The South Carolina Gamecocks hit the road tonight for the SEC opener against the 9-4 Georgia Bulldogs. Georgia already started SEC play with a 96-84 win at Auburn last week. The big news heading into this contest is that Sindarius Thornwell has returned from suspension. Last year, the Gamecocks went 0-3 against the Bulldogs with the final meeting coming at the SEC Tournament.
Game Start: 7 p.m.
Radio: 107.5 The Game in Columbia
Three Point Preview:
- Sindarius Thornwell is back. After the Gamecocks star was suspended in the first week of December, the Gamecocks went 3-3 in the final out-of conference games. In the three defeats, Carolina struggled to score consistently. The burden fell onto P.J. Dozier’s shoulders and he performed well. Dozier averaged 19.5 points per game during the six games Thornwell was suspended. The rest of the offense was in-consistent. Many players had a good game or two, but nobody besides Dozier consistently scored during the six games.
- After just missing out on the NCAA tournament last season, the three losses to UGA played a big part of why Carolina was in the NIT. With Georgia likely to be on the fringe of the bubble again this season, the Gamecocks need to get a win over Bulldogs. Going 10-3 in the non-conference was not bad but the wins are nothing to lock up a bid. With the SEC likely have limited bids again, the Gamecocks need to beat possible bubble teams like Georgia if they are to make the NCAA Tournament.
- Georgia is 9-4 on the year with losses to Clemson, Kansas, Marquette and Oakland. Their best win on the year came last week when they came from 10 points down at the halt to win at Auburn. This year, the Bulldogs will go as far as Yante Maten and J.J. Frazier will take them. Maten is the teams leading scorer with an average of 20.6 points. He has gone for 30 points three times this year. One of those came against Kansas and the last came against Auburn. Senior guard J.J. Frazier is averaging 16 points per game. Frazier started slow this year but has caught fire of late. On a six game run of hitting double figures, he scored a season high 27 points against Auburn.