wins and two Quadrant 2 wins this season. The Gamecocks are undefeated in Q4 and Q5 contests. Carolina is 2-5 in SEC road games this season, with wins at Georgia and Florida. Silva's 15.3 points per game lead Carolina in league contests this season. Booker adds 12.8 per outing and Myers provides 9.4. Silva is averaging 13.4 points and 8.6 rebounds in SEC road contests. He is also a combined 50-of-62 (80.6%) at the line in road league games. Sophomore forward Maik Kotsar pulled down a season high nine rebounds in the win vs. Georgia on Wednesday, including a career high, seven on the offensive glass. Kotsar averages 4.5 rebounds per game in league action this season. 10 different Gamecocks average at least 10.4 minutes per game, and six average 20+ minutes per game. In the SEC statistics (overall games), Carolina is fifth in scoring defense (67.8 ppg), seventh in rebound margin (+3.0) and fifth in turnovers margin (+1.9). SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS Mississippi State is 20-8 on the year and 8-7 in SEC contests. The Bulldogs have won two straight, a home win vs. Ole Miss and a 93-81 decision at Texas A&M on Tuesday. Ben Howland is in his third season at MSU. The Weatherspoon brothers pace MSU with Quindarry averaging 14.8 per game, and younger brother, Nick adding 11.2 per outing. In SEC games, The duo averages 15.3, and 11.6, respectively, to lead the team. Mississippi State is 17-1 at home this season and 6-1 in SEC home games, with its lone loss coming in a 76-68 decision vs. Auburn on Jan. 13. Sophomore guard Lamar Peters ranks fifth in the SEC (overall games) with 4.2 assists per game. He is also fifth in strictly SEC games with 4.5 per outing. In the SEC stats (overall games), Mississippi State is third in scoring defense (67.1 ppg), second in scoring margin (+8.3), sixth in rebound margin (+3.6), fourth in blocked shots (5.3) and in steals (6.6). THE SERIES MSU leads the all-time series vs. South Carolina, 20-14. The Bulldogs own a 10-4 advantage in games played in Starkville. Carolina won last season's meeting at Humphrey Coliseum, 77-73, behind 28 points from then-senior Sindarius Thornwell. UP NEXT South Carolina returns to Colonial Life Arena on Wednesday for Senior Night vs. LSU. The meeting will be the first between the two schools this season. Roy Philpott (play-by-play) and Brooke Weisbrod (analyst) will have the call for the 6:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network broadcast. From USC Sports Information

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