South Carolina returns to action on Tuesday after winning its first conference game of the year against Vanderbilt on Saturday by a score of 72-70 in Nashville. The Gamecocks (10-4, 1-1) travel to Knoxville to take on the No. 22 Tennessee Volunteers (10-4, 1-2), with tipoff set for 6:30 p.m. on the SEC Network. The Volunteers are coming off a tough loss to the then No. 21 LSU Tigers on Saturday by a score of 79-67.
Arena: Thompson-Boling Arena (21,678)
Broadcast: SEC Network
Crew: Tom Hart, Dane Bradshaw
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
In Columbia: 107.5 The Game
Crew: Brad Muller, Casey Manning
Series: Tennessee leads 48-28
In Knoxville: Tennessee leads 29-9
Series trend: Tennessee has won six of last seven
Last meeting: Tennessee won 93-73 in Knoxville on Feb. 17
— South Carolina travels to Knoxville to face the Tennessee Volunteers in its third conference game of the year. The last time these two teams faced off on Feb. 17, the Volunteers defeated the Gamecocks 93-73 in Knoxville.
— In South Carolina’s most recent game, the Gamecocks defeated the Vanderbilt Commodores by a score of 72-70 on Saturday in Nashville. South Carolina shot 54.9 percent from the field while only shooting 17.6 percent from the three-point line. Grad transfer guard James Reese V led the way for the Gamecocks with 13 points in 31 minutes of play.
— According to NCAA.com, South Carolina currently ranks tied for No. 31 in the country in total rebounds per game. To go along with the Gamecocks’ great rebounding, they are also holding their opponents to just 38.3 shooting percentage from the field. That ranks them No. 20 in the country in that statistic.
— Head coach Frank Martin said that senior forward Keyshawn Bryant is in a great spot mentally and physically. “He’s in a great space right now. His mindset, his spirit, he was as happy as anyone on our team when (Scotty) Pippen threw that ball towards the half court line there at the end. He came running off the bench with as much joy as anybody. Him and Jermaine (Couisnard) have not been at practice, Keyshawn practiced early and then got dinged up. Now, he’s back in there.”
— South Carolina will return home in its next game on Saturday against the Florida Gators. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network.
Scouting the Volunteers
— Tennessee is 10-4 and 1-2 in conference play. The Volunteers are led by Rick Barnes, who has been the head coach since 2015. Tennessee has played eight games at home and are 8-0 in those games.
— Tennessee has two players who are averaging double figures in every game. Freshman guard Kennedy Chandler leads the way, averaging 13.8 points per game. Junior guard Santiago Vescovi is right behind him, averaging 13.6 points per game.
— The Volunteers’ defense has been a strong point for their team. According to NCAA.com, Tennessee is turning their opponents over 18.07 times a game, which is No. 13 in the country. The Gamecocks will have to take care of the ball as the Volunteers also rank No. 8 in the country in steals per game, with an average of 10.6 steals per game.
— In the Volunteers’ loss to then No. 21 LSU on Saturday, Tennessee’s two leading scorers led the way once again. In 37 minutes of play, Chandler scored 19 points while Vescovi scored 14 points in 34 minutes of play. The Volunteers only shot 38.8 percent from the field and 25 percent from the three-point line.
— “We can’t foul them like we have our last three road games. If you continue to foul, then the game slows down and it allows people’s defense to set and then you are dealing with a set defense every single time. If you look at the Vanderbilt game, the possessions where we didn’t foul, we actually were able to get into the open court and get some easy opportunities. When people foul us and we get to shoot free throws, our defensive numbers are off the charts. Our problem is that we are fouling too much, especially on the road, and putting people on the foul line. We’ve got to eliminate that.” South Carolina head coach Frank Martin on how his offense is going to have success against Tennessee’s defense
— “The thing that bothered me today was as much time as we talked about taking care of the ball, the same guys that normally don’t do it, did it today. It hurt us a couple different times. They scored 23 off of (our) turnovers, and we scored 13. Some of our turnovers were just easy baskets for them.” Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes on what went wrong in its game against LSU on Saturday