GLENDALE, Ariz. – What happens to a one-man show when that one man has a sick day?
The South Carolina Gamecocks hope to never find out.
OK, maybe it is a little unfair to act like Sindarius Thornwell’s talents compose the entirety of USC’s ability to hang with Gonzaga during their Final Four matchup on Saturday.
Nobody makes it this far in the NCAA Tournament without a solid supporting cast (recall that even Steph Curry managed only the Elite Eight). But the Gamecocks aren’t the same team without their leading scorer, the SEC Player of the Year.
There’s a reason Thornwell’s whereabouts were the first question posed to coach Frank Martin on Thursday by a reporter who noticed that the USC star was absent from the locker room.
“He had a little body temperature last night when we landed,” Martin explained. And he was a little better this morning. But I kind of told our trainer, ‘Just feed him fluids, do what doctors do and let him rest rather than stress him right now.’ ”
Martin also said that Thornwell is not a player who needs additional reps in practice, making the decision to rest him an easy one.
“He’s our most intelligent player,” Martin said. “And I don’t mean to say that demeaning the other guys. He understands basketball at a high, high level, he doesn’t need to be on the practice court to understand what we’re doing.”
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