The South Carolina men's basketball team (9-14, 1-8 SEC) travels to Arkansas (16-8, 4-5 SEC) on Saturday for a 1:30 p.m. ET contest against the Razorbacks. The contest will be televised on the SEC Network with Clay Matvick and Daymeon Fishback on the call.
OPENING TIP Date: Saturday, February 11, 2012 Tipoff: 1:30 p.m. ET Location: Fayetteville, Ark. Arena: Bud Walton Arena (19,200) Series: Arkansas leads 13-10 Television: SEC Network (check local listings) Talent: Clay Matvick (pxp), Daymeon Fishback (analyst) Radio: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst)
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Carolina Quick Hits
- South Carolina is in its 104th season of basketball.
- South Carolina concludes a tough stretch of four out of five contests away from Colonial Life Arena when it travels to Arkansas on Saturday. The Gamecocks will conclude the regular season with a stretch of four out of the last six regular season games in Columbia.
- The Gamecocks suffered a 69-57 loss at Tennessee on Wednesday in SEC play. Sophomore forward RJ Slawson earned the first start of his career in the contest. Slawson posted 11 points, while the squad was led by sophomore guard Bruce Ellington's 12 points, season high six assists and two steals. South Carolina struggled from the floor, hitting just 33.9 percent of its attempts, however, the Gamecocks were solid from 3-point range, hitting 7-of-16 (43.8%).
- In the SEC statistical standings South Carolina ranks second in rebounding defense (32.6), fifth in steals per game (6.7), fourth in turnover margin (+1.3) and is third in the SEC in offensive rebounding (13.0).
- Senior forward Malik Cooke ranks tied for fourth in the SEC (all games) with 1.8 steals per game.
- Over the course of the last five games, Cooke leads the Gamecocks with 12.2 points per game, while Harris' 5.2 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per outing are both team highs.
- Darrin Horn-led teams are 79-56 all-time in league play.
- South Carolina ranks fifth in the SEC and is among the nation's top 30 with 5.0 blocks per game. Sophomore forward Damontre Harris ranks 28th with 2.3 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 11.4 more points per game.
- South Carolina is 429-436-1 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 14 times this season. The Gamecocks average 25.9 points in the paint and average 14.8 points off turnovers per contest. South Carolina scored 18 points off 14 Tennessee turnovers on Wednesday.
- 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).
- In away contests this season, Ellington leads the squad with 10.3 points per game, while Cooke adds 10.0 per outing. Harris collects 6.1 rebounds per game in away contests and blocks 3.1 shots per game.
By The Numbers 7 - South Carolina matched a season low with seven turnovers at Tennessee. The Volunteers managed just 12 points off turnovers in the contest, compared to 18 points scored by the Gamecocks off of UT giveaways. 11 - Then-junior forward Malik Cooke was instrumental in last season's OT win versus Arkansas. He posted 11 points and 11 rebounds for his first double-double at South Carolina, and hit two free throws late in regulation to tie the contest. 4 - South Carolina didn't have any standout performances in the rebounding category vs. Tennessee, but five different Gamecocks collected at least four rebounds in the contest. Cooke (4), Harris (5), Slawson (5), Ellington (4) and Gill (4) all hit the mark. Cooke and Ellington both collected three of their rebounds on the offensive glass, en route to 16 offensive rebounds for Carolina. 2 - The Gamecocks managed just two blocked shots at Tennessee, which matched a season low in the category. 15 - Senior forward Malik Cooke leads South Carolina with 15 double-figure scoring games this season. Freshman forward Anthony Gill has tallied 10, and Bruce Ellington and Damontre Harris have both posted seven double-figure scoring games this season.
The Razorbacks enter Saturday's contest with a 16-8 overall record, including a 4-5 mark in SEC games ... The squad is an impressive 16-0 in games played in Fayetteville ... Three active Razorbacks average double-digit points entering weekend action, led by freshman guard BJ Young's 13.9 points per outing ... Mardracus Wade (11.1) and Rickey Scott (10.1) also average double figures ... Arkansas averages 35.6 rebounds per game as a team, but no active Razorback averages higher than 4.5 rebounds per game (Devonta Abron) ... Opponents average just 29.9 percent from 3-point range against Arkansas.
Arkansas Series Information
- The Razorbacks own a 13-10 upperhand in the all-time series, including a 7-3 upperhand in games played in Fayetteville.
- South Carolina has won three of the last five meetings between the two schools, with two of those wins coming in overtime (2011, 2009).
South Carolina returns to Colonial Life Arena for two contests next week, the first against Georgia on Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. on CSS, before hosting LSU on Feb. 18, at 1:30 p.m. on the SEC Network.