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Nov. 4, 2009

Coach Horn

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Led by second-year head coach Darrin Horn, the South Carolina men’s basketball team kicks off its 2009-10 campaign with an exhibition contest against Kentucky Wesleyan on Thursday at Colonial Life Arena. Game time is set for 7 p.m. Parking lots will be staffed for the event, but admission is free of charge with doors opening at 6 p.m. The contest will not be televised or available on the radio, but a live video stream will be offered via the Gamecock All Access package on

Game Notes

South Carolina vs. Kentucky Wesleyan

Date: Thursday, November 5, 2009
Tipoff: 7 p.m.
Location: Columbia, S.C.
Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000)
KWU Series: Series is tied 1-1
Television: None
Radio: None
Tickets: Admission is free of charge

Carolina Quick Hits
– South Carolina begins its 102nd season of basketball.
– For the second-consecutive year, South Carolina opens its season with an exhibition contest against Kentucky Wesleyan. The Gamecocks defeated the Panthers 75-55 behind a game-best 19 points from Carolina point guard Devan Downey last season.
– Darrin Horn enters his second season at the helm of the South Carolina program for the 2009-10 season. Horn led Carolina to a 21-10 record, including a 10-6 mark in league action and a share of the SEC East title last season.
– Over the course of the last five seasons, South Carolina is 4-0 in exhibition play. The Gamecocks did not play an exhibition during the 2006-07 campaign.
– Carolina returns a trio of All-SEC performers from last season in seniors Devan Downey, Dominique Archie and Brandis Raley-Ross. The trio combined for 36.1 points, 6.6 asissts and 4.8 steals per game last year for Carolina.
– South Carolina collected a 16-3 record in games played at Colonial Life Arena last season, including a 7-1 mark in SEC contests.
– The Gamecocks received one vote in the recent preseason coaches poll, while Carolina received 28 votes in the preseason AP poll.
– South Carolina senior point guard Devan Downey enters the season as the SEC’s top returning scorer at 19.8 points per game. Downey recorded 30 double-digit scoring games last season, including 15 20-point and two 30-point efforts.
– Senior forward Dominique Archie has started all 93 games of his Carolina career. Archie needs just 59 points to reach 1,000 for his career.
– Carolina returns 78 percent of its scoring from last year, with the major scoring void left by the graduation of Zam Fredrick’s 15.5 points per game.
– The Gamecocks were picked by the media to finish fourth in the highly-competitive SEC East. Carolina shared the SEC Eastern Division title with Tennessee last season.
– Senior point guard Devan Downey was tabbed a preseason first-team all-SEC performer by the media and was a unanimous first-team pick by the leagues coaches. Classmate Dominique Archie was selected to the preseason second team by the coaches.
– Following tonight’s exhibition, Carolina will host Alabama A&M on Friday, Nov. 13, in the season opener at Colonial Life Arena. The game will be televised on SportSouth and available on radio via the Gamecock Radio Network with Andy Demetra and Casey Manning on the call.

Series Information
The Gamecocks and Panthers have met two previous times in regular-season play, both at KWC, with each team collecting one victory. The teams first met during the 1954 season with Carolina stealing a 67-66 win by connecting on a free throw with just seven seconds left on the clock. The Panthers evened the series with an 82-74 win in the last meeting between the two schools in December of 1963. South Carolina head coach Darrin Horn is 2-0 all time against the Panthers, winning twice against KWC during his time as head coach at Western Kentucky.

Scouting Kentucky Wesleyan
– Kentucky Wesleyan is led by fifth-year head coach Todd Lee.
– The Great Lakes Valley Conference coaches voted Kentucky Wesleyan to finish third in the East Division in their preseason poll
– Kentucky Wesleyan enters Thursday’s contest with a 2-1 overall record on the year, having played three contests at the Disney West Tip-Off Classic last week.
– The Panthers fell to San Francisco State (78-53) in the season opener but rebounded to defeat Western Washington (71-58) and Grand Canyon (71-49).
– Senior guard Desmond Stephens paces the squad with 18.0 points, 5.5 assists and 2.5 steals per contest, while junior forward Chris Williams is currently pulling down a team-best 5.7 rebounds per outing.
– Kentucky Wesleyan has won eight NCAA Division II National Championships, most recently in 2001.

Record Watch
Several Gamecocks currently rank in the career record chart in various categories. Senior guard Devan Downey needs just 81 steals to surpass Chuck Eidson (272) for the most all-time, while senior forward Dominique Archie will climb the career blocks chart during the 2009-10 campaign, as he is currently tied for 10th all-time with 86. Keep an eye on senior forward Evka Baniulis, who currently ranks second in 3-point career percentage (.430), and senior guard Brandis Raley-Ross, who is sixth on the chart with a .377 career 3-point percentage.

Garnet And Black Welcome Five Newcomers
South Carolina signed freshmen Ramon Galloway, Lakeem Jackson and Stephen Spinella, while also adding junior college transfer Johndre Jefferson and walk-on Malik Cooke to its 2009-10 roster. Due to NCAA transfer rules, Cooke will not be eligible to play this season.

Downey On Naismith, Wooden Preseason Watch Lists
For the second-consecutive year, senior guard Devan Downey has been named to both the Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch Lists.

Gamecock TV Coverage
With the Southeastern Conference’s historic television deals with CBS and ESPN that begin this season, the Gamecocks will be featured in at least 28 live television broadcasts during the upcoming regular season. Each of South Carolina’s conference contests will be televised, with seven games to be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks, five on the SEC Network, three on CSS and one on FSN.

Up Next For Carolina
– South Carolina opens the 2009-10 regular season hosting Alabama A&M on Nov. 13.
– The Bulldogs are led by head coach Van Pettaway, who enters his 23rd season as the head coach at A&M.
– Alabama A&M posted an 8-19 overall record last season.
– Senior guards Cornelius Hester and Evan Hilton are the top returning scorers for the Bulldogs with 12.0 points per contest last season.
– The meeting marks the first between South Carolina and Alabama A&M.

Charleston Classic
South Carolina will stay in its home state to compete in the second annual Charleston Classic this month. The Classic, a bracket-format tournament, will feature 12 games over the course of four days, Nov. 19-22. Each team will compete in one game per day, with the two teams that remain undefeated facing off in a championship contest on Sunday, Nov. 22. South Carolina opens tournament action versus La Salle.