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  • VAUGHT: Gamecock's Silva presents challenge for Kentucky

    By LARRY VAUGHT

    When South Carolina beat Kentucky last year, forward Chris Silva had a then-career high 27 points and helped the Gamecocks force 16 turnovers that they turned into 15 points. He was also a big reason UK went 1-for-11 from 3-point range.

    The senior leads South Carolina in points (14.1), rebounds (7.0), and blocked shots (2.0) per game, and also in total free throws made (102) and attempted (136) going into tonight’s game at Kentucky. He has averaged 20.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per outing during the last five games and hit 11 3-pointers.

    South Carolina coach Frank Martin said Silva, a preseason all-SEC choice, is "playing with the vigor, the enthusiasm, the defensive presence" that made him such a good player last year.

    "That allows him to play with great confidence offensively," Martin said. "The last six weeks or so he has really played well. The only two games he did not play well he was in foul trouble."

    Kentucky knows Sliva could be trouble tonight.

    "He presents a major challenge for us. He's very physical, gets fouled a ton, has a great, I think, sense of, No. 1, creating and drawing fouls,” Kentucky assistant coach Joel Justus said Monday. “He's a little bit like an Ashton Hagans in that he just kind of pops up, blocks a shot, gets a steal, you knock him over and it's a charge.

    “He's just a pest really on defense, very similar to what people are describing Ashton as being. He's a little bit of, like I said, a pest in the low post."

    Kentucky’s PJ Washington played against Silva and recalls how athletic he was for his size.

    “He can rebound really well. He can finish at the rim among the best in the conference. He's a really great guy and a really great player. You just gotta go out and just try your best against them,” Washington, who has had three straight double-doubles and was named SEC Co-Player of the Week, said Monday.

    "He blocks everything and he rebounds everything. He's a great shot blocker and you just gotta go up and go into his chest and try to get him in some foul trouble. I don't know what our game plan is yet, but we're going to figure something out."
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. HerbTarlek's Avatar
      HerbTarlek -
      Quote Originally Posted by Darrell KSR View Post
      I thought Larry Bird was a good player until I read about Chris Silva! He blocks shots. He makes 3's. He rebounds everything. he finishes at the rim. He plays defense like Ashton Hagans. He gets steals. He draws charges. He scores 20 points per game and makes free throws.

      (He is a good player. Just hope that he doesn't hit ALL his high marks tonight.)
      Bird was never as good of a shot blocker.
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