It’s come to the point where you can start to expect at least 25 to 30 points from Devan Downey every time South Carolina takes the floor. But as head coach Darrin Horn has stressed all season long, each player needs to do what they can do in order for the Gamecocks to be successful.
While the headlines and highlights will point to Downey’s offensive output as crucial (which it is), the efforts from his teammates have proven to be vital to the Gamecocks’ current two-game win streak.
On Tuesday night against Kentucky, it was Brandis Raley-Ross’ 17 points and big-time shots that complemented Downey’s play. Tonight against Georgia, Sam Muldrow helped carry the load by recording his first career double-double, scoring 19 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.
“I believe he can play like that all time time,” said Horn. “I don’t know if it means we’ll get 19 and 11 every night [from him] but sometimes when a young person does it, the glass ceiling is broken mentally.”
Contribution from younger players on the South Carolina roster has also helped. Freshman Stephen Spinella came up with his first career block and hit two three-points late in the first half to keep Georgia within reach.
“He’s playing well defensively and it’s transferring into confidence offensively,” said Horn. “He’s a freshman but we’re pushing February and he’s starting to get confidence.”
Freshman Ramon Galloway also hit two big three-pointers in the middle of the second half.
Horn believes that the team growth has helped Downey as a player as well.
“He’s gaining confidence in his teammates,” he said. “Obviously he wants the ball, but he’s also willing to pass it off to Brandis or whoever.”