Basketball Wiki

South Carolina Gamecocks
South Carolina Gamecocks
School Name: University of South Carolina
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
Arena: Colonial Life Arena
Capacity: 23,700
Conference: SEC
Head coach: Lamont Paris

The South Carolina Gamecocks men's basketball team represents the University of South Carolina and competes in the Southeastern Conference. The program attained national prominence under hall of fame coach Frank McGuire, posting a 205-65 record and three NCAA Sweet 16 appearances from 1967-1976. The Gamecocks won the 1970 ACC championship, 1971 ACC Tournament, and the 1997 SEC championship. South Carolina also won Southern Conference titles in 1927, 1933, 1934, and 1945.

Most recently, the Gamecocks won the NIT in 2005 and 2006 and claimed a share of the 2009 SEC Eastern division title. South Carolina is currently coached by Lamont Paris and plays at the 18,000-seat Colonial Life Arena.

Program History[]

Southern Conference Years[]

South Carolina achieved a measure of regional prominence during its tenure in the Southern Conference, winning regular season championships in 1927, 1933, 1934, and 1945. The program also won the conference's tournament championship in 1933. During World War II, the basketball team's success was partially attributed to being assigned outstanding athletes by the U.S. Navy as part of the V-12 program. However, the Navy leaders kept the teams focus towards the war effort, and USC declined an invitation to the Southern Conference Tournament in 1944.

Frank McGuire Era (1965-1980)[]

The hiring of Frank McGuire before the 1964-65 season propelled South Carolina to its most successful period to date. McGuire's 16-year tenure was highlighted by an undefeated ACC regular season in 1970, an ACC Tournament championship in 1971, and three consecutive Sweet 16 appearances from 1971 to 1973. USC also posted a 69-16 overall record from 1968 to 1971, and John Roche won consecutive ACC Player of the Year Awards (1969–1970). In November 1968, the Gamecocks began playing at the 12,401 seat Carolina Coliseum, which became known as the "House that Frank Built." The success South Carolina achieved on the court brought resentment and anger from fellow ACC schools, especially those on "Tobacco Road," as the conference members of the state of North Carolina were known. The hostility of the road crowds, the unfriendly behavior of coaches and athletic directors in the conference, and the discrepancies in eligibility standards led McGuire to support South Carolina becoming an Independent before the 1971-72 season.

As an Independent, the program gradually declined, and the University sought entrance into an athletic conference. This proved problematic because most conferences required schools to have a single athletic director, and South Carolina had multiple directors at the time. McGuire served as Athletic Director for the basketball program, and he would not relinquish his position. The University made several attempts to obtain McGuire's resignation, but ultimately honored his contract through 1980. McGuire finished with a 283-142 overall record at South Carolina and continues to be held in high regard by Gamecock fans. His six consecutive 20-win seasons from 1969 to 1974, which produced a 137-33 record, remain the benchmark for USC Basketball.

Metro Conference and SEC[]

In 1983, the University became affiliated with the Metro Conference. The basketball program was placed on probation by the NCAA in the spring of 1987 for two years because of recruiting violations and the sale of complimentary player tickets. From 1987 to 1991, George Felton led the Gamecocks to an 87-62 overall record, which included a 1989 NCAA Tournament appearance and a 1991 NIT berth. For three of Felton's five seasons (1987–1989), Tubby Smith served as an assistant coach before leaving to join Rick Pitino's staff at Kentucky. South Carolina joined the SEC before the 1992 season and initially struggled, posting a combined 20-35 record in 1992 and 1993.

Eddie Fogler Era (1994-2001)[]

Eddie Fogler was hired away from Vanderbilt before the 1994 season and within a few years returned the Gamecocks to respectability. Under Fogler, South Carolina posted an impressive 66-28 record (34-14 SEC) during the 1996-1998 stretch, which included the school's first SEC championship in 1997. The 1997 Gamecocks posted a 15-1 record in SEC play and defeated league rival Kentucky twice, but lost in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament. Fogler stepped down after the 2001 campaign, going 123-117 in eight seasons as the Gamecocks' head coach. His tenure included two NCAA Tournament appearances (1997, 1998) and two NIT appearances (1996, 2001). Fogler retired as one of the most successful head coaches in SEC Basketball history, having won regular season conference championships at both Vanderbilt and South Carolina.

Dave Odom Era (2002-2008)[]

Subsequent coach Dave Odom posted four 20-win seasons during his tenure at South Carolina. He led the Gamecocks to an appearance in the 2004 NCAA Tournament and consecutive NIT championships in 2005 and 2006. Odom's tenure also saw USC begin play at the 18,000 seat Colonial Life Arena during the 2003 season. Following the 2008 campaign, Odom resigned with a 128-104 overall record at USC.

Darrin Horn Era (2009-Present)[]

On April 1, 2008, Darrin Horn was named the new head basketball coach at USC.[1] In his first season, Horn led the Gamecocks to a 21-10 record (10-6 SEC), two victories over Kentucky, and a share of the 2009 SEC Eastern Division title. After a 10–21 campaign in 2011–12, his third straight losing season, Horn was fired on March 13, 2012, finishing his tenure at Carolina with a 60–63 overall record and a 23–45 mark in the SEC.

Frank Martin era (2012–2022)[]

Frank Martin basketball 2012

Martin led the Gamecocks to their first Final Four in 2017.

Frank Martin came to USC from Kansas State, where he had enjoyed five winning seasons and four NCAA Tournament appearances, including an Elite Eight appearance with the Wildcats in 2010. After losing records in his first two seasons with the Gamecocks, he achieved a winning season in 2015, then started the 2015-16 season 15-0 before reaching the NIT in 2016. During the 2016-17 season, Martin's Gamecocks started 8-0 including two wins over ranked teams, helping the Gamecocks get the highest AP ranking of his tenure at #16 and go on to make the 2017 NCAA Tournament, the program's first appearance in the event since 2004. On March 17, 2017, USC achieved its first NCAA Tournament victory since 1973 with a 20-point win over the Marquette Golden Eagles. Two nights later, the Gamecocks upset the #2 seed Duke Blue Devils to advance to their fourth Sweet 16.[2] South Carolina then beat #3 seed Baylor Bears to advance to their first-ever Elite 8. Two days later, they upset the Florida Gators to advance to their first ever Final Four.

Lamont Paris era (2022–present)[]

Former Chattanooga head coach Lamont Paris was named head coach on March 21, 2022 to replace the terminated Frank Martin.[3]

NIT Championships[]

2005 Season[]

Round Opponent Result/Score
First Round Miami W 69–67
Second Round UNLV W 77–66
Quarterfinals Georgetown W 69–66
Semifinals Maryland W 75–67
Finals St. Joseph's (PA) W 60–57

2006 Season[]

Round Opponent Result/Score
First Round Western Kentucky W 74–55
Second Round Florida State W 69–68
Quarterfinals Cincinnati W 65–62
Semifinals Louisville W 78–63
Finals Michigan W 76–64

Conference championships[]

  • 1927 SoCon (season) – South Carolina went 14-4 overall and 9-1 in Southern Conference play.
  • 1933 SoCon (season & tournament) – South Carolina posted a 17-2 record (4-1 SoCon) and won the Southern Conference tournament.
  • 1934 SoCon (season) – South Carolina went 18-1 overall and 6-0 in Southern Conference play.
  • 1945 SoCon (season) – South Carolina went 19-3 overall and 9-0 in Southern Conference play.
  • 1970 ACC (season) – South Carolina went 25-3 overall and 14-0 in ACC play.
  • 1971 ACC (tournament) – South Carolina posted a 23-6 overall record and defeated North Carolina for the ACC Tournament title.
  • 1997 SEC (season & division) – South Carolina posted a 24-8 record (15-1 SEC) to win the SEC championship and Eastern Division title.
  • 2009 SEC East (division) – South Carolina went 21-10 overall and 10-6 in SEC play to win a share of the SEC East title.

Head Coaches/Results[]

Notable players[]


National Scoring Leader

  • Grady Wallace - 1957 (31.3 ppg)
  • Zam Fredrick - 1981 (28.9 ppg)

ACC Player of the Year

  • John Roche - 1969, 1970

All-ACC First Team

  • Grady Wallace - 1957
  • Art Whisnant - 1962
  • Ronnie Collins - 1964
  • Skip Harlicka - 1968
  • John Roche - 1969, 1970, 1971
  • Tom Owens - 1970, 1971

All-ACC Second Team

  • Grady Wallace - 1956
  • Art Whisnant - 1960, 1961
  • Scott Ward - 1963
  • Gary Gregor - 1967, 1968
  • Jack Thompson - 1967
  • Frank Standard - 1968
  • Tom Owens - 1969

ACC Tournament Outstanding Player

  • John Roche - 1971

Metro Conference Newcomer of the Year

  • Linwood Moye - 1985

All-Metro First Team

  • Jimmy Foster - 1984

All-Metro Second Team

  • Linwood Moye - 1986
  • Michael Foster - 1987
  • Darryl Martin - 1987
  • John Hudson - 1988
  • John Hudson - 1989
  • Jo Jo English - 1991

SEC Player of the Year

  • Sindarius Thornwell – 2017

SEC Rookie of the Year

  • BJ McKie - 1996

SEC Coach of the Year

  • Dave Odom - 2004

SEC Defensive Player of the Year

  • Sam Muldrow - 2011
  • Chris Silva – 2018

SEC Sixth Man of the Year

  • Brandis Raley-Ross – 2009
  • Duane Notice – 2016
  • Hassani Gravett – 2019

All-SEC First Team

  • Larry Davis - 1997
  • BJ McKie - 1997, 1998, 1999
  • Tre' Kelley - 2007
  • Devan Downey - 2008, 2009, 2010
  • Michael Carrera – 2016
  • Sindarius Thornwell – 2017
  • Chris Silva – 2018

All-SEC Second Team

  • Jamie Watson - 1993, 1994
  • Larry Davis - 1996
  • Melvin Watson - 1997, 1998
  • Tarence Kinsey - 2006
  • Dominique Archie - 2009
  • Zam Fredrick, Jr. - 2009

All-SEC Third Team

  • Emmitt Hall - 1993, 1994
  • Melvin Watson - 1996
  • Marijonas Petravičius - 2001
  • Jamel Bradley - 2002
  • Carlos Powell - 2004, 2005
  • Brandon Wallace - 2007

NIT Most Valuable Player

Gamecocks in the NBA[]

Retired jerseys[]

Retired jerseys[4]
No. Player Years
42 Grady Wallace 1955–1957
11 John Roche 1968–1971
43 Kevin Joyce 1970–1973
22 Alex English 1972–1976
3 BJ McKie 1995–1999

See also[]

  • Garnet Army


External Links[]