South Carolina is not going to the postseason.
The Gamecocks were not selected for the NIT on Sunday night, and will not participate in the College Basketball Invitational. USC’s season ended at 17-16, the first winning season in six years.
USC athletic director Ray Tanner said during the SEC tournament that USC was hoping for the NIT, and would consider the pay-for-play CBI if the NIT didn’t come calling. After the Gamecocks weren’t part of the NIT’s 32-team field, USC decided to end the year.
“We will not participate in the CBI,” USC sports information spokesperson Emily Feeney texted to The State on Sunday.
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For the second straight season, the Gamecocks won four of their final six games, including two in the SEC tournament. With four tournament wins over two years, USC has equaled its total from 2006-13.
USC also won five of its final nine, all after Demetrius Henry and Shamiek Sheppard were suspended for the duration of the season. The Gamecocks beat NCAA tournament-bound Georgia on the road hours after the suspensions, then beat Mississippi State, Tennessee (for the first time since 2007), Missouri and NCAA tournament-bound Ole Miss before bowing out to Georgia in the SEC tournament.
Despite playing with at-most 10 players – and most times down to nine – for the final nine games, USC posted its most overall wins since 2008-09, its last winning season. The Gamecocks avoided six straight losing seasons, which would have been a program-first. They also won their most SEC games (six) since 2009-10.
USC loses senior Ty Johnson and junior Austin Constable, a walk-on who is graduating this year and has elected to forego his final season of eligibility. The Gamecocks have commitments from McDonald’s All-American P.J. Dozier and two three-star recruits in Chris Silva and Travon Bunch.
2 all Gamecock Nation,thx 4 giving us so much support this yr. season didn't end up how we wanted it 2. Our guys gave us everything they had— Frank Martin (@FrankMartin_SC) March 16, 2015
Our #'s were better than others. However the bottom line is we didn't win enough. Another gr8 step. Let's build this together. 4ever 2 Thee— Frank Martin (@FrankMartin_SC) March 16, 2015