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Jan. 27, 2012

January 27, 2012
Coach Horn

The South Carolina men’s basketball team (9-10, 1-4 SEC) continues Southeastern Conference play when it travels to face Ole Miss (13-7, 3-3 SEC) on Saturday at the Tad Smith Coliseum in Oxford, Miss. Game time for the contest is set for 7 p.m. ET on FSN, with Dave Neal and Larry Conley on the call.

Date: Saturday, January 28, 2012
Tipoff: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Oxford, Miss.
Arena: Tad Smith Coliseum (9,061)
Series: Series tied at 14-14
Television: FSN (check local listings)
Talent: Dave Neal (pxp), Larry Conley (analyst)
Radio: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst)
Gamecock Radio Network

Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader | Gamecock Sports Network Radio Affiliates

Carolina Quick Hits
– South Carolina is in its 104th season of basketball.
– The Gamecocks are in their 21st season of competition in the Southeastern Conference in 2012. Carolina owns a 128-197 all-time record in SEC play.
– South Carolina earned its first SEC victory of the season when it snapped a four-game losing streak with a 56-54 victory over Alabama at Colonial Life Arena on Wednesday. Sophomore guard Bruce Ellington’s layup with 1.3 seconds on the clock propelled the Gamecocks to victory. Fifth-year senior forward Malik Cooke paced the Gamecocks with 18 points, marking the eighth time this season he has led, or shared the team lead, in scoring this season. Sophomore forward Damontre Harris and Ellington both contributed 12 points each in the win.
– The contest at Ole Miss begins a stretch of three out of the next four on the road for Carolina, as the Gamecocks travel to No. 14 Florida next Thursday, return home to host No. 1 Kentucky on Saturday, and then travel to Tennessee and Arkansas the following week.
– South Carolina starters (Gill-Cooke-Harris-Ellington-Leonard) accounted for 50 of the team’s 56 points vs. Alabama. The bench scored just six points – well below its season average of 23.2 points per game.
– The Gamecocks have out-rebounded 12 of 19 opponents this season, including North Carolina and Kentucky.
– Senior forward Malik Cooke ranks fourth in the SEC (all games) with 1.9 steals per game.
– Darrin Horn-led teams are 79-52 (.603) all-time in league play.
– When South Carolina played then-No. 2 Kentucky on Jan. 7, it marked the third top-two opponent the Gamecocks have faced this season, as the squad had previously played then-No. 1 North Carolina and then-No. 2 Ohio State. Those three teams have an average RPI of 9, with Kentucky the highest at 5 (as of Jan. 23 RPI report).
– South Carolina ranks fifth in the SEC and among the nation’s top 35 with 5.1 blocks per game. Sophomore forward Damontre Harris ranks among the top 40 with 2.2 blocks per game.
– In games it has won in 2011-12, South Carolina holds a +11.9 scoring margin over its opponents. To compare, in games it has lost, Gamecock opponents score 10.1 more points per game.
– The Gamecocks own a 403-345 (.538) all-time record in the month of January. South Carolina earned a 4-4 record during the month last season, including overtime victories over No. 22/24 Vanderbilt and Arkansas in SEC play.
– South Carolina has scored more points in the paint than its opponent 11 times, and has scored more points off of turnovers 12 times as well this season. The Gamecocks average 27.2 points in the paint per game and average 15.0 points off of turnovers per contest.
– Four of South Carolina’s first five opponents in league play had an RPI that ranked in the nation’s top 40: Kentucky (5), Alabama (29), Vanderbilt (30) and Florida (36); (Ole Miss is just outside the top 40 at No. 42).

By The Numbers
0 – Freshman forward Anthony Gill was not called for a foul in the first half of Wednesday’s victory over Alabama. Gill has struggled with early foul trouble during his rookie campaign, however, he matched his season high with 33 minutes played vs. Alabama. He also matched a season high with nine rebounds in the win.
9 – Sophomore forward RJ Slawson pulled down nine rebounds against Alabama, including six on the offensive end. It was the highest rebound total for Slawson in an SEC game in his career, surpassing his previous career high of eight, which he collected last season at Tennessee. His six offensive rebounds also marked a career high in the category.
23-9 – Turnovers proved costly in last week’s 63-52 loss at Auburn for the Gamecocks. A point of emphasis over the course of this week in practice, the Gamecocks went from 23 giveaways vs. Auburn to just nine in the victory vs. Alabama. To compare, Auburn scored 28 points off of turnovers, while the Crimson Tide tallied just eight.
19- South Carolina collected 19 offensive rebounds vs. Alabama, just one shy of matching a season high. The Gamecocks tallied 13 second chance points against the Crimson Tide.
8.0 – In two games last season vs. Ole Miss, then-freshman forward Damontre Harris averaged 8.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. Harris was instrumental in the regular season win, scoring 11 points and collecting eight rebounds in 28 minutes played.

Scouting Ole Miss
The Rebels, 8-1 at home this season, enter Saturday’s contest with a 13-7 overall record, including a 3-3 mark in league play after a 64-60 loss to Florida on Thursday … The Gators rallied from 16 down to earn the win in Oxford … Senior forward Terrance Henry paces three averaging double-figure points with 12.0 per game … Jarvis Summers (10.4) and Murphy Holloway (10.2) also contributed double-digits … Holloway’s 9.3 rebounds per game are a team high and rank third in the SEC in overall games … As a team Ole Miss ranks 11th in the league in 3-point field goal percentage (28.3%), and tied for third in blocked shots with 109 this season.

Ole Miss Series
– The all-time series with Ole Miss is tied at 14-14, with the Rebels holding a 9-1 advantage in games played in Oxford.
– The lone South Carolina road victory in the series came in an 80-77 win on Feb. 2, 2008.
– The team’s met twice last season, first in a 79-73 Gamecock win during the regular season in Columbia, followed by a 66-55 Ole Miss win in the first round of the SEC Tournament in Atlanta.

Distribution In The Numbers
– South Carolina has several players making a significant impact in several various categories. Only senior forward Malik Cooke (12.5) and sophomore guard Bruce Ellington (11.0) average double-digit points, but three others average at least 6.5 points per game. Similarly, sophomore forward Damontre Harris leads the team with 5.2 rebounds per game, but three others average at least 4.4 boards per outing. Same with assists, as three have tallied at least 28 this season, led by Cooke’s 34.

Up Next
South Carolina continues SEC play at No. 14 Florida next Thursday in a contest set to be televised on ESPN2 at 9 p.m. in Gainesville. When the teams meet next week, it will mark just 19 days since the two teams met in Columbia. Florida earned a 75-69 victory in that contest. South Carolina earned a 72-69 win in Gainesville last season.