Gamecocks turn attention to Ole Miss

Fresh off a shocking upset over Florida, the Gamecocks (13-4, 2-2 SEC) must quickly refocus in time to face the Ole Miss Rebels (10-8, 1-3 SEC) in game two of a three game home stand. Carolina has already defeated the toughest opponent of the trio, and with manageable games against Ole Miss and Vanderbilt up next, the Gamecocks can position themselves for a run into March.


"You've got to come back and get right back to work and keep doing the little things that gave you a chance to win," said Darrin Horn. "Last I checked we hadn't accomplished anything. We've got 12 league games left, an extremely tough opponent coming in Saturday that is very dangerous, and the only way I know to be good is just to keep working. You do that through being humble and understanding what got you there."

Beating the Gators gave Carolina its second win over a ranked opponent this season, evened the Gamecocks' conference record, and put a quality win on Carolina's NCAA Tournament resume. There were a lot of positives coming out of the win, but they will not mean much if Carolina cannot also take care of business against the lesser teams in the SEC. Of course, as a coach, Horn does not consider anyone a "lesser team."

"I don't think you can take any game in league play that way," said Horn. "You watch this Ole Miss team on tape, this is a dangerous basketball team."

A year after going 24-11 and reaching the semifinals of the NIT, Ole Miss has struggled this season, beset by injuries and off-the-court distractions. In December, coach Andy Kennedy was arrested in Cincinnati and accused of using racial slurs and assaulting a cab driver. Kennedy has denied the allegations, but in January his wife, Kimber, filed a lawsuit claiming the allegations have damaged the couple's sex life. Also in December, Ole Miss lost leading scorer and point guard Chris Warren, who was named SEC All-Freshman last season.

The Rebels are led by guard David Huertas, who averages 19.1 points per game. With Warren out, Heurtas is the only Rebel averaging double figures in scoring, causing Ole Miss to struggle to score at times. Ole Miss struggles to rebound the ball as well, being one of the few teams the Gamecocks have faced that has a negative rebounding advantage. That could be an advantage for the Gamecocks, who will once again start a big lineup with Sam Muldrow, Mike Holmes, and Dominique Archie. The move was made to help the Gamecocks get off to a better start, but it could have other benefits, though Horn wants to duplicate the solid start he saw against Florida.

"We wanted to try something different to get off to a better start more than worrying about being bigger or anything like that," Horn said. "We started pretty well, so we'll stick with it."


Notes:

- The Gamecocks defeated Ole Miss 80-77 in Oxford last season thanks to a last second three-pointer by Dominique Archie. The Rebels were ranked number 22 at the time, the only ranked team beaten by South Carolina last season.

- The all-time series between Ole Miss and Carolina is tied 12-12. The Gamecocks have won the last two games.

- Tipoff is at 8:00 Eastern. The game will be televised by FSN.

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