Gamecocks return home for Border Battle with Georgia Wed., Jan. 30; travel to Ole Miss on Sat., Feb. 2|
Jan. 29, 2008
South Carolina, 9-10 and 1-4 in the SEC, will host the Georgia Bulldogs, 11-6 and 2-2 in the SEC, on Wed., Jan. 30 at 7:30 pm in the non-televised game. The Georgia and LSU games are the only non-televised SEC home games this year.
Both teams are looking to bounce back from Eastern Division losses on the road on Sat., Jan. 26 when Carolina, paced by Devan Downey's 24 points, couldn't overcome a 12-3 rally by Kentucky late in the second half and fell 78-70 in Lexington. Georgia fell to then-No. 3 Tennessee 85-69 behind Chris Lofton's 7 of 13 attack from the 3-point line as he scored a game-high 27 points for the Vols.
Looking to turn the tide vs. Georgia, South Carolina has lost nine of its games by less than six points a game (5.77 ppg), falling in seven games by eight points or less.
The South Carolina-Georgia game can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network and will featured on Sirius Satellite Radio at No. 140. It can also be picked up via the internet at www.gamecocksonline.com.
The SEC is beginning to gain respect around the country. A season-high five SEC teams are ranked in the top 25 this week. No. 8 Tennessee (USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll.) leads the pack followed by No. 18 Vanderbilt, No. 19 Florida, No. 22 Ole Miss and No. 25 Mississippi State. Florida and Mississippi State are in the top 25 this week for the first time this season.
Gotta win the first one
Attention Gamecocks and Bulldogs: winning the first game of this two-game annual series means one thing the last five years - you win the second showdown as well. The season series between Georgia and South Carolina has been swept each of the last five seasons. See the results:
Year Who Swept Scores (where)
2002-03 Georgia 79-66 (Athens)
2003-04 South Carolina 84-63 (Athens)
2004-05 South Carolina 74-54 (Columbia)
2005-06 Georgia 64-61 OT (Columbia)
2006-07 Georgia 80-56 (Athens)
Dave Odom is 4-8 against Georgia since coming to South Carolina and 5-9 versus Georgia all-time (1-1 while at Wake Forest). He has a career record of 4-4 against current Georgia head coach Dennis Felton. Felton was an assistant coach at Clemson under Rick Barnes from the 1994-95 season through 1997-98. The Tigers went 4-0 against South Carolina during that time when Odom was still at Wake Forest and Eddie Fogler was at the USC helm.
Since joining the SEC in 1991, the two teams have racked up eight series sweeps: UGA in 1994, 2003, 2006 and 2007 and USC in 1998, 2001, 2004 and 2005.
USC has played more games against the Bulldogs than any other SEC opponent - 88, but the schools records not the same because USC doesn't count games forfeited as wins due to UGA's NCAA sanctions in the early 2000s.
A few things about the rivalry:
First Meeting: Feb. 4, 1922 (27-36 in Columbia)
Last Meeting: Feb. 10, 2007 (54-73 in Columbia)
South Carolina will travel to Ole Miss for an FSN-televised game regionally on Sat., Feb. 2 at 5 pm (EST). South Carolina defeated the Rebels 76-63 last season in Columbia behind Tre' Kelley's 28 point. The Gamecocks have never won in Oxford, bringing an 0-8 record to Tad Smith Coliseum. In fact, USC is a combined 1-16 at the two SEC schools from Mississippi, posting its first-ever win last season in Starkville (66-63 on Jan. 27, 2007).
Coach Odom spoke on Monday's teleconference and the following are a few comments.
"The recent series had really been dominated by Georgia. They have our number. I hope we can change that. They are very disciplined, very physical - they control the game defensively. We've had our share of problems scoring against Georgia in the past and their defense is equally as good this year.
"We know that Tennessee can make you look bad and they really had their way with Georgia the other night. But Georgia is a big strong team and we have our work cut out for us.
"We have to correct mistakes we made in Lexington. We are exposing ourselves too much defensively. We have to sit down and guard people. Offensively we have to move the ball around because nobody plays defense like Georgia. They play the most physical defense in our league."
South Carolina has three players averaging double figures: Devan Downey (20.1), Zam Fredrick (15.9) and Dominique Archie (10.5). Downey leads the team with 5.1 apg and 3.5 spg. Sam Muldrow leads with 1.8 bpg. Archie leads the team with 6.3 rpg and Mike Holmes is second at 4.9 rpg.
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 has two double-doubles this season (Jan. 2 vs. Radford, Jan. 23 vs. Florida) and Downey has one (Nov. 12 vs. The Citadel). Career-wise, Archie has three, Downey has 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+.
Rewind to Kentucky
The following are a few notes from South Carolina's 78-70 loss at Kentucky on Sat., Jan. 26.
Dominique Archie has at least 4 rebounds in every game this year except the first (1 vs. SC State) and has at least 5 rebounds in all but 2 games this season (SC State and Vanderbilt). He has scored in double figures 11 times this year and 9 of the last 10.
Devan Downey took over the scoring crown from Shan Foster with his 24 point performance (Downey has 20.1 ppg in all games compared to Vandy's Foster who has 19.5 ppg). Downey already led the SEC and continued, putting up 24.4 ppg in SEC play, holding that title by 2.2 ppg currently. He has scored 20+ in 10 games this season including 5 straight (every SEC game) and 6 of the last 7.
Downey scored in double figures for the 40th straight game (dating back to CU) and has hit double digits every game for the Gamecocks.
Downey had 4 games with 2+ three's at Cincinnati and he already has 10 games this season with 2+ three's.
Zam Fredrick scored 13 points. He has scored double-figures in every game this season except two (Baylor and UC Irvine) and he scored nine in both of those contests.
The Gamecocks, who knocked down 12 3s vs. UK, have hit 10+ three pointers 7 times this season. Carolina hit 10+ three's in only 7 games last season (30 games).
Evka Baniulis scored a season-high 12 points and pulled down a career-high 7 rebounds as he started his third game this season, playing a career-high 36 minutes.
USC turned the ball over just 9 times and saw its 18th opponent in 19 games hit 10+ turnovers (Southern California turned it over 9 times).
Don't overlook either
Playing the No. 2 spot, Zam Fredrick is also turning heads. Fredrick has scored double figures in 17 of 19 games this season - hitting nine in the other two contests. Fredrick is second on the team in three-point percentage (39.3%) behind Brandis Raley Ross (61.2%). He is averaging a very-respectable 3.5 apg while scoring 15.9 ppg.
Fredrick's name sounds familiar in these parts for a reason - father Zam Fredrick led the nation in scoring in 1981 when he hit 28.9 ppg his senior year. Father Fredrick scored 1,383 points during his four-year career, averaging 13.7 ppg in 101 games. He is currently No. 15 on the all-time scorers list. The Calhoun County boys' basketball team, led by Father Fredrick, recently surpassed the all-time consecutive mark of 65 set by Hannah from 1957-60 (for S.C. high schools).
Notes and more Notes
Carolina has scored 40+ first half points in five home games this season. (SC State, The Citadel, Campbell, Baylor, Radford). Last year USC scored 40+ in only eight halves total. USC also scored 52 in the second half of the C of C game.
The Gamecocks have at least 5 steals in 18 of 19 games this season. After 19 games last season, the Gamecocks had 5+ steals in just six games.
In eight of its games, USC has finished with 9+ steals per game. During its season-high 15 steals vs. The Citadel, Devan Downey lead the charge with a season-high six steals. Raley-Ross added two and Sam Muldrow, Zam Fredrick, Chad Gray, Branden Conrad, Rob Wilder, Dwayne Day and Mike Holmes each picked up a theft.
Dominique Archie told the media recently that Brandon Wallace's school-record 249 blocked shots might be jeopardy if Sam Muldrow plays four years for the Gamecocks. While that is quite a stretch 19 games into the Florence native's freshman campaign, he is making his shot-blocking abilities known. Muldrow, the cousin of former All-SEC Gamecock forward Carlos Powell, leads the team with 1.8 bpg. He blocked six shots vs. Tennessee on Jan. 12 which topped his five blocked shots vs. Campbell on Nov. 28. It was the most for a freshman since Renaldo Balkman blocked five shots on Feb. 11, 2004 vs. Mississippi State. He followed up that performance with 4 blocks at Clemson.
The Gamecocks have forced double-digit turnovers against every opponent this season except two (9, Southern California and Florida). Penn State let the ball fall into Gamecock hands a season-high 21 times, Campbell turned it over 20 times, Arkansas fumbled it 19 times and Radford turned it over 18 times. Opponents are turning the ball over an average of 14.7 times a game with USC is averaging 11.2 turnovers a game. USC has turned the ball over 10 times or fewer in nine games.
The Gamecocks are almost 13 ppg more than they were last year at this same time. USC is averaging 75.3 ppg and have hit 74+ points in nine games this year. After 17 games last year USC was averaging 62.8 ppg.
Carolina is holding opponents to just 33.4% from three-point range on the year, including The Citadel who shot 3-29 from beyond the arc (10.3%) and Penn State who went 4-25 for a 16% showing. Likewise USC is hitting 40.4% of its 3 point attempts with Brandis Raley-Ross leading the charge in the SEC at 61.5% by averaging 2 threes per game.
The Gamecocks played four games at two neutral sites this season (three in Orlando at the Old Spice Classic and one in Philadelphia at the Pizza Hut Big East-SEC Challenge). It is the most USC has played on a neutral court early in the season since it played four of its first 7 regular season games in 1998-99 (two in Indianapolis and two in Charlotte).
The Gamecocks have made at least one 3-pointer in 187 consecutive games since they went 0-19 vs. Mississippi State on March 2, 2002 - a 64-57 loss. They have also had at least one block in 105 consecutive games since they went block-less on Jan. 15, 2005 in a 66-63 win vs. Tennessee.
Brandis Raley-Ross has one of the highest three point percentage in the country, but needs 2.6 3s per game to be the nation's leader and he currently has 1.8 3pg so he is not ranked. He leads the SEC at 61.2% from beyond the arc.
As a team in the NCAA's top 50 team statistics rankings (NCAA, Jan. 28), USC is No. 8 in turnovers per game; No. 17 in three-point field goal percentage; No. 30 in assist turnover ratio; and No. 48 in personal fouls per game, No. 41 in threes per game.
Carolina is showing up in a number of SEC statistical categories as well (Mon., Jan. 28). The following are a few:
* The Gamecocks are No. 2 in the SEC in three point field goal % at 40% and No. 2 as well in turnover margin (+3.26). USC is No. 4 in 3 point field goals made (8.3) and No. 4 free throw percentage at 71.6%.
* Raley-Ross hit 6 of 7 3's vs. Campbell for a league-best 86% 3 point shooting % (single game). He leads the SEC in three point field goal % at 61.2% (30 of 48).
* Downey leads the SEC in scoring in all games, SEC games and also steals. He is second in mpg, third in assists and No. 8 in free throw %.
* Zam Fredrick is third at 35.6 mpg, 11th with 15.9 ppg, sixth in 3 point % at 39% and eighth in 3's made (2.4).