Gamecocks host College of Charleston at 3 pm on Saturday, Dec. 22.
Mike Holmes will celebrate his 20th birthday by playing against the College of Charleston.
 
Mike Holmes will celebrate his 20th birthday by playing against the College of Charleston.

Dec. 21, 2007

 
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The Gamecocks, 5-5 and celebrating 100 seasons of Gamecock basketball this season, host in-state College of Charleston on Sat., Dec. 22 at 3 pm on FoxSports South. The game, also part of ESPN's FullCourt Package, will be called by Dave Neal and Larry Conley.

The South Carolina-College of Charleston game can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network with Mike Morgan and Casey Manning making the call. It can also be heard on Sirius satellite radio channel No. 125 and picked up via the internet at www.gamecocksonline.com.

South Carolina fell 92-84 to Baylor (8-1) on Wed., Dec. 19. The Gamecocks led by as many as 20 in the first half, but couldn't hold on as Devan Downey and Brandis Raley-Ross both scored 18 points each.

100 Years Celebration to honor Gamecock Greats

South Carolina will honor former players - Gamecock Greats - throughout the season as part of the 100 Years Celebration. To be honored at the College of Charleston game:

Bobby Cremins, Frank Standard, Gary Gregor, Skip Harlicka and Jack Thompson

C of C

CofC is 4-5 and 1-1 in the Southern Conference. In league play they have a win at Western Carolina (86-84) and a loss at Chattanooga (86-70).

On Dec. 18, the Seminoles' Uche Echefu scored 17 points and pulled down nine rebounds as Florida State came from behind for a 66-61 win over C of C. The Cougars led by as many as 12 points in the second half, but the Seminoles slowly chipped away at the lead. Tony White finished with a team high 17 points, Marcus Hammond added 12 and Jermaine Johnson scored 10 points and pulled down 15 rebounds.

FSU had 10 first half turnovers and trailed 37-30 at halftime.

Catching up

Carolina has three players averaging double figures: Devan Downey (18.4), Zam Fredrick (15.4) and Brandis Raley-Ross (11.1). Downey leads the team with 5.2 apg and 3.2 spg. Muldrow leads the crew with 1.8 bpg, including his five block performance vs. Campbell.

Mike Holmes leads the charge on the boards grabbing 6.6 rpg including a career-high 16 vs. NCSU. Dominique Archie is second with 5.8 rpg and Sam Muldrow is next on the list with 5.3 rpg

Taking 12 days off for final exams, USC dropped a 92-84 loss to Baylor on Wed., Dec. 19. On the year Carolina defeated South Carolina State, The Citadel, Penn State, Campbell and Providence while dropping games against Southern California, N.C. State, George Mason, then-No. 18 Clemson and Baylor.

Southern California, N.C. State, George Mason, Clemson were a combined 26-9 prior to Tues., Dec. 18 games with all four picked to make the NCAA Tournament on ESPN's Bracketology this week. Baylor is 8-1 after its win over the Gamecocks. Over Thanksgiving weekend, N.C. State defeated No. 19 Villanova to win the Old Spice Classic and the Trojans crushed No. 18 Southern Illinois to win the Anaheim Classic.

Braggin' Rights

USC is 2-1 vs. The Palmetto State this year, including: South Carolina State (won 92-67 on Nov. 9), The Citadel (won 103-42) and Clemson (lost 85-74 on Dec. 1). CofC closes out The Palmetto State schedule.

Dave Odom is 63-12 overall against all teams in the state with his only losses coming to in-state rival Clemson. That total includes one game against the Gamecocks as well. The most wins come against Clemson as Odom is 22-12 against the Tigers and is 37-0 against the rest of South Carolina.

With wins over the College of Charleston, SCSU and the Citadel and a loss to Clemson, USC was 3-1 vs. teams within its own borders last season. USC finished at 3-1 vs. in-state teams in 2005-06, posting wins over SCSU, Wofford and Winthrop and falling at Clemson.

Nationally

South Carolina is ranked in the top 6 nationally this week (Dec. 16) in three categories.

The team is ranked fourth nationally in 3 point field goal % and No. 6 in turnovers per game.

Devan Downey is No. 3 in the country in steals per game.

Brandis Raley-Ross has now hit 2.6 3s per game this year after the Baylor game, making 68% of this tries. If the rankings came out again today, he would lead the country by 3% (current leader is Alan Voskuil, Texas Tech at 65.8%).

Tip-off

• Carolina has scored 40+ first half points in four of its five home games this season. (SC State, The Citadel, Campbell, Baylor). Last year USC scored 40+ in only eight halves total.

• Carolina has scored 446 points in the four home games this season for an average of 89.2 points per game. A Colonial Center record, Carolina scored 103 points in its 103-42 win over The Citadel on Nov. 12.

• In five of their games, USC has finished with 9+ steals per game. During its season-high 15 steals vs. The Citadel, Devan Downey lead the charge with a season-high six steals. Raley-Ross added two and Sam Muldrow, Zam Fredrick, Chad Gray, Branden Conrad, Rob Wilder, Dwayne Day and Mike Holmes each picked up a theft.

Dominique Archie told the media recently that Brandon Wallace's school-record 249 blocked shots might be jeopardy if Sam Muldrow plays four years for the Gamecocks. While that is quite a stretch 10 games into the Florence native's freshman campaign, he is making his shot-blocking abilities known. Muldrow, the cousin of former All-SEC Gamecock forward Carlos Powell, leads the team with 1.8 bpg. He blocked five shots vs. Campbell on Nov. 28. It's the most for a freshman since Renaldo Balkman blocked five shots on Feb. 11, 2004 vs. Mississippi State. He followed up that performance with 4 blocks at Clemson.

• The Gamecocks have forced double-digit turnovers against every opponent this season except one (9, Southern California). Penn State let the ball fall into Gamecock hands a season-high 21 times and Campbell turned it over 20 times. Opponents are turning the ball over an average of 15.2 times a game with USC is averaging just 11.0 turnovers a game. USC has turned the ball over 10 times are fewer in four games.

• The Gamecocks have opened the season by holding teams to 68.9 points per game and have held six opponents under 67 points this season, including The Citadel who scored just 42 points vs. USC's 103. Across the court, USC is averaging 79.1 ppg and has hit 74+ points in a game seven times this year. Last year, after 10 games, USC was averaging 64.5 ppg to the opponents 60.7 ppg.

• Carolina is holding opponents to just 30.5 % from three-point range on the year, including The Citadel who shot 3-29 from beyond the arc (10.3%) and Penn State who went 4-25 for a 16% showing. Likewise USC is hitting 44% of its 3 point attempts with Brandis Raley-Ross leading the charge in the SEC at 68% by averaging 2.6 threes per game.

• The Gamecocks have played four games at two neutral sites this season already (three in Orlando at the Old Spice Classic and one in Philadelphia at the Pizza Hut Big East-SEC Challenge). It is the most USC has played on a neutral court this early in the season since it played four of its first 7 regular season games in 1998-99 (two in Indianapolis and two in Charlotte).

• The Gamecocks have made at least one 3-pointer in 178 consecutive games since they went 0-19 vs. Mississippi State on March 2, 2002 - a 64-57 loss. They have also had at least one block in 96 consecutive games since they went block-less on Jan. 15, 2005 in a 66-63 win vs. Tennessee

A few notes from Baylor

* Dominique Archie has started all 40 games played in his career at USC. Archie scored in double figures for the third time this season and the 17th time in his career. The last time he scored in double figures was on Nov. 17, 2007 against USC where he scored 20 points.

* Devan Downey has scored in double figures in all 10 games this season. Downey has 3 games this season where he has recorded 7+ assists with a career high 11 against The Citadel on Nov. 12.

* Sam Muldrow recorded a career high 12 points. His previous high was 8 points against The Citadel on Nov. 12 and against George Mason on Nov. 25.

* The Gamecocks hit their first 16 free throws of the night before missing their first with 4:55 remaining in the second half. USC went 15-of-15 in the first half. Carolina finished the night 18-of-19 from the free throw line tying its 3rd highest free throw percentage in school history with other games (18-19: vs. George Washington, 11/30/87 and vs. N.C. State 3/4/66).

* Brandis Raley-Ross scored in double figures for the 4th consecutive game. He has 10+ points in six games this season. Raley-Ross is 16-22 from 3-point range in the last 4 games.

* Dwayne Day tied a career high with 7 rebounds. (Arkansas on Feb. 4, 2006.)