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Feb. 24, 2010

Coach Horn

The South Carolina men’s basketball team (14-12, 5-7 SEC) travels to face No. 2 Kentucky (26-1, 11-1 SEC) at Rupp Arena on Thursday. The contest will tip at 9 p.m. on ESPN2 with Brad Nessler and Dick Vitale on the call. Fans can also listen to Andy Demetra and Casey Manning on the Gamecock Radio Network across the state.


Date: Thursday, February 25, 2010
Tipoff: 9 p.m. ET
Location: Lexington, Ky.
Arena: Rupp Arena (23,000)
Series: Kentucky leads 41-10
Television: ESPN2
Talent: Brad Nessler (pxp), Dick Vitale (analyst)
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
(107.5 FM – Columbia/
Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst)
Live Stats:

Carolina Quick Hits
– South Carolina is in its 102nd season of basketball.
– Gamecock head coach Darrin Horn is a native of Lexington, Ky., having played his high school hoops at Tates Creek High School in Lexington. Horn stayed in-state for his college career, playing for the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers from 1992-95.
– In Darrin Horn’s one-plus seasons at South Carolina, the Gamecocks are 12-8 in games following a loss.
– South Carolina ranks sixth in the nation in turnover margin (4.5 – Feb. 22 NCAA stats).
– SEC Player of the Year and All-America candidate, Devan Downey has scored 20 or more points in 13 of the last 15 games, and has tallied 30 or more in five SEC contests this season. He was just two points shy of his sixth 30-point effort of league play with 28 points at Arkansas on Feb. 17.
– South Carolina looks to snap a five-game road losing streak on Thursday.
– Following South Carolina’s thrilling upset victory of then-No. 1 Kentucky on Jan. 26, Carolina is 1-7 all-time against schools ranked No. 1 in the AP poll. The Gamecocks are 1-1 against Kentucky when the Wildcats are ranked No. 1. South Carolina is 1-1 in home games against No. 1s.
– Senior guard Brandis Raley-Ross matched his career-high with 20 points vs. Florida on Feb. 10. Over the course of his last four games, Raley-Ross is averaging 17.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.8 steals in 35.2 minutes per outing.
– Carolina is 11-5 this season in games in which it scores at least 70 points.
– Downey (22.7 ppg) leads the team and the SEC in scoring in overall games this season. He has led or shared the team lead in scoring 21 times, including 16 of the last 17 games. He ranks fifth in the nation in points per game (as of Feb. 22 NCAA stats).
– Downey’s 2.9 steals per game lead the league and rank second in the nation.
– The backcourt duo of Downey and Raley-Ross average 39.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.8 steals per contest in league play.
– Carolina’s 6.4 blocked shots per game rank third in the SEC in overall games, behind Mississippi State’s 8.0 and Kentucky’s 7.1, and 12th in the nation. Junior forward Sam Muldrow paces the Gamecocks with 3.2 blocks per game, second in the SEC and 10th in the nation.
Sam Muldrow’s 82 blocks are the fourth-most in a single-season in Carolina history and the most since Brandon Wallace had 86 blocks during the 2006-07 campaign.
– South Carolina is 6-8 this season when trailing at the half, including a 4-4 mark when trailing at the half in SEC play.
– South Carolina holds a +14.3 scoring margin in games it has won this season.
– South Carolina is 1-8 this season in away games, with its lone win coming in its SEC opener at Auburn on Jan. 9. Carolina averages 64.9 points per game on the road, with Devan Downey accounting for 38% (220/584) of those points (24.4 ppg).
– Darrin Horn-led teams are 42-43 (.494) all-time in away games. South Carolina is 6-14 (.300) in away games under Horn’s direction.
– The Gamecocks are 41-109 (.273) all-time in league road games.
– The Gamecocks are in their 19th season of competition in the Southeastern Conference. Carolina owns a 121-179 (.403) all-time record in SEC play.
– Darrin Horn-led teams are 72-34 (.679) all-time in league play. Horn led Carolina to a 10-6 record in SEC action during his first year in Columbia.
– South Carolina is 427-425-1 (.501) all-time in the month of February. In that, the Gamecocks are 49-86 (.363) all-time in SEC games during the month.
– The 2009-10 Gamecocks are 11 blocks shy of having the third-highest block total for a single season. The 2003-04 squad is currently third with 177 total blocks.
– South Carolina is 11-3 in games played at Colonial Life Arena this season, scoring 78.0 points per game in those contests. Downey paces Carolina with 23.1 points in home games.
– The Gamecocks are 4-2 in conference home games this season with wins over LSU, then-No. 1 Kentucky, Georgia and Florida.

By The Numbers
– 6 – Devan Downey needs just six steals to surpass Chuck Eidson (272) for the Gamecock record for career steals. Eidson played at South Carolina from 1999-03. He ranks 35th in Carolina history with 1,067 career points.
– 17 – Senior guard Brandis Raley-Ross has recorded 17 double-digit point games this season, one more than his total of 16 double-figure games combined for his sophomore (8) and junior (8) campaigns. Raley-Ross has scored 820 career points in the Garnet and Black.
– 21.4 – In five career games vs. Kentucky, Devan Downey averages 21.4 points per contest. He tallied 30 in Carolina’s upset win over the Wildcats earlier this season.
– 4 – South Carolina out-rebounded Kentucky 44-40 in its victory over UK on Jan. 26. At the time, it marked just the fourth time all season that Kentucky had been out-rebounded in a contest. Sam Muldrow led Carolina with 11 rebounds in the game, while Johndre Jefferson collected eight.

Kentucky Series Information
– Kentucky holds a 41-10 advantage in the all-time series against South Carolina, including a 21-2 upperhand in games played in Lexington.
– South Carolina swept the season series vs. UK for just the second time (1997) last season under first-year head coach – and Lexington, Ky., native – Darrin Horn.
– South Carolina owns a three-game win streak in the all-time series vs. UK, marking the first time Carolina has won three consecutive against the Wildcats.
– Kentucky has won six of the last 10 meetings.

Historic Victory At Rupp In 2009
– South Carolina won the first of two contests vs. Kentucky during the 2009 SEC campaign in late January in an historic victory at Rupp Arena. Devan Downey’s turnaround jumper with 3 seconds left lifted South Carolina to a 78-77 victory over then-No. 24 Kentucky. Downey had been largely quiet throughout most of the game, failing to score until the final two minutes of the first half. But he awoke in a hurry when it counted and finished with 23 points, all but four in the second half.
– 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 win…
– 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.
– marked Gamecock head coach Darrin Horn’s first win in his hometown as the head coach at South Carolina.
– snapped a four-game UK win streak in the series between the two schools.

Kentucky Connections
– South Carolina head coach Darrin Horn is a Lexington, Ky., native, having played his high school hoops at Tates Creek High School. Horn stayed in-state for his college career, playing for the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers from 1992-95. Horn was an Academic All-American and an All-Sun Belt Conference honoree during his time at WKU. He spent five years as the head coach of the Hilltopper program prior to his arrival in Columbia. South Carolina assistant coach Cypheus Bunton is also a Kentucky native, hailing from Louisville. Horn and Bunton were teammates at Western Kentucky.