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Aug. 24, 2010

Coach Horn

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Contests against four teams that competed in the 2010 NCAA Tournament highlight the 2010-11 South Carolina men’s basketball non-conference schedule, released on Tuesday. In his third year at the helm of the Gamecock program, Darrin Horn continues his efforts to produce a highly-competitive non-conference schedule for the Gamecocks.

Following the 2009-10 campaign that saw South Carolina tackle one of its more challenging schedules in recent years, Horn and his staff aimed for another highly-competitive mark in 2010-11. Carolina will host nine non-conference contests, and will face seven schools that compiled at least 18 wins, including three that tallied at least 25. The Gamecocks will face four BCS schools during the coming non-conference season, including home contests with Clemson and Boston College, and challenging away matchups at Michigan State and Ohio State, marking the first time South Carolina has faced two Big Ten schools in one season since playing both Indiana and Purdue during the 1998-99 campaign.

“Our philosophy revolves around building a nationally-competitive schedule,” Horn said. “This non-conference schedule presents us with a lot of challenges, whether on the road at two Big Ten schools, or playing a conference champion in Wofford at Colonial Life Arena. The SEC campaign will be extremely competitive in 2011, and we think our non-conference portion of the schedule will give us the preparation we need entering conference play.”

The Gamecocks kick off the regular season with the home opener versus Elon (Nov. 12), before traveling to face the Spartans (Nov. 16) in East Lansing as part of ESPN’s third annual College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. Michigan State has amassed nine NCAA Tournament wins over the course of the last two seasons, while advancing to the Final Four both years with a championship game appearance in 2009.

South Carolina returns to Colonial Life Arena in late November, hosting Radford (Nov. 19) in the first of five home dates through mid-December. The Gamecocks will host USC Upstate (Nov. 23) before traveling to face Western Kentucky (Nov. 27) the Saturday following the Thanksgiving holiday in Bowling Green, Ky. WKU collected 21 wins last season, falling just short of a third-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance with a loss to top-seeded Troy in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. Delaware State (Dec. 1) travels to Columbia, before Clemson (Dec. 5) visits Colonial Life Arena for the first time under new head coach Brad Brownell in early December.

Following the break for exams, South Carolina will host 2010 Southern Conference Regular-Season and Tournament Champion Wofford (Dec. 11) prior to a trip to Value City Arena to face Ohio State (Dec. 18). The meeting between the Gamecocks and Buckeyes marks the first since playing in consecutive seasons in the late 1980’s.

The Gamecocks will travel to face Furman (Dec. 22) in the final contest before the break for the Christmas holiday, and will resume non-conference action with home matchups against Jacksonville State (Dec. 29) and a return contest from Boston College (Jan. 1), a squad also led by a new coach in Steve Donahue in 2010-11. South Carolina concludes non-conference action when it hosts intrastate foe SC State (Jan. 4), the first time the two teams have met on the hardwood since the 2007-08 campaign.

Game times and television details for the non-conference schedule will be released at a later date. The Southeastern Conference schedule, along with television details, will also be released at a later date.

Below is a comprehensive breakdown of each of South Carolina’s non-conference opponents.

Elon (Nov. 12, Colonial Life Arena)
Head Coach: Matt Matheny (9-23, 1 season at Elon/overall)
2009-10 Record: 9-23, 5-13 Southern Conference
2009-10 Postseason: SoCon Tournament, No. 6 seed (North); defeated No. 3 (South) Davidson, lost to No. 2 (North) Western Carolina
2009-10 Season Notable: Elon suffered a heartbreaking double-overtime, buzzer-beater loss to Davidson in the regular-season finale, only to draw the Wildcats in the opening round of the SoCon Tournament … The sixth-seeded Phoenix avenged the loss with a 66-59 upset win over third-seeded Davidson in the opening round of the event, marking Elon’s first victory over the Wildcats in its last 15 tries.
Top Returners: Drew Spradlin (Jr./G/6-5/192/Wheelersburg, Ohio) 13.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg … Chris Long (Sr./G/6-2/182/Charleston W.Va.) 9.9 ppg, 4.2 apg, 1.3 spg
Did You Know? Head Coach Matt Matheny has spent his entire coaching career within the Southern Conference, having spent 16 seasons on staff at Davidson, 10 seasons as an assistant coach and six as associate head coach … Frank Haith, University of Miami head basketball coach, is an Elon alumnus, having graduated from the school in 1988. Haith was a student assistant for the Phoenix from 1985-88 and then worked as a part-time assistant coach for the University while teaching at a local school.

Michigan State (Nov. 16, Breslin Center, East Lansing, Mich.)
Head Coach: Tom Izzo (364-146, 15 seasons at Michigan State/overall)
2009-10 Record: 28-9, 14-4 Big Ten
2009-10 Postseason: NCAA Tournament, No. 5 seed; Final Four, loss to No. 5 Butler
2009-10 Season Notable: The 2009-10 season marked Michigan State’s second-consecutive trip to the Final Four, and its sixth appearance in the Final Four in the last 12 seasons … Michigan State shared the 2010 Big Ten regular-season title with Purdue and Ohio State, as all three schools collected a 14-4 record in league play.
Top Returners: Kalin Lucas (Sr./G/6-0/190/Detroit, Mich.) 14.8 ppg, 4.0 apg … Durrell Summers (Sr./G/6-4/205/Detroit, Mich.) 11.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg … Draymond Green (Jr./F/6-6/235/Saginaw, Mich.) 9.9 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 0.9 bpg
Did You Know? Including 2009-10, MSU has led the Big Ten in rebounding margin in 11 of the last 13 years … The Spartans concluded the 2009-10 campaign atop the NCAA in rebounding margin at +8.6 boards per game.

Radford (Nov. 19, Colonial Life Arena)
Head Coach: Brad Greenberg (50-44, 3 seasons at Radford/overall)
2009-10 Record: 19-12, 13-5 Big South
2009-10 Postseason: Big South Tournament, No. 2 seed; defeated No. 7 Charleston Southern, lost to No. 3 Winthrop
2009-10 Season Notable: Senior center Art Parakhouski earned his second-consecutive AP Honorable Mention All-America honor at the conclusion of his college career … Radford has won 32 of its last 41 contests against Big South competition, including conference tournament play.
Top Returners: Blake Smith (So./G/6-4/175/Charlotte, N.C.) 9.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.2 apg … Görkem Sönmez (So./G/6-5/215/Instanbul, Turkey) 3.7 ppg, 1.0 rpg
Did You Know? Radford head coach Brad Greenburg signed Allen Iverson to his first NBA contract during his time as the GM of the Philadelphia 76ers … Radford will lose its top three scorers from the 2009-10 season in Parakhouski (21.4 ppg), Trifunovic (13.0) and Lynch-Flohr (12.3).

USC Upstate (Nov. 23, Colonial Life Arena)
Head Coach: Eddie Payne (115-121 in 8 seasons at USC Upstate; 375-354 in 25 seasons overall)
2009-10 Record: 6-23, 6-14 Atlantic Sun
2009-10 Postseason: NA
2009-10 Season Notable: Junior forward Mezie Uzochukwu, the squad’s second-leading scorer, tallied a career-high four double-doubles … The Spartans won the second-most A-Sun games in a season since moving to Division I in 2007-08.
Top Returners: Mezie Uzochukwu (Sr./F/6-5/215/Greensboro, N.C.) 8.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg … Josh Chavis (Sr./G/5-9/170/Greensboro, N.C.) 7.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.1 apg
Did You Know? Senior center Nick Schneiders became the first men’s basketball player in school history to earn ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America honors … Upstate head coach Eddie Payne, a former assistant coach at South Carolina, finished a quarter century as a college head coach in 2009-10.

Western Kentucky (Nov. 27, E.A. Diddle Arena, Bowling Green, Ky.)
Head Coach: Ken McDonald (46-22 in 2 seasons at WKU/overall)
2009-10 Record: 21-13, 12-6 Sun Belt Conference
2009-10 Postseason: Sun Belt Conference Tournament, No. 4 seed; defeated No. 13 New Orleans and No. 5 Arkansas State, lost to No. 1 Troy
2009-10 Season Notable: WKU’s season-ending loss to Troy in the SBC Tournament halted the Hilltoppers’ quest for a third-consecutive SBC Tournament title … Senior guard A.J. Slaughter, a First Team All-SBC selection in his final season, led WKU in scoring his final two years in Bowling Green.
Top Returners: Steffphon Pettigrew (Sr./F/6-5/231/Elizabethtown, Ky.) 14.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg … Sergio Kerusch (Sr./F/6-5/221/Memphis, Tenn.) 14.3 ppg, 7.2 rpg
Did You Know? Head coach Ken McDonald’s first college coaching position was as an assistant coach at Clemson from 1994-98 under current Texas head coach Rick Barnes … South Carolina’s trip to Bowling Green marks Gamecock head coach Darrin Horn’s first contest at WKU following his five-year (2003-08) stint as the Hilltopper head coach.

Delaware State (Dec. 1, Colonial Life Arena)
Head Coach: Greg Jackson (158-147 in 10 seasons at Delaware State; 320-225 in 19 seasons overall)
2009-10 Record: 17-12, 11-5 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
2009-10 Postseason: MEAC Tournament, No. 2 seed; defeated No. 7 Bethune-Cookman, lost to No. 3 South Carolina State
2009-10 Season Notable: Sophomore guard Jay Threatt finished the season as the NCAA leader in steals per game with 2.8 (South Carolina’s Devan Downey finished third in NCAA standings with 2.7 steals per game).
Top Returners: Jay Threatt (Jr./G/5-11/170/Richmond, Va.) 7.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.2 apg, 2.7 spg … Marques Oliver (So./F/6-7/210/Durham, N.C.) 5.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg
Did You Know? Delaware State won three consecutive MEAC regular-season titles from 2004 to ’07 … Following the 2004-05 regular-season crown, the Hornets captured the first MEAC Tournament championship in team history, winning the event on a last-second shot over Hampton (55-53).

Clemson (Dec. 5, Colonial Life Arena)
Head Coach: Brad Brownell (First Season at Clemson; 167-85 in 8 seasons overall)
2009-10 Record: 21-11, 9-7 Atlantic Coach Conference
2009-10 Postseason: NCAA Tournament, No. 7 seed; First Round loss to No. 10 Missouri
2009-10 Season Notable: Clemson finished the season with a 21-11 record, its fourth consecutive 20-win season … Senior forward Trevor Booker was named first-team All-ACC, just the third first-team All-ACC player for the Clemson program in the last 20 years.
Top Returners: Demontez Stitt (Sr./G/6-2/175/Matthews, N.C.) 11.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 3.1 apg … Andre Young (Jr./G/5-9/170/Albany, Ga.) 9.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.7 spg
Did You Know? Clemson finished the 2009-10 season with 301 steals in 32 games and finished in the top 15 in the nation in that category for the sixth-straight year … With the loss of senior forward Trevor Booker, the Tigers lost their top scorer (15.2 ppg) and rebounder (8.4 rpg) from the 2009-10 campaign.

Wofford (Dec. 11, Colonial Life Arena)
Head Coach: Mike Young (116-126 in 8 seasons at Wofford/overall)
2009-10 Record: 26-9, 15-3 Southern Conference (Regular-Season Champion)
2009-10 Postseason: SoCon Tournament Champion; NCAA Tournament, No. 13 seed; First Round loss to No. 4 Wisconsin
2009-10 Season Notable: The Terriers’ 26 wins in 2009-10 marked a school record … Junior forward Noah Dahlman was named the SoCon Player of the Year … Dahlman led the squad in points (16.6) and was second in rebounds (6.3) … Head Coach Mike Young was named the SoCon Coach of the Year and the Hugh Durham Mid-Major Coach of the Year (
Top Returners: Noah Dahlman (Sr./F/6-6/215/Braham, Minn.) 16.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 0.9 spg … Tim Johnson (Sr./F/6-6/228/Memphis, Tenn.) 6.1 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.0 spg
Did You Know? Wofford’s 2010 NCAA Tournament appearance was the first in school history … The Terriers were tied with Wisconsin as late as 1:17 remaining in the contest before the Badgers battled for a 53-49 victory … Dahlman finished the 2009-10 campaign ranked 10th in the nation in field goal percentage (57.9%).

Ohio State (Dec. 18, Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio)
Head Coach: Thad Matta (156-54 in 6 seasons at Ohio State; 258-85 in 10 seasons overall)
2009-10 Record: 29-8, 14-4 Big Ten
2009-10 Postseason: NCAA Tournament, No. 2 seed; Sweet Sixteen, loss to No. 6 Tennessee
2009-10 Season Notable: Ohio State shared the 2010 Big Ten regular-season title with Purdue and Michigan State, as all three schools collected a 14-4 record in league play … Despite missing four weeks with a fracture in his back, OSU’s Evan Turner was named the Big Ten Player of the Year (coaches/media), Sporting News’ National Player of the Year and a First-Team All-American by the publication, among several other postseason awards.
Top Returners: Jon Diebler (Sr./G/6-6/205/Upper Sandusky, Ohio) 13.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg … David Lighty (Sr./G-F/6-5/220/Cleveland, Ohio) 12.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.0 apg … William Buford (Jr./G/6-5/190/Toledo, Ohio) 14.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg,
Did You Know? Rising senior Jon Diebler enters the 2010-11 campaign as the career leader in made 3-point field goals (260) and 3-point field goal attempts (673) at Ohio State … Head coach Thad Matta aims for his 11th-consecutive 20-win season in 2010-11.

Furman (Dec. 22, Timmons Arena, Greenville, S.C.)
Head Coach: Jeff Jackson (41-80 in 5 seasons at Furman; 62-140 in 8 seasons overall)
2009-10 Record: 13-17, 7-11 Southern Conference
2009-10 Postseason: SoCon Tournament, No. 5 seed (South); lost to No. 4 (North) UNC Greensboro
2009-10 Season Notable: Junior forward Amu Saaka was named All-Conference by the SoCon’s 12 head coaches, while he earned second-team honors from the media.
Top Returners: Amu Saaka (Sr./F/6-6/210/Decatur, Ga.) 15.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg … Jordan Miller (Sr./G/6-2/175/Memphis, Tenn.) 13.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg
Did You Know? South Carolina and Furman have faced each other 123 times in South Carolina’s 102 seasons of basketball with the Gamecocks holding a 72-51 upperhand in the all-time series between the two schools.

Jacksonville State (Dec. 29, Colonial Life Arena)
Head Coach: James Green (22-36 in 2 seasons at Jacksonville State; 189-196 in 13 seasons overall)
2009-10 Record: 11-19, 7-11 Ohio Valley Conference
2009-10 Postseason: OVC Tournament, No. 7 seed; lost to No. 2 Morehead State
2009-10 Season Notable: Jacksonville State junior forward Trenton Marshall was named to the All-District 19 squad by the NABC … Marshall led the OVC in scoring with 17.7 points per game and set a JSU Division I record for points in a single game with 37 against Southeast Missouri in early January.
Top Returners: Trenton Marshall (Sr./G-F/6-5/225/Garyville, La.) 17.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.7 spg … Nick Murphy (Sr./G/6-3/215/Bronx, N.Y.) 14.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.6 spg … Jeremy Bynum (Sr./G/6-3/185/Oxford, Ala.) 10.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg
Did You Know? Head coach James Green, a letterwinner on Ole Miss’ 1981 SEC Tournament Championship team, has put together a resume that includes two conference coach of the year awards, three conference titles and four postseason tournament berths in his 13 seasons as a head coach.

Boston College (Jan. 1, Colonial Life Arena)
Head Coach: Steve Donahue (First Season at Boston College; 146-138 in 10 seasons overall)
2009-10 Record: 15-16, 6-10 Atlantic Coast Conference
2009-10 Postseason: ACC Tournament, No. 8 seed; lost to No. 9 Virginia
2009-10 Season Notable: Sophomore guard Reggie Jackson finished the season ranked fifth (in league contests only) in assists with 4.6 per outing (he dished four assists in BC’s contest vs. South Carolina) … Paced by junior forward Joe Trapani’s 14.1 points per contest, BC had four who concluded the season with double-digit scoring averages, including sophomore guard Reggie Jackson (12.9), junior forward Corey Raji (11.4) and junior guard Rakim Sanders (11.3).
Top Returners: Reggie Jackson (Jr./G/6-3/200/Colorado Springs, Colo.) 12.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 4.5 apg … Corey Raji (Sr./F/6-6/218/Washington Township, N.J.) 11.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg … Joe Trapani (Sr./F/6-8/228/Madison, Conn.) 14.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg
Did You Know? Boston College has advanced to seven of the last 10 NCAA Tournaments, all under the direction of former head coach Al Skinner … Prior to the meeting between the two schools in late 2009, the Eagles and Gamecocks had previously met once, an 86-64 South Carolina win in December of 1971.

South Carolina State (Jan. 4, Colonial Life Arena)
Head Coach: Tim Carter (48-48 in 3 seasons at SC State; 208-200 in 14 seasons overall)
2009-10 Record: 18-14, 10-6 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
2009-10 Postseason: MEAC Tournament, No. 3 seed; defeated No. 6 Maryland-Eastern Shore, defeated No. 2 Delaware State, lost to No. 1 Morgan State
2009-10 Season Notable: Senior guard/forward Jason Flagler, the leading scorer for SCSU, was named to the All-MEAC First Team, while freshman point guard Khalif Toombs was named to the All-Rookie squad.
Top Returners: Khalif Toombs (So./G/5-9/160/Atlantic City, N.J.) 6.7 ppg, 3.5 apg … Darnell Porter (Sr./G/6-4/180/Long Beach, Calif.) 13.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg
Did You Know? Bulldog head coach Tim Carter spent 11 seasons as the head coach at Texas-San Antonio, twice leading the Roadrunners into the NCAA Tournament.