USC plays its SEC Tournament opener Friday afternoon, and the opponent will be the Auburn Tigers. The Gamecocks have won four of the last five meetings including a three point victory earlier this season in Columbia when Chris Silva dominated inside with 32 points and 14 rebounds. Auburn played that game without 6-11 center Austin Wiley who was injured. He also will not play Friday due to a lower leg injury. The Gamecocks have won four of the last five meetings with the Tigers.
Friday night Gamecock coach Frank Martin met with the media at his hotel after Auburn advanced to play his team. Among his disclosures was that freshman guard AJ Lawson, who has been out with a badly sprained ankle, is expected to be able to play in Friday’s game. Martin did say he will stick with the same starting lineup he has used the last few games in Lawson’s absence.