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Game preview: South Carolina men open SEC slate at Florida

The Gamecocks start conference play with a tough road trip.

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina (5-7) vs. Florida (8-4)

Start time: 7 p.m.

TV: ESPN2

Live stream: watchespn.com

Last game

The Gamecocks finally snapped themselves out of a four-game losing streak on New Year’s Eve, posting a 97-46 win against overmatched Division II foe North Greenville. A.J. Lawson (22 points) and Chris Silva (21) paced South Carolina with their big outings, although Keyshawn Bryant (19 points) and Tre Campbell (11) also enjoyed productive afternoons. Perhaps most importantly, the Gamecocks got starting big man Maik Kotsar back from his concussion. There’s not a whole lot to say about this one, since it was a glorified exhibition and the results were what you’d expect, but it was good to see South Carolina get back in the win column and hopefully gain a little confidence in the process.

What to watch for

The Gamecocks will face quite a few steps up in competition as they hit the road to face the Gators tonight. Florida is coming off an absolute 77-43 dismantling of Butler and has only lost once at home, to a top-10 Michigan State squad. KeVaughn Allen leads the Gators with 10.3 points per game, and Florida’s top-rated scoring defense in the SEC is holding opponents to just 59.8 points. While the Gamecocks got Kotsar back, they’re still missing Justin Minaya, T.J. Moss, and Alanzo Frink. This won’t exactly be an easy way to start league play.