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South Carolina’s Hassani Gravett, Chris Silva, A.J. Lawson earn SEC honors

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It’s been a weird season, but it’s nice to see some well-deserved props.

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A trio of South Carolina Gamecocks got some well-deserved recognition from the SEC league office on Tuesday, as the conference’s coaches handed out their postseason basketball awards.

Senior guard Hassani Gravett was chosen as the Sixth Man of the Year, while senior forward Chris Silva made first-team All-SEC and the All-Defensive team, and rookie wing A.J. Lawson grabbed a spot on the All-Freshman squad.

Gravett, the program’s first Sixth Man of the Year honoree since Duane Notice, has been enjoying his best season as a Gamecock, averaging 11.6 points per game, good for third on the team. He’s had 13 double-figure scoring games, and is currently on a four-game streak in that regard. Gravett is also shooting at a healthy 41.3 percent from 3-point range and has made three or more treys in 11 games. To say he’s one of the most improved players I’ve seen on the Gamecocks roster in a while would be an understatement, and this is a well-earned award for him.

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The stalwart Silva got his second straight first-team nod, the first Gamecock to do so since Devan Downey. In SEC play, he was South Carolina’s leader in points (16.3), rebounds (7.9) and blocks (2.1) per game. He logged eight double-doubles while shooting 53.3 percent from the field and showed off some effective 3-point range as well (14 of 28). The Gamecocks are really, really going to miss him — both as a dominant force on the court and as a sentimental favorite among fans. Silva experienced a lot throughout his career — and since this is Gamecock basketball we’re talking about, a lot of it wasn’t terribly fun — but he will always be remembered for being a key piece of 2017’s magical Final Four run.

NCAA Basketball: South Carolina at Louisiana State Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Lawson, who authored as exciting a freshman season as we’ve seen around here in a while with his athleticism and dunks, was second on the team with 14 points per game. He had nine double-digit scoring games in SEC play and three or more assists in eight games. He’s also the first Gamecock to make the All-Freshman team since Sindarius Thornwell, which is some fine company to keep. I don’t know how much we’ll see him in the SEC Tournament as he continues to rehab a sprained ankle, but I do know he’s got a very bright future ahead of him at South Carolina.