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March 13, 2014

Hoops preview: SEC Tournament-Arkansas

No. 13 South Carolina (13-19) v. No. 5 Arkansas (21-10)
When: Approximately 3:30 p.m.
Where: Georgia Dome (26,000)
Series: Arkansas leads 15-11
Last meeting: Arkansas win 71-64, on Feb. 19, 2014, in Fayetteville, Ark.

ATLANTA -- With one foe avenged - Auburn - South Carolina turns its sights in round two of the SEC Tournament to the Arkansas Razorbacks, who the Gamecocks were within two of on the road with less than two minutes remaining.

Having out-scored Arkansas 35-30 in the second half of the game a month ago, Frank Martin knows what it takes to stay with the Razorbacks: speed and composure.

"If you get sped up against them, good luck, because they play so fast," Martin said. "When they play at that speed, they have unbelievable confidence.

"If they get you sped up, then you start turning it over and they just come at you. We have to handle pressure.

"They're really good. They're an NCAA team. That's the kind of team you play when you move on in your conference tournament. I'm a big fan of (Arkansas coach) Mike (Anderson). I'm a big fan of his teams. We got our hands full."

In Fayetteville, Brent Williams scored 29 points but was the only Gamecock in double figures. He said he has tremendous respect for Arkansas' style of play.

"We know Arkansas is a very tough team and they play extremely fast," Williams said. "That's one thing we noticed when we played them the first time.

"It's going to be a track meet."

Three keys to victory

MAINTAIN POISE: One of the differences Wednesday between Auburn and South Carolina was the Gamecocks didn't get rattled. They calmly built a double-digit halftime lead, then came out in the second half and did the same thing again. Facing a team that will pressure the ball more effectively than Auburn, which did employ full- and half-court press, the Gamecocks will need to maintain their poise to have a chance to upset Arkansas.

SLOW YOUR ROLL: With a team in Arkansas that likes to run, run and run some more to make you uncomfortable and tired, the Gamecocks - especially guards Williams, Sindarius Thornwell and Duane Notice - need to exercise patience when pushing setting the offense to take away what the Razorbacks like to do best, which is make you uncomfortable and turn the ball over.

KEEP LITHUANIANS INVOLVED: In what possibly could have been a sign of the apocalypse had is occurred, Mindaugas Kacinas and Laimonas Chatkevicius both nearly had double-doubles. Both were extremely active underneath with rebounds and putbacks, and for USC to advance, it'll need similar efforts from both the Europeans today.

Probable starting lineups:

South Carolina
G - #0 Sindarius Thornwell, 6-5, 206 Fr. (13.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg)
G - #1 Brent Williams, 5-11, 172 Sr. (15.2 ppg, 1.9 rpg)
F - #24 Michael Carrera, 6-5, 214 So. (6.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg)
F - #25 Midaugas Kacinas, 6-7, 210 So. (5.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg)
F - #21 Demetrius Henry, 6-9. 215 Fr. (4.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg)

G - #00 Rashad Madden, 6-5, 180 Jr. (12.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg)
G - #12 Fred Gulley, 6-2, 182 R-Sr. (4.1 ppg, 1.6 rpg)
G - #24 Michael Qualls, 6-6, 210 So. (11.58ppg., 4.5 rpg.)
F - #4 Coty Clarke, 6-7, 232 Sr. (9.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg)
F - #10 Bobby Portis, 6-10, 242 Fr. (12.4 ppg., 6.7 rpg)

South Carolina NEWS


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