The South Carolina men's basketball team (2-4) will host Providence (5-2) in the Big East/SEC Challenge on Thursday at Colonial Life Arena. Game time for the contest is set for 7 p.m., with the event to be televised on ESPNU with Dari Nowkhah and Dino Gaudio on the call.
OPENING TIP Date: Thursday, December 1, 2011 Tipoff: 7 p.m. ET Location: Columbia, S.C. Arena: Colonial Life Arena Series: Providence leads 4-3 Television: ESPNU Talent: Dari Nowkhah (pxp), Dino Gaudio (analyst) Radio: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst)
Carolina Quick Hits
- South Carolina is in its 104th season of basketball.
- The Gamecocks are led by fourth-year head coach Darrin Horn.
- South Carolina concluded play in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational with a 63-60 loss to Southern California last Saturday. Sophomore forward Damontre Harris led the Gamecocks with a career high 15 points in the contest.
- Sophomore forward RJ Slawson had a career night against top-ranked North Carolina last Friday, posting career highs with 13 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks. It was the most rebounds in a game for South Carolina since Sam Muldrow collected 14 vs. Vanderbilt on Jan. 8, 2011.
- Three Gamecocks registered season highs competing in Las Vegas. Slawson's career high 13 points vs. UNC, sophomore guard Brian Richardson's season high 12 points vs. Southern Cal, and sophomore forward Damontre Harris' career high 15 points against the Trojans.
- Sophomore point guard Bruce Ellington made his return to the practice court with the Gamecock hoops team on Monday. Ellington is also a member of the Gamecock football team. To date, Ellington has scored two touchdowns this season, including a 49-yard reception for a score vs. Clemson last Saturday.
- Not including the loss to then-No. 1 North Carolina, the Gamecocks' other three losses have come by a combined nine points.
- South Carolina's game vs. Southern Cal last Saturday marked its fourth in a seven-day stretch. The Gamecocks will now play just three games over the course of the next 13 days (Providence, at Clemson, vs. Presbyterian) due to final exams.
- South Carolina is 278-265 (.511) all-time in the month of December. South Carolina earned a 4-2 mark last season during the month.
- The Gamecocks own a 54-69 (.439) all-time record against current schools in the Big East. Carolina's last victory over a school from the conference came in a 69-66 win over South Florida on Nov. 20 competing at the Charleston Classic. Carolina's last loss to an opponent from the league came in a 58-51 loss to Pittsburgh on Dec. 28, 2005.
- South Carolina travels to face intrastate rival Clemson on Sunday. The contest will mark the fourth away from Colonial Life Arena for the Gamecocks this season. South Carolina won last season's matchup between the two schools, 64-60, in Columbia behind 14 points from Bruce Ellington.
By The Numbers 11.0 - Sophomore forward RJ Slawson and senior forward Malik Cooke both tallied 11.0 points per game in two neutral site contests last week, vs. No. 1 North Carolina and Southern Cal. 56.3% - Slawson hit 56.3%, 9-of-16, from the floor in Las Vegas last weekend. He had a career night vs. top-ranked North Carolina. He hit career highs with 13 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks. His 8.5 rebounds per game during the stretch were also a team high. 12.0 - Sophomore guard Brian Richardson produced his best game of the season vs. Southern Cal, hitting 4-of-7 attempts from 3-point range. 15.0 - Sophomore forward Damontre Harris had a dominating performance against Southern Cal. Harris put together his top offensive performance of his career in the Garnet and Black, connecting on 7-of-11 shot attempts, while also hitting his lone attempt from the charity stripe for a career high 15 points. His previous career high was 11 points, which he tallied vs. Ole Miss last February. 52.4% - South Carolina shot a season high 52.4% from the floor, including a season high 47.1% from 3-point range vs. Southern Cal.
Big East/SEC Challenge
Carolina's contest vs. Providence marks the second time that the Gamecocks will compete in the Big East/SEC Challenge. South Carolina earned a 68-67 victory over Providence in Philadelphia during the 2007-08 campaign in its only other appearance in the event. Thursday's game also marks the second appearance for the Friars in the Challenge.
Providence holds a 4-3 upperhand in the all-time series with the Gamecocks, however South Carolina has won two straight entering Thursday's matchup. Prior to the 2007 meeting, Carolina also earned a 67-48 home win on Dec. 3, 2001. Every game of the series has been played in the month of December. The complete series is below: