No. 24 South Carolina (16-1) at Ole Miss (12-5)
WATCH: 7:00 p.m. ET, SEC Network
A week after their shellacking at the hands of Alabama, the South Carolina Gamecocks again find themselves staring down an SEC road contest. USC will travel Tuesday night to the new Pavilion at Ole Miss to take on the Rebels.
Tuesday's match-up will mark one week since South Carolina suffered their first and only loss of the season. A week ago, the Crimson Tide put it on the Gamecocks, owning the game from the opening tip on their way to a 73-50 win.
USC recovered nicely, traveling home after the loss to then host the Missouri Tigers this past weekend. Only Michael Carrera scored in double-figures down in Tuscaloosa, but four Gamecocks scored 10 or more points on Saturday afternoon. The team was led by junior Sindarius Thornwell, who matched a season-high 22 points in the win. The win was not a slam dunk as Missouri shot the second highest mark from the field as any USC opponent this season. But the Gamecock offense was back and responded in a timely fashion whenever it was crucial to do so.
In the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll, South Carolina came in at No. 24, falling a handful of spots in both the AP and USA Today/Coaches Top 25 poll, where the Gamecocks came in at No. 18.
USC gets down with the Rebels as part one of two SEC road games this week. Ole Miss features senior guard Stefan Moody, who has been a terror for defenses during his career. Moody currently ranks as the SEC's leading scorer in overall games (24.5 PPG) and in conference games (25.6 PPG). The Rebs will have Moody against the Gamecocks, but they will be missing perhaps their second best player. Sebastian Saiz, a junior forward, will be out indefinitely after undergoing eye surgery on Tuesday morning to repair a partially detached retina. Saiz averaged 12.8 points per game to go along with 9.8 rebounds per outing, a mark that's best on the team and ranks second in the SEC.
Ole Miss opened conference play with a pair of home wins at their new arena over Alabama and Georgia. They've dropped the following two contests however, a road game at LSU and a home loss to Florida. The Rebels old compound was a house of horrors for South Carolina. The Gamecocks have managed just one win in Oxford in 13 meetings. The lone road win in the series came in 2008, a close 80-77 win.
The two teams were likely headed for a close match-up but with Saiz out, the Gamecocks now have a major advantage in the post. USC's shooting must travel during this SEC road contest, or they could be headed for another blowout like last Tuesday. South Carolina needs to get to the line to avoid another let down to an SEC opponent but its defense must not allow a flurry of shots to fall like they did against the Crimson Tide. The Gamecocks rank 19th in the country in field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to 38.6 percent shooting from the floor. Play their game, hard-nosed defense and aggressive offense, and South Carolina should be able to earn their second SEC road win of the year and their first win in Oxford in nearly eight years.