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Game preview: South Carolina men host No. 18 Kentucky

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The Gamecocks open a two-game homestand with a big time opponent tonight.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina (11-6, 2-3 SEC) vs. No. 18 Kentucky (14-3, 4-1)

Start time: 9 p.m.

TV: ESPN

Live stream: watchespn.com

Last game

The Gamecocks bounced back after an ugly loss at Alabama, salvaging their road trip with a nice 64-57 win against Georgia. Frank Booker finally got his shot to start falling again, leading South Carolina with 17 points off the bench and making some key 3-pointers to keep the Bulldogs at bay. Chris Silva just missed a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds, playing a largely foul-free game.

What to watch for

The Wildcats are coming off a 74-67 win at Vanderbilt, and have also beaten Georgia, LSU, and Texas A&M, with their lone SEC loss coming to No. 23 Tennessee. Five players average double-figures for Kentucky: Kevin Knox (14.2 points per game), Hamidou Diallo (13.8), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (12.4), P.J. Washington (11) and Quade Green (10.7).

The Wildcats rank third in the SEC in field goal percentage (48.8) and first in 3-point field goal defense (29.4). The Gamecocks will have to continue playing their typically solid defense and hope they can generate some offense.

Kentucky has won four straight against South Carolina.