Tennessee vs. South Carolina, 01/11/17 – Prediction
Written by: Benjamin Hayes
South Carolina Gamecocks (12-3 SU, 6-5-1 ATS, 3-9 O/U) at Tennessee Vols (8-7 SU, 7-6 ATS, 4-7-1 O/U)
When and Where: Wednesday, Jan. 11, Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, Tn., 6;30pmET
Line: South Carolina -1.5
South Carolina has won two straight and three of the last four games, after beating Texas A&M, 79-68 on Saturday. Tennessee has lost two straight to start the season at 1-2 in the SEC. Last season, South Carolina beat Tennessee at home by 26, but lost to on the road to the Vols by nine.
Gamecocks start out slow, end strong
South Carolina shot just 35.1 percent in the first half and found themselves down to Texas A&M, 38-36 at the half at home. They started to pull away in the second half thanks to a 13-3 run over a 3 1/2 minute stretch. Guard Duane Notice and freshman guard Rakym Felder scored 19 points each to lead the Gamecocks over the Aggies from Columbia. Guard Sindarius Thornwell added 16 points and seven rebounds with five steals. That was the second game for Thornwell since returning from a six-game suspension. South Carolina shot 40 percent from the field and 9-of-25 from beyond the arc. They forced 25 turnovers, which helped considering Texas A&M made 52.9 percent of their shots attempted and 11-of-19 from 3-point range (57.9%).
South Carolina is led by Thornwell, who averages 18.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game on 46.2 percent shooting (42.1% 3pt). Guard P.J. Dozier adds 15.4 points per game and shoots 41.9 percent from the floor. The Gamecocks average 72.1 points per game and 43.5 percent from the field. They allow 60 points per game and just 37.1 percent from the floor (28.6% 3pt).
Vols too sloppy to beat Gators
Tennessee shot 50 percent from the field and 6-of-14 from beyond the arc in their 13-point road loss at Florida. Those numbers are good enough to beat most teams, but they lost the game thanks to turning the ball over 19 times. The Vols led by one at the half and gave up 51 points in the second half as Florida shot 67 percent from the floor. Defensively, they allowed Florida to shoot 50 percent from the field and 45 percent (9-20) from beyond the arc. Admiral Schofield led the Vols with 18 points and 10 rebounds on 6-of-9 shooting. Jordan Bowden added 15 points on 5-of-8 from the floor.
On the season, the Vols are averaging 78.1 points per game and shoot 44.6 percent from the field. They are allowing 73.9 points per game and 43.2 percent from the field (36.9% 3pt). Guard Robert Hubbs III leads Tennesse in scoring with 14.7 points per game on 51.5 percent shooting. Guards Detrick Mostella and Grant Williams adds 10.5 points per game. (edit. Mostella was just dismissed from the team on Tuesday).
College Basketball Trends:
South Carolina is:
- 4-1 ATS last 5 Wednesday games.
- 1-5 ATS last 6 home games.
- 3-7 ATS last 10 vs. SEC.
With Thornwell, South Carolina has a legitimate contender in the SEC. This is an outstanding defensive team, which is typical of a Frank Martin coached team. Tennessee is an ordinary SEC squad that is not particularly well-coached by the overrated Rick Barnes, who is better known for his recruiting.
Pick: South Carolina -1.5
Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!
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