COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina
Last season: 26-11, first Final Four appearance.
Coach: Frank Martin.
Who’s gone: G Sindarius Thorwell (senior), G Duane Notice (senior), G Justin McKie (senior), G P.J. Dozier (left for NBA draft after sophomore season), G Rakym Felder (dismissed after second arrest on assault charges in less than year).
Who’s back: F Chris Silva. The junior was a big part of the Final Four run, scoring in double figures in all five tournament games including a career-high 17 points in a win over Duke in the second round. F Maik Kotsar. The 6-foot-10 forward played 37 games as a freshman and added 15 pounds (up to 260) to better compete down low in the SEC.
Who’s new: G Kory Holden. A junior who transferred from Delaware and averaged 17.7 points a game his final year with the Blue Hens. He sat out last season due to NCAA rules. G Frank Booker. A graduate transfer who spent his first two seasons at Oklahoma and last year at Florida Atlantic before coming to the Gamecocks. G David Beatty. A 6-2 freshman who has impressed coaches with his quick pickup of the defense.
The Skinny: Frank Martin signed a contract extension in the offseason instead of bailing at the first true sign of success. That says the sixth-year coach is looking at the long haul with the Gamecocks and believes the program can get further than just the Final Four.
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