South Carolina Basketball: Lamont Paris wins another well-deserved coaching honor

South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris has been named the AP's SEC Coach of the Year.

South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris
South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit

South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris was the ridicule of many during the preseason. Taking issue with his team's preseason ranking of 14th (out of 14) teams in the SEC, Paris called out the SEC media and all but guaranteed that the Gamecocks would be a good team in the 2023-2024 season.

Because USC had gone just 11-21 the year prior, and they had lost some key players off of that team, almost no one was buying what Coach Paris was selling. Articles making fun of Paris and the Gamecocks circulated in the days following SEC Media Days, and even the most optimistic Gamecock fans were thinking that the NIT was a good goal for the team this season.

Fast forward to March, and Lamont Paris was right. South Carolina basketball is one of the best stories in college basketball. The Gamecocks finished the year 25-6 and tied for 2nd in arguably the best conference in the sport. USC will play in the NCAA Tournament this season for the first time since the Final Four run of the 2016-2017 season.

On Monday, Paris (rightfully) was named the SEC's Coach of the Year by the conference's coaches. He became just the third coach in program history (joining Eddie Fogler and Dave Odom) to win the honor.

Now, on Tuesday, Paris has made it a clean sweep as he was chosen as the AP's SEC Coach of the Year, as well. He is the first South Carolina basketball coach to win the award from the AP.

The awards are nice and serve as some validation for Paris and his ability to right the ship. Plus, his efforts this year likely are leading to a nice payday with a new contract. However, the job isn't done for the Gamecocks.

The SEC Tournament begins on Wednesday, and Carolina will play on Thursday against the winner of Arkansas and Vanderbilt. After the weekend tournament, Paris and company will turn their attention to Selection Sunday when they will find out who they will play (and where) when the NCAA Tournament tips off next week.

dark. Next. South Carolina Basketball: Gamecock commit teases reclassification/early enrollment. South Carolina Basketball: Gamecock commit teases reclassification/early enrollment