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Feb. 2, 2009

South Carolina at Florida | 9 p.m.
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South Carolina at Florida

Date: Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Tipoff: 9 p.m. ET
Location: Gainesville, Fla.
Arena: Stephen C. O’Connell Center (12,000)
Series: Florida leads, 34-20
Series Trend: South Carolina has won one
Television: ESPN/ESPNU
Brad Nessler (play-by-play), Jimmy Dykes (analyst)
Jeannine Edwards (sideline)
Rob Stone, Cory Burkarth, John Hornbuckle (ESPNU)
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
Mike Morgan (play-by-play), Casey Manning (analyst)

Game Preview
South Carolina (16-4, 5-2 SEC) travels to face Florida (18-4, 5-2 SEC) for the second time in just 13 days on Tuesday at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville. South Carolina won the first matchup of 2009 between the two schools in thrilling fashion, as senior Zam Fredrick connected on a layup with just nano seconds remaining on the clock to upset then-No. 24 Florida on Jan. 21. Star watch falls on South Carolina guard Devan Downey as he nears 1,000 points as a Gamecock. Downey needs just 16 more points in the Garnet and Black to reach the career benchmark.

Series Information
Florida owns a 34-20 upperhand in the all-time series between the two schools. Prior to South Carolina’s win over Florida on Jan. 21, the Gators had won five consecutive meetings in the series against the Gamecocks.

Television Information
The contest at Florida will be televised in a simulcast format with air time on both ESPN and ESPNU. Brad Nessler will handle play-by-play duties on the ESPN broadcast alongside Jimmy Dykes, who will handle color analyst duties, and Jeannine Edwards will join the crew on the sideline. On ESPNU, Rob Stone, along with South Carolina senior Cory Burkarth and Florida senior John Hornbuckle will have the call.

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.

Scouting Florida
• Florida enters’s Tuesday’s game against South Carolina with an 18-4 overall record, including a 5-2 record in league play. The Gators, Gamecocks and Kentucky each own a 5-2 record in SEC play this season, to stand atop the SEC East standings.

• Florida is undefeated at home this season, carting a 12-0 record at the O’Connell Center into Tuesday’s matchup with the Gamecocks.

• Sophomore point guard Nick Calathes leads one of three Gators who average double digits entering Tuesday’s game. His 18.0 points per game and 6.5 assists per game lead the team. Calathes has scored at least 15 points in each of the last 10 games and is averaging 21.4 points per game during that stretch. Calathes led the Gators in scoring with 20 points, while he added five assists and one steal in the first meeting between the two schools this season in Columbia.

• Sophomore center Alex Tyus averages 12.1 points and a team-best 6.2 rebounds per game. Tyus was held to just seven points and four rebounds in the Gator loss to Tennessee on Saturday. South Carolina held the UF big man to just four points and eight rebounds in the Jan. 21 matchup in Columbia.

• South Carolina averages just 15.9 points off the bench compared to the 21.6 bench points per game of the Gators. Keep an eye on the Gamecock perimeter defense. South Carolina held Florida to just six 3’s – two of those from Calathes – in the Jan. 21 matchup, nearly three shots less than what they have averaged in SEC play this season.

Scouting South Carolina
• South Carolina enters Tuesday’s game with a 16-4 overall record, including a 5-2 mark in SEC play. The Gamecocks join Florida and Kentucky atop the SEC East standings.

• South Carolina looks for its first five-game SEC regular-season win streak since the 2004 campaign with a win at Florida. The win would also mark South Carolina’s second SEC road win of the year and even their record to 2-2 in league road games this season.

• South Carolina has already matched its SEC win total from a year ago. The Gamecocks finished the league season with a 5-11 mark last year. The last time South Carolina won six SEC games in a season came during the 2006 season when Carolina was 6-10 in league play.

• Despite being out-rebounded by an average of 6.2 boards per game, South Carolina averages 64.5 shots per game against the 53.0 of its opponents during its current four-game win streak. South Carolina has hit 42.6 percent of its attempts during the stretch, including 30-of-84 (.357) from beyond the arc.

• During Carolina’s current four-game win streak, junior guard Devan Downey leads the Gamecocks with 20.8 points, 4.3 assists and 3.3 steals per game. Downey knocked down the game-winner in the South Carolina upset of then-No. 24 Kentucky on Jan. 31, propelling the Gamecocks into a three-way tie for first place in the SEC East. Downey led the Gamecocks with 20 points, four assists and three steals against Florida earlier this season.

• In just one and a half seasons at South Carolina, Devan Downey ranks sixth all-time on the career steals list with 164 entering Tuesday’s game.

• Senior guard Zam Fredrick (14.8 ppg), sophomore big man Mike Holmes (10.5 ppg) and junior forward Dominique Archie (10.0 ppg) have provided solid numbers for the Gamecocks during the current four-game win streak.

• South Carolina is 14-1 when holding its opponents to 49 percent or less from the field… The Gamecocks are 12-3 when hitting at least six 3’s in a game… South Carolina is 3-2 in games decided by five points or less… The Gamecocks are 15-3 when scoring at least 70 points in a game.

Historic Victory At Rupp
Prior to South Carolina’s win over then-No. 24 Kentucky at Rupp Arena on Jan. 31, the Gamecocks had won just ONCE at Rupp Arena in 22 tries. The lone Carolina win in Lexington came during the 1997 campaign. The Gamecock win on the Wildcat homecourt held true historical meaning:
• It marked Kentucky’s first SEC loss on its home court since falling to then-No. 1 Florida during the 2007 season, a span of 12 home league contests.
• It marked Gamecock head coach Darrin Horn’s first win in his hometown as the head coach at South Carolina.
• The win snapped a four-game UK win streak in the series between the two schools.
• It was the third win for the Gamecocks over a ranked opponnent this season.

Downey Earns SEC Player Of The Week Award
Devan Downey was named the SEC Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 20.5 points, 4.0 assists and 3.5 steals in leading the Gamecocks to wins over Vanderbilt and at Kentucky. Downey tallied 18 points, while adding four assists and a team-best three steals in the Gamecock victory over Vanderbilt last Wednesday. Downey backed that up with one of his top performances of the season in Carolina’s upset of then-No. 24 Kentucky at Rupp Arena on Saturday when he tallied 23 points, four assists and four steals in the victory. With three seconds left, he nailed a turnaround jumper to give the Gamecocks the one-point victory. The award is the first for a Gamecock player this season.

Downey Nears 1,000 As A Gamecock
Junior point guard Devan Downey tallied his 1,000th career point (including freshman year total from Cincinnati) in South Carolina’s season-opening win over Jacksonville State. Downey isn’t in the Carolina record book yet however, as he will need to collect 1,000 points as a Gamecock before officially etching his name into school history. To date, Downey has 984 career points as a Gamecock. He needs just 16 points to reach 1,000 for his Carolina career.