South Carolina is coming off a somewhat disappointing 17-16 season where they finished with the fifth seed in the SEC tournament, but they immediately got knocked out by Auburn.
They also failed to receive a postseason bid, which had some people questioning Frank Martin’s ability to consistently lead this team.
South Carolina enters this season with plenty of optimism, especially because people have said this is the best team Frank Martin has had while at South Carolina.
South Carolina’s non-conference schedule is fairly easy, but they’ll have a few challenges.
Pick it up Friday night at #GamecockTipoff, but get the first look tonight 👀— Gamecock Men's Basketball (@GamecockMBB) October 18, 2019
Our 2019-20 schedule poster 🔥🏀🐔 pic.twitter.com/ywg3tDtkj3
They have to face Wichita State in the Cancun Challenge. They also finish off their non-conference schedule with road games against Clemson and Virginia.
The SEC slate doesn’t get any easier as South Carolina will face Kentucky and Florida at home. They’ll also have a tough road game against Auburn.
February won’t be as hard as the only Top 25 team they face is 22nd ranked LSU at home.
The schedule isn’t terrible, but it’s strong enough to give South Carolina a legitimate shot at the NCAA tournament if they do well in conference play.
South Carolina lost a fair amount of talent from last season.
We see you @SilvaObame 💪🏀#Gamecocks #Family @MiamiHEAT pic.twitter.com/rQjhMduqcB— Gamecock Men's Basketball (@GamecockMBB) October 28, 2019
The Gamecocks lost three seniors, two transfers and one player who decided to stick with football.
The most notable departures were Hassani Gravett, Tre Campbell and Chris Silva.
South Carolina may have lost some talent, but they also returned a lot of young talent.
The team will be led by AJ Lawson, who will be a leading point guard in the SEC.
#Gamecocks G @ItsAJLawson named to the SEC All-Freshman Team.— The Spurs Up Show (@TheSpursUpShow) March 12, 2019
Lawson averaged 13.9 PPG, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.#SpursUp #CarolinaMade pic.twitter.com/7QkpUMutvT
They also return senior forward Maik Kotsar, who was a part of the final four team.
Another notable player is sophomore Keyshawn Bryant, who impressed fans with his defense and dunking last season.
A couple freshmen to look out for are center Wildens Leveque and shooting guard Trae Hannibal.
UNC transfer Seventh Woods will have to sit out this year due to transfer rules.
If this is Frank Martin’s best team at South Carolina, we will be able to tell based on how well they play against teams like Clemson and Virginia.
This looks like a very young but talented team, and I’m actually excited to see how this team performs with so much inexperience.
I can honestly see this team going 23-7 barring any serious injuries.