LSU/South Carolina pre-game notes

LSU will open SEC play at home tonight when South Carolina comes to town for a 7 p.m. (CST) tip. The Tigers will be looking to end a two-game losing skid while the Gamecocks look to move to 2-0 in SEC play.

LSU (12-3, 0-1) vs. South Carolina (12-2, 1-0)

Jan. 14, 2008, 7 p.m. CST

Pete Maravich Assembly Center – Baton Rouge, La.


Probable Starters



G 5 Marcus Thornton (6-4, 205, Sr.) 18.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg

G 14 Garrett Temple (6-6, 190, Sr.) 6.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.8 apg

G 11 Bo Spencer (6-1, 185, So.) 12.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.5 apg

F 1 Tasmin Mitchell (6-7, 235, Jr.) 14.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg

F 21 Chris Johnson (6-11, 210, Sr.) 8.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2.0 bpg


Top Reserves

G – 13 Terry Martin (6-6, 210, Sr.) 4.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg

F – 32 Quintin Thornton (6-9, 240, Sr.) 3.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg

F – 24 Storm Warren (6-7, 220, Fr.) 2.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg

F – 2 Delwan Graham (6-5, 215, Fr.) 2.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg


South Carolina

G 2 Devan Downey (5-9, 175, Jr.) 19.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 4.3 apg

G 20 Zam Fredrick (6-0, 203, Sr.) 16.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.9 apg

G 5 Brandis Baley-Ross (6-2, 193, Jr.) 7.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.2 apg

F 24 Mike Holmes (6-7, 230, So.) 12.0 ppg, 8.4 rpg

F – 21 Dominique Archie (6-7, 200, Jr.) 10.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg


Top Reserves

F – 31 Evaldas Baniulis (6-7, 210, Jr.) 8.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg

F – 25 Austin Steed (6-8, 215, So.) 5.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg

G – 12 Branden Conrad (6-2, 180, Sr.) 5.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg




LSU and South Carolina have played 22 times with the Gamecocks holding a 12-10 advantage. The Tigers are 5-3 in games played at the PMAC and each teams has won five games in matchups in Columbia. South Carolina has a 4-0 lead in games played on a neutral court.


LSU has a 15-game home winning streak dating back to last season. The Tigers won their final three games at the PMAC last season and are 12-0 in the 2008-09 campaign. The streak is fifth longest in the history of the PMAC.


LSU enters tonight’s game with a strength of schedule rating that is ranked No. 345 in Jeff Sagarin’s ratings. South Carolina isn’t much better as the Gamecocks are No. 340 out of 347 teams.


The NCAA has the Tigers with a RPI of 136 while the Gamecocks sit at 86.


The Tigers are on a two-game losing streak after dropping road games at Utah (91-61) and Alabama (65-59).


The last time out, LSU fell to Alabama despite Marcus Thornton’s 23rd career game of 20 points or more. The senior guard scored 21 while Tasmin Mitchell and Bo Spencer had 10 points each.


LSU is ranked seventh in the league in scoring offense at 74.7 points a game, and sits at third in scoring defense allowing 61.6 a game.


The Tigers rank sixth in the SEC in both field goal shooting and field goal defense. LSU hits 45.6 percent from the field and opponents are connecting on 39.1 percent of their shots.


Tonight’s game will feature the top two three-point shooting clubs in the conference. South Carolina leads the SEC by hitting 39.2 percent from behind the arc while LSU is second with 38.8 percent.


LSU is fourth in the league at pulling down 39.4 rebounds a game while South Carolina is ranked ninth with 37.6 boards a contest.


Marcus Thornton has 11 consecutive double figure scoring games and he’s scored 30 or more points five times in his two-year career at LSU. The Baton Rouge-native is fourth in the conference in scoring at 18.5 points a game.


Tasmin Mitchell has three double-double efforts on the season and Garrett Temple has led the Tigers in assists from his No. 3 position in 10 of their 15 games this season. Mitchell is 16th in the SEC putting in 14.1 points a game.


Chris Johnson’s 2.07 blocks a game is good for third in the SEC.


While LSU has yet to play a team that was ranked in the top 25, South Carolina is 1-1 against teams that were ranked in the top 25 at the time they played. The Gamecocks defeated Baylor, 85-84, on the road when the Bears were ranked No. 19. Clemson defeated the Gamecocks, 98-87, when the Tigers were ranked No. 20.


South Carolina has a 2-1 road record on the year but the Gamecocks haven’t won at the PMAC since a 68-56 win back on Jan. 31, 2001.


The Gamecocks opened league play with a 68-56 win over Auburn last Saturday. Zam Fredrick scored a season-high 27 points against the Tigers while Devan Downey, who leads South Carolina at 19.7 points a game, scored only nine.


The Gamecocks bring the second highest scoring offense in the SEC into the PMAC as they average 81 points a game.


The defense has not been as stellar as first-year head coach Darrin Horn’s club is eighth in scoring defense yielding 65.3 points an outing.


South Carolina does lead the league in steals averaging 10.5 a game, and the Gamecocks are tops in turnover margin at +6.07.


The Gamecocks are third in the SEC in shooting with a 47.7 field goal percentage, and they’re eighth at defending the shot at 40.3 percent.


South Carolina is one of two teams to have two players rank in the top 10 in scoring in the SEC. Devan Downey averages 19.7 points a game which puts him third, while Zam Fredrick is 10th at 16.1 a contest.


Devan Downey is also ranked in the top 10 in the conference in field goal percentage (50.2), assists (4.29) and free throw percentage (75.8). The junior guard also leads the SEC with 3.07 steals a game.


Two of the top rebounders in the league will square off tonight in South Carolina’s Mike Holmes and LSU’s Chris Johnson. Holmes is sixth in the SEC pulling down 8.4 boards a game, while Johnson is ninth with 7.2.

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