Waco, TX – Frank Martin faces a familiar foe on Tuesday afternoon, as he brings his South Carolina Gamecocks to the Lone Star State to tangle with the 23rd-ranked Baylor Bears.
Martin, who previously coached at Kansas State, has his squad off to a 1-0 start after the Gamecocks nearly doubled up overmatched Longwood this past Saturday, 82-44. It was the 13th straight season-opening victory for South Carolina, and kept Martin a perfect 7-0 in openers as a head coach. This is first of three games in four that the Gamecocks will play on the road.
Baylor also won its season opener by taking down former Big 12 Conference rival Colorado last Friday, 72-60. The Bears are one of the teams expected to challenge Kansas for league supremacy this season, and they have performed exceptionally well at home over the years, going 9-1 in home openers specifically under current head coach Scott Drew.
With Baylor's next win, Drew will notch his 200th career victory (180 at the school).
The all-time series between these two clubs in knotted at 2-2, and the road team has won each time.
Tyrone Johnson hit 6-of-9 field goal attempts on his way to a game-high 18 points, leading South Carolina to its easy victory over Longwood in the season opener. Sindarius Thornwell and Brenton Williams both tallied 14 points, and Michael Carrera chipped in a dozen for the Gamecocks, who made good on 49.1 percent of their total shots while holding the Lancers to only 22.8 percent. Mindaugas Kacinas grabbed 14 rebounds, helping USC claim a resounding 50-25 advantage on the boards. Really, the only negatives that can be pointed out from the Gamecocks' perspective is their poor 3-point shooting (6-of-20), and the fact that they turned the ball over 15 times. Longwood got off to an extremely slow start, scoring just 15 points in the first half on a dismal 6- of-29 shooting performance.
Baylor wasn't exactly firing on all cylinders in its season-opening win over Colorado, but the Bears did enough to thwart the upset bid of the Buffaloes by shooting 44.4 percent from the floor, which included an 8-of-20 showing from beyond the arc. Conversely, CU was ice cold from the field (.333), missing 17 of its 19 3-point attempts in the process. Transfer Kenny Chery scored 14 points in his debut, pacing four Bears in double figures. Cory Jefferson logged his 31st career double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, while Brady Heslip pitched in with 12 points and Taurean Prince finished with 10 points and nine boards for Baylor, which got 31 points from its bench, compared to only eight for Colorado.