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Nov. 13, 2008

South Carolina vs. Jacksonville State | 7 p.m.
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COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Darrin Horn era at South Carolina officially begins on Friday when the Gamecocks host Jacksonville State in the season opener for both schools at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia. Tip time is set for 7 p.m. The meeting marks the first between the two schools. The contest will be televised by SportSouth, while fans can access the game on the radio via the Gamecock Radio Network affiliate in respective areas across the state. Carolina owns a 71-29 (0.710) all-time record in season openers, while Horn owns a 4-1 record all-time in season openers as a head coach.

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Date: Friday, November 14, 2008
Tipoff: 7:03 p.m.
Location: Columbia, S.C.
Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000)
Series: First Meeting
Television: SportSouth
Tom Werme (play-by-play)
Eddie Fogler (analyst)
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
Brad Muller (play-by-play)
Casey Manning (analyst)
Tickets: Tickets ranging in price from $12-$15 remain at the Gamecock Ticket Office. Call 803-777-4274 or online at

The Darrin Horn era officially begins on Friday when the South Carolina Gamecocks host the Jacksonville State Gamecocks in the season opener for both schools. Both teams won their lone exhibition contests prior to Friday’s matchup. South Carolina closed the door on Kentucky Wesleyan by halting a 16-0 run in the second half to clinch a 75-55 victory on Nov. 7 at Colonial Life Arena, and Jacksonville State saw five players contribute double-digit point totals to take care of West Georgia 83-76 on Nov. 5.

Friday’s contest will be televised by SportSouth with Tom Werme calling play-by-play and Eddie Fogler, former South Carolina head coach (1994-2001), handling color analyst duties. SportSouth, the nation’s sixth-largest regional sports network, reaches more than nine million cable and satellite homes across a six-state region. Through its affiliates and other Fox Networks Group-owned networks, FSN reaches more than 70 million homes through 16 owned-and-operated networks. The contest against Jacksonville State marks the first of 21 televised South Carolina contests this season, including 14 home matchups.

The game will also be broadcast on the ISP Gamecock Radio Network with Brad Muller on the call with play-by-play and Casey Manning handling color analyst duties. The Gamecock Radio Network reaches throughout the state of South Carolina.

South Carolina head coach Darrin Horn will coach his first official game at the helm of the Gamecock program on Friday. Horn, the 31st coach in school history, looks to improve on the 19-11 record that Gamecock head coaches have amassed in their first game.

Carolina owns a 71-29 (0.710) all-time record in season openers, including an 8-2 record in the last 10 seasons. The Gamecocks ride a seven-game winning streak in season openers into Friday’s contest against Jacksonville State. The last season opening loss for the Gamecocks came against the Ohio Valley’s Tennessee Tech during the 2001 season, as the Golden Eagles edged the Gamecocks, 73-67. South Carolina won last year’s opener over SC State, 92-67.

Darrin Horn is 4-1 all-time in season openers as a head coach, with all of those contests coming during his time at Western Kentucky. Horn’s only loss in a season opener came coincidentally against an SEC school, as Auburn got the best of the Hilltoppers in 2003.

South Carolina is 64-25 all-time in the month of November, including a 21-5 (.807) mark over the course of the past five seasons. Last season, the Gamecocks won four games in November, defeating SC State (92-67), The Citadel (103-42), Penn State (74-67) and Campbell (92-52).

The Jacksonville State Gamecocks open the 2008-09 season under first-year head coach James Green. Green spent the majority of his 11-year coaching career at Southern Mississippi, collecting the Conference USA Championship during the 2000-01 season. Green most recently spent three seasons as the head coach at Mississippi Valley State, where he led his squad to the 2008 SWAC Tournament title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament field. Green holds a 167-150 all-time record as a head coach.

On the court, three freshmen led Jacksonville State to an 83-76 victory in exhibition action against West Georgia on Nov. 5. Freshman Geddes Robinson led all JSU players with 14 points, while fellow freshmen Stephen Hall and John Barnes added 12 and 11 points, respectively. Sophomore guard Nick Murphy is the Gamecocks’ returning leading scorer. He averaged 13.0 points per contest last season.

JSU struggled last season, collecting a meager 7-22 record, including a 5-15 mark in OVC play. The Gamecocks are 36-26 in season openers, including a 2-11 mark since moving to Division I status prior to the 1995-96 campaign.