The development of Michael Carrera in four seasons has been astonishing. Carrera began his career as an undersized post player who was known primarily for getting by on pure effort, usually in the form of rebounding and hustle plays. He continues to do those small things that make him the type of guy opposing fans love to hate, but he's also developed into a nice offensive option for Frank Martin. He currently leads the team in scoring (13.7) and rebounding (7.1). He's making 50% of his shot attempts (45% from 3) and 79% from the free throw line. He was the only Gamecock player who had a nice game in the last meeting, finishing with 14 pts, 10 rebs.
The four veteran players for this Carolina team - Sindarius Thornwell, Duane Notice, Mindaugas Kacinas and Laimonas Chatkevicius - continue to produce, all four are averaging double figures. And the freshmen, PJ Dozier and Chris Silva, continue to show improvement. This remains a solid team, though perhaps not as dynamic as other teams in the conference.
South Carolina is the better team, but they're not light years ahead of Alabama; the game in Tuscaloosa proved that. To win this one, Alabama will need a similar performance from the 3 point line (shot 46% from 3 in game one) and on the defensive end (South Carolina shot 35% from the field, 16% from 3, and 18 turnovers), while taking better care of the ball (17 turnovers in game one) and the free throw line (57%). This game has been announced as a sellout so the environment will likely be loud, hostile, and Alabama will have to get off to a good start.