The good vibes surrounding the South Carolina basketball team turned sour on Sunday, just minutes before their home game against FIU. Sindarius Thornwell, the team’s leading scorer, was suspended “indefinitely” for “a violation of athletic department policy”, per a terse media release sent out by the school. It’s not know what that “violation” is, or how long Thornwell’s suspended for, but the timing of it, and the suspension itself, isn’t good.
How sudden was the suspension? Thornwell tweeted this out at 10:50 am:
All In, Together we stand!!!! It's gameday!!!!! https://t.co/kY5d9VwOP9— sindarius thornwell (@Sin_City_803) December 4, 2016
The Gamecocks enter the contest against FIU at 7-0. Thornwell was the team’s leading scorer, averaging 18.7 points and 6.7 rebounds a game. In his absence, the Gamecocks will have to lean extra hard on guys like PJ Dozier, Duane Notice, Chris Silva, and even freshman Maik Kotsar, but without their senior leader out for an indefinite period of time, it could be a turbulent time ahead for this group.
We’ll update this as soon as we know more, but we stress again: this isn’t good.
UPDATE: Thornwell was out on the court during warmups, so it’s likely it’s not a serious violation. We’ll let you know more when we get it.