Gamecocks looking to even the score when No. 22 Vanderbilt comes to town on Saturday at 5 pm
Dominique Archie has hit 29 threes in his two-year Gamecock career, but none probably bigger than his last that sealed the deal with No. 22 Ole Miss last Saturday.
 
Dominique Archie has hit 29 threes in his two-year Gamecock career, but none probably bigger than his last that sealed the deal with No. 22 Ole Miss last Saturday.

Feb. 7, 2008

 
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South Carolina, 11-10 and 3-4 in the SEC, hosts No. 22 Vanderbilt, 19-4 and 4-4 in the SEC, at 5 pm in a FSN-televised game on Sat., Feb. 9. Vanderbilt won the last match-up, 80-73, in a game that went down to the wire in Nashville on Jan. 9, 2008. In their first-ever SEC games, Devan Downey scored 24 points and Zam Fredrick added 21 points. USC leads the overall series 21-20. USC is 7-6 under Odom vs. Vandy (3-3 in Columbia and 4-3 in Nashville). Under Odom USC has swept the regular season series twice, Vanderbilt swept it for the first time last year and it has been split three times.

The USC-VU can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network and will featured on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel No. 123. It can also be picked up via the internet at www.gamecocksonline.com.

The Gamecocks, who had never won in Oxford and brought an 0-8 record to Tad Smith Coliseum, got the best of then-No. 22 Ole Miss with an 80-77 win on Sat., Feb. 2 Cousy finalist Devan Downey scored 25 points and Dominique Archie hit the game-winning three-point shot with :06 left on the clock to finish with 20 points. USC is now a combined 2-16 at the two SEC schools from Mississippi, posting its first-ever win last season in Starkville (66-63 on Jan. 27, 2007).

On Wed., Feb. 6, Vanderbilt defeated Georgia 67-59 in its fifth road game in seven tries behind Alex Gordon's 14 points. The 'Dores had three other players in double figures as well: A.J. Ogilvy (12) and Shan Foster and Ross Neltner both hit 13 each.

If

A few morsels on the South Carolina-Vandy game: * If South Carolina wins it would be the first time USC won three or more SEC regular-season games in a row since 2003-04. That season, picked dead-last in the pre-season poll, USC won 5 straight SEC games to start the season and finished with an 8-8 record.

* If Vandy wins, the Commodores will tie the all-time series record at 21-21. Vandy would also sweep the season series for the second straight year.

* If South Carolina wins it would be its second straight win over a ranked team (defeated No. 22 Ole Miss 80-77 on Feb. 2) since the Gamecocks defeated No. 25 Vanderbilt 77-72 on March 4, 2000 and No. 8 Tennessee 75-68 on March 10, 2000 (SEC Tourney). USC defeated Alabama 69-59 in between those wins -- so it would be USC's first win since joining the SEC in 1991 where it won two straight games over a top 25 team.

The first!

Devan Downey was the first Gamecock player to score 20+ in five straight games since USC joined the SEC (1991) and even more impressive - he did it in his first five SEC games. He scored 22 at No. 12 Vandy, 24 vs. No. 8 UT, 28 at Arkansas, 24 vs. UF and 24 at UK. His streak was stopped when he scored just 9 in USC's 62-56 win over Georgia where he scored 9 points.

He re-started the stat in the 80-77 win at No. 22 Ole Miss when he scored 25 points. The performance at Ole Miss was one of his best this season: 25 points (9 of 16 FG, 5-8 FT) adding six rebounds, seven assists, five steals and a block in 39 minutes.

Flirting Devan Downey has flirted with 20.0 ppg the last couple weeks. If he would end the season averaging 20.0+ ppg, he would be the first Gamecock to do so since Zam Fredrick led the nation in scoring with 28.9 ppg in 1980-81. In 100 years of basketball, USC has only had 14 players average more than 20+ ppg during a season.

Up there

South Carolina has three players averaging double figures: Devan Downey (19.8), Zam Fredrick (16.1) and Dominique Archie (11.0). Downey leads the team with 5.2 apg and 3.4 spg. Sam Muldrow leads with 1.7 bpg. Archie leads the team with 6.2 rpg and Mike Holmes is second at 4.6 rpg. Brandis Raley-Ross is hitting a team-high 61.5% of his three pointers (32-52) and Fredrick is knocking down a team-high 76.6% of his free throws (36-47).

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 6-1 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+.

Starting with Dominique

Dominique Archie has started every game in his career - 51 straight - including 30 last season and 21 this year. He needs four more straight starts to match former All-SEC forward Marius Patravicius. Petravicius, a native of Kltenenu, Lithuania, started all 32 games his freshman year and only missed one start - game No. 26 vs. Tennessee (Feb. 27, 2001) - his sophomore year to start 61 of the team's 62 games his first two seasons.

Archie has quite a mountain to climb to set the school record owned by BJ McKie (1995-98) and Melvin Watson (1995-98). They both started 116 games during their careers.

As a freshman in 2006-07, Archie hit 11 three-pointers on 32 attempts (34%) in 29 games played. This season Archie is holding his own, hitting 18 treys on 46 attempts in the first 21 games (39.1%).

Ballers

Devan Downey is one of four SEC players to have scored 20+ points in five straight games or more this season. Note:

Name, School 20+ Games Streak Status of Streak

Marcus Thornton, LSU 6 (current - all in SEC)

Ramel Bradley, UK 6 (3 non-conf., 3 SEC)

Chris Lofton, UT 5 (current - all in SEC)

Devan Downey, SC 5 (Vandy - Kentucky)

Three-ball

The Gamecocks have shot 50% or better from the field in six games this season. In those six games, the Gamecocks are 5-1. Even more impressive is that the Gamecocks have hit 50% or better from beyond the arc in 5 of those 6 games. Carolina hit 50% or better from three point land in 6 games this season. When USC hits 50% or better from downtown they are 5-1. The Gamecocks have eight games this season where they have hit 10 or more threes in a game and are 5-3.

Slamming Sammy

Sam Muldrow leads the team with 36 blocks this season for an average of 1.7 bpg. He would be the first freshman to lead the team in blocks since Renaldo Balkman blocked 43 shots his freshman year (2003-04). Brandon Wallace, who shattered the school record for career blocked shots with 259 last season (2003-07), blocked 35 shots his freshman year.

Cousin Carlos (Powell) blocked 48 shots during his career, but ended up No. 6 on the career scoring list with 1,541 points.

3-Pointers

The Gamecocks are making 40.1% of their shots beyond the arc this season (173 of 430). If the season were to end today, that would be the second highest total in Carolina history. The Gamecocks hit 44.1% (90-204) in 1989 in 30 games and currently second all-time is 38.3% (57-149) in 1987 in 29 games.

Brandis Raley-Ross is making 61.5% of his three-point attempts (32-52) and is leading the SEC with that number. If the season ended today, Raley-Ross would break the school record 12.6% (Brent Price, 68 of 139 for 48.9% in 1989).

Zam Fredrick, at 39.4% beyond the arc (50-127), would finish 10th for a season with his marks this season.

20+ 2 players

In the win at Ole Miss, Devan Downey scored 25 points and Dominique Archie tallied 20. It is the fourth time this season South Carolina has had two players hit 20+ (see below). It is the first time since 1997 (see below) that South Carolina had two players score 20+ points in four or more games in a season. In 1997 BJ McKie and Larry Davis combined for 20+ points in five games.

The past two seasons USC had three games each year with 2 players hitting 20+ (2006-07: Sheldon and Kelley vs. USC; Archie and Wallace vs. Lipscomb and Archie and Kelly vs. Vandy) and (2006-06: Kelley and Kinsey vs. Marquette; Kinsey and Balkman vs. Louisville and Kelley and Kinsey vs. Michigan).

THIS YEAR IT'S HAPPENED FOUR TIMES

Campbell (Nov. 28, 2007)

Brandis Raley-Ross (20 points) and Devan Downey (20)

Radford (Jan. 2, 2008)

Devan Downey (23) and Zam Fredrick (26)

Vanderbilt (Jan. 9, 2008)

Devan Downey (22) and Zam Fredrick (21)

Ole Miss (Feb. 2, 2008)

Devan Downey (25) and Dominique Archie (20)

THE LAST TIME IT HAPPENED: 5 TIMES

Mississippi State (Jan. 11, 1997)

B.J. McKie (24) and Larry Davis (22)

Georgia (Jan.18, 1997)

B.J. McKie (21) and Larry Davis (22)

Ole Miss (Jan. 25, 1997)

B.J. McKie (26) and Larry Davis (20)

Cincinnati (Feb. 15, 1997)

B.J. McKie (25) and Larry Davis (32)

Kentucky (March 2, 1997)

B.J. McKie (22) and Larry Davis (20)

Close Calls

Excluding the Tennessee game, the Gamecocks have played six SEC contests that were decided by a total of 30 points for an average of 5.0 ppg between the winner and the loser. In the three SEC losses, Carolina lost by eight points or less, with the games being decided by a total of 17 points. In the three SEC wins, the Gamecocks won by 6 points or less.

Overall, USC has played in 14 games this season that have been decided by 8 points or less including 8 that have been decided by 3 points or less. The Gamecocks are 7-7 in the 14 games and are 4-4 in the games decided by 3 points or less.

A few more stats

• 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 20 of 21 games this season. After 21 games last season, the Gamecocks had 5+ steals in just seven 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.

Sam Muldrow, the cousin of former All-SEC Gamecock forward Carlos Powell, leads the team with 1.7 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 14.3 times a game with USC is averaging 11.1 turnovers a game. USC has turned the ball over 10 times or fewer in 10 games, including the last two of 3 (9 at UK and vs. UGA; 12 at Ole Miss).

• The Gamecocks are scoring almost 12 ppg more than they were last year at this same time. USC is averaging 74.9 ppg and have hit 74+ points in 10 games this year. After 21 games last year USC was averaging 63.3 ppg.

• Carolina is holding opponents to just 32% from three-point range on the year, including Georgia, who shot 4-27 from beyond the arc (14.8%), 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 better than 40% of its 3 point attempts with Brandis Raley-Ross leading the charge in the SEC at 61.5% by averaging 1.7 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 189 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 107 consecutive games since they went block-less on Jan. 15, 2005 in a 66-63 win vs. Tennessee.

NCAA, SEC Leaders

Devan Downey is second in the nation with 3.4 spg (NCAA, Mon., Feb. 4). Downey is No. 36 in points per game and No. 44 in assists per game. Sam Muldrow is No. 73 in the nation with blocks.

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 1.7 3pg so he is not ranked. He leads the SEC at 61.5% from beyond the arc.

As a team in the NCAA's top 50 team statistics rankings (NCAA, Mon., Feb. 4). USC is No. 7 in turnovers per game; No. 16 in three-point field goal percentage; No. 28 in assist turnover ratio; No. 33 in personal fouls per game; and No. 43 in threes per game.

Carolina is showing up in a number of SEC statistical categories as well (Thurs., Feb. 7). The following are a few:

* USC is third in the SEC in turnover margin (+2.43) in SEC games and the Gamecocks are second in three point field goals made (8.7) against SEC foes only.

* The Gamecocks are No. 2 in the SEC in three point field goal % at 40.2% and No. 2 as well in turnover margin (+3.14). USC is No. 4 in 3 point field goals made (8.2) and No. 5 free throw percentage at 71.0%.

* 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 60%.

* Downey leads the SEC in steals and is tied for the league lead in ppg in all games and second overall in SEC games. He is also second in mpg, second in assists and No. 7 in free throw %.

* Zam Fredrick is third at 35.8 mpg, 10th with 16.1 ppg, fifth in 3 point % at 39.4% and seventh in 3's made (2.4).

* Sam Muldrow is fifth with 1.7 bpg. Dominique Archie is 14th with 6.2 rpg and 12th with 1.1 bpg.