Vanderbilt Commodores Basketball Preview: South Carolina Gamecocks

The Vanderbilt Commodores take on 20th ranked South Carolina on Saturday afternoon. Here is your VandyMania.com preview of the Gamecocks.

The 14-0 Gamecock men have stormed through their season so far, in similar fashion as the Gamecock women. While their schedule isn't a gauntlet by any means, the Gamecocks do have home wins over DePaul and Memphis along with road victories over Clemson, St. Johns and most recently, Auburn.  

Looking at the USC stats leaders, in a coach's dream, the Gamecocks have five players that average between 10.9 and 12.4 points a game.  Six-foot-5 forward Michael Carrera is the leading scorer while backup guard Duane Notice is second on the team.  

From 3-point range Carrera and Notice are the biggest threats with Carrera hitting well over 50 percent of his attempts.  Interestingly, Carrera is hitting a higher percentage from 3-point range than field goal range. Six-foot-7 forward Mindaugas Kacinas is tops on the team in field goal percentage. 

Carrera is the team's leading rebounder while Kacinas is also a significant force on the boards. Guard Sindari Thornwell leads the Gamecocks in both assists and steals. 

Looking at the Vandy-South Carolina stats comparison, the two teams are nearly identical in scoring offense and defense. Vandy has a slight edge in overall shooting and assists made while USC leads in steals and has a stronger RPI. 

Vanderbilt will need a stellar all-round effort in order to pick up a road win in Columbia. The return of Luke Kornet should help both offensively and defensively.

Saturday's game tips off at 2 pm central time and can be seen on ESPNU. 

For VandyMania.com and Scout, this is Don Yates.


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