Driving forces behind USC basketball team

By Rick Henry - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The Gamecocks were picked to finish dead last in the SEC East this season, but Head Coach Darrin Horn is looking to overachieve by using the baseball and football teams as examples. He's also looking to use the Garnet Army for help.

On Saturday, Horn will begin his third trip through the Southeastern Conference. His best SEC moment so far happened last year when the Gamecocks upset Kentucky. It was USC's first victory ever over a number one team.

The USC baseball and football teams followed basketball's lead. Both programs also knocked off number one teams in 2010. They also won titles. Baseball claimed the National Championship and football won the SEC East. Horn said that's an example of how winning can be contagious. "One of the great challenges of building a winning program is you're probably at a place that hasn't won big," said Horn, "What does it look like? When you see what it looks like - even in another sport that's not your program - it's a great opportunity to be able to show your guys."

The coach is hoping the start of conference play will bring more fans to the Colonial Life Arena. Attendance has been spotty during the holiday season while the students were on break. Horn wants to see the Garnet Army show up for duty on Saturday. "They are such a driving force for the atmosphere in our building," expressed Horn, "Our student crowds have gone from the low hundreds to the several thousands and completely changed the atmosphere in the colonial life arena. So that's a huge part of SEC play."

The Gamecocks tip off SEC play Saturday. They'll host the Vanderbilt Commodores at 5:00pm at the Colonial Life Arena.

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