USC Men's Basketball

South Carolina’s full men’s basketball schedule is out. Here are five observations

Who are the newest Gamecock players? Frank Martin tells you

South Carolina coach Frank Martin talks about some of the newest players on the Gamecock basketball team.
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South Carolina coach Frank Martin talks about some of the newest players on the Gamecock basketball team.

The South Carolina men’s basketball team has known its SEC opponents for a while, but now the Gamecocks know when they’ll take on their league rivals this season.

The SEC released its schedule Friday, finalizing what’s ahead for USC in 2018-19. The completed slate is below:

Oct. 26 – Augusta University (exhibition)

Nov. 6 – USC Upstate

Nov. 9 – Stony Brook (Hall of Fame Tip-Off)

Nov. 13 – Norfolk State (Hall of Fame Tip-Off)

Nov. 17 – vs. Providence ( Hall of Fame Tip-Off in Connecticut)

Nov. 18 –vs. Michigan OR George Washington ( Hall of Fame Tip-Off in Connecticut)

Nov. 26 – Wofford

Nov. 30 – Coastal Carolina

Dec. 5 – at Wyoming

Dec. 8 – at Michigan

Dec. 19 – Virginia

Dec. 22 – Clemson

Dec. 31 – North Greenville

Jan. 5 – at Florida*

Jan. 8 – Mississippi State*

Jan. 12 – Missouri*

Jan. 16 – at Vanderbilt*

Jan. 19 – at LSU*

Jan. 22 – Auburn*

Jan. 26 – at Oklahoma State

Jan. 29 – Tennessee*

Feb. 2 – at Georgia*

Feb. 5 – at Kentucky*

Feb. 9 – Arkansas*

Feb. 13 – at Tennessee*

Feb. 16 – Texas A&M*

Feb. 19 – Ole Miss*

Feb. 23 – at Mississippi State*

Feb. 26 – Alabama*

March 2 – at Missouri*

March 5 – at Texas A&M*

March 9 – Georgia*

*SEC game

Five observations:

-Should the Gamecocks take on Michigan on Nov. 18, that’ll give them 16 games against teams that appeared in last season’s NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines were national runners-up last season and will again be a top contender in the Big Ten. Previous Frank Martin-coached USC teams never faced more than seven opponents in the regular season that appeared in the Big Dance the year before.

-South Carolina opens SEC play with a road game for the sixth time in Martin’s seven seasons. The Gamecocks are 2-3 in these games, including last year’s 74-69 loss at Ole Miss.

-USC is closing the regular season at home for the first time since 2004-05. Yes, Chris Silva’s Senior Day on March 9 against Georgia will be the first time the Gamecocks are at Colonial Life Arena the game before the SEC Tournament since Carlos Powell’s Senior Day 14 years earlier.

-The Gamecocks play back-to-back home games just twice in SEC play -- hosting Mississippi State and Missouri Jan. 8-12; hosting Texas A&M and Ole Miss Feb. 16-19. They had this sequence three times last season, including Jan. 16-20 when Kentucky and Tennessee drew a combined 34,210 spectators to CLA. This marks the first time Carolina hasn’t had three sets of consecutive home SEC games since 2014-15.

-The SEC, coming off a year in which it sent a record number of teams to the NCAA Tournament, will again be loaded this season. So, really, any stretch of this schedule is challenging, but circle Jan. 19-29 on your calendar. A trip to Tremont Waters and LSU is followed by a home date against reigning league champion Auburn. After that, it’s the Big 12 Challenge at Oklahoma State and a home game against defending SEC Player of the Year Grant Williams and Tennessee. Those four teams went a combined 91-47 last season.

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