Date: Saturday, December 20, 2008 Tipoff: 5:03:30 p.m. Location: Columbia, S.C. Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000) Series: South Carolina leads, 76-23 Saturday marks the 100th all-time meeting Television: SportSouth (Time Warner Columbia, ch. 21)
Dave Neal (play-by-play), Barry Booker (analyst) Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
Mike Morgan (play-by-play), Casey Manning (analyst) Tickets: Tickets remain at the Gamecock ticket office. Call 803-777-4274 or online at www.GamecocksOnline.com.
South Carolina (7-1) continues non-conference action on Saturday, hosting cross-state rival The Citadel (5-6) in the 100th all-time meeting between the two schools. Following Saturday's contest with the Bulldogs, the Gamecocks will also host Presbyterian (Dec. 23) at Colonial Life Arena before the break. The meeting is the first between Gamecock head coach Darrin Horn against The Citadel and Bulldog head coach Ed Conroy. Conroy holds an 0-2 record against South Carolina during his time with the Bulldogs.
Saturday's contest will be televised by SportSouth with Dave Neal calling play-by-play and Barry Booker handling color analyst duties. SportSouth, the nation's sixth-largest regional sports network, reaches more than nine million cable and satellite homes across a six-state region. Through its affiliates and other Fox Networks Group-owned networks, FSN reaches more than 70 million homes through 16 owned-and-operated networks. The contest against The Citadel marks the seventh of 22 televised South Carolina contests this season, including 14 home matchups.
Radio Broadcast Information
The game will be broadcast on the ISP Gamecock Radio Network with Mike Morgan on the call with play-by-play and Casey Manning handling color analyst duties. The Gamecock Radio Network reaches throughout the state of South Carolina.
Scouting The Citadel
The Citadel Bulldogs own a 5-6 record through 11 games this season, however, the squad has lost its last three entering Saturday's contest with the Gamecocks. The Citadel most recently dropped a 65-79 decision on the road to No. 19/22 Michigan State on Wednesday. The Bulldogs finished last season with a disappointing 6-24 overall record, including a 1-19 mark in Southern Conference action.
The Citadel returns 11 letterwinners from last year's squad, including 2007-08 SoCon Freshman of the Year, Cameron Wells, who paces the Bulldog offense this season with 15.6 points and 1.5 steals per game. Wells also leads the team in rebounds with 6.2 per outing. Demetrius Nelson also averages double-digit points (12.3) for the squad, while Zach Urbanus is the team's best 3-point threat, hitting 19-of-48 (.396) attempts thus far.
South Carolina holds a significant edge over The Citadel in nearly every statistical category. The Gamecock offense averages nearly 20 more points per game than the Bulldogs, while also holding a dominating edge in rebounds (+10.6), opponent turnover average (+9.1) and steals (+7.5). The Citadel's keys to the game will be its rebounding effort and its play on defense.
Scouting South Carolina
South Carolina enter's Saturday's contest fresh off a 47-point victory over NC Central on Tuesday at Colonial Life Arena. The win improved South Carolina's overall record to 7-1, and pushed its winning streak to three games. South Carolina's previous 40+-point win came over Saturday's opponent, The Citadel, in a 103-42 win last season in Columbia.
Junior point guard Devan Downey averages 20.0 points, 4.8 assists and 3.5 steals per contest after a stellar 23-point, six-assist, seven-steal effort against NC Central. Downey has tied his career high of seven steals twice this season (Princeton, NC Central) and currently leads the SEC in that category (3.5/game) by one steal over Chris Warren of Mississippi (2.5/game).
Senior guard Zam Fredrick averages 15.9 points, 2.5 assists and 4.1 rebounds per contest. He's hit double digit points in seven games this season, with a season-high 23 in the victory over USC Upstate on Nov. 22. Fredrick contributed 18 points in the most recent Carolina win over NC Central on Tuesday.
Sophomore forward Mike Holmes (12.1) and junior forward Evka Baniulis (10.8) also average double-digits through the first eight games of the year. Holmes leads Carolina with 8.6 rebounds per contest, including 4.4 offensive boards per game, ranking fourth and first, respectively, in the SEC in those categories. Baniulis is on pace to break into the Gamecock all-time top-10 for 3-pointers made in a career. He has 19 made 3's this season and needs just 32 more for 115 in his career to tie for 10th all-time. Keep an eye on the Lithuanian shooter.
Junior forward Dominique Archie continues his quietly-consistent season. Archie averages just shy of double figures in both points (9.9) and rebounds (7.8) and ranks second behind Downey with 2.4 steals per contest, tied for third in the SEC.
Carolina's keys to the game against The Citadel will be cutting down its turnovers and its presence underneath the basket. Keep an eye on Holmes (7-9, 14 pts. vs. NC Central) in the paint and Austin Steed on the glass (12 boards vs. NC Central) against the Bulldogs.
Record Setting Performance
South Carolina's 34 forced turnovers against NC Central on Tuesday set the school record for turnovers by a Gamecock opponent in a single game. The previous high of 30 was set by Navy on Nov. 21, 2003, in Columbia. Terence Kinsey led Carolina with five steals in that contest.
Downey On Naismith Watch List
South Carolina junior guard Devan Downey was named to the 2008-09 preseason Naismith Trophy Watch List on Thursday. Notable Naismith Men's College Player of the Year winners of the past include Tyler Hansbrough, Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing and David Robinson. The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball's player of the year.
The Last Time...
South Carolina has now held two straight opponents to less than 50 points scored - Furman (48) and NC Central (43). The last time Carolina held consecutive opponents to less than 50 points scored came during the 2003-04 season, when the Gamecocks defeated Campbell, 77-48 on Nov. 29, and The Citadel, 70-38 on Dec. 3.