COLUMBIA -- South Carolina might be hosting the worst team in the Southeastern Conference today, but the Gamecocks will have to do without one of their starters and leading scorers.
Sophomore forward Lakeem Jackson has a left foot injury, coach Darrin Horn said Friday afternoon. He said Jackson is out for today's 1:30 p.m. tipoff at Colonial Life Arena (TV: WMMP).
Jackson is averaging 9.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists a game. Horn said he would be replaced in the lineup by sophomore guard Ramon Galloway, who is averaging 10.1 points and 2.0 rebounds a game as the team's sixth man.
Galloway started six games as a freshman, but this will be his first start this season. He's capable: Galloway had 21 points to lead the Gamecocks last week in a win against Arkansas.
"I've just got to get my mind set and get mentally ready to come out right off the bat with high energy and emotion," Galloway said.
Horn said the foot soreness began last week for Jackson, a versatile 6-5 forward from Charlotte. He played through it, but the team's trainers recommended Jackson take this entire week off from activity. Horn said Jackson should be ready by Wednesday's game at LSU.
Jackson included, the team as a whole was off during the middle part of the week, leading Horn to wonder how the Gamecocks (12-6, 3-2 SEC) would respond against Auburn.
Currently No. 307 in the Ratings Percentage Index, the Tigers (7-13, 0-6) come in as unquestionably the worst team in the league. Tony Barbee has inherited a team with no scorers averaging in double figures.
Auburn is last in the SEC, scoring 62.5 points a game. The Tigers are shooting 39.3 percent from the field this season, also last in the league.
"We don't think about if Auburn is bad," Galloway said. "We approach every game the same and know what we do is what makes the difference."