South Carolina Basketball: 5 players Gamecocks don't want to see in SEC Tournament

South Carolina basketball has a few players that they would like to avoid seeing in the SEC Tournament.

Tennessee wing Dalton Knecht when the Vols lost to South Carolina basketball back in January.
Tennessee wing Dalton Knecht when the Vols lost to South Carolina basketball back in January. / Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina basketball handled Texas A&M and Ole Miss in the past week, securing their place among the "locks" for the 2023-2024 NCAA Tournament.

The Gamecocks have come a long way since Lamont Paris was hired to take over the program. After going 11-21 and tying the program record for losses in his first season in Columbia, Paris retooled the roster through the transfer portal and has his South Carolina basketball team sitting at 23-5 heading down the stretch of the regular season.

In fact, the Gamecocks are in contention for the SEC regular season championship. Carolina currently is one game back of Tennessee and Alabama for 1st place. The Gamecocks still have to play Florida, Tennessee, and Mississippi State (on the road). The Volunteers face off with Alabama (on the road), South Carolina (on the road), and Kentucky, The Crimson Tide play Tennessee, Florida (on the road), and Arkansas. In other words, the league is up for grabs.

After the regular season ends, though, Coach Paris and his bunch will turn their eyes to tournament play as the SEC Tournament will tip off in Nashville on March 13th and finish on March 17th. If the Gamecocks want to win their first-ever SEC Tournament championship, they will have to play well, but they also will need a few things to go their way.

Winning a tournament as competitive as the SEC Tourney will require a few "good breaks," and South Carolina basketball fans hope that the ball bounces their way as their team plays their final tune-ups before the NCAA Tournament begins the following week.

The most obvious good luck that teams and their fanbases hope for in Nashville can be seen in the bracket. Which opponents a team matches up with plays a huge role in their success in running the table. Earning a "double-bye" by finishing the regular season in the league's top-4 is a huge help, and the Gamecocks currently are in a position to do just that.

In thinking through the most Gamecock-favorable path through the SEC Tournament, there are certain teams and players who USC would like to avoid. Let's take a look at some of these players.