Frank Martin, his scowl, and his South Carolina basketball team come to Rupp Arena to face the Cats tonight. I wouldn’t necessarily say the Cats are “rolling”, but they’ve won their last three games. South Carolina comes into this game after scoring 92 points in their last two games. Total. They are 2-6 in the conference and have yet to score more than 73 points in an SEC game. And that was in overtime. South Carolina is not good, but that hasn’t stopped them from playing well against the Cats before.
Lucky for us, Tre Kelley and Devan Downey are not walking through that door. Let’s find out who is. Let’s Know Your Enemy: South Carolina Gamecocks.
The University of South Carolina is located in Columbia, a city which is featured in 22 different states. This Columbia is in South Carolina, which makes a lot of sense. Columbia, SC is the largest city named “Columbia” in the nation. It’s nickname is “Paradise City.” I’ve never been there, but I assume the grass is green and the girls are pretty. Fairly standard for an SEC town, I’d say (not counting the small area of Nashville where Vanderbilt is located).
Notable Alumni (“People named Hootie” Division):
Hootie and the Blowfish- It is widely known that Darius Rucker is a South Carolina grad, but actually ALL the members of Hootie and the Blowfish are Gamecocks. The band broke up so Darius could go make money singing terrible country songs. But Hootie and the Blowfish and music went together like “lamb and tuna fish, or spaghetti and meatball.” If you didn’t like Hootie, I’d question your patriotism.
Hootie Johnson- Apparently there’s a little “Hootie” in the water down in South Carolina. This Hootie was a former chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, the home of The Masters. Johnson directed two significant overhauls of the golf course (also known as Tiger proofing) and allowed 18-hole network television coverage of “a tradition unlike any other”, therefore making him solely responsible for some of the most amazing naps ever taken.
Johnson is widely known for a disagreement beginning in 2002 with Martha Burk over admission of female members to Augusta National. This policy has now changed, but at the time Hootie said “Our membership is single gender just as many other organizations and clubs all across America. These would include junior Leagues, sororities, fraternities, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and countless others. And we all have a moral and legal right to organize our clubs the way we wish.”
Dance Team Scouting Report:
South Carolina plays their home basketball games in the 18,000 seat Colonial Life Arena. Their basketball history is not very good, as they have been to just 8 NCAA tournaments and 3 Sweet 16’s. Though no one cared, they won back to back NIT titles in 2005 and 2006. So adorable, you guys.
If I have pee in me, I can’t look at pictures of Frank Martin. He scares it out of me. The man is pure terror.
Before arriving in Columbia to take the reigns of the Gamecocks, Martin was the head man at Kansas State for five years. He took the Wildcats to 4 NCAA tournaments which included one Elite 8. He also coached one of the greatest beards in college basketball.
Bruce Ellington- A two sport star at South Carolina, Ellington has played in only 12 of 21 games due to his responsibilities with the Gamecock football team. He is averaging 10.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game. He is shooting 30% from three point range. If South Carolina’s guard history (Kelley & Downey) in Rupp Arena is any indication, he will score 45 points and make 10 threes tonight.
Michael Carrera- Before I wrote this, I didn’t know this guy was a person. Alas, he is a person. A person who plays basketball for South Carolina. And a person who looks like Rick Fox. Carrera, a freshman, averages 10.2 points and 7 rebounds. Most importantly, he is a person. Now we all know that.
Kentucky, a 17.5 point favorite in this game, should win this game handily. SHOULD being the key word. If the last few games are any indication, the Cats will not make anything easy on themselves.
Despite that, I expect a reasonably close first half to turn into a double digit win by the final buzzer. 17.5 seems like a lot of points, but keep in mind this team lost to Georgia by 11. If you are heading to Rupp for the game, DO NOT look Frank Martin directly in the eyes. He will steal your soul. And might make you pee a little.