JACKSONVILLE - After a pair of exhibition wins last week, the new-look Gamecocks finally take the floor to open the 2011-12 season against Miles College Friday at 8 p.m. in Pete Mathews Coliseum. The game will follow the volleyball match vs. Morehead state at 5 p.m. and fans in attendance for volleyball can stay and watch the basketball game for free.
The Gamecocks are looking to get the season off to a good start at home before taking to the road for 15 of their next 20 games. They have won their last two season openers under head coach James Green.
JSU has shown several bright spots in its two exhibition wins over West Georgia and Oakwood. In a Nov. 3 win over UWG, the Gamecocks passed out 25 assists on just 29 made field goals en route to an unselfish 77-66 win. Four days later, they used a 44-32 advantage on the glass and outscored Oakwood 42-24 in the paint to pull away with a 77-57 win.
A roster full of new faces allowed some of those to shine in the exhibitions. True freshman guard Darion Rackley poured in 16 points in 16 minutes off of the bench against West Georgia to lead the team in scoring, while junior college transfer and forward Rinaldo Mafra scored 14 points and grabbed 10 boards for a double-double in the Oakwood win. In the exhibition games, the team's lone senior Stephen Hall has led the way with an average of 12 points and eight rebounds per game, while sophomore guard Brian Williams has averaged eight points and six assists per outing.
Miles, a member of the Div. II SIAC, is located in Fairfield, Ala. The Golden Bears played one exhibition game and fell, 78-57, at Jackson State on Nov. 3. Eric Lipken led them with 11 points.
The game will be broadcast live on the Gamecock Sports Network with Mike Parris calling the action. The broadcast will be carried in Jacksonville on WLJS 91.9 FM and in Oxford on WVOK 97.9 FM. Live audio can also be heard online at www.jsugamecocksports.com.