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South Carolina vs. Clemson basketball preview
— Gamecock MBB (@GamecockMBB) December 21, 2016
The No. 22 Gamecocks (9-1) host the Clemson Tigers (8-2) on Wednesday night, with the winner getting not only state bragging rights but a major boost in their March Madness résumé.
“The No. 22 Gamecocks (9-1) and Clemson (8-2) clash for the 167th time Wednesday and, as usual, there’s a lot on the line. USC needs a win over a team that will keep its RPI strong since it won’t get much help from its league,” writes The State’s David Cloninger. “The Tigers would like a win over a team that beat Michigan and Syracuse to add to its ACC schedule, which would likely get them to the NCAAs with slightly more than a .500 finish.”
The Gamecocks will be without leading scorer Sindarius Thornwell, who is still in the midst of an indefinite suspension.
For Carolina to get the win, sophomore G PJ Dozier will have to continue his strong play. Columbia’s favorite native son will be going for his fifth straight 20-point game — and the Gamecocks are likely to need every point.
Beyond Dozier, seniors Duane Notice and Justin McKie are critical to the Gamecocks’ success on Wednesday night.
Birmingham Bowl: South Carolina prepares for South Florida’s Flowers and Mack
Forget sugarplums, the Gamecocks are likely to see visions of USF QB Quinton Flowers and RB Marlon Mack dancing in their heads over the holidays.
USF’s talented tandem has combined for just under 2,500 yards rushing. Among quarterbacks, Flowers’ 1,425 yards on the ground is second only to Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson’s 1,538.
The Bulls’ quarterback might get most of the publicity, but RB Mack and his 1,137 yards are nothing to sneeze at.
“Mack, he’s phenomenal. He’s fast, physical, big. He’s an NFL-style running back,” said Gamecocks LB TJ Holloman on the Bulls’ talented running back. “We’re going to have a tough time coming up against him, but I think we’ll go out there and embrace the challenge.”
SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan takes a closer look at USF’s prolific backfield.
Former USC DE earns NFL honor
I wouldn't have this opportunity w/o the support of my coaches and teammates. I think my son is gonna love Disneyworld! Blessed & grateful. pic.twitter.com/k1B4MYuvVn
— jadeveon clowney 7 (@clownejd) December 21, 2016
The 2014 NFL Draft’s No. 1 overall pick took a big step in silencing his doubters on Tuesday.
Former South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney was named to his first Pro Bowl.
The former No. 1 pick and Houston Texans defensive end is in the midst of the best season of his career. He has recorded 49 tackles and 5 sacks.
Clemson loss still stings
“Never again,” linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams told the media earlier this week. “That’s something that we have been posting in the locker room and been saying to ourselves. We never want to get beat like that again. We have to do everything we can do this offseason and everything in the fall to not allow things like that to happen next year.”
As much as the 56-7 defeat at the hands of the Tigers hurt Carolina fans, the loss clearly left an impact on the players.
It’s really a bummer because this team played above and beyond expectations — and a loss at the end of the year put such a damper on it for some.
Lucky for the Gamecocks, they’ve got a shot at redemption in the Birmingham Bowl on Dec. 29. Williams said it best:
“If the season would have ended with the Clemson game, we would have been bummed about it all winter and all workouts. We can finish with a ‘W’ and I think that would feed off into next season.”
Yardbirds ranked high
— GoGamecocks.com (@gogamecocks) December 20, 2016
With a bevy of starters returning from a 46-18 campaign in 2016, South Carolina baseball is ranked No. 4 in the Collegiate Baseball Preseason Top 40.
“South Carolina is one of six SEC schools to be ranked in the preseason poll. Also ranked is LSU (No. 2), Florida (No. 3), Vanderbilt (No. 6), Texas A&M (No. 20) and Ole Miss (No. 22).”
In case you missed it
- Early enrolled MJ Webb already turning heads in bowl practice.
- LB Skai Moore ‘looking really good’ in the weight room.
- USC can finish in the top 10 in two turnover statistics, from The Big Spur.
- The Post and Courier looks at Alaina Coates’ third SEC Player of the Week honor.
— Lou Bezjak (@LouatTheState) December 21, 2016
Three things I want to see in the South Carolina vs. Clemson basketball game
- Dozier to go for at least 20 points.
- Notice to hit at least four 3-pointers.
- Thornwell to make a John Cena-like triumphant return.