USC Men's Basketball

South Carolina-LSU basketball: How to watch, what to watch for on Senior Night

Who: LSU (16-12, 7-9 SEC) at South Carolina (15-14, 6-10)

When: 6:30 p.m.

Where: Colonial Life Arena

KenPom prediction: South Carolina 74, LSU 72

TV: SEC Network

Radio: 107.5 The Game

Series: South Carolina leads, 17-15

Last meeting: Feb. 1, 2017 – South Carolina won, 88-63, in Baton Rouge

Streak: South Carolina has won two in a row

LSU

Coach: Will Wade (107-57 in five seasons overall; first season at LSU – 16-12). This is Wade’s first game against South Carolina.

Projected starters: G Skylar Mays (11.4 ppg), G Tremont Waters (15.6), G Daryl Edwards (7.0), F Duop Reath (12.6), F Aaron Epps (9.6)

RPI: 80

KenPom: 61

Last game: Lost to Georgia, 93-82, on Saturday in Athens

Notes: As of Tuesday afternoon, LSU was slated to be the No. 10 seed in next week’s SEC tournament. … After winning at Arkansas on Jan. 10, the Tigers have lost six consecutive road games. … LSU is third in the SEC in scoring offense (77.7 points per game), but 11th in scoring defense (74.0). … Waters, a freshman, leads the SEC in steals and is second in assists.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Coach: Frank Martin (228-142 in 11 seasons overall; sixth season at USC — 111-88). Martin is 3-3 against LSU.

Projected starters: G Hassani Gravett (7.8), G Evan Hinson (3.2), G Justin Minaya (7.9), F Chris Silva (14.1), F Maik Kotsar (7.7)

RPI: 74

KenPom: 79

Last game: Lost to Mississippi State, 72-68, in overtime Saturday in Starkville

Notes: As of Tuesday afternoon, South Carolina was slated to be the No. 12 seed in next week’s SEC tournament. … The Gamecocks have shot 40 percent or better from the field in four of their past six games. From Dec. 19-Jan. 20, USC went nine games without reaching 40 percent. … The Mississippi State loss was Carolina’s first this season when it led at halftime. The Gamecocks are 11-1 when entering the second half with an edge. … Gravett’s eight turnovers against MSU came after his first turnover-free game since Dec. 2.

STORYLINES

1. Senior Night

It’s a unique Senior Night for South Carolina as Frank Booker and Wes Myers, a couple first-year USC players, will be honored. The graduate transfers have created signature moments in their brief Gamecocks careers. Myers scored 22 points to lead Carolina’s upset at Florida last month, while Booker, second to only Silva in scoring, has been USC’s most consistent guard.

“I wish I could coach them for another year,” Martin said Monday.

South Carolina also will honor TeMarcus Blanton, a student assistant coach who had his playing career cut short by hip surgery.

2. Gravett vs. Waters

Carolina has made strides in recent games in on-ball defense.

Enter Waters, perhaps the quickest point guard in the SEC. The rookie’s gone for 21-plus points in each of LSU’s past three games, including 28 in a win against Vanderbilt last week.

This will be a good test for Gravett, who’s been at his best the past two weeks for USC.

3. Favorable matchup?

Speaking to local reporters Monday, Wade admitted an obvious concern for the Tigers as they come off a loss in Athens.

“The game on Saturday against Georgia was tough,” Wade said. “We got physically whipped, physically annihilated a little bit down there. The scary part is that South Carolina has beaten Georgia twice. South Carolina has pretty much done the same thing to Georgia that Georgia did to us.”

The Gamecocks, in two games against the Bulldogs, held Georgia to less than 37 percent shooting. They forced 31 turnovers.

  Comments