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Oct. 30, 2008


First-year head coach Darrin Horn returns 11 players from the Gamecocks’ 2007-08 squad during for his first season at South Carolina. All-SEC point guard Devan Downey and SEC All-Freshman team forward Mike Holmes look to lead a veteran squad in 2008-09.

South Carolina had three players average double-figures in scoring last season in Devan Downey (18.4), Zam Fredrick (14.8) and Dominique Archie (10.6), all of whom return to the court this season for Carolina.

“I know that I am focusing on the positives. One of the biggest we have is the SEC. I think that you have to recruit well and you have to do it for consecutive years to be able to perform. We’re excited about the challenge and the opportunity to do that. We’ve seen what Florida and Tennessee have done in recent years and our mindset is `that if they can do it, why can’t we?’ We have a lot of positives in place. We have a great facility, a passionate fan base. People are crazy about Gamecock athletics. It truly is the state University.”
Head Coach Darrin Horn At SEC Media Days

Downey will once again play the point for the Gamecocks after a record-setting effort last year. A winner of numerous postseason awards, as well as being honored as a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, Downey looks to post another season of strong numbers for the Gamecocks.

Seniors Branden Conrad and Zam Fredrick also look to contribute for Carolina. Fredrick averaged 14.8 points per contest, second-best on the Gamecock squad a year ago. Fredrick and Downey ranked fifth among SEC “Top Duo’s” of the year, averaging an impressive 33.1 points per contest in 2007-08.

Conrad saw action in limited contests last season, but brings senior leadership to the floor for Carolina this year.

Juniors Dominique Archie and Evaldas Baniulis join Holmes in the frontcourt for Carolina. All three return after solid performances last season. Archie averaged 10.6 points and 5.7 rebounds per contest, while starting every game for South Carolina.

Baniulis contributed 5.4 points and 2.2 rebounds per contest last year for Carolina. The majority of his scoring came on successful 3-pointers, while he also played solid defense, collecting eight steals during the year.

Holmes started 12 contests last season and looks to improve that number in 2008-09. He averaged 8.5 points and 5.7 rebounds, while collecting 25 steals and 17 blocks in the process. Holmes also garnered league honors, collecting a spot on the SEC All-Freshman team, marking the seventh Gamecock to receive the honor since South Carolina joined the league in 1991.

Sophomore Sam Muldrow will look for a breakout season in 2008-09 at the center position for Carolina. Muldrow led the team with 1.3 blocks per contest last season, while he also contributed 3.1 points and 3.3 rebounds on the year. Junior Mitchelle Carter will also see time at center this season. He contributed 1.3 points in four appearances last year for Carolina.

Brandis Raley-Ross, the team’s fifth leading scorer last year, will join forces with Downey in the backcourt for Carolina. Ross averaged 6.0 points and 2.0 rebounds last season.

Austin Steed and Robert Wilder will see time off the bench for Carolina. Steed averaged 2.0 points per contest in six appearances last season, while Wilder saw action in six contests, collecting one 3-pointer on the year.


Dominique Archie



The Gamecocks will face strong competition throughout the upcoming season, including contests against nine NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago, 20 televised competitions and 18 home games at Colonial Life Arena, including eight Southeastern Conference contests. Matchups against intrastate rival Clemson, perennial Southern Conference contender College of Charleston, NCAA Tournament participant Baylor and Ivy League contender Princeton highlight the non-conference portion of South Carolina’s schedule.

Twenty of South Carolina’s 29 regular-season contests will be televised during the 2008-09 campaign, with two games on the ESPN family of networks, including a road contest at Florida and a home matchup with Tennessee, a participant in last season’s NCAA Sweet 16. Five contests will be broadcast on various Fox Sports Net divisions, including home games against Clemson (FSN), Ole Miss (FSN) and Georgia (FSN) and road contests against Tennessee (FSN) and Baylor (FSNSW). As part of its multi-year deal with ISP sports, eight Gamecock home games will be televised on SportSouth, while four games will be broadcast on Raycom Sports.