South Carolina Preview Capsule

South Carolina Preview Capsule

Eds: With BKC-South Carolina Preview.

By The Associated Press=

South Carolina

Last season: 17-16, lost in quarterfinals of Southeastern Conference tournament.

Nickname: Gamecocks

Coach: Frank Martin

Conference: Southeastern Conference

Key returners: Sindarius Thornwell, a 6-foot-5 junior who was considered by some to leave for the NBA with a strong sophomore season. Instead, Thornwell suffered from tendinitis in his knees, which changed his game because of the constant pain. Thornwell had injections in his knees this offseason to help control the condition. Guard Duane Notice led the Gamecocks in scoring last season at 11.7 points, but had to play his less comfortable spot as point guard because of low roster numbers. This year, Notice will concentrate on scoring.

Who left: South Carolina turned over its roster this past offseason as forwards Demetrius Henry and Shamiek Sheppard, who missed the final 14 games because of suspension, transferred from the program. Point guard and team leader Tyrone Johnson was a senior on last year’s team.

The Skinny: South Carolina is looking for big contributions from McDonald’s All-American freshman P.J. Dozier. If Dozier performs and Thornwell stays healthy, the Gamecocks could move into the top third of the SEC this season.