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Jan. 1, 2009

South Carolina vs. Baylor | 5:30 p.m.
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South Carolina at Baylor

Date: Friday, January 2, 2009
Tipoff: 5:30 p.m. ET
Location: Waco, Texas
Arena: Ferrell Center (10,284)
Series: Series tied at 1-1
Television: FSN Southwest
Greg Lucas (play-by-play), Jim Haller (analyst)
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
Mike Morgan (play-by-play), Casey Manning (analyst)

Game Preview
South Carolina (9-2) travels to No. 19/20 Baylor for just its third road contest of the season on Friday. It also marks the first game of the New Year for the Gamecocks. The meeting is the first between Carolina head coach Darrin Horn and Baylor head coach Scott Drew. South Carolina looks to snap a one-game losing streak, having lost to its archrival No. 20/16 Clemson on Tuesday, while the Bears look to extend a six-game winning streak after a 113-78 rout of Jackson State on Wednesday. South Carolina owns a 1-1 road record this season, having lost to College of Charleston (80-82 OT) in late November and defeating Princeton (84-58) on the road in early December.

Television Information
Friday’s contest will be televised by FSN Southwest with Greg Lucas calling play-by-play and Jim Haller 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 Baylor marks the 10th of 22 televised South Carolina contests this season, including 14 home matchups. The contest at Baylor marks South Carolina’s first televised road contest of the year.

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 – Baylor
Friday’s meeting with Baylor marks the third overall and the third consecutive season facing the Bears. The series in currently tied at 1-1, with each team collecting a road victory in the series. Baylor most recently defeated South Carolina, 92-84 on Dec. 19, 2007 in Columbia. Carolina’s win in the series came the year prior in a 64-59 victory on the road in Waco.

Scouting Baylor
Baylor’s record stands at 12-1 after coasting to a 113-78 victory over Jackson State on New Year’s Eve. The Bears are ranked in the AP poll for the fifth consecutive week and are 9-0 on their home court this season. Baylor’s lone loss of the year came against Wake Forest competing in the 76 Classic in late November.

Sophomore guard LaceDarius Dunn lead five Bears in double figures entering Friday’s contest. Dunn averages 16.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game. Dunn pulled down 16 points in Baylor’s victory over Jackson State on Wednesday. Despite leading the squad in points per outing, Dunn is not a regular in the starting lineup for the Bears. Gamecock fans may remember the name “Dunn” from last season’s meeting with Baylor. Dunn led the Bears in scoring (24) shooting a stellar 6-of-8 from beyond the arc in that game.

Senior guard Curtis Jerrells averages 16.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and leads the Bears with 5.9 assists per game. Jerrells recorded just the fourth triple-double in Baylor history on Dec. 22, when he scored 17 points with 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a win versus Hartford. Jerrells tallied 21 points and four assists last season in Baylor’s come-from-behind win at Colonial Life Arena.

Senior guard Henry Dugat (13.6 points, 3.4 rebounds) and senior forward Kevin Rogers (12.0 points, 6.8 rebounds) also average double figures for the Bears. Dugat contributed 20 points in BU’s victory over Jackson State on Wednesday, while Rogers led the Bears with 21 points from the floor.

Starting center Mamadou Diene will be one of the tallest opponents the Gamecocks have faced this season as the Senegal native stands at 7-1. Diene contributes 2.2 points per contest.

Baylor’s threat from beyond the arc and South Carolina’s stingy defense should keep this contest interesting. Both squads average over 80 points per game and hold a significant edge in scoring margin.

Scouting South Carolina
South Carolina is off to one of the best starts in recent seasons, despite its loss to No. 20/16 Clemson on Tuesday. Carolina’s game against Baylor marks its second consecutive against a ranked opponent.

Junior point guard Devan Downey pulled out all the stops and stepped up to the plate against the Tigers. Downey led four Gamecocks in double figures against Clemson, where his 37 points in the contest were a career high and the highest point total by a Gamecock this season. Downey ranks second in the SEC in scoring (20.6) and first in steals (3.36). He leads Carolina in both categories, while also adding 4.1 assists and 2.9 rebounds per contest.

Senior guard Zam Fredrick ranks behind Downey with 15.5 points per contest thus far. Fredrick contributed 19 points and three rebounds against Clemson on Tuesday – a team against which which he tallied his career high in points (28 points) last season. Fredrick has tallied at least 15 points in six games this year.

Junior forward Dominique Archie has been consistent for the Gamecocks on the court this season. Archie was in foul trouble early on against Clemson, but rebounded with 10 points and six rebounds before fouling out late in the second half. Archie contributes 11.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per contest.

Sophomore forward Mike Holmes pulled down his fourth double-double of the season on Tuesday against Clemson with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Holmes ranks fourth in the SEC with 9.0 rebounds per contest. He also contributes 13.0 points per game for Carolina.

Junior guard Brandis Raley-Ross stepped back into the starting lineup against Clemson, contributing three points and three rebounds. Raley-Ross averages six points and 4.0 rebounds per contest.

South Carolina’s key’s to the game will be moving the basketball. The Gamecocks managed a season low three assists versus Clemson, the lowest assist total in a game by Carolina since the 2004 season.