COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina begins Southeastern Conference play on Wednesday at No. 10/11 Florida with a 7 p.m.matchup against the Gators. The Gamecocks begin SEC play having won four straight and five of their last six games dating back to a victory over Saint Mary’s on Dec. 22. The Gamecocks concluded a stretch where they played eight games in an 18-day span last Friday with a hard-fought 82-75 victory over SC State at Colonial Life Arena. Florida has won its last five games dating back to a Dec. 10 home victory vs. Kansas. The league opener will be broadcast on CSS, and will also be broadcast in the Carolinas on Time Warner Cable Channel 506 to customers with a digital box, and standard cable as a minimum package.
Date: Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014
Tipoff: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Gainesville, Fla.
Arena: Stephen C. O’Connell Center (11,548)
Series: Florida leads 40-22
Last Meeting: Florida win, 75-36, on Jan. 30, 2013, in Gainesville, Fla.
Talent: Matt Stewart (pxp), Daymeon Fishback (analyst)
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network/107.5 The Game in Columbia
Sirius: N/A; XM: N/A
Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst)
Carolina Quick Hits
– South Carolina is in its 106th season of basketball.
– The Gamecocks are led by Frank Martin in his second year. Matt Figger is the associate head coach, and Perry Clark and Lamont Evans are assistant coaches. Andy Assaley is in his second year as the director of operations for the Gamecocks.
– The Gamecocks enter their 23rd season of competition in the Southeastern Conference in 2014. Carolina owns a 133-221 (.375) all-time record in SEC play.
– South Carolina is 8-14 all-time in SEC openers (home and away), including an 1-2 record vs. Florida in league openers. The last time the Gamecocks and Gators met in a league lidlifter was a 65-62 Florida victory on Jan. 7, 2004, in Columbia.
– Frank Martin led teams have opened league play on the road five times during his career as a college head coach.
– Carolina’s last road victory in an SEC opener came in a win over Auburn on Jan. 9, 2010. The win marked Carolina’s first in an SEC opener on the road since a 95-85 win at Tennessee on Jan. 6, 1993.
– Frank Martin owns a 54-46 (.540) all-time record in conference play.
– Over the course of the last five games, Carolina is averaging 75.0 points per game, and has hit 45.2 percent (131-290) from the floor, 40.3 percent (27-67) from 3-point range and 72.3 percent (86-119) from the free throw line. Senior guard Brenton Williams has tallied double-digits in each of the last five games, averaging 17.4 points per game during the stretch, hitting 50.9 percent from the field and 53.6 percent from 3-point range. Junior guard Tyrone Johnson adds 10.4 points and 3.4 assists during the stretch, and rookie guard Duane Notice, who has posted double-figures in four of the last five games, added 11.4 points and 4.4 assists per game during the span.
– South Carolina posted an 82-75 win over SC State last Friday in the final non-conference contest of the regular season for the Gamecocks. Four scored in double figures led by Williams’ 19 points, while Johnson added 17, Notice 13 and rookie forward Demetrius Henry earned his first double-double of the year with 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
– South Carolina posted a 92-65 victory over visiting Marshall on Dec. 30, behind team-highs of 18 points from both Williams and Johnson. The 92 points scored by Carolina were the most this season, and the most since scoring 91 last season in a victory over Jacksonville on Dec. 7, 2012. The Gamecocks shot 51.5 percent (34-66) in the contest, while holding the Thundering Herd to just 37.8 percent (17-45) from the field.
– Williams set a new South Carolina record for consecutive free throws made when he hit his lone attempt from the line for one of his 18 points vs. Marshall. Williams has now hit 47 straight free throws dating back to last season. He broke a record held by John Roche since the 1969-70 campaign.
The Gators enter Wednesday’s matchup having won five-straight games dating back to a Dec. 10 home contest vs. Kansas … Florida concluded the non-conference portion of its schedule with an 11-2 record … The squad is led by head coach Billy Donovan in his 18th season in Gainesville … Donovan owns a 24-11 all-time record vs. South Carolina … Florida leads the SEC and ranks eighth in the country in scoring defense, as opponents average just 58.8 points per game … Five Gators average double-digit points with senior forward Casey Prather providing a team high 17.3 per outing, followed by Michael Frazier II (11.9), Scottie Wilbekin (11.8), Patric Young (10.8) and Dorian Finney-Smith (10.1) … Finney-Smith’s team high 7.7 rebounds per game rank eighth in the SEC … Florida has quality victories this season vs. Florida State, Kansas and Memphis, with its two losses coming on the road at Wisconsin and at UConn.
Florida owns a 40-22 upperhand in the all-time series with South Caroina, including a 19-7 advantage in games played in Gainesville. The Gators have won the last four games in the series, and seven of the last 10 dating back to the 2008 campaign.
By The Numbers
36.5 – South Carolina’s 3-point field goal percentage of 36.5 ranks third in the SEC entering league play.
6.7 – Over the course of the last three games rookie guard Duane Notice is averaging 6.7 assists per game. As a team, the Gamecocks are averaging 17.3 assists per game.
17.4 – Senior guard Brenton Williams enters SEC play having posted double-figures in the last five outings, averaging 17.4 points per game during the stretch, hitting 50.9 percent from the field and 53.6 percent from 3-point range.
47 – Williams’ consecutive free throw mark is now at 47 after a 5-of-5 performance from the line in the win vs. SC State on Jan. 3. He has made all 30 of his attempts this season.
40% – South Carolina has posted six games this season with at least a 42.1% mark from 3-point range, including in each of the last three games. The Gamecocks enter league play having hit 21 of their last 42 attempts (50.0%) from beyond the arc.
53.6% – Over the course of the last five games, Williams has hit 53.6 percent (15-28) of his attempts from beyond the arc.
3.4+ – Five different Gamecocks average at least 3.4 rebounds per game, led by sophomore forward Mindaugus Kacinas’ 5.8 per outing.
5.2 – Among freshmen in the SEC, rookie forward Demetrius Henry ranks sixth in rebounds per game with 5.2.
20+ – Six active Gamecocks average at least 20 minutes per game entering league play.
South Carolina returns to Colonial Life Arena on Saturday, Jan. 11, to host LSU in the 2014 SEC home opener. Game time is set for 1:30 p.m. ET, and the contest will be broadcast on SECTV.
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