Chicken & Waffles. Your new favorite dish for all things Gamecocks. Grab a cup of joe and hide your screen from your boss as we fill you in on everything happening in the world of South Carolina athletics. Get your Chicken & Waffles right here, Monday through Friday.
Gamecocks improve to 3-0
The Gamecocks (13-3, 3-0) got their third consecutive conference win on Wednesday night with a 70-60 victory against Tennessee (8-8, 1-3).
— Gamecock MBB (@GamecockMBB) January 12, 2017
Senior G Sindarius Thornwell led the way with 22 points, while fellow G PJ Dozier had a rare off-night with just 6 points.
Since returning from suspension on Jan. 2, Thornwell’s scored 57 points in just three games — good enough for 19 points per game.
Where Saturday saw freshman G Rakym Felder break out, it was sophomore G Hassani Gravett who shined off the bench on Wednesday. The JUCO product went 4 of 8 from the field, with 12 points and 3 rebounds.
Next up: The Gamecocks return to Columbia to host Ole Miss (10-6, 1-3) on Saturday.
No. 200 for Martin
The victory on Wednesday night was No. 200 for coach Frank Martin.
— dawnstaley (@dawnstaley) January 12, 2017
In not even 10 full seasons as a head coach, Martin is averaging 20 wins per year.
It’s a reminder of how lucky the Gamecocks were to lure the Miami native to Columbia in 2011.
At the time, I was floored by the move — both on Martin’s part to leave what he’d built at Kansas State and USC’s part for even pulling it off. Today, I’m no less shocked and happy to see Martin on the court with the Gamecocks.
Still have no idea how it actually happened but really happy to see the fruits of Martin’s labor on the court the past few years.
Lady Gamecocks’ Wilson out Thursday
Leading scorer and reigning SEC Player of the Year A’ja Wilson will likely miss the Lady Gamecocks (13-1, 3-0) game against Georgia (10-6, 2-1) on Thursday, The State reported:
“Wilson hasn’t practiced since spraining her ankle in Sunday’s win at Florida,” The State wrote. “She was using a scooter to prop her knee on to keep the ankle elevated on Wednesday, with her foot in a walking boot.”
The All-American forward’s status remains day to day.
The No. 5 Gamecocks should be OK in the short term without Wilson, but a Jan. 23 date against No. 4 Mississippi State (17-0, 3-0) looms on the horizon.
Former South Carolina DC gets a new gig
Much-maligned former defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward is heading to Louisville as the team’s defensive backs coach.
Football Scoop reports Ward will be joining the Louisville staff as defensive backs coach. He spent this season as defensive coordinator at Fresno State for the recently fired Tim DeRuyter. The move comes the same day as news that Louisville is losing defensive coordinator Todd Grantham to Mississippi State.
Fair or not (unfair, in my opinion), Ward catches a lot of flak from Carolina fans for the defense’s sharp decline from 2013 to 2015. In hindsight, it was likely a product of the overall environment more than an indication of Ward’s coaching acumen.
In the year since Spurrier’s departure, it’s clear the HBC didn’t exactly run a tight ship around Williams-Brice those final few seasons — obviously contributing to the on-field dip.
— Mike Hughes (@ITVHughes) January 11, 2017
I’ve got no ill-will toward Ward — he was a great recruiter who helped put players such as D.J. Swearinger and Stephon Gilmore in the NFL. With the athletes Louisville is able to recruit, I anticipate Ward excelling under Bobby Petrino.
Grading Year 1 of Muschamp’s defense
SEC Country’s Mike Wilson serves up grades to the Gamecocks’ defensive unit in its first season under coach Will Muschamp and DC Travaris Robinson.
Predictably, the defensive backs and their ball-hawking ways earned the highest marks:
“Junior Chris Lammons stepped up to make 3 interceptions. … Junior Jamarcus King slid into the starting lineup early and had a huge hand in the win against Tennessee. The unit did well, forcing turnovers and allowing little more than 200 yards passing per game.”
Clowney vs. the Patriots
Fresh off a highlight-reel performance in the NFL Playoffs wild card round, former Gamecocks DE Jadeveon Clowney heads to Foxboro to chase around Tom Brady in the divisional round.
To avoid the upset, Patriots need to neutralize Clowney, Mercilus https://t.co/Xd2Xv5mSq5
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) January 11, 2017
For the Texans to have a chance at what would be one of the biggest upsets in postseason history, they need to muster a potent pass rush. Indeed, when the Patriots struggle in the postseason, it often occurs when the opposing defense is applying consistent and persistent pressure upon quarterback Tom Brady.
That’s your cue, JD. Looking forward to seeing what kind of chaos Clowney can cause Saturday night.
Senior Mary Reiser previews track and field’s upcoming season, set to start Saturday at the Clemson Invitational.
It’s not a Syvelle Newton-throwing-a-Clemson-hat moment but still cool to see 2018 No. 1 overall prospect Xavier Thomas going to bat for the Gamecocks on Twitter …
Bro They played in that bowl with a team full of freshmen & a brand new coaching staff, they are building something special at USC. Trust me https://t.co/HYp0jDQsyL
— Xavier Thomas 1️⃣9️⃣ (@atxlete) January 11, 2017