No. 24 South Carolina (11-0) vs. Francis Marion (7-3)
WATCH: 7:00 p.m. ET, SEC Network+
South Carolina returns from their holiday as the No. 24 team in the country, according to the latest Associated Press poll. That's a one spot improvement after initially entering the rankings at No. 25 before Christmas. The Gamecocks bumped up three spots to No. 20 in the latest USA Today/Coaches Top 25 poll.
In their first game of action since the holidays, USC will host Francis Marion on Wednesday night at Colonial Life Arena. It will be the first meeting between the two schools and will be one of South Carolina's final nonconference games before the Gamecocks start conference play just after the New Year.
Before the break, USC emerged victorious in a neutral site battle against St. John's at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. It was the Gamecocks first win in five tries over the Red Storm all-time. Duane Notice poured in 20 points to the lead the team as Michael Carrera tallied his seventh double-double of his career as he went for 16 points and 12 rebounds in the win. Carrera has been phenomenal lately, averaging 15.0 points and 6.0 rebounds while shooting 55.8 percent from the floor and 64.7 percent from behind the arc over the last five games.
Francis Marion enters Monday night's game with a 7-3 overall record, playing in the Peach Belt conference of NCAA Division II. Sophomore Detrek Browning leads the way as he averages a team-high 18.9 points per game. Browning, a Columbia native, was last season's Peach Belt Freshman of the year. Alante Fenner, a junior guard, flanks Browning and averages 16.8 points and a team-best 4.5 assists per outing.
South Carolina remains the only undefeated team in the SEC and is just one of four undefeated teams nationally. They'll have their toughest test yet when Memphis comes to Columbia just two days into 2016 but first, the Gamecocks need to knock-off their holiday rust on Monday night against Francis Marion to prepare for the Tigers.