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March 9, 2011

The South Carolina men’s basketball team (14-15, East No. 6) is set to face Ole Miss (19-12, West No. 3) in the first round of the 2011 SEC Tournament in Atlanta on Thursday. Game time is set for 3:30 p.m. ET at the Georgia Dome, with the contest televised on the SEC Network with Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes and Shannon Spake on the call.

Andy Demetra and Coach Horn
Pre-Tournament Press Conference

Date: Thursday, March 10, 2011
Tipoff: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Atlanta, Ga.
Arena: Georgia Dome
Series: South Carolina leads 14-13
Television: SEC Network (check local listings)
Talent: Brad Nessler (pxp), Jimmy Dykes (analyst);
Shannon Spake (sideline)
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
(107.5 FM – Columbia/
Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst)
Live Stats:

Game Notes vs. Ole Miss – SEC TournamentGet Acrobat Reader | SEC Network Affiliates | Find The Gamecocks On TV |

2011 SEC Tournament Bracket (printable)Get Acrobat Reader

Carolina Quick Hits
– South Carolina is in its 103rd season of basketball.
– South Carolina owns a 16-19 (.457) all-time record in the SEC Tournament, including a 3-3 mark vs. Ole Miss. The Gamecocks have faced the Rebels more than any other team in the post-season event.
– Carolina is 8-8 all-time when playing in the first round of the SEC Tournament, including a 2-3 record vs. the Rebels. The teams last met in the SEC Tournament in the first round in 2005. Ole Miss won that contest 53-52.
– South Carolina won the regular-season meeting against the Rebels, 79-73, on Feb. 22. It marks Carolina’s most recent win to date. Muldrow was the key factor in that contest, hitting a go-ahead 3 with just over one minute remaining in the contest. He finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds for his sixth double-double this season. UM’s Chris Warren posted a career-high 33 points, hitting eight 3’s and a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line.
– The Gamecocks suffered a 60-58 loss at Mississippi State in the regular-season finale last Saturday.
– Redshirt-junior forward Malik Cooke, an SEC Sixth Man of the Year candidate, has led Carolina in scoring in four of the last seven games, and has tallied double-figures in eight of the last 10 games, including a career-high 22 points at Tennessee (Feb. 16).
– Muldrow was named to’s Jeff Goodman’s All-Defensive Team for 2010-11.
– Freshman point guard Eric Smith dished a season-high seven assists vs. Ole Miss on Feb. 22.
– SEC Defensive Player of the Year, senior forward Sam Muldrow became the all-time leader in South Carolina history with his four blocks vs. Georgia on Feb. 12. Muldrow now has 268 career blocks, which surpassed the previous high-water mark of 249 set by Brandon Wallace during the 2006-07 campaign.
– SEC All-Freshman Team member Bruce Ellington has seven 20-point games this season and one 30-point contest (at Furman).
– South Carolina ranks first in the SEC in overall games with 14.6 offensive rebounds per game.
– South Carolina ranks fourth in the nation (March 7 NCAA stats) and second in the SEC in blocked shots per game with 6.1 per outing. Muldrow ranks first in the SEC and fourth in the nation in blocks per game (3.3).
– The Gamecocks are 11-0 this season when leading at the halftime break. South Carolina held a halftime lead vs. Ole Miss at 38-34. It marked the first time the Gamecocks held a lead at the intermission since holding a 31-27 advantage at LSU on Feb. 2.
– In league play, the combination of Ellington, Muldrow, Galloway and Cooke accounted for 46.5 points per game, 72.5% of South Carolina’s offensive production.
– Third-year head coach Darrin Horn owns an all-time record of 101-25 (.801) in home contests and has led South Carolina to a 38-14 (.730) home record during his three seasons in Columbia.
– In home games, South Carolina has held its opponent to under 41% shooting in 10 of 17 contests. The Gamecocks held Ole Miss to just 36.9% (24-65) on Feb. 22.
– Senior forward Sam Muldrow recorded just the second triple-double in school history in the SEC opener win over No. 22/24 Vanderbilt (Jan. 8), scoring 16 points, collecting a team-high 14 rebounds and blocking a career-high 10 shots. It marked just the 21st triple-double in SEC history and the 11th all-time involving blocked shots.
– South Carolina is 94-113 (.454) in games played in the month of March. In those games, Carolina is 12-20 (.375) in SEC regular-season games, 16-19 (.457) in SEC Tournament games, 4-9 in the NCAA Tournament and 21-9 in the NIT.

Postseason Honors
– Two individual Gamecocks were honored with SEC coaches postseason awards.

Coaches Awards
Defensive Player of the Year: Sam Muldrow
All-Freshman Team: Bruce Ellington
All-Defensive Team: Sam Muldrow

Muldrow becomes the first player in South Carolina history to be named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Muldrow’s selection to the All-Defensive Team marked the second of his career, as he was also named to the squad last season. To date, Muldrow has 96 blocks for the season, a 3.3 blocks per game average, which leads the SEC. This season he has led the team or shared the team lead in scoring five times, in rebounding 13 times and in blocked shots 24 times. He has seven double-doubles this season and five 20-point games, including a career high of 24 points vs. Tennessee on March 3. He became South Carolina’s all-time leader in blocked shots vs. Georgia on Feb. 12.

Ellington becomes the first Gamecock to be named to the All-Freshman team since the 2008 season. He has started all 29 games of his rookie campaign entering tournament play, and leads the team with 13.0 points per game. He has scored seven 20-point games and one 30-point effort, while he has led the team or shared the team lead in scoring 10 times, in assists 17 times and in steals nine times.

Scouting Ole Miss
– The Rebels defeated Arkansas last Saturday, 84-74, to earn the No. 3 seed from the West Division in this week’s SEC Tournament.
– Ole Miss won two of its last three regular-season games, also defeating West Division leader Alabama, 68-63, on Feb. 26, before falling on the road at Auburn, 76-73, on March 2.
– Senior point guard Chris Warren leads the team and ranks second in the SEC with 18.9 points per game, while his 3.8 assists per game rank fifth in the league.
– The Rebels lead the SEC in free throw percentage (75.9%), with Chris Warren hitting a stellar 93.5 percent of his attempts, which leads the NCAA.

Ole Miss Series Information
– Carolina leads the all-time series 14-13 after earning a 79-73 win on Feb. 22 in the regular-season meeting between the two schools.
– The Gamecocks hold a slight 4-3 edge in games played at neutral sites.
– Over the course of the last 10 meetings between the two schools, each team has won five times.
– Behind 23 points and 10 rebounds from Sam Muldrow, the Gamecocks broke a five-game losing streak by defeating Ole Miss 79-73 on Feb. 22. Four Gamecocks scored in double figures in the contest.

BJ McKie Named 2011 SEC Legend
– South Carolina great BJ McKie will be honored as the school’s SEC Legend on Thursday at halftime of the South Carolina vs. Ole Miss contest. Below is a brief recap of his career:
– McKie finished his career as South Carolina’s all-time leading scorer with 2,119 points and became just the 12th person in league history to be named Associated Press first team All-SEC three years. The 1996 SEC Freshman of the Year earned All-America honors in 1998. One of five players in Carolina history to have his jersey retired, he played in 123 consecutive games, scoring in double figures 111 times and scoring 20 or more points 38 times (10 as a senior). The two-time captain averaged 17.3 points his senior year, the third-highest scoring average in the SEC that year. McKie averaged 17.4 points in 1997 while leading South Carolina to its first SEC basketball title.

By The Numbers
– 35 – Over the course of the last two games, South Carolina is averaging 35.0 points per game in the paint (34 vs. Tennessee, 36 at Mississippi State). In the previous five games, Carolina managed just 24.0 per game in the paint.
– +1.9 – South Carolina’s +1.9 turnover margin ranked second in the SEC in strictly league games. In overall games, Carolina ranks third with a +1.4 mark.
– 4 – Muldrow is just four blocks away from hitting 100 for the season. Only two other times in South Carolina history has a player had at least 100 blocks in a season. Danny Traylor had 122 blocks in 1971-72, and 113 in 1972-73.
– 19 – South Carolina held Mississippi State to just 19 made field goals in the contest last Saturday. It was the second fewest made field goals by a South Carolina opponent in league play (18 by LSU). Ravern Johnson had seven of those made field goals, all from 3-point range.
– 81.3% – Over the course of the last five games South Carolina his hit 81.3% (61-75) of its free throw attempts, paced by Malik Cooke’s 22-of-24 (91.7%) and Muldrow’s 11-of-12 (91.7%) marks. The Gamecocks averaged 70.6% from the charity stripe in league play, compared to a 61.8% performance in non-conference action.