South Carolina Basketball: Lamont Paris wins National Coach of the Year honor

South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris has won the NABC National Coach of the Year award.

South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris
South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris swept the SEC Coach of the Year awards (both from the SEC head coaches and from the Associated Press) this season and was well-deserving of the honors.

Paris orchestrated one of the nation's top turnarounds and overcame extremely low preseason expectations to help his team fight to a 26-7 overall record and a tied-for-2nd finish in the SEC. The Gamecocks set a new program record for single-season wins in the regular season and already have tied the program record for total wins in a single season.

On Tuesday night, Lamont Paris was selected as the National Coach of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

The NABC also announced their versions of All-SEC awards (District 20, instead of SEC), and no Gamecocks players made the lists. Coach Paris, obviously, was the Coach of the Year.

Paris is also a semifinalist for the Naismith National Coach of the Year Award.

South Carolina basketball fans were relieved last week to learn that the University of South Carolina had ponied up to give Coach Paris a raise. After entering the season as the lowest-paid coach in the Southeastern Conference, some fans were worried that a bigger job (like from his home state Ohio State program) could swoop in and make him a financial offer that he couldn't refuse.

The extension, instead, will keep Lamont Paris as the head coach in Columbia at least through the 2029-2030 season, paying him over $4 Million on average per season.

Paris and the Gamecocks are opening their NCAA Tournament run on Thursday in Pittsburgh with a 4:00 PM EST tip-off against the Oregon Ducks and former Gamecock Jermaine Couisnard. The game will be broadcast on TNT and will also be available on the March Madness Live app.

A win over the Ducks will push the Gamecocks to the Round of 32 where they will play against the winner of the Creighton-Akron game.

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