#92 South Carolina Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

South Carolina Gamecocks

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #92
Conference Rank: #8 SEC

South Carolina Team Page#92 South Carolina Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy South Carolina Basketball Tickets

South Carolina had some really bad stretches in 2013-2014. The good news is that the Gamecocks won four of five in March before losing to Tennessee in the SEC Tournament. The hope for Coach Frank Martin is that he can take that momentum and move his young team in a positive direction. With just one senior on the roster, this is a team that should continue to take small steps up the SEC pecking order.

2013-14 Record: 14-20, 5-13
2013-14 Postseason: none
Coach: Frank Martin
Coach Record: 28-38 at South Carolina, 154-92 overall

Who’s Out:
Brenton Williams has not always been a starter during his time at South Carolina, but he has always been a major scorer. Last season he led the squad with 14.9 points and knocked down 93 three-pointers. That is a lot of three-pointers, but the most impressive statistic is that he connected on 42.7 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. The only other losses are Jaylen Shaw and Desmond Ringer, who both averaged about ten minutes per contest.

Who’s In:
The Gamecocks need some help up front, but this class is not adding any size. Shamiek Sheppard, a 6-6 wing, tore his ACL and will have to wait until 2015 to make his collegiate debut. Meanwhile, Marcus Stroman and TeMarcus Blanton will add talented depth on the perimeter. Stroman, a local Columbia product, could see major minutes running the point right away. He is a true point guard and that is a nice thing to have for a team that ranked 313th in the nation with 14.3 turnovers per game. Blanton can immediately help replace the shooting lost with Williams.

Who to Watch:
The Gamecocks are adding talent to an already talented backcourt. Duane Notice is coming off of a very promising freshman campaign. He worked his way into the starting lineup and averaged 8.2 points and 2.9 assists. Notice is turning into a solid all-around scorer and now he just needs to turn into a leader. Notice will be joined by Tyrone Johnson and Sindari Thornwell. Johnson played very well once he was eligible in December after transferring in from Villanova. He can be a good shooter on occasion, but most his 11.2 points per game came from attacking the basket. Like Notice, Thornwell also had a very good freshman campaign. The 6-5 guard averaged 13.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists. He is a versatile player on the wing who can pretty much do everything. With a year of experience under his belt, Thornwell has the potential to turn into an All-SEC caliber player.

Final Projection:
The backcourt is in great shape, but the difference between a losing season and a team that can win a few more SEC games will be the play of the frontcourt. Michael Carrera is the top scoring forward on the team and he averaged just 6.0 points per game and is only 6-5. Carrera is a solid rebounder despite being physically overmatched by most opponents in the conference. Mindaugas Kacinas is a little bigger at 6-7 and has plenty of starting experience. Demetrius Henry figures to return to his starting center spot, while Laimonas Chatevicius and Brian Steele can provide frontcourt depth. If that group can start being more productive, this will be a pretty good team. The backcourt can only carry them so far.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Duane Notice, Sophomore, Guard, 8.2 points per game
Tyrone Johnson, Senior, Guard, 11.2 points per game
Sindari Thornwell, Sophomore, Guard, 13.4 points per game
Mindaugas Kacinas, Junior, Forward, 5.6 points per game
Demetrius Henry, Sophomore, Center, 4.0 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.3 (245th in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.9 (169, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.3 (306, 14)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.6 (171, 13)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.7 (216, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.8 (50, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.6 (154, 5)
Rebound Margin: 3.1 (79, 6)
Assists Per Game: 12.2 (203, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.3 (313, 14)

Madness 2015 NBA Draft Rankings:
#52 Sindarius Thornwell

Madness 2014 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#114 TeMarcus Blanton
#119 Marcus Stroman


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