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Dec. 29, 2008

South Carolina vs. Clemson |7 p.m.
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South Carolina vs. Clemson

Date: Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Tipoff: 7:06:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia, S.C.
Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000)
Series: South Carolina leads, 86-72
Television: Fox Sports South
Dave Neal (play-by-play), Eddie Fogler (analyst)
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
Mike Morgan (play-by-play), Casey Manning (analyst)
Tickets: Tickets remain at the Gamecock ticket office. Call 803-777-4274 or online at

Game Preview
South Carolina (9-1) hosts archrival No. 20/16 Clemson (12-0) in the first contest for both squads following the holiday break. Carolina rides a five-game winning streak into the contest, while the Tigers are undefeated thus far in 2008-09. South Carolina looks for its first win in the series since a 76-61 road victory over Clemson during the 2003-04 campaign. The Tigers mark the first top-25 opponent the Gamecocks have faced this season. The contest marks the first of two consecutive games against top-25 competition, as South Carolina travels to No. 19/20 Baylor on Jan. 2.

Television Information
Tuesday’s contest will be televised by Fox Sports South with Dave Neal calling play-by-play and Eddie Fogler, former South Carolina head coach (1994-2001), handling color analyst duties. 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 Clemson marks the ninth of 22 televised South Carolina contests this season, including 14 home matchups.

Radio Broadcast Information
The game will be broadcast on the ISP Gamecock Radio Network with Mike Morgan 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.

Series Information – Clemson
Tuesday’s meeting with Clemson marks the 159th all-time meeting between the two schools, dating back to a 39-18 South Carolina win in the first meeting between the intrastate rivals during the 1912-13 season. South Carolina holds an 86-72 advantage in the all-time series. The schools played on a regular basis prior to and during South Carolina’s time in the ACC, before a a five-year break in the series (1972-1977). The teams have met at least once in every season since the 1977-78 campaign. Clemson has won four of the last five contests between the two schools, including its most recent win, an 85-74 win on Dec. 1, 2007 in Littlejohn Coliseum. South Carolina’s last win in the series came during the 2003-04 campaign defeating the Tigers on the road, 76-61.

Scouting Clemson
Clemson is undefeated thus far in 2008-09, entering Tuesday’s contest with a 12-0 record. The Tigers’ most notable win came against Illinois in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, defeating the Fighting Illini, 76-74 on the road. Clemson most recently defeated Miami (Fla.) in its ACC opener on Dec. 21 in Miami, 91-72.

As expected, All-ACC guard K.C. Rivers leads three Tigers in double-figures with 14.7 points per outing. He also manages 6.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. Rivers has led the Tigers in scoring three times this season, including matching his career high with a 32-point effort in the victory over Liberty on Dec. 7. Rivers was recently named the ACC Player of the Week for a stellar 28-point performance in the victory at Miami.

Big man Trevor Booker also contributes double-digits for the Tigers with 14.5 points per game. His 9.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game are also team highs. Terrence Oglesby is the final Tiger to average double-digits, as his 12.9 points per game rank third on the squad. Oglesby is also the top 3-point threat for Clemson, he’s hit 32-of-76 (.421) attempts this season.

Sophomore guard Demontez Stitt leads the squad with 3.8 assists and matches Rivers with a team-best 1.6 steals per outing. Stitt is just shy of double digits at 9.3 points per game. Center Raymond Sykes has posted solid numbers thus far, contributing 9.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. Rivers, Booker, Oglesby, Stitt and Sykes have been the starting five for all 12 Clemson contests to date.

Clemson’s scoring offense (81.8) and scoring defense (61.3) are strikingly similar to those same figures for the Gamecocks (scoring offense, 81.6; scoring defense, 61.5), ensuring a competitive environment for Tuesday’s contest.

South Carolina holds an edge in steals (11.3 to Clemson’s 9.9) and forced turnovers (20.7 to Clemson’s 18.7). Clemson will need to take care of the basketball on the offensive end and keep unforced errors to a minimum against the defensive minded Gamecocks.

Scouting South Carolina
South Carolina is off to its best start since the 2003-04 season – also the last year the Gamecocks defeated the Tigers – at 9-1 entering Tuesday’s contest with its archrival.

Despite a mediocre overall game in the most recent outing versus Presbyterian, junior point guard Devan Downey continues to lead Carolina with 19.0 points, 4.5 assists and 3.2 steals per game. He leads four Gamecocks averaging double-figures entering the game against Clemson. Downey led the Gamecocks in six straight contest before posting 13 points against PC, his lowest total since a 12-point effort in the season opener versus Jacksonville State. Downey tallied 19 points, four assists and three steals against Clemson last season.

Senior guard Zam Fredrick averages 15.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists per outing. Fredrick has hit double-figures nine times this season for Carolina, but has struggled to find shooting consistency. Fredrick failed to hit a 3-point shot for just the sixth time in his Gamecock career against PC last Tuesday. Keep an eye on the sharp shooter, Fredrick’s 28 points versus Clemson last season marked his career high.

Junior forward Dominique Archie contributed his best game of the season against Presbyterian, shooting 8-of-9 from the floor for a season high 19 points. Archie also tallied nine rebounds and two steals in the contest. His 11.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per contest are well above his current career averages (9.7 points, 5.7 rebounds).

Sophomore forward Mike Holmes matched Archie’s 19-point effort against PC. Holmes also tallied eight rebounds and was a stellar 9-of-11 from the field. Junior guard Brandis Raley-Ross also posted solid numbers in the most recent outing. He contributed eight points and a season high eight rebounds in 29 minutes versus the Blue Hose.

South Carolina faces its toughtest competition to date against Clemson on Tuesday. The defensive effort and performance at the free throw line could be the key to a victory for the Gamecocks.