Gamecocks ready for SEC opener at Auburn

Coach Darrin Horn met with the media Friday, previewing this weekend's SEC opener against the Auburn Tigers. His Gamecock squad will travel to the Plains of Auburn and Beard-Eaves Coliseum for the first of 16 SEC contests this season.

Last year, South Carolina took down the Tigers in their first conference game of 2009 by a 68-56 score. This year, another daunting run awaits his team, but right now Horn is looking forward to the challenge ahead.

"I think there's always an excitement when league play rolls around," said Horn. "It's got a different feel. Look at all of you, I didn't see all you all last week. It's just different, this is why you come to South Carolina, to compete in the SEC, and I think our guys know that. Quite honestly that's what we're building our program on, everything we do is to be competitive in this league."

A dominating win over Longwood on Tuesday night gives the Gamecocks confidence heading into league play, but they know the difficult task ahead of them after losing Dominique Archie and Mike Holmes.

"Like we talked about within the last week, we know what we're doing now in terms of how we're moving forward and who we have available and what guy's roles need to be," noted Horn. "From that standpoint I don't think there's any confusion. Now it's just a matter of getting good at those things and doing the things we have to do to win games."

After a 10-6 record in his first season as an SEC head coach, Horn will be looking for bigger and better things for his team in the future. However, the first test in conference will not be an easy one, even despite playing an Auburn team that has been very inconsistent this year.

"We're going to have a good test Saturday. We're on the road which creates a certain set of challenges, and this Auburn team is a team that's played a lot of people really good. They're really dangerous because they've got several guys that can shoot the basketball. Anytime you go on the road and play a team like that it's dangerous."

Auburn enters the game with just a 9-6 record, but has won four games in a row after stumbling out of the gate. Horn said the biggest thing for his team this weekend is establishing their game and playing and dictating the pace of the game.

"They've played well in spots of games, and they've played well for (entire) games," said Horn. "Like we talked about earlier, it's league play, (and) to some degree you can throw all of that out the window. For us it's about going out for forty minutes and playing with the mentality that we want to play with."


- Horn said that he will most likely go with the same starting five from last game. This lineup consists of G Devan Downey, G Brandis Raley-Ross, F Lakeem Jackson, F Johndre Jefferson, and C Sam Muldrow.

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