-by UATVSports’ Tyler Woessner
Up next for the Arkansas Razorback men’s basketball team is a matchup against South Carolina at 8:00 p.m. Wednesday night in Bud Walton Arena. The Gamecocks come into the game tied for last place in the Southeastern Conference, but the Razorbacks should not take this team lightly.
South Carolina is riding its first SEC winning streak in three seasons. Their streak includes consecutive home wins against Alabama and Vanderbilt. This is still a big step for the Gamecocks, though, because they were 9-47 in that three-year span. Frank Martin is now in his second season with South Carolina after a successful 5-year run with Kansas State. Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson says the Gamecocks are adapting well to Martin’s tough, hard-nosed style of play.
“Frank Martin and his teams are going to be intense,” Anderson said. “They are going to defensively really get after you, challenge you physically, aggressively and get up in their lanes. You’re going to have to make plays on them. They do a good job of rebounding the basketball.”
South Carolina’s best player is 6-foot-5 freshman guard Sindarius Thornwell. He is averaging 17 points, four rebounds and four assists in SEC play. He was named SEC Freshman of the Week after averaging 20 points, five rebounds and five assists last week during the two-game winning streak. Anderson says what Thornwell is doing for South Carolina is similar to Bobby Portis’s role with the Razorbacks.
“He’s leading their team in scoring, so he’s got the green light,” Anderson said. “He’s playing with a lot of confidence. They recruited him to come there and be an impact player, very much like Bobby is for us.”
With six games left in the season, this will be a must-win for the Hogs if they want any shot at postseason play.