Jan. 15, 2008
D - South Carolina, 8-8, travels to Arkansas, 13-3, to play the Razorbacks on Wed., Jan. 16 at 8 pm (EST). It is their 20th match-up as the two had never played each other until they both joined the SEC in 1991. Arkansas' arena, Bud Walton Arena, was designed by the same architect as Carolina's Colonial Center.
Not televised, the Carolina-Arkansas can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network and will also be featured on Sirius Satellite Radio at No. 143. It can also be picked up via the internet at www.gamecocksonline.com.
In its last regular season match-up in Columbia on Jan. 24, 2007, USC defeated Arkansas 66-60 behind Tre' Kelley's 22 points. In that game Brandon Wallace had 13 rebounds, including an un-heard of 10 offensive rebounds. The 'Backs weren't so kind in the first round of the SEC Tournament, sending the Gamecocks packing with an 82-52 win on March 7, 2007. Arkansas advanced to the SEC Tournament final before falling in the finals to Florida. They were awarded a berth to the NCAA Tournament, bowing out in the first round.
Last Sunday Arkansas needed overtime to defeat its last opponent, finishing off Alabama in extra minutes 71-67 with four players in double figures. South Carolina suffered its worst defeat of the year, falling 80-56 to No. 8 Tennessee in Columbia last Saturday. Devan Downey scored 24 points and Zam Fredrick and Dominique Archie added 11 each.
Arkansas and South Carolina have three common opponents in Baylor (USC lost, Arkansas won), Providence (USC won, Arkansas lost) and College of Charleston (both USC and Arkansas won).
South Carolina has used six different line-ups this season with Dominique Archie, Zam Fredrick and Devan Downey starting every game. Archie has started every game of his Gamecock career thus far (46). Downey has scored 20+ in the last three of four games, including 24 vs. No. 8 Tennessee.
"The beat goes on for the Gamecocks. We played at a very good Vanderbilt team on Wednesday and then followed that up with a very good Tennessee team. Arkansas, who virtually has everyone back, has a very big front line and they play very well at home which is a real advantage for them. Patrick Beverly is one of the great outside shooters in our league. Sonny Weems is one of the more consistently improved players in our league this year.
"Our team has struggled. Against Tennessee we didn't answer the bell. We need to be better rebounders, get inside points and develop more balance. Devan Downey was criticized by the media after the Tennessee game for not having more assists (he had one). He made several passes to open teammates and they didn't connect. We need to do a better job of completing plays when he passes the ball to open teammates. "Devan has the heart of a lion, loves to win, is very hard on himself and very demanding of his teammates. His shot selection could use some work, but he plays especially hard. He has scored the ball probably more than I thought he would coming into the season."
USC has three players averaging double figures: Devan Downey (19.1), Zam Fredrick (16.0) and Dominique Archie (10.2). Downey leads the team with 5.2 apg and 3.3 spg. Sam Muldrow leads with 1.9 bpg. Archie leads the team with 6.1 rpg and Mike Holmes is second at 5.8 apg.
For the season 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 his days at Georgia Tech (vs. Michigan State).
USC is 5-1 when scoring 80+ with a high water mark of 103 points vs. The Citadel on Nov. 12. On the flip side, USC is 1-5 when the opponent scores 80+.
Downey almost tops
In the NCAA rankings again this week, Devan Downey is second only to Jason Richards of Davidson in steals per game (3.7 spg as of Jan. 13). After picking up five pockets at Vandy, Downey is averaging 3.2 spg The single season school record is held by Chuck Eidson (2.91 spg in 2000). Eidson is also No. 2 on the individual season list with 2.46 in 2002.
Eidson holds the career school record with 272 steals for an average of 2.42 spg from 2000-03. Closest to Eidson for the school record during a career: Barry Manning averaged 1.84 spg from 1988-92. Downey is averaging 2.4 spg in his career after averaging 1.91 spg his freshman campaign at Cincinnati.
Downey was the SEC Player of the Week on Dec. 10 and is a Cousy nominee this season.
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