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Jan. 25, 2013

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Gamecocks return to Colonial Life Arena on Saturday continuing SEC play when they host Arkansas in a mid-day matchup. The meeting marks the 25th all-time between the two schools. The game will be televised on the SEC Network with Mike Morgan (play-by-play) and Barry Booker (analyst) on the call, while fans can also listen on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network via and on 107.5 The Game in Columbia with Andy Demetra (play-by-play) and Casey Manning (analyst).

Gamecock head coach Frank Martin and his staff will be wearing tennis shoes for Saturday’s game against Arkansas with their suits during the 10th annual Suits and Sneakers (#SuitsAndSneakers) weekend, which is presented by the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

Date: Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013
Tipoff: 1:47 p.m. ET
Location: Columbia, S.C.
Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000)
Series: Arkansas leads 14-10
Last Meeting: Arkansas win, 76-65, on Feb. 11, 2012, in Fayetteville, Ark.
Television: SEC Network
Talent: Mike Morgan (pxp), Barry Booker (analyst)
Radio: Gamecock IMG Radio Network
Sirius: 123; XM: 199
Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst)
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Carolina Quick Hits
– South Carolina is in its 105th season of basketball.
– The Gamecocks are led by first-year head coach Frank Martin. His associate head coach is Brad Underwood and his assistant coaches are Matt Figger and Lamont Evans. Andy Assaley is the director of basketball operations.
– The Gamecocks are in their 22nd season of competition in the Southeastern Conference in 2013. Carolina owns a 130-211 (.381) all-time record in SEC play.
– South Carolina held an eight-point halftime lead on the road at No. 22 Missouri earlier this week, but the Gamecocks were unable to hold the lead down the stretch and the Tigers responded with 44 points in the second half to claim a 71-65 win. Mizzou struggled mightly from the field in the opening half, hitting just 6-of-30 attempts, but 28 points from the free throw line in the contest kept the Tigers within striking distance throughout.
– Junior guard Brenton Williams posted 16 points to lead the Gamecocks off the bench for the third straight game at Missouri. Williams posts a team best 12.2 points per game in overall games, including a 10.0 average in league games.
– Junior forward RJ Slawson posted a season high 12 points at Missouri. He was 5-of-7 from the field with six rebounds in the contest.
– The contest at Mizzou on Tuesday marked a battle of the top two rebounding teams in the SEC this season. The Tigers held a 44-43 edge on the glass, with both teams collecting 16 offensive rebounds in the game. Missouri capitalized for 20 second-chance points, with the Gamecocks posting just 10 in the category.
– South Carolina recently suffered a 58-51 loss at home to Vanderbilt on Jan. 19. The Gamecocks hit just 14-of-59 (23.7%) attempts from the field, including just 5-of-29 (17.2%) during the opening half. Carolina’s 19-of-25 (76.0%) effort from the free throw line kept the Gamecocks within at least 10 points of the Commodores throughout the contest, but Vandy finished the contest hitting 10-of-16 from the free throw line over the final five minutes of play to secure the seven-point win.
– Senior forward Lakeem Jackson collected the 500th rebound of his career with a team high 10 boards vs. Vandy. Jackson ranks ninth in the SEC with 7.4 rebounds per game.
– South Carolina earned the first SEC win for head coach Frank Martin at LSU on Jan. 16 in an 82-73 overtime decision. Carolina was once again stellar in overtime, hitting 9-of-10 attempts in the extra session from the free throw line. Freshman forward Michael Carrera posted 23 points in 24 minutes off the bench to pace the Gamecocks in the contest.
– Carrera (23 points, 10 rebounds) and senior forward Lakeem Jackson (11 points, 11 rebounds) both collected double-doubles in the contest at LSU, marking the first time that two Gamecocks have had a double-double in the same game for the first time since the 2008 campaign.
– Carrera’s 23 points scored vs. LSU were the most by a Gamecock this season, and the most by a Gamecock freshman since then-freshman Bruce Ellington also posted 23 at Florida on Jan. 15, 2011.
– In three overtime wins this season, Carolina has hit an impressive 31-of-34 (91.1%) attempts from the free throw line during OT.
– Junior guard Brian Richardson posted career highs in several categories vs. Mississippi State, including posting a career best 20 points to lead the Gamecocks in the contest.
– Senior guard LaShay Page, a post-graduate student from Dillon, S.C., will not compete with the South Carolina men’s basketball team for the remainder of the 2012-13 season due to an academic eligibility issue.

Scouting Arkansas
Arkansas enters Saturday’s contest with a 12-6 overall record, including a 3-2 mark in league games after a home victory vs. Mississippi State earlier this week. The Razorbacks posted a 27-point win over the Bulldogs, while dishing an impressive 27 assists, 11 blocks and 29 forced turnovers in the contest. Sophomore guard BJ Young leads the squad with 16.9 points per game, while his 4.1 assists per game are also a team best. Junior forward Marshawn Powell also provides double-digit points with 15.3 per game, and his 5.4 rebounds lead the team. The Razorbacks suffered three-consecutive losses at the end of November, against Arizona State and Wisconsin in the Las Vegas Invitational, before suffering a loss to Syracuse in the SEC/BIG EAST Challenge. Since that time however, Arkansas has won nine of 12 contests. In overall games this season, Arkansas ranks first in the SEC in assist to turnover ratio (1.4), second in scoring offense (79.6), third in field goal percentage (45.9%) and third in blocked shots (5.7). The Razorbacks are led by head coach Mike Anderson in his second season.

Up Next For The Gamecocks
Carolina travels to No. 8/7 Florida next Wednesday for an 8 p.m. ET matchup set to be televised on the SEC Network. The contest will mark Frank Martin’s first in his native state as head coach at South Carolina.

Arkansas Series
Arkansas holds a 14-10 advantage in the all-time series with South Carolina and won last season’s meeting between the two schools, 76-65, in Fayetteville. The Gamecocks hold a 6-4 upperhand in games played in Columbia, with the most recent an 81-74 overtime victory on Jan. 19, 2011. In fact, the Gamecocks have won each of the last five meetings in Columbia dating back to the 2003 campaign.

By The Numbers
9 – Junior guard Bruce Ellington collected a career high nine rebounds vs. Missouri on Tuesday. Ellington averages 3.1 rebounds per contest in overall games this season, including 3.2 in SEC play.
4 – Junior guard Brenton Williams hit four 3s at Missouri on Tuesday, marking the third time this season he has hit at least four attempts from beyod the arc. Williams set a career high with five made 3s vs. Rider earlier this season. Williams does not average enough made 3s per game to qualify for the SEC stats, but if he did, his 43.7 percent from range would rank him second in the league.
7.0 – Among freshmen in the SEC, rookie forward Michael Carrera ranks third in rebounding with 7.0 per games in overall contests, while his 6.6 per game in SEC games also ranks third among freshmen.
28 – Missouri’s 28 made free throws marked the most by a Gamecock opponent in the category this season. It was the most made from the line by a Carolina opponent since Arkansas hit 27-of-36 attempts on Feb. 17, 2010.