#128 South Carolina Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

South Carolina Gamecocks
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #128
Conference Rank: #12 SEC
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South Carolina was limited to just 21 games in the COVID-affected 2020 season and won only six of those contests, their first single-digit win season since 1998-99. Since Frank Martin took over as head coach, the Gamecocks hadn’t won any fewer than 14 games in a season prior to last year. Therefore, it’s fair to anticipate Martin finding a way to get South Carolina back to being competitive in the SEC again this season. They do return three starters from last year, but most of the improvement will likely have to come from the new additions. The Gamecocks have five transfers and four freshmen coming in, and their success will go a long way in determining how good South Carolina can be in 2021-22.

2020-21 Record: 6-15, 4-12
2020-21 Postseason: None
Coach: Frank Martin
Coach Record: 153-133 at South Carolina, 270-187 overall
Key Departed Players:
A.J. Lawson, Guard, 16.6 ppg
Justin Minaya, Forward, 7.0 ppg
Trae Hannibal, Guard, 6.0 ppg
Seventh Woods, Guard, 5.4 ppg
Jalyn McCreary, Forward, 5.1 ppg
T.J. Moss, Guard, 4.3 ppg
Trey Anderson, Forward, 2.5 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Keyshawn Bryant, Senior, Forward, 14.4 ppg
Jermaine Couisnard, Junior, Guard, 10.1 ppg
Wildens Leveque, Junior, Forward, 6.1 ppg
TreVaugh Minott, Sophomore, Forward, 2.5 ppg
Ja’Von Benson, Sophomore, Forward, 2.0 ppg
Key New Players:
Chico Carter, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Murray State
Devin Carter, Freshman, Guard
Brandon Martin, Senior, Forward, Transfer from USC Upstate
James Reese, Senior, Guard, Transfer from North Texas
Erik Stevenson, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Washington
Carlous Williams, Freshman, Forward
A.J. Wilson, Senior, Forward, Transfer from George Mason
TaQuan Woodley, Freshman, Forward
Jacobi Wright, Freshman, Guard
A.J. Lawson and his 16.6 points per game will be missed this season, but South Carolina does return three starters including two double-digit scorers. Keyshawn Bryant and Jermaine Couisnard will both be upperclassmen this season after averaging double-digits last season. Bryant was a more consistent scorer, making 52.7% of his two’s on 10.1 attempts per game. Meanwhile, Couisnard shot just 30.2% from the field on 11.3 attempts per game. Wildens Leveque also returns after starting 15 games as a sophomore. What South Carolina’s season will likely come down to is the production of their new players, though. Erik Stevenson spent last season at Washington after playing his first two at Wichita State. Stevenson’s best season came as a sophomore when he averaged 11.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.5 steals. A.J. Wilson will be a fifth-year senior who spent his last four seasons at George Mason. Wilson played in 114 games, starting 51, and his best season was as a junior when he averaged 12.2 points and 7.4 rebounds. James Reese started his career at Buffalo then played the last two years at North Texas. Reese started all 59 of his games at North Texas and averaged 10.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals last season. Chico Carter, a native of South Carolina, played his first two seasons at Murray State and averaged 12.7 points last season. Lastly, Brandon Martin is Frank Martin’s son who spent the last three seasons at USC Upstate, though he only appeared in three games last year. The Gamecocks also add four freshmen, highlighted by Devin Carter, a four-star guard and top-100 recruit. Frank Martin will have a lot of new pieces this season and the success of the Gamecocks will likely hinge on how well they fit together.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.5 (135th in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 79.1 (322, 14)
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.5 (286, 14)
Field-Goal Defense: 46.3 (288, 14)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.8 (223, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 30.5 (305, 12)
Free-Throw Percentage: 65.4 (314, 14)
Rebound Margin: -2.0 (248, 14)
Assists Per Game: 13.3 (157, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.9 (282, 10)
Madness 2021 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#86 Devin Carter
#122 Jacobi Wright