Who: South Carolina (13-10, 4-6 SEC) at Arkansas (15-8, 4-6)
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Bud Walton Arena
KenPom prediction: Arkansas 79, South Carolina 73
Never miss a local story.
Radio: 107.5 The Game in Columbia area
Series: Arkansas leads 18-13
Last meeting: Feb. 15, 2017 – Arkansas won 83-76 in Columbia
Streak: Arkansas has won three of four
Coach: Frank Martin (226-138 in 11 seasons overall; Sixth season at USC — 109-84). Martin is 3-4 against Arkansas.
Projected starters: G Wes Myers (7.6 ppg); G Evan Hinson (3.5); G Justin Minaya (8.7); F Chris Silva (14.7); F Maik Kotsar (8.2)
Last game: Lost to Texas A&M 83-60 on Saturday in College Station, Texas
Notes: The Gamecocks are seeking to avoid their first four-game losing streak since January 2015. … After a 27.5 percent performance Saturday, USC has had a field goal percentage worse than 30 three times this season. That happened twice last season. … Since scoring 22 at Florida on Jan. 24, Myers has totaled 12 points (on 4 of 13 shooting) during this three-game skid.
Coach: Mike Anderson (343-180 in 16 seasons overall; Seventh season at Arkansas – 143-82). Anderson is 5-3 against South Carolina.
Projected starters: G Jaylen Barford (18.6), G Daryl Macon (17.0), G Anton Beard (9.9), F Dustin Thomas (4.9), F Daniel Gafford (11.0)
Last game: Lost to LSU 94-86 on Saturday in Baton Rouge
Notes: Arkansas is 11-1 at home this season, winning games by an average of 13.9 points. … Barford (19.9) and Macon (18.4) rank first and fifth in the league in scoring during SEC games. No other team in the conference has two players in the top 10. … Macon is the first Arkansas player since Corliss Williamson in 1994-95 to score 20-plus points in five consecutive games. He dropped 22 on LSU on Saturday.
1. Spotlight on defense
South Carolina has never allowed its opponent to score 80-plus points in three straight games in the Martin era. The Gamecocks gave up 81 to Mississippi State and 83 to Texas A&M. Arkansas enters Tuesday second in the SEC in scoring at 83.2 points per game.
“We just got to do a better job of playing more together on defense,” Minaya said Monday. “Each guy is kind of on an island by himself and we’re not really helping each other out as much as we were earlier in the year.”
The Gamecocks ran into a buzzsaw in College Station, but games against Texas Tech and Mississippi State could have had different results had USC not folded in crunch time.
Arkansas, a 6-point favorite Tuesday, is 10-1 in its last 11 one-possession games.
3. Guard battle: Accomplished vs. Struggling
Myers, after two points in eight minutes in the first half, was benched in the second half at Texas A&M, putting Hassani Gravett back at lead point guard for USC. The Gamecocks’ bouts with backcourt consistency have continued into February.
The Razorbacks, meanwhile, boast perhaps the best guard combo in the SEC in seniors Barford and Macon. That duo combined for 36 points against South Carolina last season.