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Men’s Basketball Preview: South Carolina vs. Georgia

Will the losing streak continue?

NCAA Basketball: South Carolina at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina vs. Georgia
Date: Saturday, January 28th
Time: 6:00 PM
Channel: SECN
Where: Stegeman Coliseum - Athens, GA

The Gamecocks are looking to snap their four game losing streak in the SEC when they take on the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens. The Bulldogs have had a surprisingly improved season, holding a 13-7 record while being ranked 94th in KenPom’s latest advanced metric ratings.

The Bulldogs are led by Terry Roberts, who leads the team in points per game, posting an impressive 15.6 points per game. Roberts is also an impressive defender, swiping 1.7 steals a game and playing good paint defense for his size. Kario Oquendo is putting up double figure points as well, scoring 13 points per game.

This game will be one of the easiest for South Carolina in the remaining schedule. With that being said, the Gamecocks must take advantage. Besides LSU, the Bulldogs are the lowest ranked team on KenPom that the Gamecocks have left on the schedule. However, with the game being in Athens, South Carolina is at a huge disadvantage, especially with the team already playing noticeably worse away from home.

GG Jackson has got to keep up his recent outstanding play. We are finally seeing what we all expected to see out of the highest rated recruit in program history. His 30 point outing against Auburn was the first 30 point game by a South Carolina freshman since Bruce Ellington in 2010. This was by far a career night for Jackson, and he continued the great play in the game against Florida where he put up 20 points and 10 rebounds. This was what were expecting out of Jackson all along, and I believe Gamecock fans should continue to be excited about Jackson’s performance.

The guard play of South Carolina has got to be good for a chance at victory tonight. Meechie Johnson Jr. has scored in single figures while shooting terribly from the field in his past two games, and it clearly showed. Johnson is a key offensive contributor for the Gamecocks, and must step up in order for South Carolina to pick up the victory against the Bulldogs. As for Chico Carter, you never know if you’re going to get a 20% shooting performance or a 70% shooting performance. I think I speak for all Gamecock fans when I say we definitely prefer the latter.

Josh Gray showed what he could do when given the minutes against Florida, putting up season highs in points(11) and rebounds(13). However, Gray still leaves much to be desired on the defensive end. Being the sole 7-footer on the team, Gray plays an important role in paint defense. More times than not, Gray does not step up to the occasion and often gets in foul trouble, leading to him having to spend most of the game on the bench. Gray staying out of foul trouble and being dominant on the boards will key for the Gamecocks tonight.

KenPom is giving the Gamecocks a 14% chance to walk out of Athens with a win with a score prediction of South Carolina 60, Georgia 72

My Prediction: South Carolina 55, Georgia 65