USC Men's Basketball

Game dates, TV details set for South Carolina’s SEC schedule

A final piece to the South Carolina men’s basketball schedule has been revealed as the SEC has released dates and TV details for all of its conference games this season.

Here’s the full schedule, including the league path. Note: Game times have yet to be set for USC’s non-conference games.

Wed., Nov. 6 — North Alabama

Sun., Nov. 10 — Wyoming

Fri., Nov. 15 — Cleveland State

Tues., Nov. 19 — Boston University (Cancun Challenge, Columbia, S.C.)

Fri., Nov. 22 — Gardner-Webb (Cancun Challenge, Columbia, S.C.)

Tues., Nov. 26 — Wichita State (Cancun Challenge, Cancun, Mexico)

Wed., Nov. 27 — West Virginia OR Northern Iowa (Cancun Challenge, Cancun, Mexico)

Sun., Dec. 1 — George Washington

Wed., Dec. 4 — at UMass

Sun., Dec. 8 — Houston

Sun., Dec. 15 — at Clemson

Sun., Dec. 22 — at Virginia

Mon., Dec. 30 — Stetson

SEC season

Tue., Jan. 7 — Florida, 7 p.m. (ESPN/2/U)

Sat., Jan. 11 — at Tennessee, 1 p.m. (SEC Network)

Wed., Jan. 15 — Kentucky, 6:30 p.m. (SEC Network)

Sat., Jan. 18 — at Texas A&M, 1 p.m. (SEC Network)

Wed., Jan. 22 — at Auburn, 7 p.m. (ESPN2/U)

Sat., Jan. 25 — Vanderbilt, 8 p.m. (SEC Network)

Wed., Jan. 29 — at Arkansas, 8:30 p.m. (SEC Network)

Sat., Feb. 1 — Missouri, 3:30 p.m. (SEC Network)

Wed., Feb. 5 — at Ole Miss, 7 p.m. (SEC Network)

Sat., Feb. 8 — Texas A&M, 1 p.m. (SEC Network)

Wed., Feb. 12, at Georgia, 6:30 p.m. (SEC Network)

Sat., Feb. 15 — Tennessee, 6 p.m. (SEC Network)

Wed., Feb. 19 — at Mississippi State, 9 p.m. (SEC Network)

Sat., Feb. 22 — LSU, 8 p.m. (ESPN/2/U)

Wed., Feb. 26 — Georgia, 6:30 p.m. (SEC Network)

Sat., Feb. 29 — at Alabama, 8:30 p.m. (SEC Network)

Tue., March 3 — Mississippi State, 6:30 p.m. (SEC Network)

Sat., March 7 — at Vanderbilt, 12:30 p.m. (SEC Network)

Five observations

-South Carolina is opening SEC play at home for the first time since the 2014-15 season, and for only the second time in Frank Martin’s eight years as coach. The Gamecocks have won three of the last four SEC openers, including last season’s thriller at Florida.

-There’s a good chance USC is at least 10-3 through the non-conference portion of the schedule. The Gamecocks then begin SEC play with Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky, a trio all ranked among the top 20 in Gary Parrish’s latest poll posted to Good news: The Gamecocks are 3-1 in their last four games against the Gators and they won the last time they hosted the Wildcats (2018). Bad news: They’ve lost four straight to the Volunteers.

-The SEC, with seven teams in Joe Lunardi’s latest NCAA Tournament projection, will once again be a tough league to navigate. The key for survival is to take advantage of easier stretches. After getting Florida (home), Tennessee (away), Kentucky (home) and Auburn (away) in the first five games, things lighten over the final 13 with home-and-homes with Vanderbilt (coming off an 0-18 SEC season), Georgia (good recruiting class, but the Bulldogs haven’t beaten the Gamecocks in six tries) and Mississippi State (USC split this series last season, but had leads of at least seven points in both games). USC also hosts Missouri and Texas A&M during this stretch.

-South Carolina won’t get too comfortable at home or on the road. The Gamecocks have only one set of consecutive road games (at Texas A&M, at Auburn, Jan 18-22) and consecutive home games (LSU, Georgia, Feb. 22-26). Carolina’s SEC schedule is like this for the first time since the league expanded to an 18-game slate in 2012-13.

-Martin, like most coaches in the league, isn’t a fan of late-night games. After four post-8 p.m. tips on the 2017-18 SEC slate, the Gamecocks had just one last season. There’s five scheduled for 8 p.m. EDT or later in 2019-20, including home games against Vandy and LSU.

Andrew Ramspacher has been covering college athletics since 2010, serving as The State’s USC men’s basketball beat writer since October 2017. His work has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors, Virginia Press Association and West Virginia Press Association. At a program-listed 5-foot-10, he’s always been destined to write about the game. Not play it.
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