South Carolina looks to get back on track Sunday afternoon against Tennessee following three straight losses in conference play. The month of January appeared to have the Gamecocks turning the corner and becoming more competitive but losses to Florida and Kentucky by a combined 61 points sandwiched around a home loss to Georgia have sent the Gamecocks into a tailspin.
South Carolina head coach Frank Martin
Date: Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013
Tipoff: 1 p.m. ET
Location: Columbia, S.C.
Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000)
Series: Tennessee leads 37-23
Last Meeting: Tennessee win, 73-64 on Feb. 25, 2012, in Columbia, S.C.
Talent: Dave Baker (pxp), Daymeon Fishback (analyst)
Gamecocks head coach Frank Martin stated after the Missouri loss in January that the team had to keep fighting and that is still the case as they head through the month of February.
“We have to keep pushing that door and hopefully crack it open eventually,” Martin said. “We have to play with a little courage coming down the stretch rather than fearful of winning.”
The Volunteers enter the game Sunday afternoon holding an 11 game win streak against the Gamecocks dating back to February 17, 2007 when the Gamecocks won 81-64 in Columbia. This year’s version is led by the duo of wing Jordan McRae and post player Jarnell Stokes.
McRae leads the Volunteers in scoring averaging 14 points per game while making 42 percent of his shots from the floor. Stokes is the guy on the inside that has controlled the paint with his team leading eight rebounds per contest.
On Tuesday night the Gamecocks struggled with the height and length of Kentucky. Sunday’s game will not present an easier challenge as the Volunteers will trot out five players that six players that are at least 6-foot-8 or taller.
Following the 77-55 loss to Kentucky, associate head coach Brad Underwood summed up the difficulties the Gamecocks face with their size not just in the post but all over the court.
“I think we are probably as small as any BCS team in the country and that is at every spot,” Underwood said.
Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. with television coverage by the SEC Network.