Basketball hosts UNC Asheville Saturday night at 8 pm in last non-conference game of the year
Jan. 4, 2008
The Gamecocks, 8-5 and celebrating 100 seasons of Gamecock basketball this season, host their last contest of a five-game homestand when UNC Asheville, 10-3, comes to town as they plays the last non-conference game of the year on Sat., Jan. 5 at 8 pm. USC, posting a 3-1 record during the homestand, most recently defeated UC Irvine 67-65 on Dec. 28 and then defeated Radford 90-63 on Jan. 2. UNC Asheville defeated Montreat 94-64 on Dec. 31 with five players scoring in double figures and won in overtime vs. Buffalo on Dec. 29 (101-90).
PLEASE NOTE: The UNC Asheville game was orginally scheduled for 7:30 pm, but was moved to 8 pm for television purposes.
The two have two common opponents this season: Campbell and SC State. USC defeated SCSU on Nov. 9 (92-67) and then the Camels 92-52 on Nov. 28. UNC A defeated SCSU 87-76 on Dec. 17 and has two wins over Campbell: a 83-71 victory on Nov. 17 and then a 79-76 win on Dec. 13.
The UNC Asheville game will be televised on CSS with Matt Stewart and Wimp Sanderson making the call. It can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network and will also be featured on Sirius Satellite Radio at No. 107. It can also be picked up via the internet at www.gamecocksonline.com.
North Carolina Asheville
UNC A enter the game at 10-3 with Eddie Biedenbach at the helm (153-178 in 12 years). The Bulldogs have five players averaging double figures including Bryan Smithson at 17.3 and K.J. Garland at 16.1 ppg and a team-leading 6.8 ppg. In its 30-point win over Montreat on Dec. 31 Kenny George came off the bench to knock down 8 of 10 shots in 15 minutes, picking four blocks and six rebounds in his spot duty. The Bulldogs average 80.7 ppg to their opponents 70.7 and they average 9.1 bpg.
North Carolina Asheville plays in the Big South and is the second of two straight Big South teams USC has played in a three-day span as the Gamecocks defeated Radford 90-63 on Jan. 2. USC is 23-3 vs. the Big South with contests against Charleston Southern (7-1), Coastal Carolina (1-1), Elon (1-0), UNC-A (7-1), Radford (2-0) and Winthrop (5-0).
Carolina has four players averaging double figures: Devan Downey (18.6), Zam Fredrick (16.2), Dominique Archie at 10.8 and Brandis Raley-Ross at 10.6. Downey leads the team with 5.3 apg and 3.3 spg. Sam Muldrow leads the crew with 1.8 bpg. Archie leads the battle of the boards at 6.2 rpg and Mike Holmes is second grabbing 6.1 rpg including a career-high 16 vs. NCSU.
Downey has a team-high 30 points vs. Penn State on Nov. 22 and Holmes had a team-high 16 rebounds vs. N.C. State on Nov. 23.
Archie (Jan. 2 vs. Radford) and Downey (Nov. 12 vs. The Citadel) both have double-doubles this year. Both have two career double-doubles and Fredrick has one dating back to Georgia Tech.
Carolina will travel to one of the hottest surprise teams in the country on Wed., Jan. 9 when it travels to Nashville to open SEC play at No. 15 Vanderbilt - one of the SEC's two undefeated teams (No. 18 Ole Miss is 13-0). The Commodores 14-0 record is their best start in school history. The South Carolina game is the Commodores 10th contest in 11 tries at home as Vanderbilt heads into a Jan. 5 contest with UMASS, having defeated Rice 76-58 on Jan. 3.
The schedule doesn't get any easier when Chris Lofton-led No. 9 Tennessee comes calling on Sat., Jan. 12 for an 8 pm contest on FSN.
South Carolina's 90-63 win over Radford notched Dave Odom's 400th career win in his 22 years as a head coach at East Carolina (38), Wake Forest (240) and South Carolina (121). He is the 29th active coach to reach 400 wins. Odom is already currently the winningest all-time coach in the SEC.
The 122 wins are fourth all-time at USC - only Frank McGuire, Frank Johnson and Eddie Fogler have more wins in their Carolina career. He is one away from tying Fogler's win total of 123 games to 117 losses in his eight year career with the Gamecocks.
Brandis Raley-Ross will be out with a left knee sprain for up to two weeks it was announced on Jan. 1. An MRI revealed no tear and the knee will be re-evaluated while Raley-Ross rehabs the knee daily.
Raley-Ross is currently leading the SEC in three-point percentage (30-46, 65%) and is fourth on the team with 10.6 ppg. He has started nine game this year.
Raley-Ross and Evka Baniulis were shooting in the practice facility on the evening of Dec. 30, a day off. Raley-Ross went up to slam dunk the ball and landed awkwardly.
"It was a baby dunk. Everyone on the team was joking I was trying to dunk over Evka or something," said Raley-Ross.
Zam Fredrick recorded 9 points in two of his last three games, but in the Radford win Fredrick had 9 points in the first 9:57 as Fredrick scored 14 of his 26 points in the first half. It was the 11th time this season that he scored in double figures and the fourth time this season that he recorded 20+. The last time he scored 20+ was on Dec. 22, 2007 when he scored 21 against the College of Charleston. He scored a career-high 28 at CU on Dec. 2.
Fredrick totaled a season high 8 assists on the night, only bested by the 10 he had at Michigan State while with Georgia Tech his sophomore year. He has at least 4 assists in 7 games this season. His previous high this season was 7 vs. The Citadel on Nov. 12, 2007.
Fredrick went 5 of 10 from beyond the arc. His 5 three pointers tied his career high against the C of C on Dec. 22, 2007.
He tied his season high with the 7 rebounds. (7 vs. PSU on Nov. 22, 2007). He has at least 6 rebounds in 5 games this season and has at least 6 in 4 of the last 5 games. He also added a block and a steal to make sure he got one of everything.
Dominique Archie has at least five rebounds in 11 of 13 games this season including 9 games in a row and has at least 7 in 7 games this season. Archie grabbed 4 of the teams first 6 rebounds vs. Radford and tied his career high of 10 rebounds vs. Lipscomb on Nov. 19, 2006. The 11 points and 10 rebounds gave Archie his 2nd career double-double. (Lipscomb on Nov. 19, 2006)
Archie scored in double figures for the sixth time this season including the last 4 games. Archie has shot at least 6 free throws in 4 of the last 5 games. Prior to that stretch, he shot no more than four in a game. he is hitting over 72% of his free throws this season (31-43) as compared to last season when he went 46-70 from the foul line (65.7%).
Archie recorded 2 blocks on the night against Radford. He has at least 2 blocks in three straight games and eight this season.