NASHVILLE, TN (WIS) - The South Carolina Gamecocks will likely get their second-leading scorer back in the lineup Friday.
On Thursday, head coach Frank Martin said freshman guard A.J. Lawson is expected to play when Carolina faces Auburn at 3:30 p.m. in Nashville. Lawson missed the last three games of the regular season due to an ankle injury.
“The anticipation is that he’s going to play,” Martin said.
Martin said Lawson participated in a full practice Thursday morning and was fine. Should Lawson play, the amount of time he’s on the floor will not be “tied to his ankle,” according to Martin.
Lawson is averaging 13.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. He leads the team in minutes played per game with an average of 31.1. Recently, Lawson was named to the SEC All-Freshman team. With Lawson on the floor, the Gamecocks get a boost they’ll welcome with open arms.
“Auburn plays full court man-to-man,” said Martin. “So, it’s been hard with two guys that can dribble on our roster and AJ gives us another decision maker. Best part about A.J. though, is... he’s got a spirit that’s contagious. He loves to compete. Whether he scores 20 or he scores two, his willingness to accept coaching as a real good player, his willingness to take on the next possession is something that’s given our team a personality and allowed us to grow as the year’s gone on.”
South Carolina will take on Auburn in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals Friday. The game can be seen on ESPN.