The SEC announced that Sindarius Thornwell was the SEC freshman of the week for the third time this year on Monday afternoon.
Thornwell earned the award thanks largely to his 22-point outburst against Mississippi State on Saturday, as he led South Carolina to its first road victory of the season in its last chance at that achievement. Thornwell went 9-19 from the field with 11 rebounds and 4 assists (though 6 turnovers) in 38 minutes of action in Starkville. The win assured South Carolina of the 13th seed in the upcoming SEC Tournament, which begins on Wednesday in Atlanta.
South Carolina will take on Auburn in the opening contest of the 2014 edition, with the winner squaring off against the 5th-seeded Arkansas Razorbacks on Thursday. A win on Thursday would give the Gamecocks a shot at the Tennessee Volunteers under the SEC's step-ladder bracket style, which heavily emphasizes regular season performance, as the top 4 seeds need to win only three games to crown themselves tournament champions, while the lowest four seeds would need five victories to do the same.