#63 South Carolina Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

South Carolina Gamecocks
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #63
Conference Rank: #11 SEC
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South Carolina’s trip to the Final Four in 2017 seems so long ago now. Since then the Gamecocks have finished 17-16 and 16-16 overall. Last season South Carolina did end up fourth in the SEC with an 11-7 mark, which is not bad at all, but the slow start was too much to overcome. Coach Frank Martin will hope to recapture some of that quality play his team had during the early part of the SEC slate and maintain it for an entire season. With three starters back, there is a solid nucleus to build around.
2018-19 Record: 16-16, 11-7
2018-19 Postseason: None
Coach: Frank Martin
Coach Record: 129-106 at South Carolina, 246-160 overall
Key Departed Players:
Chris Silva, Forward, 15.2 ppg
Tre Campbell, Guard, 7.1 ppg
Hassani Gravett, Guard, 11.4 ppg
Felipe Haase, Forward, 6.3 ppg
Key Returning Players:
A.J. Lawson, Sophomore, Guard, 13.4 ppg
Keyshawn Bryant, Sophomore, Forward, 9.0 ppg
Maik Kotsar, Senior, Forward, 6.7 ppg
Justin Minaya, Sophomore, Forward, 7.4 ppg
T.J. Moss, RS Freshman, Guard, 6.3 ppg
Alanzo Frink, Sophomore, Forward, 2.7 ppg
Key New Players:
Trey Anderson, Freshman, Forward
Jair Bolden, Junior, Guard, Transfer from George Washington
Jermaine Couisnard, RS Freshman, Guard
Mike Green, Freshman, Guard
Trae Hannibal, Freshman, Guard
Micaiah Henry, Senior, Forward/Center, Grad Transfer from Tennessee Tech
Wildens Leveque, Freshman, Forward/Center
Jalyn McCreary, Freshman, Forward
Seventh Woods, Senior, Guard, Transfer from North Carolina, not eligible
A.J. Lawson will be the heart and soul of this group. As a freshman last year the 6-6 guard averaged 13.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.1 steals. He wasted no time proving that the hype surrounding his arrival in Columbia was well deserved. Fellow sophomore Keyshawn Bryant will look to take a jump up in production with a year of experience under his belt as well. The 6-6 wing tallied 9.0 points per game and could be a very dynamic scoring threat if he can add an outside shot to his repertoire. Maik Kotsar is the only returning senior on the roster. The 6-11 forward is not a major scoring threat, but he will do a lot of work in the paint. The return of physical wing Justin Minaya and point guard T.J. Moss will give this group a must needed boost. Both received medical redshirts last year after strong starts to the season. Minaya only played in five contests, but averaged 7.4 points and 5.6 rebounds in nearly 26 minutes per game. Moss averaged 6.3 points and 1.9 assists in seven contests. The addition of a couple Division I transfers will help with the depth and experience too. Jair Bolden spent two seasons at George Washington and the junior point guard is a proven scorer and passer who will split time with Moss running the show. Micaiah Henry averaged 9.7 points and 4.7 rebounds with Tennessee Tech last season and will add some much needed frontcourt size and toughness. The pieces are here for South Carolina to have a decent season, but losing Chris Silva is big. It remains to be seen if South Carolina has a leader who can carry this team and enough talent top to bottom to compete day in and day out in an increasingly difficult SEC.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.7 (165th in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 72.4 (203, 12)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.3 (284, 13)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.3 (92, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.6 (194, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.6 (69, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.2 (268, 11)
Rebound Margin: -0.1 (202, 11)
Assists Per Game: 12.9 (215, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.5 (238, 9)
Madness 2020 NBA Draft Rankings:
#27 AJ Lawson
Madness 2019 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#143 Jalyn McCreary
#157 Trae Hannibal