The South Carolina men's basketball team has spent most of this season looking for a leader. As the season comes to an end, one player has continued to prove himself and will be back for one more go.
Junior forward Chris Silva stepped up both on and off the court for South Carolina, and he's racking up the post-season accolades to prove it. When PJ Dozier and Sindarius Thornwell left for the NBA, head coach Frank Martin needed someone that could lead the team. Silva has been able to do that and show Gamecock Nation and the rest of his country his true abilities, leading him to be named the 2018 SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year.
This recognition is a true testament to Silva’s strength on the defensive side of the ball, averaging 1.3 blocks per game. He was also honored on the All-SEC Defensive Team. Silva was ranked fourth for rebounds in the league.
Not only was the forward recognized for his defensive skills but also his overall skills as a collegiate athlete. Silva was also named to the First Team All-SEC, the first time the junior has picked up this honor. These are the first honors Silva has picked up for his playing ability at South Carolina, but he has been recognized for his academics. He was previously named to the SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll and SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll. He is one of three players from South Carolina to be recognized by the league’s coaches, along with Michael Carrera and Thornwell.
As the Gamecocks season comes to a close and they prepare for the SEC Tournament and possible NIT apperance, Gamecock fans recognize that Silva earned these honors throughout the season by leading his team with 14.8 points and 7.8 rebounds. He also led himself to new heights by setting a career high of 27 points during a win over Vanderbilt at home.
Capstone showed its support for Silva by glowing garnet Tuesday night to recognize his accomplishments along with the women's tennis team win over No. 7 Ole Miss. With another year to come, Silva will lead the Gamecocks with his new titles and records to go into the SEC Tournament as the No. 11 seed.