The South Carolina men's hoops team (5-1) returns to the court on Wednesday for a non-conference mid-week matchup against Western Kentucky (2-2) at Colonial Life Arena. The contest will be televised on SportSouth with a 7 p.m. tipoff. Dave Neal (play-by-play) and Eddie Fogler (analyst) have the call. Fans can also listen to the contest on the Gamecock Radio Network in respective areas across the state.
Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 Tipoff: 7 p.m. Location: Columbia, S.C. Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000) Series: South Carolina leads 4-1 Television: SportSouth Talent: Dave Neal (pbp), Eddie Fogler (analyst) Radio: Gamecock Radio Network Talent: Andy Demetra (pbp), Casey Manning (analyst) Live Stats: GamecocksOnline.com Tickets: Tickets are available via the Gamecock Ticket Office.
Carolina Quick Hits
- South Carolina is in its 102nd season of basketball.
- Senior guard Devan Downey (19.7 ppg, 3rd) leads the team and ranks among the top five scorers in the SEC. Downey has led Carolina in scoring four times this season, with a season-high 34 points in Carolina's most recent win over Jacksonville.
- Carolina's 7.8 blocked shots per game rank third in the Southeastern Conference. Junior center Sam Muldrow paces the Gamecocks with 3.2 blocks per game, second in the SEC.
- South Carolina is 271-260 (.510) all-time in the month of December, including a 5-1 record under head coach Darrin Horn.
- The Gamecocks own a 6-2 all-time record against current schools in the Sun Belt Conference. South Carolina's last matchup against a school from the SBC came against the Darrin Horn-led Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in the opening round of the 2006 Postseason NIT. The Gamecocks won that contest 74-55 at Colonial Life Arena.
- South Carolina shot 57.4 percent (35-61) from the floor vs. Jacksonville, a season high, and Carolina's best effort since shooting 58.2 percent (32-55) in a win against Presbyterian on Dec. 23, 2008.
- There are several Western Kentucky connections in Wednesday's matchup against the Hilltoppers. Gamecock head coach Darrin Horn is a 1996 graduate of WKU, while assistant coach Cypheus Bunton also earned a degree from the school in 1995.
- Horn spent five seasons at WKU prior to his hiring at Carolina in April 2008. He led the Hilltoppers to four 20-win seasons, two NIT appearances and a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16 in his final season of 2007-08.
- Bunton and fellow assistant coach Neill Berry also spent time in the same capacity with Horn at WKU. Bunton from 2004-08 and Berry for the 2007-08 campaign.
By The Numbers
- 190 - the number of combined points between Jacksonville and South Carolina. The point total marked the highest by two teams in Colonial Life Arena history, surpassing the 186 between Vanderbilt (99) and South Carolina (90) in an overtime contest during the 2007 season.
- 4 - the number of games until Gamecock head coach Darrin Horn coaches his 200th career game.
- +5.0 - South Carolina's turnover margin, which ranks tied for second in the SEC. The Gamecocks have forced their opponents to commit 124 turnovers on the year - 20.7 turnovers per game.
- 4 - the number of career 30-point scoring games senior point guard Devan Downey has collected in the Garnet and Black. Downey tallied a floor-high 34 points in the win over Jacksonville last Friday.
- 3 - South Carolina has had at least three players score in double figures every game this season.
- The win over Jacksonville improved South Carolina's overall record vs. schools from the Atlantic Sun to 25-6. The Gamecocks now own a 3-1 record in the all-time series vs. Jacksonville.
- Devan Downey led the Gamecocks with 34 points, three points shy of matching his career high, which he set last season with 37 points - a Colonial Life Arena record - vs. Clemson.
- The Gamecocks concluded the month of November with a 5-1 overall record. South Carolina now owns a 73-25 all-time record in the 11th month of the year.
- Senior guard Brandis Raley-Ross made his first start of the season vs. Jacksonville. He finished with a season-high 18 points, just two points shy of matching his career high.
- Carolina's 97 points scored were the most in a contest since posting 103 in a Nov. 12, 2007, win over The Citadel - a span of 67 games.
- South Carolina is now 19-1 under head coach Darrin Horn when collecting at least nine steals in a contest. Freshman forward Lakeem Jackson and junior forward Sam Muldrow led Carolina with two steals each vs. Jacksonville.
Trend Watch Gamecock trends under Darrin Horn - South Carolina is 13-4 when scoring at least 80 points.
- South Carolina is 3-0 this season when scoring at least 80 points. South Carolina's 97 points scored vs. Jacksonville marked the 23rd time a Darrin Horn-led squad scored at least 90 points. - South Carolina is 19-7 when hitting at least six 3s in a game.
- The Gamecocks shot 50 percent on 6-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc against Jacksonville, its best effort of the season. - South Carolina is 25-11 when Devan Downey scores in double figures.
- Downey has registered double-figures in all six of Carolina's games this season. He has scored double figures in 23 consecutive games dating back to last season.
- South Carolina owns a 4-1 upperhand in the all-time series vs. Western Kentucky. Prior to the 2006 matchup, the teams last met on Nov. 28, 1980 - WKU's only victory in the series, a 73-69 win in Bowling Green.
- The teams have met twice on a neutral court, once in Bowling Green and Wednesday's matchup marks the third in Columbia.
- In the 2006 meeting, Tarence Kinsey led Carolina with a game-high 23 points, while Tre' Kelly dished six assists and added 16 points in the Gamecock win.
Scouting Western Kentucky
- Western Kentucky enters Wednesday's matchup with a 2-2 overall record. The Hilltoppers have not played since Nov. 24.
- Western Kentucky suffered a 64-63 loss to Indiana State on Nov. 24 in the consolation bracket of the Preseason NIT. Indiana State's Rashad Reed sank a free throw with less than a second on the clock for the one-point win.
- A.J Slaughter - the 2009 Sun Belt Conference Tournament Most Outstanding Player and the 2009-10 SBC Preseason Player of the Year - leads WKU with 18.5 points per game, while Sergio Kerusch adds 16.3 per contest.
- Last season, Western Kentucky collected its second-consecutive Sun Belt Tournament title and advanced to its second-straight NCAA Tournament. WKU defeated Illinois in the opening round of NCAA action before falling to Gonzaga in the tournament's second round. The Hilltoppers have captured five consecutive 20-win seasons, four of which came under the direction of Horn.