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March 4, 2009

South Carolina vs. Tennessee | 7 p.m. ET
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South Carolina vs. Tennessee

Date: Thursday, March 5, 2009
Tipoff: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Columbia, S.C.
Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000)
Series: Tennessee leads, 30-23
Series Trend: Tennessee has won four in a row
Television: ESPN
Brent Musburger (play-by-play), Bob Knight (analyst)
Holly Rowe (sideline)
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
Mike Morgan (play-by-play), Casey Manning (analyst)

Game Preview
South Carolina (20-7, 9-5 SEC) hosts Tennessee (18-10, 9-5 SEC) in a battle of the SEC East leaders on Thursday at Colonial Life Arena. The contest will also serve as senior day for South Carolina’s two seniors – Branden Conrad and Zam Fredrick. The winner of Thursday’s contest between the Gamecocks and Vols secures at least a share of the SEC East title. The matchup marks the fourth for South Carolina head coach Darrin Horn against the Vols.

Series Information
Tennessee leads the all-time series with South Carolina, 30-23, however, the Gamecocks hold a 14-8 advantage in games played in Columbia. Thursday’s meeting marks the 54th all-time between the two schools.

Television Information
The contest will be televised by ESPN with Brent Musburger handling play-by-play duties, Bob Knight joining as the color analyst and Holly Rowe on the sidelines. The contest against Tennessee marks the 22nd of 23 regular-season televised games for South Carolina, and the third game on the ESPN family of networks this season for the Gamecocks.

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 Tennessee
• Tennessee enters Thursday’s contest with an 18-10 overall record, including a 9-5 mark in SEC play. The Vols are currently tied with South Carolina for first place in the SEC East.

• The Vols have earned back-to-back victories in league play (against Mississippi State and at Florida) to position themselves for at least a share of their second-consecutive SEC East crown. (UT won the SEC regular-season title last season)

• Junior forward Tyler Smith leads the Vols with 17.1 points per game (17.3 ppg in SEC play). Smith has led the squad in scoring 15 times this season, including a 20-point effort against South Carolina in mid-January.

• Junior forward Wayne Chism provides 13.3 points per game (13.9 ppg in SEC play), while he leads the team and ranks fifth in the SEC with 8.1 rebounds per contest. Chism has collected five double-doubles this season with the Vols earning a 4-1 record in those contests. South Carolina held Chism to ZERO points in the first meeting between the two schools in January. It marked just the second time in Chism’s Volunteer career that he failed to record at least one point in a game. Ironically, the first time Chism failed to score a point in his career came against the Darrin Horn-led Western Kentucky Hiltoppers during the 2006-07 season.

• Freshman guard Scotty Hopson was named the SEC Player of the Week on Monday for his efforts in two games last week, both UT victories, against Mississippi State and Florida (14.0 ppg, career high 21 points vs. Mississippi State).

• Junior guard J.P. Prince has been solid in league play, recording 8.9 points and 3.4 assists per game in SEC action. Prince recorded seven points and dished five assists in the most recent UT victory over Florida.

Scouting South Carolina
• South Carolina enters Thursday’s contest against Tennessee holding a 20-7 record, including a 9-5 mark in SEC play. The Gamecocks are currently tied with the Vols atop the SEC East standings.

• South Carolina looks to secure at least a share of the SEC East title with a victory against Tennessee on Thursday. A Gamecock win over Tennessee and then a victory over Georgia on Saturday would secure Carolina the No. 1 seed from the East for the SEC Tournament.

• South Carolina will honor two senior student-athletes and one student manager prior to Thursday night’s contest against Tennessee. Senior guards Branden Conrad and Zam Fredrick and senior manager Adam Ribock will be honored.

• Junior point guard Devan Downey leads a pack of four Gamecocks in double figures with 20.2 points per game (19.9 ppg in SEC play), while he also paces the squad with 4.4 assists and 3.1 steals per game. Downey rates third in the SEC in scoring behind Kentucky’s Jodie Meeks (25.1 ppg) and LSU’s Marcus Thornton (21.0 ppg). Downey has registered double figures in 26 of 27 games this season and has recorded three or more steals in 17 times.

• Senior guard Zam Fredrick provides 15.5 points per game (15.7 ppg in SEC play), while also dishing 1.8 assists and collecting 2.9 rebounds per contest. Fredrick has recorded double figures in 22 of 27 games, including five 20-point efforts, while he has also recorded at least two assists 14 times this season. Fredrick tallied 18 points and swiped two steals in the first matchup against Tennessee this season.

• Junior forward Dominique Archie needs just 90 points to reach 1,000 in his Gamecock career entering Thursday’s matchup agianst UT. Archie provides 11.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 1.4 steals per game. He has collected three double-doubles this season, including a 19-point, career-high 12-rebound effort against Tennessee in mid-January.

• Sophomore forward Mike Holmes (11.0 ppg, team-high 7.7 rpg, 1.2 bpg) and sophomore center Sam Muldrow (6.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg, team high 1.7 bpg) will look to have a big prescence on both ends of the court for the Gamecocks underneath the basket.

Gamecock Quick Hitters
• South Carolina is 16-1 at home this season with the lone loss coming at the hands of archrival Clemson on Dec. 30.
• The Gamecocks rely heavily on their starting lineup for the majority of their point production on the season. Carolina is 20-3 when its starters outscore the starting five of its opponent. Gamecock starter points account for just better than 80 percent of South Carolina’s overall point production on the year.
• Thursday’s contest marks the first on the fifth day of the week for the Gamecocks this season. South Carolina owns an 11-5 record in games played Monday through Friday.
• The Gamecocks are 12-4 in games in which a Carolina player scores at least 20 points. Devan Downey has scored at least 20 points 14 times this season.
• Junior forward Dominique Archie has started all 89 games of his South Carolina career.
• A team that uses its defensive prowess to spark its offensive performance, South Carolina is 19-1 in games in which it scores more points off turnovers than that of its opponent.
• Carolina is 19-4 in games in which it forces 15 or more turnovers.