In his first season as South Carolina head coach, Frank Martin is looking for players to step up and provide his team with an offensive spark. One of those players recently is junior Brenton Williams, who leads the team in scoring with 13 points per game.
Junior Brenton Williams is leading the offensive charge for the Gamecocks
Tipoff: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Columbia, Colonial Life Arena (18,000)
Series: South Carolina leads 3-1
Television: Fox Sports Carolinas/Fox Sports South
When Martin met with the media earlier this week he was not pleased with his team’s offensive production but did single out Williams for what he had done to help the Gamecocks.
“Offensively he has given us a tremendous spark right now,” Martin said. “He is shooting 53 percent from the field, 90 from the line and 40-something from the three. The only thing that he has to get better at is his decision making with the ball. Right now his assist-to-turnovers are upside down and they need to get turned the other way.”
Offense is not the only way that Williams has been able to help the Gamecocks through the first eight games. Martin was been pleased with the progress made on the defensive end of the floor and believes Williams’ best days are ahead of him with a little help from the coaching staff.
“Brenton has come a long way,” he said. “Defensively he has improved. He is so quick that he has the ability to be a real good defender. He has gotten better and he will continue to get better because we are not going to allow him to not improve.”
Following the lost to Clemson last Sunday, it was Williams who went to the coaching staff to find out what he could do to fit their system better. It was the type of action that caught Martin’s attention and showed the dedication to the program that Williams has.
“He just asked us two days ago, right after the Clemson game,” he said, “’Can you show me tape of your former guards? I want to see how they played so I can try and play like that.’ I thought that was a pretty powerful statement by that young man.”
The Gamecocks will need Williams to be ready to provide more offensive spark in the manner of those Kansas guards on Friday night. During Wednesday’s press conference, Martin praised his next opponent, Jacksonville, for their physical style on defense and compared to them to an opponent the Gamecocks lost to already this season.
“They are physical and they play real hard,” Martin said. “It reminds me a little of Elon. They don’t shoot the ball like Elon. Elon was a physical team and Jacksonville plays with that same physical nature.”
The Dolphins enter the game allowing 69 points per game and are lead offensively by Charlotte native and freshman guard Jarvis Haywood, who averages 11 points per game.
Dolphins coach Cliff Warren has tried to prepare his team for the pressure they will face from the Gamecock defense.
“We have to prepare for a physical battle on the glass and their in-your-face-pressure defense,” Warren said.”