South Carolina Gamecocks men's basketball

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South Carolina Gamecocks
2015–16 South Carolina Gamecocks men's basketball team
South Carolina Gamecocks logo.svg
University University of South Carolina
Conference SEC
Location Columbia, SC
Head coach Frank Martin (4th year)
Arena Colonial Life Arena
(Capacity: 18,000)
Nickname Gamecocks
Colors Garnet and Black[1]
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Home jersey
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Team colours
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Away jersey
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Team colours
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Alternate jersey
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Team colours
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
1971, 1972, 1973
NCAA Tournament appearances
1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1989, 1997, 1998, 2004
Conference tournament champions
Southern Conference: 1933
ACC Conference: 1971
Conference regular season champions
Southern Conference: 1927, 1933, 1934, 1945
ACC Conference: 1970
SEC Conference: 1997, 2009 (East)

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 plays at the 18,000-seat Colonial Life Arena.


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.[2] However, the Navy leaders kept the teams focus towards the war effort, and USC declined an invitation to the Southern Conference Tournament in 1944.[3]

Frank McGuire era (1965–1980)

Alex English, a 1975 All-American at South Carolina, would go on to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

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.[4]

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.[5] 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 2002-2003 season. Following the 2007-2008 campaign, Odom resigned with a 128-104 overall record at USC.

Darrin Horn era (2009–2012)

On April 1, 2008, Darrin Horn was named the new head basketball coach at USC.[6] 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.


NCAA tournament results

The Gamecocks have appeared in the NCAA Tournament eight times. Their combined record is 4–9.

Year Seed Round Opponent Results
1971 Sweet Sixteen
Regional 3rd Place Game
L 64–79
L 90–100
1972 Round of 25
Sweet Sixteen
Regional 3rd Place Game
North Carolina
W 53–51
L 62–92
W 90–78
1973 Round of 25
Sweet Sixteen
Regional 3rd Place Game
Texas Tech
Memphis State
Soutwest Louisiana
W 78–70
L 76–90
W 90–85
1974 Round of 25 Furman L 67–75
1989 #12 Round of 64 #5 NC State L 66–81
1997 #2 Round of 64 #15 Coppin State L 65–78
1998 #3 Round of 64 #14 Richmond L 61–62
2004 #10 Round of 64 #7 Memphis L 43–59

NIT results

The Gamecocks have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) 11 times. Their combined record is 22–9. They were NIT champions in 2005 and 2006.

Year Round Opponent Result
1969 First Round
Southern Illinois
W 72–63
L 45–59
1975 First Round
W 71–61
L 67–86
1978 First Round NC State L 70–83
1983 First Round
Second Round
Old Dominion
Virginia Tech
Wake Forest
W 100–90
W 76–75
L 61–78
1991 First Round
Second Round
George Washington
W 69–63
L 58–63
1996 First Round
Second Round
W 100–73
W 80–70
L 67–68
2002 First Round
Second Round
Ball State
W 74–67
W 75–65
W 82–47
W 66–59
L 62–72
2005 First Round
Second Round
Miami (FL)
Saint Joseph's
W 69–67
W 77–66
W 69–66
W 75–67
W 60–57
2006 First Round
Second Round
Florida State
W 74–55
W 69–68
W 65–62
W 78–63
W 76–64
2009 First Round Davidson L 63–70
2016 First Round
Second Round
High Point
Georgia Tech
W 88–66
L 66–83

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


Player Position Year(s) electors
Freddie Thompkins 1934 Converse Yearbook
Jim Slaughter Center 1951 Helms Athletic Foundation, Associated Press
Grady Wallace Forward 1957 Helms Athletic Foundation, Associated Press, Converse Yearbook, UPI, International News Service
Skip Harlicka Guard 1968 Converse Yearbook
John Roche (3) Guard 1969, 1970, 1971 United Savings Helms Athletic Foundation, Associated Press, Converse Yearbook, UPI, Basketball Weekly, Look Magazine, The Sporting News, NABC, NBA Coaches
Tom Riker Forward 1972 National Association of Basketball Writers, United Savings Helms Athletic Foundation, Associated Press, UPI, The Sporting News, NABC
Kevin Joyce Guard 1973 United Savings Helms Athletic Foundation, Associated Press, UPI, NABC
Brian Winters Guard/Forward 1974 Citizen Savings Athletic Foundation
Alex English Forward 1975 Citizen Savings Athletic Foundation, Independent All-America
Zam Fredrick Guard 1981 Citizen Savings Athletic Foundation
Larry Davis Guard 1997 Basketball Weekly, Associated Press
Melvin Watson Guard 1997 Associated Press
BJ McKie (3) Guard 1997, 1998, 1999 Basketball Weekly, Associated Press
Devan Downey (2) Guard 2009, 2010 Associated Press, The Sporting News
Source: South Carolina Media Guide[7]


National Scoring Leader

ACC Player of the Year

All-ACC First Team

All-ACC Second Team

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, 1989
  • Jo Jo English – 1991

SEC Rookie of the Year

SEC Coach of the Year

SEC Defensive Player of the Year

  • Sam Muldrow – 2011

All-SEC First Team

  • Larry Davis – 1997
  • BJ McKie – 1997, 1998, 1999
  • Tre' Kelley – 2007
  • Devan Downey – 2008, 2009, 2010
  • Michael Carrera – 2016

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

NIT Most Valuable Player

Gamecocks in the NBA

Retired jerseys

Retired jerseys[8]
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


  1. "Colors | Communications and Public Affairs | University of South Carolina". Retrieved February 28, 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Lesesne, Henry H. (2001). A History of the University of South Carolina, 1940-2000. University of South Carolina Press. p. 27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Lesesne, Henry H. (2001). A History of the University of South Carolina, 1940-2000. University of South Carolina Press. p. 28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Lesesne, Henry H. (2001). A History of the University of South Carolina, 1940-2000. University of South Carolina Press. p. 232.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Lesesne, Henry H. (2001). A History of the University of South Carolina, 1940-2000. University of South Carolina Press. p. 311.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Darrin Horn Named Men's Basketball Coach
  7. "South Carolina All-Americans" (PDF). South Carolina. Retrieved 2015-01-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "2006-07 Men's Basketball Media Guide History" (PDF).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>