Thu, 04 Mar 2021

Gamecocks travel to LSU without Frank Martin

Field Level Media
16 Jan 2021, 12:19 GMT+10

LSU has been dominant in its last two games.

South Carolina is just trying to play some games, though it will play its next one without its head coach.

The red-hot Tigers (9-2, 4-1) and the short-handed Gamecocks (3-2, 1-0) meet in a Southeastern Conference game Saturday night in Baton Rouge, La.

LSU had an 18-0 run early in the game and led by as many as 31 points in the first half before coasting to a 92-76 home victory against Arkansas on Wednesday.

That came four days after the Tigers rolled to an 18-point halftime lead in an easy win at Ole Miss.

"This is the first time we have played well back-to-back," coach Will Wade said. "We are starting to hit our stride a little bit and hopefully we can keep this rolling."

All five starters scored in double figures against the Razorbacks. Trendon Watford (23 points, 10 rebounds) and Darius Days (18 points, 13 rebounds) had double-doubles.

"I think we started the game great," Watford said. "We tried to come out with energy and lock in on defense. That's one of the main things we've been working on. That's what's going to separate us at the end."

South Carolina, which saw its last two games postponed because of COVID issues, announced Thursday night that head coach Frank Martin and two members of his staff will miss this game because of COVID health and safety protocols. Assistant coach Bruce Shingler will be the acting head coach.

The Gamecocks rolled in their most recent game, but that was back on Jan. 6. They beat visiting Texas AM 78-54 in their delayed SEC opener before games at Ole Miss last Saturday and against Tennessee on Tuesday were postponed because of COVID.

"It's pretty hard, but we're not the only people in the country that have to deal with it," said Justin Minaya, the team's third-leading scorer. "It's just kind of the way it is right now. Something we realized is literally in one day suddenly your whole world could change out of nowhere, so just take advantage of every opportunity you get. You never know when the next one is going to come."

South Carolina hopes the next opportunity comes Saturday, but the Gamecocks recently endured a 28-day layoff and they have seen eight games not played as scheduled.

South Carolina played just one game during the entire month of December. Saturday's game will only be the program's fourth since Nov. 29, 2020.

--Field Level Media

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