Thornwell Returns to Face Nemesis Georgia Tonight

Sindarius Thornwell texas A&MCOLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) South Carolina begins the 2017 Southeastern Conference season on Wednesday when it travels to face Georgia (7 p.m. ET, ESPNU) in Athens. The Gamecocks aim to snap a four-game UGA win streak in the series. The meeting marks the 50th all-time between the Gamecocks and Bulldogs in Athens.


– South Carolina is in its 109th season of varsity basketball in 2016-17.
– On the sidelines, Frank Martin is joined by associate head coach Matt Figger, assistant coaches Perry Clark and Bruce Shingler, and director of operations Andy Assaley.
– The Gamecocks are 9-16 all-time in SEC openers, which includes a 3-10 mark in league openers on the road. Carolina has only faced Georgia once in an SEC opener, that game was played in Athens, with the Bulldogs winning 80-56 on Jan. 10, 2007. South Carolina posted an 81-69 road win in last season’s opener at Auburn paced by 22 points and seven assists from then-junior guard Sindarius Thornwell.
– Foul trouble plagued Carolina in a 70-54 loss at Memphis to close the non-conference campaign on Dec. 30. Two Gamecock starters fouled out with several minutes remaining in the second half, as sophomore forward Chris Silva collected his fifth foul with 6:11 remaining, and sophomore guard PJ Dozier fouled out with 4:19 on the clock. The Gamecocks hit a season low 31.6 percent from the field, while Memphis hit 46.5 percent, which was an opponent high for the season. Dozier’s 13 points led Carolina, while rookie guard Rakym Felder hit three 3s and scored 10 points for his second-straight double-figure scoring contest.
– South Carolina head coach Frank Martin is 76-78 (.493) all-time in conference games.
– South Carolina is in its 26th basketball season as a member of the Southeastern Conference. The Gamecocks are 155-253 (.379) all-time in SEC games.
– The Gamecocks currently rank 51st in the NCAA RPI (games through Jan. 1), which is sixth in the SEC behind Florida (2nd), Kentucky (6th), Georgia (37th), Arkansas (39th) and Ole Miss (48th).
– South Carolina currently ranks first in the country (NCAA stats games through Jan. 1) in 3-point field goal percentage defense, as opponents are hitting just 26.0 percent (59-227) from beyond the arc this season.
– South Carolina played four games away from home during non-conference play – vs. Syracuse (Brooklyn), vs. Seton Hall (MSG), at USF and at Memphis.
– Rookie guard Rakym Felder was 8-14 from 3-point range combined last week vs. Lander and at Memphis. He scored a season high 20 vs. Lander and 10 vs. the Tigers.


– Georgia enters Wednesday’s matchup with a 9-4 overall record, which includes a 1-0 mark in league games after the Bulldogs came from behind to post a 96-84 road win at Auburn last Thursday in the league opener for both schools.
– UGA is led by head coach Mark Fox in his eighth season. Fox is 12-4 all-time vs. Carolina as a head coach.
– Junior forward Yante Maten paces the Bulldogs and ranks second in the SEC, scoring 20.6 points per game, while his 8.2 rebounds per game are a team best and rank third in the league.
– Maten was the team leader in Georgia’s win over Auburn. He tallied his third 30-point game of the season with a season-high 31 points and added eight rebounds. He was 10-for-19 from the floor and he converted 9-for-9 from the foul line.
– Maten collected SEC co-player of the week honors on Monday for his performance last week in the win over Auburn.
– Senior guard J.J. Frazier also provides double digit points per game this season with 16.0 per outing. His 91.2 percent from the foul line is second in the SEC and ranks 18th nationally. Frazier averaged 17.3 points per game in three games vs. Carolina last season.
– Georgia is among SEC leaders in free throw percent (5th, 74.2%), rebound margin (4th, +5.4), assists (4th, 15.2) and assist to turnover ratio (4th, 1.1).
– Individually, Maten is fourth in the SEC in field goal percentage (56.4%), Frazier is tied for fifth in assists per game (4.4) and is second in free throw percent (91.2), and tied for fourth in steals per game (1.8).
– Georgia is 6-1 in home games this season, their only loss at Stegeman an 89-79 decision vs. Marquette on Dec. 4.

Categories: Local Sports, Sports, USC Gamecocks