Two years ago Devan Downey was making his mark as one of the top freshman point guards in the country at Cincinnati, but he put his goals on hold for a year.
Downey signed with former Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins, but played for Andy Kennedy with the Bearcats. When Kennedy was let go and Mick Cronin took over Cincinnati, Downey bolted for home state school, South Carolina.
Downey sat out last year, but is already staring to make his mark with the 3-1 Gamecocks. The 5-foot-9 super quick playmaker is averaging 20.0 points and six assists per game. He came within a rebound of recording a triple-double vs. The Citadel and gunned down Penn State on Thursday in the first round of the Old Spice Classic with 30 points.
South Carolina advanced to play 2-1 North Carolina State today at 12:30 p.m. and Downey and Georgia Tech transfer Zam Fredrick will present a quality challenge for Wolfpack guards Courtney Fells, Farnold Degand and Javi Gonzalez.
Downey's quick impact isn't surprising after he averaged 12.3 points and 4.1 assists per game for the Bearcats, earning a spot on the Big East All-Rookie team. He scored 2.738 career points and averaged 36.9 points per game his senior year at Chester (S.C.) High.
South Carolina preview
Old Spice Classic — NC State (2-1) vs. South Carolina (3-1)
Game time: Friday, Nov. 23, 12:30 p.m. • Milk House Arena
PG — 12 Farnold Degand (6-4, Soph., 6.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.0 assists)
SG — 4 Courtney Fells (6-5, Jr., 10.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 0.3 apg)
SF — 11 Gavin Grant (6-8, Sr., 11.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.7 apg)
PF — 33 Brandon Costner (6-9, Soph., 10.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.3 bpg)
C — 34 Ben McCauley (6-10, Jr., 3.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 0.7 apg)
PG — Devan Downey (5-9, Soph., 20.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 6.0 apg, 3.75 spg)
SG — Brandis Raley-Ross (6-2, Soph., 10.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.25 apg)
SG — Zam Fredrick (6-0, Jr., 14.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.0 apg)
PF — Dominique Archie (6-7, Soph., 11.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 0.75 bpg)
PF — Mike Holmes (6-7, Fr., 10.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 0.50 bpg)
Scouting South Carolina
Location: Columbia, S.C.
2006-2007 record: 14-16 overall, 4-12 SEC
2007 postseason: None
Coach: Dave Odom (114-86 in six years at South Carolina; 392-260 in 21 years overall)
The all-time series with NC State: NCSU leads 48-28
Last meeting with NC State: South Carolina 58, NC State 55, Dec. 20, 2003 in Columbia, S.C.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks are small up front with Holmes and Archie, who earned a spot on the All-SEC freshman team last year. Holmes was Mr. Basketball last year and has started two of the first four games this year year, but will have a tough time battling NC State post players J.J. Hickson and McCauley … Freshman Sam Muldrow III started against Penn State at center, but the 6-9 freshman had an ineffective eight minutes, going scoreless and grabbing three rebounds … Fredrick scored 14 of his 16 points against the Nittany Lions in the second half.
NC State: NC State featured four players in double digits against Rider on Thursday with Fells getting 18, freshman center Hickson 13, Costner 11 and Grant 10 … The Wolfpack shot 11 of 19 in the second half, including 5 of 6 on 3-pointers, vs. the Broncs … NCSU still struggled from the free-throw line vs. Rider, shooting 23 of 33 for 69.7 percent.