Gamecocks’ Kacinas earns SEC Player of the Week honor

South Carolina forward Mindaugas Kacinas (25) earned the SEC Player of the Week award Monday. (AP/File)

COLUMBIA -- The best start in over a decade for the South Carolina men’s basketball team has netted an SEC Player of the Week award for Mindaugas Kacinas.

The Gamecocks’ senior forward received the honor for the first time Monday after averaging 13 points and seven rebounds in victories over Tulsa and Lipscomb. USC extended its winning streak to six games to open the season, the best start of Frank Martin’s tenure at the school, and the best for the program since the 2003-04 campaign which produced the Gamecocks’ most recent NCAA Tournament bid.

Kacinas, a 6-7, 229-pound native of Lithuania, scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the victory over Tulsa, which came in the championship game of the Paradise Jam tournament in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He followed that with 15 points and six rebounds in the victory over Lipscomb.

Kacinas becomes the first USC men’s player to earn the SEC’s weekly award since guard Sindarius Thornwell did so in Janurary. Gamecocks guard Duane Notice also earned one weekly honor early last season.

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