November 29, 2015

Gamecocks use second half spurt to blow by Bison 92-76 (AUDIO)

PJ Dozier had 11 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists & 2 steals

PJ Dozier had 11 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists & 2 steals

USC used a 19-5 run in the second half to pull away from pesky Lipscomb University of Nashville  92-76 Friday afternoon at the Colonial Life Arena.  The Gamecocks led by only five points before going on their run which stretched over seven minutes midway thru the second half.

The Bison missed eight straight shots during the Gamecocks’ run.  But Lipscomb kept firing away threes and got as close as 11 points with three minutes to play.  A Michael Carrera three and a bucket by PJ Dozier reestablished the Gamecocks hold on the game.

Six Gamecocks scored in double figures with Laimonas Chatkevicius leading the way with 17 points.  Duane Notice added 16.  Josh Williams of Lipscomb led all scorers with 21.

The Bison attempted 35 three pointers connecting on 13 but the Gamecocks dominated inside scoring 54 points in the paint and winning the rebounding battle 43-29. Freshman Chris Silva led the Gamecocks on the boards with seven.

USC is now 6-0 continuing its best start since going 8-0 to open the 2004-05 campaign.  Gamecocks are back in action at home Monday night against Western Carolina.

Final Stats

AUDIO: Frank Martin

AUDIO: Laimonas Chatkevicius, Duane Notice, Justin McKie


USC Coaching Search: Who’s hot! Who’s not! (Version 6.3)

The search is on for a new football coach at USC and we here at SportsTalkSC  want to do our part in adding to the clarity (confusion?) of the mountain of information and misinformation floating around. So, we will provide to you a regularly updated chart based on what we think is the degree of reality between a potential candidate and his chance for the getting the job.  Our opinions will be based on what we know, what we hear and what we read.  And they will change regularly. We invite your responses.

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Clemson leaves Vegas with a win over Rutgers

Donte Grantham played well against Rutgers. (file photo).

Donte Grantham played well against Rutgers. (file photo).

Clemson dominated the battle in the paint and bounced back for a 76-58 win over Rutgers in the early morning hours Thursday in the consolation final of the Men Who Speak Up Main Event at MGM Grand. The Tigers moved to 4-1 with the win, while the Scarlet Knights fell to 3-3 on the season.

Donte Grantham and Jaron Blossomgame combined for 44 points, scoring 22 apiece. The duo combined for 15 rebounds as well. Grantham was perfect from two-point range, making all nine of his attempts.

“Our activity level was good, and we stuck to our plan better tonight,” said head coach Brad Brownell. “Donte played like the player we know he can be, so it was great to see him bounce back.”

A fluid first-half offensive performance led to a 12-point advantage for the Tigers. Grantham showed his all-around ability, scoring 15 of his points on an efficient 6-8 shooting from the floor. Landry Nnoko was the recipient of three easy dunks on perfect passes from his teammates, accounting for six of his first 10 in the ballgame. Nnoko finished with a season-high 14 points.

Clemson connected on 58 percent of its attempts in the opening half, including a stellar 13-16 clip from inside the three-point arc. The Tigers also out-rebounded the Scarlet Knights by an 18-11 advantage.

The Tigers return home for a few days before traveling to Minneapolis, Minn., for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Clemson plays at Minnesota on Monday, November 30 in a game that will tip off at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Gamecocks enjoying best start ever under Frank Martin

Laimonas Chatkevicius is off to a hot start

Laimonas Chatkevicius is off to a hot start

USC is off to a 5-0 start after winning the Paradise Jam with victories over DePaul, Hofstra and Tulsa.  That’s the best start for the Gamecocks under Frank Martin and their first 5-0 record since the 2004-05 season.

Where are the Gamecocks excelling so far?  They are 24th nationally in three point shooting,  29th in offensive rebounds per game, 34th in rebound margin, 6th in free throw attempts and 7th in free throws made.

The Gamecocks go for six in a row Friday afternoon at home against Lipscomb.  Wednesday Martin met with the media to review the trip to St. Thomas and preview the next game.

AUDIO: Frank Martin

Three more Tigers in the running for national awards

Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson

Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and tight end Jordan Leggett were both announced as finalists for major college football awards on Tuesday.   Watson has been named a finalist for the Maxwell Award and the Davey O’Brien Award, while Leggett was named a finalist for the John Mackey Award.

Last week, Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson was named a finalist for the Nagurski Award and the Lombardi Award.

The Maxwell Award is presented each year to the Most Outstanding Player in the nation and the Davey O’Brien award is presented  to the top quarterback.  The Mackey Award goes to the top tight end.  The Nagurski Award is presented to the top defensive player in the nation and the Lombardi Award goes to the top lineman or linebacker.

Watson is the only quarterback among the Maxwell Award finalists.  The other finalists are Alabama running back Derrick Henry and Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey.   The other finalists for the O’Brien Award are Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma and Trevone Boykin of TCU.

Watson is the first Clemson player to be a finalist for both awards.

Watson has led Clemson to a No. 1 ranking and an 11-0 record so far this year.  It is the first time Clemson has won its first 11 games since 1981, the year Clemson won the National Championship.

The sophomore from Gainesville, Ga. has completed 241 of 344 passes for 2,944 yards and 26 touchdowns.  He has completed 70.1 percent of his passes, third best in the nation.  He has added 642 yards on the ground in 118 carries and has scored six touchdowns.

Watson is the only quarterback in the nation to rush for 600 yards and pass for 2,900 yards this season.

Watson is eighth in the nation in passing efficiency with a 161.07 rate.  Four times he has been the ACC Offensive Back of the Week, the most selections by any Clemson offensive player in school history.  He has been named to the Manning Award Honor roll four of the last five weeks.

Leggett is  joined on the list of Mackey finalists by Hunter Henry of Arkansas and Austin Hooper of Stanford.  The junior has caught 27 passes for 345 yards and a team best six touchdowns this year. He had at least one touchdown reception in five straight games at one point, a Clemson record for a tight end.

Leggett had two touchdown receptions among his four receptions for 56 yards in the win over Georgia Tech.  He tied a school record for touchdown catches in a game by a Clemson tight end.

In the win over Florida State, the junior from Navarre, Fla. had six catches for 101 yards and became just the fourth Clemson tight end in history to have at least 100 receiving yards in a single game.

Lawson is second in the nation in tackles for loss with 19 and is big reason Clemson is fifth in the nation in total defense.  He has 66 tackles for the season and 7.5 sacks.