Kelley will test Vols today

Mired in a four-game losing streak, South Carolina's best bet to beat No. 22 Tennessee in this evening's game at Thompson-Boling Arena might be to clear the floor and let Tre Kelley go one-on-one.

Kelley, a 6-foot guard, scorched the Vols for 25 points and 8 assists the last time the two teams met. That was a 79-71 Gamecock victory in the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament last March.

After leading Carolina to its second consecutive NIT championship last spring, Kelley is having an excellent senior year. He ranks eighth among SEC players in scoring at 16.5 points per game and fifth in assists at 4.5 per game.

"Tre Kelley is obviously demonstrating that he's one of the better guards in the conference," Vol head coach Bruce Pearl notes.

The Gamecocks also have one of the league's better big men. Brandon Wallace is a 6-9 senior who ranks third among SEC players in both rebounds (8.8 per game) and blocked shots (2.7 per game). He also averages 11 points per game.

In spite of Kelly and Wallace, South Carolina is struggling offensively. The Gamecocks are sinking just 41.7 percent of their shots and 31.1 percent of their 3-point tries. Still, they are capable of getting quite hot. They drained 70 percent of their second-half shots (14 of 20) in beating the Vols last March.

Carolina's starters, other than Kelley and Wallace, are 6-7 Dominique Archie (8.8 points, 4.8 rebounds per game), 6-6 Dwayne Day (7.9 points, 2.8 rebounds) and 6-2 Brandis Raley-Ross (8.1 points, 3.1 rebounds).

Tennessee, 13-5 overall and 1-2 in SEC play, is looking to snap a three-game losing streak. South Carolina, 10-6 and 0-3, is seeking to end its four-game skid. Tip-off for today's game is 6 p.m., with TV coverage provided by Fox SportsNet.


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