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Preview and Thread: Must Win Against South Carolina?

The Hogs need a win at home.

NCAA Basketball: Arkansas at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Time: 6 p.m. CT

TV: ESPN 2

Line: Arkansas -7.0, O/U: 148

More On The Gamecocks

This isn’t the same South Carolina team that made the Final Four in 2017. South Carolina has an offensively challenged team, but one thing that is the same is Frank Martin has them playing defense and challenging everything. They don’t have the talent of a player like Sindarius Thornwell, but all of that competitive spirit is still there.

Projected Starters

Will Daryl Macon start or come off the bench? Recently it’s been him or Darious Hall in the starting five. I’m going to throw out a curve ball and say Anderson is going to put both of them out there. He’s searching for something new and a group that will work together. This gives the starters both the offense and defensive size out of the gate.

For the Gamecocks, Chris Silva is their leading scorer and leader. He also leads the team in rebounds by a wide margin. The Hogs will also have to keep an eye on Frank Booker, who is not shy about letting it fly from three point range. He’s taken 134 shots from deep this year and is hitting at a 40% clip.

3 Key Stats

This is just to emphasize how big of an issue offense has been for South Carolina. Arkansas has been a huge mess defensively in SEC play and this is either going to be exactly what they need to gain some confidence, or is going to show these defensive issues are going to be too much to overcome. South Carolina’s season high this year in points is 80, and in SEC play they’ve only hit 70 points four times. They’ve turned the ball over, outside off Booker their shooting has been awful, and they’ve gotten shots blocked at almost the highest rate in the entire country.

Simply put, Arkansas needs to keep the Gamecocks from scoring and continue to get wins at home. The calendar has turned over to February and the Hogs need a win or hope might just get thrown out the window for NCAA play.