No. 25 South Carolina Travels To Clemson Friday Night
By USC SID
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina will have its first true road test when it travels to face intrastate rival Clemson on Friday in Greenville at Bon Secours Arena. The matchup is the 166th all-time between the two schools and the 11th contest in the Palmetto Series this season.
– South Carolina is in its 108th season of varsity basketball in 2015-16.
– Carolina is led by fourth-year head coach Frank Martin. Alongside him are associate head coach Matt Figger, assistant coaches Perry Clarkand Lamont Evans and director of men’s hoops operations, Andy Assaley.
– South Carolina enters Friday’s contest ranked No. 25 in the USA Today/Coaches Top 25 Poll and receiving votes in the Associated Press poll. Carolina remains the only undefeated team in the SEC and one of just eight unbeaten teams nationally (games through Dec. 16).
– Friday’s matchup between the Gamecocks and Tigers is the 11th contest in the Palmetto Series, which is currently tied at 5-5.
– Did you know? Despite committing just six fewer turnovers in total over the last three games, the Gamecocks are averaging 15.6 more points off turnovers per game than their opponents in this span. Carolina enjoyed a double-digit advantage in points off turnovers twice all of last season and five times in the 2013-14 season.
– The Gamecocks improved their record to 9-0 for the first time since the 1970-71 campaign on Dec. 15 with a 79-54 victory over Drexel at Colonial Life Arena. Three players scored in double-figures for Carolina, led by rookie guard PJ Dozier’s season high 16 points. Dozier hit 10-of-16 from the free throw line, while also dishing three assists in the win.
– Carolina posted an 81-63 win vs. USF on Dec. 5 in its last outing before the lengthy exam break. Four Gamecocks reached double-figures in the game, led by senior forward Michael Carrera’s 19. His out-put marked the most points scored in a game for Carrera since his rookie season. Junior guard Duane Notice posted 15 points hitting 6-of-8 from the field, which included a pair of 3s. The Gamecocks hit 60.6% from the floor in the opening half, and held the Bulls to a mark of just 35.3% from the floor in the game.
GAMECOCKS IN THE POLLS
South Carolina is ranked No. 25 in the Dec. 14, 2015, USA Today/Coaches Top 25 Poll, marking the first time the Gamecocks have been ranked since being ranked 22nd in the Feb. 16, 2004, coaches poll. South Carolina is also receiving votes in the AP poll, checking in at No. 27.
South Carolina travels to Uncassville, Conn., on Tuesday to face St. John’s in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Shootout. The contest will tip at 9 PM ET and will be televised on CBS Sports Network with Dave Ryan (play-by-play), Doug Gottlieb (analyst) and Evan Washburn (sideline) on the call. St. John’s holds a 4-0 record in the all-time series between the two schools.
The Tigers enter Friday’s matchup with a 7-3 overall record, having most recently posted a 69-41 win vs. Presbyterian earlier this week. Clemson is 6-1 in home games this season with its lone loss coming in a one-point decision against Alabama on Dec. 13. Three average double-figures led by senior forward Jaron Blossomgame’s 16.3. He also pulls down 6.7 rebounds per game and is the team leader with 30.3 minutes per outing. Blossomgame led the Tigers with 14 points in last season’s meeting vs. the Gamecocks. Clemson ranks fifth in the nation in opponent scoring average, as Tiger opponents average just 56.9 points per game. Clemson is also among national leaders in blocks per game at No. 17, paced by Landry Nnoko’s 24 (2.4 per game), which ranks 26th nationally. The Tigers are led by head coach Brad Brownell in his sixth season.