The South Carolina men's basketball team (9-13, 1-7 SEC) travels to Knoxville, Tenn., on Wednesday for a midweek contest at Tennessee (11-12, 3-5 SEC) against the Volunteers in a contest set to begin at 8 p.m. ET on the SEC Network. Clay Matvick and Kyle Macy will handle the call.
OPENING TIP Date: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 Tipoff: 8 p.m. ET Location: Knoxville, Tenn. Arena: Thompson-Boiling Arena (21,678) Series: Tennessee leads 35-23 Television: SEC Network (check local listings) Talent: Clay Matvick (pxp), Kyle Macy (analyst) Radio: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst)
Gamecock Radio Network
Carolina Quick Hits
- South Carolina is in its 104th season of basketball.
- South Carolina suffered an 86-52 loss to No. 1/1 Kentucky last Saturday. It was the second contest between the two schools this SEC season. Freshman guard Damien Leonard led the Gamecocks with a season high 19 points, hitting seven shots, including four from 3-point range. Sophomore forward Damontre Harris, in foul trouble early with three in the first nine minutes, blocked four shots, while senior forward Malik Cooke tallied three. Freshman forward Anthony Davis paced the Wildcats with 22 points and eight blocks.
- South Carolina continues a stretch of four out of five contests away from Colonial Life Arena when it travels to Tennessee and Arkansas this week. The Gamecocks will conclude the regular season with a stretch of four out of the last six regular season games in Columbia.
- In the SEC statistical standings South Carolina ranks second in rebounding defense (32.5), fifth in steals per game (6.9), tied for fifth in turnover margin (+1.0) and is third in the SEC in offensive rebounding (12.8).
- The Gamecocks have out-rebounded 12 of 22 opponents this season, including North Carolina, who leads the nation in rebounding margin at +11.6, and Kentucky (Jan. 7 contest), who ranks ninth in the category and leads the SEC with a +7.8 mark (as of Feb. 3 NCAA stats).
- Senior forward Malik Cooke ranks tied for fourth in the SEC (all games) with 1.9 steals per game.
- Over the course of the last five games, Cooke leads the Gamecocks with 11.6 points per game, while Harris' 5.6 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per outing are both team highs.
- South Carolina ranks fifth in the SEC and is among the nation's top 30 with 5.1 blocks per game. Sophomore forward Damontre Harris ranks 28th with 2.4 blocks per game, which is fifth in the SEC.
- In games it has won in 2011-12, South Carolina holds a +11.9 scoring margin over its opponents. To compare, in games it has lost, Gamecock opponents score 11.3 more points per game.
- South Carolina is 429-435-1 all-time in the month of February.
- South Carolina has scored more points in the paint than its opponent 11 times, and has scored more points off turnovers 13 times this season. The Gamecocks average 26.7 points in the paint and average 14.6 points off turnovers per contest.
- When South Carolina played No. 1 Kentucky on Feb. 4, it marked the fourth top-two opponent the Gamecocks faced this season, as the squad had previously played then-No. 1 North Carolina, then-No. 2 Ohio State and the Wildcats when they were ranked No. 2 in early January. Those three teams have an average RPI of 5.3, with Ohio State the highest at 4 (as of Feb. 6 RPI report).
By The Numbers 11.0 - In eight SEC games this season, South Carolina has taken just 88 free throws, an average of 11.0 per game. To compare, Gamecock opponents have taken 158 free throws, an average of 19.8 per game. 17.0 - Freshman guard Damien Leonard posted a season high 19 points vs. Kentucky last Saturday. Against the No. 1 ranked team in the country - the Gamecocks also played then-No.1 North Carolina earlier this season - Leonard is averaging 17.0 points per game, and is shooting an impressive 47.4 percent from 3-point range. 45.0% - South Carolina's 45.0 percent (9-20) from 3-point range vs. Kentucky marked an SEC season high for the Gamecocks in the category. 44.6% - Carolina's 44.6 percent (25-56) from the floor vs. Florida on Feb. 2, marked an SEC season high for the Gamecocks in the category. 12 -Damontre Harris has blocked at least two shots in 12 games this season.
Tennessee enters Wednesday's contest having won two of its last three games, including a 73-62 victory over Georgia last Saturday ... UT is 3-5 in SEC games this season ... The Vols enter Wednesday's contest having won 10 of 13 games at home this season, including last Month's 60-57 win over No. 11 UConn ... Tennessee has seven players that average 6.2 points per game or higher ... Sophomore guard Trae Golden paces the squad with 12.9 points per game and ranks third in the SEC with 4.7 assists per outing ... On the boards, R-junior forward Jeronne Maymon collects 8.0 boards per game, including 8.4 in league games, which ranks fifth in the SEC.
Tennessee Series Information
- Tennessee holds a 35-23 advantage in the all-time series vs. South Carolina, including a 21-7 mark in games played in Knoxville.
- UT has won nine straight in the series.
- South Carolina's last win in the series came in an 81-64 home win on Feb. 17, 2007.
The Gamecocks continue SEC play when they travel to Arkansas on Saturday for a 1:30 p.m. ET matchup against the Razorbacks. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.
Cooke Leads By Example
- Senior forward Malik Cooke has been one of Carolina's most consistent players in several statistical columns in 2011-12. The Charlotte, N.C., native has tallied 15 double-figure scoring games, 14 games with at least two assists, 11 games with at least five rebounds and 14 games with at least two steals. He leads the Gamecocks in points, scoring average, field goal attempts, free throw attempts and free throws made, in steals and in minutes per game.