South Carolina is eyeing its best start to a season in seven years. The Gamecocks will aim to remain undefeated on Friday night when they host George Washington in Columbia, S.C.
The Gamecocks (6-0) haven’t started a season 8-0 since the 2016-17 campaign, which ended with South Carolina making its first and only run to a Final Four. A win on Friday would mark the program’s eighth 7-0 start.
But the Revolutionaries (6-1) have had South Carolina’s number in this series, leading it 10-8. GW beat the Gamecocks 79-55 last season in Washington, D.C.
Most recently, South Carolina topped Notre Dame 65-53 on Tuesday night in Columbia in the SEC-ACC Challenge. Meechie Johnson led the way with a career-high 29 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the floor. It was the Gamecocks’ third victory over a power-conference opponent this season.
“My teammates (were) telling me to keep going and keep playing my game,” Johnson said. “I appreciate my teammates just helping me throughout the game and staying even keeled and poised.”
Johnson — who is in his second year at South Carolina, but fourth year of college basketball after two seasons at Ohio State — is averaging 16.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game this season while shooting a career-best 47.1 percent from the floor.
B.J. Mack is second in scoring for the Gamecocks with 16.2 points per game. The fifth-year forward — who previously played at South Florida and Wofford — had 17 points in the win over the Irish.
George Washington is coming off from playing at the Baha Mar Hoops tournament in Nassau, Bahamas, where it went 2-1. After losing to UIC, the Revolutionaries bounced back with an 81-71 win over Delaware on Sunday. Fifth-year guard James Bishop IV — a two-time All-A-10 selection — led the way with 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting to go along with four assists.
Bishop is an outlier on the roster as an older player, as George Washington has 10 freshmen and sophomores this season.
“We’ve got a hungry, young group. Everyone’s coming in looking to learn,” Bishop said before the season. “All of the young guys have really been absorbing all of the information that everyone has been giving them.”
–Field Level Media