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Gamecock Radio Network's Andy Demetra goes "Inside the Chart" with a look at statistical tidbits for you to chew on with his blog posts. Check out the excerpt below and read the full post here.


First Things First: Once the smoke cleared and the last strains of 2001 subsided, South Carolina struggled to maintain the energy of its introduction on offense. In 2009, the Gamecocks scored touchdowns on 8 of 44 1st-quarter possessions, with nearly as many turnovers (7).

That changed dramatically in 2010. With the playmaking skills of Garcia, Jeffery, and Lattimore, South Carolina managed to find its rhythm earlier. Compare the Gamecocks' touchdown rate in the 1st quarter over the last two seasons:

Season1st-Quarter Touchdowns1st-Quarter Total Possessions%
200984418.2%
2010194245.2%

East Carolina mastered the art of the shootout last season (more on that later). A quick start may be a necessity, rather than a luxury, against the Pirates. Fortunately, the trend seems to point in the Gamecocks' favor.

Stat of the Week: East Carolina's Ruffin McNeill made his bones as a defensive maven, rising from linebackers coach at Austin Peay and North Alabama to defensive coordinator at Appalachian State and Texas Tech before returning to his alma mater. Surely, nothing churned McNeill's stomach more than watching his Pirates repeatedly melt down on defense. ECU ranked last in the Football Bowl Subdivision in total defense (478.8 ypg allowed), and finished second-worst in third-down defense (51.35%).

No statistic captures ECU's struggles better than this: the Pirates allowed 20 or more points in a quarter 8 times last season. The Gamecocks have allowed 20 or more points in a quarter 8 times in the last 8 seasons combined.

20+ Pts. Allowed in a QuarterECU 2010USC, 2003-2010

88

Adding to the dread, ECU only returns 5 defensive starters. Come to think of it, that may not be a bad thing.

Lucky Number 9? Statistics are like hostages: torture them long enough, and they'll tell you whatever you want.

In that case, interpret these numbers however you choose. In 21 seasons as a college head coach, Steve Spurrier's teams have finished with 9 wins a total of 4 times. Look at how his previous teams fared the following year:

SeasonTeam (Record)Next year's recordPostseason
1990Florida (9-2, 6-1 SEC)10-2, 7-0 SECSugar Bowl
1992Florida (9-4, 6-3 SEC)11-2, 8-1 SECSugar Bowl
1999Florida (9-4, 7-2 SEC)10-3, 8-1 SECSugar Bowl
2010South Carolina (9-5, 5-3 SEC)????????
Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition freshman Jadeveon Clowney still generating buzz, Marcus Lattimore set for success, insight on ECU, the first edition of our new Gamecock Spotlight video series, and more!



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB


Football: Sweet beginnings: Jadeveon Clowney (ESPN SEC Blog)

Football: No. 12 South Carolina tangles with East Carolina (SportsNetwork.com)

Football: Clowney better than hype: USC freshman defensive end everything Gamecocks hoped for already -- and more (The Post and Courier)
    
Football: SEC notes: Lattimore key to Gamecocks' success (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Football: Spurrier: South Carolina will play two QBs in opener (Sports Illustrated)

Football: Can Marcus Lattimore strike the pose? (The Daily Gamecock)

Football: Behind enemy lines: East Carolina (TheBigSpur.com)

Football: College preview: USC's Lattimore a secret no more (Spartanburg Herald-Journal)

Football: Lawing eager for Clowney's debut (GamecockCentral.com)

Football: Quarterback quandary for USC? Spurrier says competition has made Garcia, Shaw better (The Post and Courier)




GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS

Cross Country. Cross Country Hosts Gamecock Invitational Friday to Open 2011 Season

Volleyball. Volley Voices: Temple Trip Wrap

Swimming & Diving. Miller Set to Compete at Junior Pan American Diving Championships




COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET

Football in the South is a way of life! (Though we think he may have gotten the idea for his tweet from our Facebook post this morning haha! Love it!!!)

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Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!




SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS


Volleyball Dodges Hurricane Irene to Get Home from Philadelphia Tournament

Inside a Road Trip: Men's Soccer Goes to Charleston

The Story of Men's Soccer at CofC... Told by Social Media

Wear Your Gamecock Gear for College Colors Day Friday, Sept. 2

Info on Gamecock Fan Activities in Charlotte for ECU Game Weekend

Wild Wing Street Party & Pep Rally Set for Thursday, Sept. 1st



VIDEO OF THE DAY

Our Facebook fans helped us choose the name for this new video series and the winner was Gamecock Spotlight! We'll be posting a few videos per week moving forward. Check out the first edition of the series, featuring women's soccer senior midfielder Kortney Rhoades.
 






ROOSTER CROWS


South Carolina is one of only three women's soccer teams in the country who opened their season with four straight true away games (not including neutral site games). The ladies finally get to play in the friendly confines of Stone Stadium in their home opener this Friday, September 2, at 7:00 p.m. vs. Northeastern.




FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

Today's photo is from James Lewis of his granddaughter, Cadence, a Carolina fan, and his grandson, Hunter, who is a Clemson fan. We see clearly who is running the show, though....

James Lewis.jpg

We've got a lot of great submissions so keep them coming! Feel free tosend in your photos (any sport/season, either of you or taken by you!) with your name to GamecockAthletics@gmail.com! A lot of the best photos include some Gamecock gear and 'showing your spurs'! We'd love to share with the rest of Gamecock Nation!


You can see the entire Fan Photo of the Day series on our Facebook page!


 

Hurricane irene.JPGThe travel theme continues on Spurs Up Blog this week with more Hurricane Irene-related scheduling issues (left: NASA picture on 8/27). As the powerful storm approached the east coast, the South Carolina Volleyball team found themselves headed right for the hurricane's path in Philadelphia for the Temple Invitational (which they would go on to sweep 3-0, check out the recaps here).

Before the team even left for Philly on Thursday, Director of Operations Shane Wilkinson found himself working quickly to set up contingency plans should disaster strike. The first hint of trouble was when their flight from Charlotte to Philadelphia on Thursday was delayed.

"Before even leaving on Thursday, we were prepared to make an emergency flight or make an emergency call to a bus company to drive us home if our flight was canceled," said Wilkinson. "Going to Temple, we had our original itinerary and then myself and [graduate assistant Amy Pauly] started to plan for an emergency just in case we needed to."

Once they arrived to Temple to begin play on Friday, the rumblings had begun that the tournament would have to be re-structured or several matches would have to be canceled to accommodate changing travel schedules. Stony Brook (New York) learned they would have to leave by noon on Saturday to get back home before the storm's expected arrival in New York (with a match scheduled against the Gamecocks at 5:00 p.m.) Montana was instructed by their administration to leave as early as possible. They booked an emergency flight for 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning, leaving only the Gamecocks, Stony Brook, and Temple left to play in the tournament after Friday night. The Gamecocks had already played the Grizzlies Friday night before their departure, beating them in three straight sets. 

Thumbnail image for Juliette Thevenin Temple MVP award.jpegTournament organizers ended up being able to move up all the match times. Originally scheduled to play Temple at 12:00 p.m. and Stony Brook at 5:00 p.m., the Gamecocks ended up playing back-to-back matches, facing Stony Brook at 10:00 a.m. and Temple immediately following around 12:30 p.m. The Gamecocks won both and sophomore Juliette Thevenin won tournament MVP and most valuable attacker honors en route to being named SEC Offensive Player of the Week and our AgSouth Athlete of the Week.

 "Temple was in a very tough situation to try to accommodate all three teams that had to fly or leave early to get out of there safely, but Temple did the best they could to reorganize the invitational, and a lot of it was timely how they had to make the decision," said Wilkinson. "Temple did, in my opinion, a really good job of restructuring the tournament to fit everyone's needs and desires."

Planning travel logistics for a large group can be stressful enough with transportation, hotels, meals, etc., but add in closings and cancellations and you have a potential nightmare on your hands. While the airlines canceled flights, bus companies were telling Wilkinson and Pauly they might not be allowed on the roads at all. At one point, in the midst of dozens of phone calls and conversations with the airport, our travel agent and bus companies, Wilkinson was even told there was a possibility the team wouldn't be able to leave Philadelphia before Tuesday morning!

"I struggle with people telling me it can't be done. There's a group of 22 people and everyone wants to get home. There's no way that would've worked...We just kept an eye on the Philadelphia airport log after we heard different rumors saying that the city of Philadelphia was going to shut down  at 6:00 Saturday evening with no public transportation, no airport, no nothing," explained Wilkinson. "So we kept an eye on the internet all day long and after our final match with Temple we went ahead and decided to go ahead to the airport."

The team made it out of Philly by the skin of their teeth on a 5:55 p.m. flight, just minutes before the 6:00 p.m. cut-off thinking they were in the clear. They dodged the hurricane and made their flight back to Charlotte where a bus would transport back home to Columbia, everyone in good spirits after sweeping the tournament. But, that's not the end of this travel saga.

On I-77 at about Rock Hill, an emergency light came on and about 10 seconds later, the entire bus shut down and the driver had to coast into a rest stop. The team ended up waiting another two and a half hours for a replacement bus. After such a difficult situation, some people might let the stress and frustration get the best of them, but not these girls.

"They had a dance party outside," said Wilkinson, laughing. "They made the best of it and had a Macarena dance off and played some other games outside. The TVs were still working in the bus so we were able to watch some other volleyball that was going on around the country. So it wasn't really that bad, it could've been a lot worse. It could've been raining, it could've been hot or extremely cold, but it wasn't that bad. Inconvenient, but not bad."

For Wilkinson personally, handling the situation was a lot to deal with, but the team and the staff did their best to go with the flow and stay calm.

"It was a lot, and I give a lot of credit to Amy for helping me out in those situations," said Wilkinson. "I'm more of a nervous person anyway, but I tried to remain calm in front of the girls so that they wouldn't get upset or weren't worried that something bad was going to happen. I kept telling myself, and the staff kept reminding each other, that we were eventually going to get home. It may not have been as early as we'd like, or it might have been an 11 hour bus ride, but sooner or later we were going to get home."

The Gamecocks open competition at home this weekend with the Gamecock Invitational, playing two matches on Friday and two matches on Saturday. Check out our tournament central page for more information. Season tickets are available for Gamecock Volleyball for $25 each for adults and $10 each for youth.

Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition Head Coach Steve Spurrier previews Saturday's opener against ECU in his first weekly press conference, a lot of love for the Gamecocks in the "Herbie Awards", Gamecock track stars performing well at the World Championships, a word from AD Eric Hyman, and more!



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB

Football: Through a Player's Eyes: Marcus Lattimore (SECdigitalnetwork.com)

Football:  Spurrier: Gamecocks ready for a winning season (Midlandsconnect.com)

Football: Gamecocks freshmen getting a crash course in SEC football (The Post and Courier)

Football: Gamecocks Knocking On The Door Of Dreams (Saturdaydownsouth.com)

Football: 10 things that must happen in 2011 (GamecockCentral.com)

Football: USC's depth chart for opener released (GoGamecocks.com)

Football: [ECU]Head Football Coach Ruffin McNeill Discusses The Upcoming South Carolina Game (ECUPirates.com)

Football: USC's facilities improvements pay off (GoGamecocks.com)




GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS


Football. Steve Spurrier's Weekly Press Conference Quotes & Video

Football. Pep Rally Set For Thursday, September 1

Football. Gamecocks Go Indoors Monday

Track & Field. Lashinda Demus Breezes To 400m Hurdle Final

Track & Field. Jason Richardson Wins Gold At World Track & Field Championships

General News. From the Desk of Eric Hyman




COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET


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SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

Inside a Road Trip: Men's Soccer Goes to Charleston

The Story of Men's Soccer at CofC... Told by Social Media

Wear Your Gamecock Gear for College Colors Day Friday, Sept. 2

Info on Gamecock Fan Activities in Charlotte for ECU Game Weekend

"Inside the Chart" with Andy Demetra Returns

This Week's Home Events: Volleyball, W.Soccer Home Openers, Football Parties




VIDEO OF THE DAY

Lots of love for the Gamecocks from ESPN's "Herbie Awards" by analyst Kirk Herbstreit. Marcus Lattimore and Alshon Jeffery were the top picks in several categories, but Devin Taylor, Jadeveon Clowney, Stephon Gilmore, and the entire defensive line also earned praise.

Check out the award winners and the video here:
http://espn.go.com/college-football/preview11/story/_/id/6891742/top-players-coaches-team-fans-honored-herbie-awards




ROOSTER CROWS

Former Gamecock Jason Richardson won his first career World Championships gold medal Monday to cap day three of competition for Team USA at the 13th IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Daegu Stadium. Richardson won the gold in the 110-m hurdles.

Another former Gamecock, Lashinda Demus, advanced to the finals of the 400-m hurdles event, easily outpacing the competition Tuesday night as the only woman to break 53 seconds in the semifinal.



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY


Today's Fan Photo is from Bob Parham, who lives in Minnesota but makes the trip back to Columbia for a game each season! Check out his note he sent with the photo:

"My son Adam (pictured on left) and I live in Minnesota but travel to SC for a game every year.  Last year, we brought our neighbor Gary Bird and his daughter Taylor (center of picture) to the USC vs Georgia game.   It was their first time at an SEC football game and they were amazed at what they experienced.  We had a blast and our neighbor Gary and his daughter are hooked.   They will be coming down with us every year now.   We had a great time and it was an awesome game.   GO GAMECOCKS!"

Bob Parham.JPG

We've got a lot of great submissions so keep them coming! Feel free to send in your photos (any sport/season, either of you or taken by you!) with your name to GamecockAthletics@gmail.com! A lot of the best photos include some Gamecock gear and 'showing your spurs'! We'd love to share with the rest of Gamecock Nation!


You can see the entire Fan Photo of the Day series on our Facebook page!


Inside a Road Trip: Men's Soccer Goes to Charleston

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The stage was set for big season opener. South Carolina Men's Soccer was set to head to Charleston last Friday to take on College of Charleston in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Game of the Week, televised nationally on FOX Soccer Channel. It would have been the second year in a row the Gamecocks opened up the season as the featured college soccer game in the nation. But, this year, Hurricane Irene had other plans.

The approaching storm bearing down on the east coast forced CofC to postpone of the game until Sunday, August 28th, and the television crew was no longer able to come.  The lure of taking on the Gamecocks still drew a record-high CofC crowd of 2,931 fans to the game, despite the rescheduled time. 

I joined up with the team to get an inside look at going on the road. Check out the full slideshow of the day below and also check out the story of the day told by social media.




We met at the Field House around 12:30 p.m. to load up the bus and hit the road. Many of the guys entertained themselves listening to music or watching TV, but the ride was fairly quiet as they focused on the task at hand. We stopped about halfway for a pre-game meal at Cracker Barrel in Orangeburg. The staff there was ready and waiting, with a meal for more than 40 players and staff hot and ready. Any time you take that large a group of Gamecocks into a public restaurant, you're going to attract attention. We could hear, "Go Gamecocks!" as we walked to our seats, while other fans asked where we were headed and offered their best wishes for the game or asked for a picture. Running a little ahead of schedule, the team took some downtime outside after eating before re-boarding the bus, including several intense games of checkers. Most elite-level college student-athletes are naturally competitive - and checkers is no exception.

We arrived at College of Charleston's athletics complex at Patriots Point around 4:00, which gave the team about an hour to get settled in, check out the field, get taped, and be dressed and ready for warm-ups. Assistant Media Relations Director Emily Feeney and I made our way to the CofC press box to get our computers set up for the game and talk to the CofC staff while the Gamecock Productions crew set up their video cameras. I fired up the laptop and caught up on all the Gamecocks conversation on Twitter and Facebook from the day so far.

After a brief talk from head coach Mark Berson the team emerged from the locker room to take the field for warm-ups as a group around 5:15. As game time drew closer, the CofC fans began to pack the stadium, displaying their "Beat USC" placards. They would eventually pack the house with a record-high crowd of 2,931 fans.

The game got off to a quick start with CofC scoring first. The Gamecocks and Cougars continued to battle back and forth (you can check out the full game recap here), but CofC eventually prevailed over Carolina, 3-2. It was the first outing of a much younger team than last season's conference championship team. Alex Long made his first career start at goalkeeper and true freshmen Snoopy Davidson and Braeden Troyer also made their first collegiate starts in the game (Troyer also scored one of the Gamecocks' two goals for his first career score as a Gamecock). Four more freshmen, Stephen Anderson, Niklas Kivinen, Asa Kryst, and Emmett Lunceford, also saw action in the game coming off the bench. Although disappointed in the final outcome, Coach Berson said he was very pleased with this young team's performance in their first game and he saw several positives about their play.

"First of all tonight I think we did a lot more things well than poorly," said Berson. "I'm really pleased with that. We battled back twice from being behind and for a young team with as many freshman as we have, we have a brand new goalkeeper, two new centerbacks and three new central midfielders and new guys up front so we knew that this would be an opportunity for us to put some things together, and I was very proud of the way we battled back twice. The goals we gave up were very soft, and uncharacteristic of our team. We are usually pretty tough in the back and I don't think we did a particularly good job, but on the flip side, we created so many scoring chances. That is really positive."

After the game and cooling down, the team made their way back towards the locker room to shower and change for the return trip home. Many were greeted by their families who made the trip to watch them play. While the team packed up, Feeney  finished writing the game recap and sending post-game commentary video from Coach Berson to a staff member back in Columbia to load on GamecocksOnline.com. We collected our gear and made the trek back to the bus to make the return trip home. Understandably following a loss, the bus ride home was fairly subdued and we arrived back at the Field House around 10:45 where the team would head back to their dorms and apartments to rest before class and practice Monday.

One of the biggest things about road trips is all the planning and logistics involved. The staff plans out an itinerary including travel schedules, what gear to bring and wear, meals and drinks for such a large group, etc. and just hopes that nothing unexpected comes along to disrupt the plans. Oh, you know, like a hurricane...


The team will hit the road again Friday for their next game at arch-rival Clemson at 7:15 p.m. The Gamecocks currently hold a four-game winning streak over the Tigers. For Carolina fans in the Upstate head on over to Riggs Field on Clemson's campus to cheer on your Gamecocks. The Gamecocks open up play at home on Tuesday, September 6th, vs. Charlotte at 7:00 p.m. Season tickets are available for $25 each for adults and $10 each for youth.
After a two-delay due to Hurricane Irene, the 2011 Men's Soccer season began in Columbia Sunday loading the bus to head to Charleston for the season opener against College of Charleston... check out the timeline below and the continuation of this post going "Inside a Road Trip" with more photos and tidbits from the day here.
 
 




Game action photos courtesy of Allen Sharpe for GamecocksOnline.com
College Colors Day South Carolina.JPGFriday, September 2nd, 2011 is the seventh annual College Colors Day, which is the national celebration of the kick-off of college football and the back-to-school season. It seeks to celebrate and promote the traditions and spirit that make college great by encouraging fans, alumni, and students to wear Gamecock apparel throughout the day Friday.  College Colors Day is a national platform that allows individual organizations to have a fun day at work, play and school.

To celebrate the kickoff of the 2011 college football season, join the University of South Carolina and thousands of other organizations across the United States by encouraging fans everywhere to wear apparel representing the South Carolina Gamecocks on College Colors Day this Friday!

Let's make sure there is Garnet & Black everywhere this Friday!

Go Gamecocks!

Join the Facebook Event here!





bankofamericastadium.jpgKickoff to the 2011 South Carolina Football season is just a few days away and the excitement is ramping up for festivities in Charlotte for the Gamecocks' opening game vs. ECU at Bank of America Stadium this Saturday, September 3rd at 7:00 p.m. It's time to paint Charlotte Garnet! Be there! We will update this post with more information as it becomes available.


Game Information:

Who: #12 South Carolina vs. East Carolina
When: September 3rd, 2011, at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. Map
TV: FOX Sports Net regional channels, ESPN3.com
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network, GamecocksOnline.com All-Access (premium)
Tickets: $60 each, available on TicketMaster. Click here to purchase.


Pre-Game Activities:

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Pavilion at EpiCentre
210 East Trade Street
Charlotte, NC (Map)


Come on out to The EpiCentre, one of uptown Charlotte's premier entertainment venues for a fun night of events hosted by the MyCarolina Alumni Association and the Charlotte Gamecock Club. The events are free and everyone is invited to attend and wear your Gamecock gear or your Garnet and Black!

7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Charlotte Gamecock Club party at Blackfinn

At the rooftop Pavilion at EpiCentre:
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.: Free food at Moe's at Epicentre only for Carolina fans in Gamecock attire
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.: Enjoy music from Ben Fagan and the Holy City Hooligans!
8:30 - 9:00 p.m.: Pep rally with Cocky, Carolina cheerleaders, and special guests!
9:00 - 11:00 p.m.: Enjoy music from The Lovehandles


Saturday, September 3, 2011: Pre-Game Events

My Carolina and Gamecock Club Event

My Carolina and the Gamecock Club are hosting a hospitality tent with a great catered buffet located just steps away from the North Gate at Bank of America Stadium from 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. There will be giveaways and visits from the cheerleaders and Cocky and an appearance by the Carolina Marching Band. This will be the place to be before kick-off, so join other Carolina alumni and fans to tailgate before the game!

The cost is $35.00 per adult (plus a cash bar) and children 10 and older, and $12.50 for children under 10. The deadline for ordering tickets is Thursday, August 25. Register online or for more information, call (800) 476-8752.

The North Gate of Bank of America Stadium is located at the corner of Mint and Graham streets, directly across from Lot 1.


Stay tuned here and on the My Carolina website for more information!

Wild Wing Street Party ad image.jpgThe annual Wild Wing Street Party & Pep Rally returns to Wild Wing Cafe at the corner of Lady and Gadsden streets in the Vista on Thursday, September 1. Gadsden Street will be closed off for the pep rally. Come on out to celebrate with fellow Gamecocks as we get excited for the start of the 2011 football season!
 
Festivities including a cornhole tournament, the Gamecock bounce house and live music from Tokyo Joe will begin at 3:30 p.m. During the 5:00-6:00 p.m. hour the 2011 Baseball College World Series trophy will be available for photo opportunities and the Carolina dance team, Gamecock cheerleaders, Cocky and the marching band will join the party leading up to head coach Steve Spurrier's weekly "Carolina Calls" talk show hosted by Gamecock great Todd Ellis. "Carolina Calls" broadcasts live from Wild Wing each week from 7:00-8:00 p.m. on the Gamecock Radio Network.
 
The Gamecocks kick off the football season Saturday, September 3, vs. ECU at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. Tickets are still available via Ticketmaster.
 
Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition, ESPN thinks Alshon Jeffery is the best player in the SEC and that Marcus Lattimore is a dark horse contender for the Heisman, the New York Post picked the Gamecocks to win the BCS, Volleyball wins the Temple Invitational, weekend soccer recaps, an update on Gamecocks playing professional baseball, and more.



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB

Football: The SEC's best 25 players: No. 1 (ESPN SEC Blog) *Alshon Jeffery*

Football: Spurrier has South Carolina in position to take the title (New York Post) *Picked Gamecocks as pre-season #1*

Football: Morris: Gamecocks are primed to make history (The State)

Football: Filling in the Depth Chart (GamecockCentral.com)  
 
Football: College football 2011: Heisman Hopefuls (Anderson Independent Mail)

Women's Soccer: Women's soccer plays two thrillers in Arizona   (The Daily Gamecock)




GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS


Volleyball. Coach Swanson Press Conference Video

Volleyball: Juliette Thevenin Named SEC Offensive Player of the Week

Volleyball. Gamecocks Claim Temple Invitational Title after Sweep of Owls

Softball: Three Gamecock Softball Clinics Scheduled for Sept. 25

Track & Field: Ron Garner Named Assistant Track & Field Coach At South Carolina

Men's Soccer. South Carolina Suffers Loss At College Of Charleston In Season Opener

Women's Soccer. South Carolina Drops 1-0 Thriller At Arizona State

Women's Soccer. Whitney's Golden Goal Propels Gamecocks To 1-0 Win At Arizona




GAMECOCKS IN THE PROS

Gamecocks in MLB (GamecockCentral.com)




COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET

The countdown is on...

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SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS


This Week's Home Events: Volleyball, W.Soccer Home Openers, Football Parties

Gamecocks Featured in First-Ever NCAA.com College Football Preview Show

"Inside the Chart" with Andy Demetra Returns

High Student Demand for Away Game Football Tickets

A Tight-Knit Family: Rodney Paulk Ready to Take On His Brother and ECU

Info on Gamecock Fan Activities in Charlotte for ECU Game Weekend




VIDEO OF THE DAY

Kirk Herbstreit tabs Marcus Lattimore as a pre-season dark horse candidate to win the Heisman Trophy depending on how the Gamecocks' season goes. Herbstreit says if Carolina can get off to a good start behind Lattimore, his name certainly will move up in the conversation.






ROOSTER CROWS

Volleyball player Juliette Thevenin won tournament MVP and most valuable attacker honors at this weekend's Temple Invitational, which the Gamecocks won in a three-game sweep. Thevenin also earned the Gamecocks first conference award of the season being named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week today.

Track and Field's new Assistant Coach, Ron Garner, has coached 88 All-Americans, 189 national qualifiers, six NCAA champions and 77 conference champions in his time in the collegiate ranks.


FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

Today's photo is from Debi Price, center, with her cousins Charlie & Elise at last year's game vs. Troy. Debi's story:

"I have not missed a Carolina home football game in 24 years. Elise (on the right) had been to many Clemson games, but after coming to a game at Williams-Brice Stadium earlier in the year, she was totally converted to a Gamecock! This is Charlie's very first Gamecock game! He loved it!"

Debi Price.JPG

We've got a lot of great submissions so keep them coming! Feel free tosend in your photos (any sport/season, either of you or taken by you!) with your name to GamecockAthletics@gmail.com!A lot of the best photos include some Gamecock gear and 'showing your spurs'! We'd love to share with the rest of Gamecock Nation!


You can see the entire Fan Photo of the Day series on our Facebook page!


NCAA.com recently aired their first-ever College Football Preview Show, including some love for the Gamecocks at the top of the segment. The folks at NCAA.com mentioned Coach Spurrier's comments about assembling the best group of players he has had at Carolina and they discuss the Gamecocks being favorites to return to the SEC Championship Game and perhaps even further...

Check out the segment below:




The Gamecocks kick off this Saturday, Sept. 3rd vs. ECU in Charlotte at Bank of America Stadium at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are still available via Ticketmaster.

"Inside the Chart" with Andy Demetra Returns

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With the start of the 2011-12 season comes the return of Gamecock Radio Network broadcaster Andy Demetra's "Inside the Chart" blog. Demetra explains the purpose:

"Each year, we collect an incredible reservoir of stories from broadcasting the Gamecocks. We search exhaustively for tidbits on players, or twist and pull statistics until our eyes bleed, all so we can spin a more compelling narrative of the game.

Not all of that information, though, can squeeze into a broadcast. Storylines change. A statistic never becomes relevant. There's no elegant way to weave in a particular anecdote. Only about 10 percent of the information we gather, tops, ever sees the light of air. That's why we've created this space: to give you a running look each week at our preparation for game broadcasts. We hope you'll find our anecdotes, statistics, and stories worthwhile, amusing - and maybe even mildly interesting. At the very least, we hope you'll get a broadcaster's-eye view of each South Carolina game."

This week Demetra shares some anecdotes from offensive line coach Shawn Elliott, who played defensive line at Appalachian State under then-defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeil (current head coach of the Gamecocks' first opponent, East Carolina).

Even 16 years later, McNeill's presence at App State remains vivid. Though energetic, Elliott says McNeill wasn't above living up to his onomatopoeic first name.

"He's a guy that makes everything you do a little more fun. He's a hard guy. He's going to press you. He'll make you feel good about the things you're doing well and of course make you feel bad about the things you're not doing so well," Elliott said.
   
The ECU coach, in turn, found a player who responded to his teachings. "Shawn came in ready to go as a freshman. He was a leader from second one," McNeill said recently. "He could take butt chewings pretty well. He took having expectations placed upon him really well. If you've got players and they all follow what Shawn did for us as a player, you've got a great football team."

Great football teams were a fixture of McNeill and Elliott's time together. With McNeill guiding the defense, and Elliott as his co-captain, Appalachian State won the Southern Conference title in 1995. Elliott was the first player in Appalachian State history to appear in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs four separate seasons. In 1995, he earned All-Southern Conference honors at defensive end. In four years together, McNeill and Elliott held a won-loss record of 36-14.

"If you ever saw me in person or seen me play [at Appalachian State], we weren't the most talented group," Elliott recalls. "[McNeill] taught us how to run to the football, play as a unit, and play with a lot of great intensity, and heart, and effort. He instilled that into me to this day. That's one of things that really set us apart from most defenses. Boy, we were flying around."


Read the rest of Demetra's blog over on the Gamecock Radio Network page.  
Juliette Thevenin Temple MVP award.jpegThe 2011 season kicks off in earnest this week with several home events. Volleyball will play four matches this weekend as part of the Gamecock Invitational Tournament fresh off their three-game sweep to win the Temple Invitational Championship this past weekend and SEC Offensive Player of the Week Honors for sophomore Juliette Thévenin. No. 21-ranked Women's Soccer debuts at Stone Stadium for their home opener on Friday vs. Northeastern after opening the season with four games on the road, winning two shutouts over East Carolina and Arizona. Football kicks off the season in Charlotte on Saturday vs. ECU with several associated events here in Columbia, including Thursday's Wild Wing Cafe Street Party & Pep Rally and Saturday's official watch party at Buffalo Wild Wings Northeast.

Season tickets are still available for Volleyball, Women's Soccer and Men's Soccer on GamecocksOnline.com for $25 each for adults and $10 each for youth.


Thursday, September 1st

Wild Wing Street Party & Pep Rally - 3:30 p.m.
Wild Wing Cafe in the Vista - 729 Lady St.
"Carolina Calls" 7:00-8:00 p.m.


Friday, September 2nd

Volleyball vs. Gardner-Webb - 12:00 p.m. (Gamecock Invitational Tournament)
Free pompoms and team posters
-Volleyball claimed the Temple Invitational title this past weekend with a three-game sweep.
- Juliette Thévenin earned SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors as well as Temple Invitational MVP and most valuable attacker honors, averaging 4.80 kills and 4.90 digs per set during the three matches.
-Gamecock Invitational - first chance of four this weekend to see the Gamecocks in action


Cross Country - Gamecock Invitational (5K) - 6:00 p.m.
Fort Jackson
-Only chance to see the Gamecock Cross Country team in action at home this season

Women's Soccer vs. Northeastern - 7:00 p.m.
Free pompoms and  team posters
-Home opener after their opening four-game road trip (wins over Arizona and East Carolina, losses to Arizona State and No. 12 Duke)

Volleyball vs. Davidson - 7:30 p.m.
Free pompoms and team posters
-Gamecock Invitational



Saturday, September 3, 2011

Volleyball vs.  Elon - 12:00 p.m.
Free pompoms and team posters
-Gamecock Invitational

Volleyball vs. UNC Asheville - 7:00 p.m.
Free pompoms and team posters
-Gamecock Invitational- last chance to see the Gamecocks in action at home before their SEC home season opener (Sept. 25 vs. Tennessee)


Football vs. ECU - 7:00 p.m. - Bank of America Stadium - Charlotte
Click here for information on fan events in Charlotte on Friday and Saturday.

Buffalo Wild Wings Watch Party
For every away game this football season a Buffalo Wild Wings location in the Columbia area will be hosting the official watch party. This week Gamecock fans go to:

Buffalo Wild Wings Northeast
10056 Two Notch Road (next to Lowe's)
Columbia, SC

- Live broadcast of the Gamecock Radio Network pregame show from 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. Kick-off is at 7 p.m.
-Carolina Alumni Association members receive a 10% discount* on all food items (excludes alcohol) when they show their card.
- Register to win great prizes from Gamecock Athletics, Buffalo Wild Wings, and the Midlands Buick, GMC dealers. Fans can also enjoy: Photos with Cocky and Blaze, the Buffalo Wild Wings mascot, Gamecock Bounce House for the kids, and The Carolina Girls handing out Gamecock temporary tattoos
.

Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks!  In today's edition Quarterback Stephen Garcia talks about QB competition, Men's Soccer match postponed to Sunday, Volleyball records the first win of the "Swanson Era," and more.



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB

Football: Paulk has high hopes for final season (GamecockCentral.com)

Football: Garcia talks QB competition (TheBigSpur.com)

Football: The Freshman 15: First-years who will make an instant impact (Sports Illustrated) *No. 1 Jadeveon Clowney*

Football: Ellingtons look for major football impact (Associated Press)

Women's Soccer: ASU soccer game 2: South Carolina, 1 p.m. Sunday (azcentral.com)



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS

Football: Gamecocks Do Conditioning Drills Friday

Men's Soccer. Men's Soccer Match At College Of Charleston Postponed

Football: Gamecocks Practice Thursday Afternoon

Women's Basketball. Shelbretta Ball on Campus



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET

Volleyball starts the Temple Invitational off right with a win against Montana. The Gamecocks will take on Stony Brook and Temple tomorrow to wrap up the tournament.

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Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!




SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

High Student Demand for Away Game Football Tickets

A Tight-Knit Family: Rodney Paulk Ready to Take On His Brother and ECU

Patrick DiMarco Recovering from Injury, Stops By Gamecocks Practice

Over 500 Fans Attend Alumni Association/Gamecock Club Fall Preview Party

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Final Day! Teresa Stenlund

Info on Gamecock Fan Activities in Charlotte for ECU Game Weekend



VIDEO OF THE DAY

Quarterback Stephen Garcia talks about dealing with the competition for the position of starting quarterback, his improved knowledge of the offense, and some goals he has set for himself this season.
http://gamecocksonline.cstv.com/allaccess/?media=260041




ROOSTER CROWS

Gamecock Volleyball recorded their first win of the "Swanson Era." The Gamecocks faced the Montana Grizzlies during day one of the Temple Invitational and won in three straight sets.

After being postponed to Sunday, instead of being aired on FOX Soccer Channel, the men's soccer game at College of Charleston will be live streamed through CofCSports.com and available to the public at no charge.  Live stats for the match will be available via GamecocksOnline.com, as well as live updates via the South Carolina Men's Soccer Facebook page and Twitter, @GamecockMSoccer.




FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

Today's photo is from Devyn Frazee of her son Macon with Cocky before the Alabama game last year.

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We've got a lot of great submissions so keep them coming! Feel free to send in your photos (any sport/season, either of you or taken by you!) with your name to GamecockAthletics@gmail.com! A lot of the best photos include some Gamecock gear and 'showing your spurs'! We'd love to share with the rest of Gamecock Nation!


You can see the entire Fan Photo of the Day series on our Facebook page!



 



High Student Demand for Away Game Football Tickets

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Several hundred South Carolina students lined up at Colonial Life Arena this morning to purchase tickets to the five football away games in 2011, starting off with the ECU game in Charlotte.

Students who purchased ECU tickets received a free 2011 Football Gameday t-shirt courtesy of the university's Trademark and Licensing Department.

The allotment of student tickets for away games each year is based on analysis of past years' demand and sales. For example, this year the number of tickets made available for students for the Georgia game was more than double the allotment for the last game at Georgia in 2009 and it still quickly sold out. Student allotments for ECU and Tennessee also both sold out, while tickets remained for the games at Mississippi State and Arkansas.

We were pleasantly surprised by the increased demand for tickets to some of the away games this season and excited to see so many students wanting to hit the road to cheer on their Gamecocks! 

Can't wait for kickoff vs. ECU in eight days!!!

Check out photos below from the sale this morning:




Want a 2011 Gameday T-shirt of your own? Click here.

For any students who weren't able to get a ticket to the ECU game from the student allotment, they are also still available via Ticketmaster.

 
When South Carolina takes the field September 3rd at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, it won't just be the Gamecocks and Pirates facing off - it will also be the battle of Busta versus Scoota.

Gamecock senior linebacker Rodney Paulk (nicknamed "Busta" by his parents) will be playing against his younger brother, ECU junior defensive back Leonard Paulk (a.k.a. "Scoota"), for the first time.

Just two years apart in age, Rodney and Leonard played side by side throughout childhood, almost always together on the same team in recreational football as children and later as teammates at Richland Northeast High School in Columbia. Their youngest brother, Darius "Bear" Paulk, is a senior tailback at RNE this year.

rodney paulk and scoota (highschool).jpgNow, the tight-knit Paulk family will get their first opportunity to see Rodney and Leonard share the same field since they both last played for RNE in 2005. Even with their boys facing off as opponents, the family isn't worried about who they will cheer for. Parents Leonard and Sonya Paulk have made themselves half and half jerseys - South Carolina on one side, East Carolina on the other side. 

"They just want both of us to go out there and play well," said the younger Leonard. "I'm just going to play my game and I know he's going to do the same. We don't get caught up in the hype. We just go out there and play."

"They're going to pray for both of us, pray nobody gets hurt and they'll wish the best on my side and on his side," added Rodney. "It's always fun playing with your brother out there. It's just something that's rarely done nowadays...We're just going to go out there and play ball, we're family but we're still going to do what we have to do."

Growing up Rodney and Leonard were always close. Whether it was fishing, hunting, running, video games, chess or checkers, they always kept a good-natured competitive spirit between them. The two talk on the phone regularly to catch up on how things are going both on and off the field.  

rodney paulk and scoota (young).jpg"I look to [Rodney] for everything," explained Leonard. "He's the one who got me involved in football. If it weren't for him I wouldn't be in football. He's one who got me out there working hard, taught me about the weight room, taught me how to read coverages, stuff like that. I learned a lot from him, I look up to him. He's my role model."

In addition to their tight bond as brothers, Rodney and Leonard have great respect for each other on the field that showed throughout my conversations with them. Though they'll be rooting for their own teams, they both want the other to play their best. Rodney described his brother as the perfect size for a defensive back. The 5'11", 192-pound Leonard has great quickness, lateral movement and a knack for hitting that serves him well both as a DB and on special teams. 

"My favorite thing [about Leonard] is that he's physical," said Rodney. "He plays really tough. He reminds me of myself - he's real aggressive and goes hard every play."



In June 2010 Rodney was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA after
Rodney Paulk vs. Furman.jpeg sitting out both the 2008 and 2009 seasons with knee injuries. He has already earned his degree from South Carolina in a unique major, Marine Science. The support of his family helped him get through the injuries and not give up on returning to play and now he's one of the leaders for the Gamecocks as the starter at Will linebacker. Rodney's perseverance inspired Leonard, who says Rodney's ability to stay humble and overcome adversity is his favorite thing about him as a player.

"He's the one who taught me how to go through adversity," explained Leonard. "He went through two injuries having to sit out and has still been able to bounce back and he doesn't let himself get down. He knows how to fight against adversity and stay humble."

As close as they are, on September 3rd, they'll have to look at each other as just another opponent. One Pirate, #25. One Gamecock, #45.

"We've been talking about it since we found out we were going to play each other," said Rodney. "We're just going to make this a memorable day, try to go out there and have fun. It's probably a once in a lifetime opportunity so we just got to go out there and make the most out of it. I know he's going to go out there and do his thing on his side of the field and I'm going to do mine."

As for the stories behind the Busta and Scoota nicknames they've had since birth?

"Sorry," Rodney said with a smile. "It's a family secret."


South Carolina opens the season versus East Carolina on September 3rd at 7:00 p.m. in Charlotte at Bank of America Stadium. Tickets are still available via Ticketmaster.

Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks!  In today's edition Marcus Lattimore was named No. 3 in ESPN's Top 25 best players of the SEC, a Q&A with equestrian senior Colvin Hedgepeth, and women's soccer, men's soccer, and volleyball all prepare to hit the road this weekend.



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB


Football: The SEC's best 25 players: No. 3 (ESPN SEC Blog) *Marcus Lattimore*

Football: Quarterbacks shine in Gamecock scrimmage (The Times and Democrat)

Football: South Carolina's Taylor primed for a big season (The Post and Courier)



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS


Men's Soccer. Gamecock Men's Soccer Travels To College Of Charleston For 2011 Season Opener

Women's Soccer. South Carolina Continues Road Trip In Arizona

Volleyball. Gamecocks Start 2011 Season, Swanson Era at Temple Invitational


Track. Six Gamecocks To Compete At IAAF World Outdoor Championships

Equestrian. Q&A with Equestrian Senior Colvin Hedgepeth




COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET

We can't wait to see you there and we have the same feeling!!

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Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!




SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

Patrick DiMarco Recovering from Injury, Stops By Gamecocks Practice

Over 500 Fans Attend Alumni Association/Gamecock Club Fall Preview Party

Student Away Game Tickets On Sale Friday: First 1,000 ECU Ticket-Buyers Get Free Gameday T-Shirt

Athlete Spotlight - Shalonda Solomon

Devin Taylor's Ever-Expanding Wrist Band Collection

Info on Gamecock Fan Activities in Charlotte for ECU Game Weekend



VIDEO OF THE DAY

Despite the growing buzz around junior defensive end Devin Taylor, he remains true to his quiet nature and says he's going to just continue to focus on getting faster and improving daily.
http://gamecocksonline.cstv.com/allaccess/?media=259657  



ROOSTER CROWS

Four different Gamecocks scored in the season opening women's soccer victory over East Carolina. Kayla Grimsley, Gabrielle Gilbert, Danielle Au and Maria Petroni each scored in the game, giving the Gamecocks the most players with a goal in a game since five individuals scored against Kentucky last season (Sept. 26, 2010) in a 5-0 victory. The Gamecocks head to Arizona this weekend to take on Arizona on Friday and Arizona State on Sunday.



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY


We're going vintage with today's photo submitted by Ellis Robinson of himself with his brother on the 50-yard line at Williams-Brice. He didn't offer up an exact year, only told us, "a very long time ago."

Ellis Robinson.jpg

We've got a lot of great submissions so keep them coming! Feel free to send in your photos (any sport/season, either of you or taken by you!) with your name to GamecockAthletics@gmail.com! A lot of the best photos include some Gamecock gear and 'showing your spurs'! We'd love to share with the rest of Gamecock Nation!


You can see the entire Fan Photo of the Day series on our Facebook page!


Patrick DiMarco.jpegA familiar face was back out at Gamecock football practice Thursday. Unfortunately, former Carolina fullback/tight end Patrick DiMarco found himself in an unfamiliar situation - propped up on crutches with his foot in a boot.

After being signed as a rookie free agent by the San Diego Chargers, DiMarco fractured the fifth metatarsal bone in his foot on just the third day of practice. He underwent surgery with the Chargers' team physicians a few days later where they inserted a screw about three inches long to set the bone. Now on the road to recovery, DiMarco will heal and rehab for about six more weeks when he will hopefully be cleared to return.

"It'll be nice if San Diego will have me back and keep me on the practice squad or something. Most young guys who are free agents they release them, but I liked it out there; it was awesome," said DiMarco. "But whatever happens in life I gotta deal with and at least this isn't a knee, an ACL or something like that. I'll be back this year."

With a business degree in hand from South Carolina with a specialization in marketing and management, DiMarco hopes to pursue a career in the business side of sports once his playing days are over. He would like to eventually return to graduate school to further his education, particularly when it comes to the financial aspect of sports.

"All this financial stuff [with the lockout, negotiating contracts, etc.] has been really fascinating to me. Whenever I talk to my agent about what's going on, that stuff really interests me," said DiMarco.

In the mean time he'll continue going to rehab four to five days a week attempting to get back to playing as quick as he can. He hopes to continue coming out to practice to keep football fresh in his mind, maybe even helping out a little with the fullbacks.

"I miss the camaraderie with the guys. All of these guys have different personalities that people don't know because they just see them on the field but all these guys are cool and unique," said DiMarco.

As far as the upcoming season, DiMarco will be cheering along the Gamecocks with everyone else, saying it's the most talent on the team ever.

"I think the sky's the limit," DiMarco said with a smile. "I think they have more talent than we've ever had.  Hopefully they can live up to it and not let the hype get to their heads too much. Just go out there and play the game they love playing, that's what they need to do, not really worry about being ranked 12th in the nation. They just need to go out there and play ball."

Over 500 MyCarolina Alumni Association and Gamecock Club members filled The Zone at Williams-Brice Stadium Thursday evening for the Fall Sports Preview Party.

Fans enjoyed a catered buffet dinner while MC Todd Ellis led the program. Coach Steve Spurrier came fresh from the day's practice to talk to the crowd about the upcoming season, reminding fans that while we do have a lot of great players and a chance for a great year, "everyone is undefeated right now" so don't get too excited just yet. 


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Men's soccer head coach Mark Berson, women's soccer head coach Shelley Smith, volleyball head coach Scott Swanson, and track & field/cross country head coach Curtis Frye were all in attendance as well with two student-athletes from each sport. Each coach took the stage with their student-athletes for a Q&A with Todd to give the crowd some insight into their upcoming seasons. Some of the loudest applause of the evening came when coaches made note of their student-athletes' high grade point averages and academic success.

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After a closing address from AD Eric Hyman, in which he informed the happy crowd that this Friday will mark 1,000 days since Clemson last beat Carolina in football, and announcing several door prize raffle winners, the crowd broke into groups to take tours of the stadium.

Thanks to all the Gamecocks who came out to the event and hope everyone had a great time. Men's Soccer, Women's Soccer, and Volleyball are all in action on the road this weekend and we're just nine days away from football kicking off in Charlotte! GO GAMECOCKS!!!

-Brittany

 
2011 Gameday Tshirt.jpgAs most students have heard, student tickets for away games go on sale this Friday, August 26th, at 10:00 a.m. at the Colonial Life Arena box office.

Students who purchase a ticket to the opening game vs. ECU on September 3rd in Charlotte at Bank of America Stadium will receive a free 2011 Football Gameday T-Shirt! Thank you to the university's Trademark and Licensing Department for providing the t-shirts!

Sections of lower level seating in Bank of America Stadium have been reserved for student purchase with overflow available in the upper deck, so students will have a great view to watch their Gamecocks kick off 2011 vs. the Pirates. ECU game tickets are $60 each.

Students must bring their Carolina ID cards to purchase tickets and may purchase one ticket each to all away games. If you want to sit with your friends you will need to come to purchase your tickets together. The box office will remain open until 5:00 p.m. for student away game ticket purchases.

Other away games:
Sept 10th - at Georgia
Oct 15th - at Mississippi State
Oct 29th - at Tennessee
Nov 5th - at Arkansas
 

Away game tickets are sold to students at face value (not free like home games).


For non-student fans, ECU tickets are still available through Ticketmaster.
Season tickets and the Black mini plan (Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Florida) tickets are still available as well via the ticket office on GamecocksOnline.com. The Garnet mini plan including Auburn, The Citadel, and Clemson is sold out. Single game tickets will go on sale exclusively to Gamecock Club members on September 1st and any remaining single game tickets will be made available to the general public on September 6th.

Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition an update on Connor Shaw, changes from the Mighty Sound of the Southeast, a spotlight on Track Athlete Shalonda Solomon, and Marcus Lattimore shares some of the team's excitement as the season approaches.



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB

Football: Larger USC band prepares for louder show under Rebecca Phillips (The Daily Gamecock)

Football: Kicking in to help new USC kicker (The Post and Courier)

Football: Shaw's thumb feeling fine (TheBigSpur.com)

Football: Cunningham, freshmen fighting at tight end (GamecockCentral.com)



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS

Football: Garnet Mini-Plans Sold Out

Football: Gamecocks Scrimmage Wednesday Afternoon

Volleyball: 16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day 16, Teresa Stenlund

Men's Soccer: Coach Berson's Press Conference



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET

We can't wait either!
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Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!



SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

Athlete Spotlight - Shalonda Solomon

Devin Taylor's Ever-Expanding Wrist Band Collection

UPDATE: Football Tickets and Parking Passes Mail Dates

Football Ticket Availability Update & Mailing Info

Info on Gamecock Fan Activities in Charlotte for ECU Game Weekend

What You Need to Know about Student-Athlete Autographs



VIDEO OF THE DAY

Marcus Lattimore gives some updates on how the team is progressing through the last week of camp, that they're hungry and ready to go and that the whole running back corps will be strong.
http://gamecocksonline.cstv.com/allaccess/?media=259258


ROOSTER CROWS

Former Gamecock track athlete Shalonda Solomon owns the fastest time in the world in 2011 in the 200 meters. She will be leading a deep and talented Team USA field into the 200m when the 2011 IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships begin in Daegu, South Korea, on August 27th.



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

Today's Fan Photo is from Pamela Gee of a four-legged Gamecock fan. Pamela reports that from day one her boxer, Ava, has been raised as a Gamecock fan along with her two sisters, Abella and Maya (who are yorkies)!
 
Love it! To me, this picture says, "don't mess with TOUGH!"

Pamela Gee.jpg

We've got a lot of great submissions so keep them coming! Feel free tosend in your photos (any sport/season, either of you or taken by you!) with your name to GamecockAthletics@gmail.com !A lot of the best photos include some Gamecock gear and 'showing your spurs'! We'd love to share with the rest of Gamecock Nation!


You can see the entire Fan Photo of the Day series on our Facebook page!


16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Final Day! Teresa Stenlund

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For the past two plus weeks fans have been getting insight into this year's Volleyball team with a series of Q&A's in the "16 Gamecocks, 16 Days" series. We're at the final day with senior Teresa Stenlund. Catch up on the rest of the series with the links at the bottom! Volleyball kicks off their season this weekend in Philadelphia at the Temple Invitational followed by opening play at home on September 2nd with the Gamecock Invitational.



teresa stenlund.jpegWho is your favorite teammate? Why?
Olivia Ryder because she's been with me since freshman year.  Even though she's not technically on the roster this year, she's been through every hardship that I've been through and I have all the respect in the word for her.

If you could travel anywhere on the planet, where would you go?
I would go to the Canary Islands.

What was the best movie you saw this summer?
I liked Rango.

If you could be a character in any movie, who would you be?
Cinderella

If you could trade places with any person on the South Carolina campus, who would it be?
I don't know that I want to trade places with anybody.  I like where I'm at.

What's your best non-athletic talent?
I speak three languages: English, Spanish and Swedish and I'm learning German right now.

Which language do you scream out in joy in after a big play?
English

Do you have any pre-game or in-game rituals?
I usually go in the training room and mellow out before a game.

What one word would you use to describe your style of play?
Intense

What's the one thing you can't leave without on a road trip?
iPod

What's your biggest pet peeve?
Bad drivers.  Bad drivers are the worst.


Catch up on the series:

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day 15, Christina Glover


16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day 14, Taylor Bruns

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day 13, Brandi Byers

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day 12, Hanna Forst

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day 11, Lexie Pawlik

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day 10, Bethanie Thomas

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day Nine, Christina Vereb

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day Eight, Cara Howley

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day Seven, Kellie Schmidt

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day Six, Frankie Vain

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day Five, Lindsey Craft

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day Four, Juliette Thevenin

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day Three, Kathryn Pearce

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day Two, Megan Kent

16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day One, Paige Wheeler

Season tickets for Gamecock Volleyball are just $25 for adults and $10 for youth. Click here.







Athlete Spotlight - Shalonda Solomon

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Courtesy of USA Track & Field

Shalonda Solomon.jpegJudging by her humble personality, you wouldn't think Shalonda Solomon owns the fastest time in the world in 2011 in the 200 meters. When asked about the sport she loves, she talks about respect for her teammates, she speaks confidently about herself, and shows a strong Christian faith.

Due to her quiet demeanor, it may become easy for Solomon - a three-time NCAA Champion and 11-time All-American under Curtis Frye at South Carolina from 2005-07 - to get lost in the background. But her success on the track this season shows otherwise.

All of these traits and accomplishments will be on display when Solomon leads a deep and talented Team USA field into the 200m when the 2011 IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships begin in Daegu, South Korea August 27-September 4.

And it's a loaded Team USA field to say the least. Just how deep is Team USA in the 200m? The Americans currently own 14 of the top 15 times run in the world this year; two of which Solomon is responsible for.

"You always hope for a clean sweep," Solomon said about Team USA's chances on the awards podium in Daegu. "We will go out there and represent Team USA with the best of our abilities. We just hope for the best."

And the best is primarily what Americans have done in the event so far in 2011. Solomon teams with Carmelita Jeter, Kimberlyn Duncan and Allyson Felix to give Team USA a realistic shot at a clean sweep in Daegu. Solomon, Jeter and Duncan are all ranked in the top three in the world, respectively, and Felix is the three-time defending World Champion in the event.

While none of it translates into results until competition begins, the resumes are impressive indeed.

"We have so much pride in representing the U.S.," Solomon said. "The people and the staff are amazing. When you put that USA on your chest, you are representing more than just yourself."

For Solomon, this trip to the World Championships not only comes well deserved, but has been a long time coming. As an American sprinter, she was consistently facing the best in the world and stiff competition for a spot on the world or Olympic teams. She was always in the mix, but couldn't quite make that first Team USA until 2011.

She was sixth in the 100m at the U.S. Outdoor Championships in 2009. She was seventh in the 200m in the Olympic Trials in 2008. And, as luck would have it, she placed second in the 200m at the U.S. Championships in both 2006 and 2010, but in seasons with no world or Olympic meet. However, following a strong season in the Diamond League in 2010 and into 2011, Solomon was poised to get over that barrier in her career.

She blistered the field at the 2011 U.S. Outdoor Championships in a personal best and world-leading time of 22.15 seconds to secure her spot in Daegu. As she crossed the finish line, it was a step into a new segment of her career.

"It was a huge step forward," Solomon said of the win at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. "It's truly a blessing since I have been in the mix for a long time. To say that I'm the 2011 U.S. champion is something they can never take away."

It was a huge step onto the world stage for Solomon. And while her current world ranking is something to be proud of, rankings aren't anything to be satisfied with, as any competitor will attest.

"You can't be satisfied," Solomon quickly stated. "You always have to try your best and do your best at all times. Anybody can be a champion at any time."

If the national title Solomon won in Eugene was a huge step forward, it is difficult to measure exactly how gratifying a world medal in Daegu would be. That's also something that will never be taken away from her.

"It would mean the world to me," she said about winning a medal at the World Championships. "Winning at U.S. Championships then to get a medal at the World Championships would be a huge stride forward." 

Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks!  In today's issue we've got a preview of the Men's Soccer season (starting with this Friday's nationally televised game in Charleston), news from the Equestrian team's first practice, Jadeveon Clowney's daily improvements, and more.



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB


Football: Clowney improving daily (The Post and Courier)


Baseball: Brady Thomas 'grateful' for city's honor (Anderson Independent Mail)

 

 

GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS


Football: Gamecocks Return to Practice Fields Monday


Men's Soccer:  2011 South Carolina Men's Soccer Season Preview


Track & Field:  Former Gamecocks Compete At World University Games


Volleyball. 16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day 15, Christina Glover

Men's Golf:  Woodruff Opens Play at 111th U.S. Amateur


Women's Equestrian: Coach Major - First Team Practice

 

 
COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET

South Carolina's 29-game women's basketball schedule includes 16 outings against teams that competed in the 2010-11 postseason.

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Follow @Gamecocksonline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!

 

 

SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS


Devin Taylor's Ever-Expanding Wrist Band Collection


UPDATE: Football Tickets and Parking Passes Mail Dates

 

Football Ticket Availability Update & Mailing Info

 

Info on Gamecock Fan Activities in Charlotte for ECU Game Weekend


What You Need to Know about Student-Athlete Autographs

 

Spurs Up Top Moments 2010-11: #1 Back to Back National Championships for Baseball

(Catch up on the rest of the Top Moments countdown here as well!)

 


VIDEO OF THE DAY

 

Antonio Allen fills us in on how the team is getting mentally prepared for the ECU game on September 3rd and their hopes that Gamecock Nation will come out and support them.
http://gamecocksonline.cstv.com/allaccess/?media=258683

 

 

ROOSTER CROWS

 

-LaKya Brookins and Shayla Mahan ran the first and second legs for Team USA's 4x100-meter relay team that earned silver medal honors with a time of 43.48 at the World University Games. More info on the Games.

 

- The Men's Soccer team's first game of 2011 is scheduled to air on national television. The Gamecocks' match this Friday, August 26th, at 6:00 p.m. at College of Charleston will be aired on FOX Soccer Channel (Hurricane Irene-willing of course!)

 


FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY


Today's Fan Photo is of Tony Duncan and Kerry Myers tailgating in 2010. Thanks for sharing your photo, Kerry!


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We've got a lot of great submissions so keep them coming! Feel free to send in your photos (any sport/season, either of you or taken by you!) with your name to GamecockAthletics@gmail.com! A lot of the best photos include some Gamecock gear and 'showing your spurs'! We'd love to share with the rest of Gamecock Nation!


You can see the entire Fan Photo of the Day series on our Facebook page!


Devin Taylor's Ever-Expanding Wrist Band Collection

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It started off as just one plain ol' rubber band, then two. Next came an impressive collection of wrist bands that junior All-SEC defensive end Devin Taylor never takes off.

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We noticed his collection when shooting his "It's Great to be a Gamecock" video and couldn't resist finding out the story behind it.

IMG_2414.JPGMany of the bands have special meaning, including two identical bands on each wrist in support of a former high school teammate who had thyroid cancer and another band honoring veterans. A couple display his faith, including one "Gamecocks 4 Christ" band and another from team chaplain Adrian Despres.

I initially doubted whether he truly never takes them off, thinking they would get nasty with the sweat, grass and dirt associated with playing football. But Devin insisted to me with a laugh that the bands clean up just fine in the shower and he covers them with tape during games so no one can rip them off.

These bands are pretty popular - so what about you, Gamecock Nation? What do you collect?


Devin Taylor is a pre-season candidate for the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award,  the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (nation's best defensive player), and the Bednarik Award (nation's top defensive player). Devin was also named pre-season First Team All-SEC by the league's coaches.

Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks!  In today's edition some good pub on our stout defensive line including Devin Taylor and 2010 sack leader Melvin Ingram; good news for Marty Markett, Women's Basketball released their non-conference schedule, a practice update from Volleyball Head Coach Scott Swanson, and more:



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB

Football: The SEC's best 25 players: No. 6 (ESPN SEC Blog) *Devin Taylor*

Football: The forgotten man: Gamecocks' Melvin Ingram quietly dominates at defensive end (The Post and Courier)

Football: Marty Markett put on scholarship (The Daily Gamecock)

Football: SEC scrimmage recap (ESPN SEC Blog)

Football: Spurrier ready to use speedy trio of slot receivers (Anderson Independent Mail)

Men's Soccer: Gamecock Men's Soccer season opener to be televised on Fox Soccer Channel (WISTV.com)

Baseball: Anderson to make Monday 'Brady Thomas Day' (Anderson Independent Mail)



GAMECOCKS IN THE PROS

Gamecocks in MLB (GamecockCentral.com)



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS

Women's Basketball. Women's Basketball Reveals 2011-12 Non-Conference Schedule

Volleyball. 16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day 14, Taylor Bruns

Volleyball. 16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day 13, Brandi Byers

Volleyball. 16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day 12, Hanna Forst

Women's Soccer. No. 12 Duke Shuts Out No. 21 South Carolina 2-0 In Durham

Men's Soccer. No. 15 Men's Soccer Ties Elon In Exhibition Contest (Check out Fan Photos on our Facebook page)

Football. Gamecocks Ranked 12th in Preseason A.P. Poll

Football. Gamecocks Scrimmage Saturday Morning



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET

We are too, Meredith!

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Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!



SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

UPDATE: Football Tickets and Parking Passes Mail Dates

Football Ticket Availability Update & Mailing Info

Info on Gamecock Fan Activities in Charlotte for ECU Game Weekend

What You Need to Know about Student-Athlete Autographs

ESPN DirecTV Mobile Studio Visits the Gamecocks in Columbia

Spurs Up Top Moments 2010-11: #1 Back to Back National Championships for Baseball
(Catch up on the rest of the Top Moments countdown here as well!)



VIDEO OF THE DAY

Volleyball Head Coach Scott Swanson gives us an update on how preseason practice has been going so far and the team's preparation for their first match coming up this Friday, August 26th, at the Temple Invitational in Philadelphia.
http://gamecocksonline.cstv.com/allaccess/?media=258045



ROOSTER CROWS

-The No. 12 ranking for the Gamecocks is the highest preseason ranking in school history. The Gamecocks also were ranked 12th in the preseason USA Today/Coaches poll.

-South Carolina's 29-game women's basketball schedule includes 16 outings against teams that competed in the 2010-11 postseason.



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

Today's Fan Photo is from Robert Ergle of his two boys at their first Carolina game last season vs. Troy. Looks like they found some good company!

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We've got a lot of great submissions so keep them coming! Feel free to send in your photos (any sport/season, either of you or taken by you!) with your name to GamecockAthletics@gmail.com! A lot of the best photos include some Gamecock gear and 'showing your spurs'! We'd love to share with the rest of Gamecock Nation!


You can see the entire Fan Photo of the Day series on our Facebook page!


UPDATE: Football Tickets and Parking Passes Mail Dates

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Football season tickets and parking passes are being mailed the weeks of August 15th and August 22nd. If you renewed your tickets by the May 13th deadline or placed a new order by July 15th, your tickets and parking passes should arrive in one envelope. Please allow until August 31st for delivery.

 

Some parking passes may be shipped separately based on order date. Parking passes ordered after July 15th will be mailed from the South Carolina Athletics Parking Office the week of August 22nd.

 

ECU tickets are also being mailed the weeks of August 15th and August 22nd. If ECU tickets were ordered as part of your season ticket renewal, they are included in your season ticket envelope. If ordered separately, tickets were mailed in their own envelope. Please allow until August 26th for delivery.

 

If you have not received your ECU tickets by August 26th, please contact the South Carolina Athletics Ticket Office at 800.4SC.FANS (800.472.3267) or 803.777.4274. Your tickets will need to be reprinted and must be picked up at Bank of America Stadium on game day. Please treat your tickets as you would cash.

Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks with the Spurs Up Daily Round-Up!


A BIG congrats to Louis Day on being named the NCAA's 2011 National Student-Athlete Sportsmanship Award winner! He is one just two student-athletes in the country (one male, one female) to earn the honor. Day was also named the SEC's Sportsmanship Award winner after displaying integrity at the SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships. He jeopardized his own place in the championship finals by reporting to his coach, Mike Sergent, that the official had incorrectly awarded him two additional meters to his throw in the shot put. Sergent informed officials of the error and the extra distance was removed, changing the order of finish in the event. Read more.



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB

Football: Georgia, South Carolina scrimmage notes (ESPN SEC Blog)

Baseball: Tanner keeps, brings in enough players to avoid a letdown (Anderson Independent Mail)

Football: Gamecocks shrugging off preseason hype (AP)

Football: Blog: Holding Lattimore out smart move (GamecockCentral.com)

Davis' songs come home to roost (TheState.com) *Gamecock fan favorite Patrick Davis talks about his songs



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS

Football. Gamecocks Return to Bluff Road Fields Thursday

Men's Basketball. Southeastern Conference Releases 2012 Men's Basketball League Schedule

Men's Tennis. Men's Tennis Unveils 2011-12 Schedule

Volleyball. 16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day 10, Bethanie Thomas

Women's Soccer. No. 21 South Carolina Opens 2011 Season At East Carolina

Women's Soccer. Coaches Select Gamecock Soccer Second In SEC Preseason Poll



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET

First Gamecocks team in action for the 2011-12 season is Women's Soccer as they hit the road to take on ECU! Looking for the first Carolina win of the year and hopefully Football will follow suit on September 3rd against the Pirates!


Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!



SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

Football Ticket Availability Update & Mailing Info

Info on Gamecock Fan Activities in Charlotte for ECU Game Weekend

Alshon Jeffery on SI Cover, Jeffery & Lattimore Featured in Sporting News

What You Need to Know about Student-Athlete Autographs

ESPN DirecTV Mobile Studio Visits the Gamecocks in Columbia

Spurs Up Top Moments 2010-11: #1 Back to Back National Championships for Baseball
(Catch up on the rest of the Top Moments countdown here as well!)



VIDEO OF THE DAY

Coach Elliott talks offensive line after tonight's practice:
http://gamecocksonline.cstv.com/allaccess/?media=257917



ROOSTER CROWS

Each of Men's Basketball's 16 conference games will be televised this season. Additionally, South Carolina's non-conference home  game against Ohio State will be televised on ESPN with a Noon start time at Colonial Life Arena on Dec. 17, 2011. More on the SEC schedule released today here.



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

Adorable Fan Photo of the Day today submitted by Wanda Mayhugh of Rock Hill of her granddaughter, Catherine, with her father Kevin. Both Kevin and Terra, Wanda's daughter, are graduates of Carolina.  

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We've got a lot of great submissions so keep them coming! Feel free to send in your photos (any sport/season, either of you or taken by you!) with your name to GamecockAthletics@gmail.com! A lot of the best photos include some Gamecock gear and 'showing your spurs'! We'd love to share with the rest of Gamecock Nation!


You can see the entire Fan Photo of the Day series on our Facebook page!



Football Ticket Availability Update & Mailing Info

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With fall sports getting ready to kick off and a lot of anticipation for seeing your tickets come in the mail, we wanted to make sure everyone has all the info on available South Carolina tickets!

Information on all of the ticket options discussed below and links to purchase are included on our tickets page. The tickets page is updated throughout the year with all your ticket options.

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Gamecock Football:


Season tickets are still available

*Fans who have already purchased their season tickets should be receiving email notifications this week about when to expect their tickets in the mail, expected to be between Aug. 22-26. If you haven't received your season tickets by Aug. 31, please call the ticket office at 800-4SC-FANS.

Three-game mini plans are also available now.

Garnet: $155
Auburn
The Citadel
Clemson

Black: $160
Vanderbilt
Kentucky
Florida

*Mini plans and away game tickets purchased through South Carolina are going in the mail this week. Some of you may have already received them.


Single game tickets for the season opener vs. ECU in Charlotte on Sept. 3rd and the home opener vs. Navy on Sept. 17th are on sale now through Ticketmaster.

*ECU tickets purchased through the South Carolina ticket office will be mailed along with season tickets.

Remaining single game tickets go on sale to Gamecock Club members first on Sept. 1st. Any remaining single game tickets will be made available to the general public on Sept. 6th.

Football season parking passes are also still available, particularly in the Farmers Market area. Call the ticket office at 803-777-4274 or  click here for more information.





Men's Soccer, Women's Soccer, Volleyball

Season tickets for Men's Soccer, Women's Soccer, and Volleyball are all available as well. All three teams have their home openers coming up soon in the first week of September. Season tickets are just $25 for an adult and $10 for youth (17 and under), a big savings on individual game ticket prices. Click here to purchase online.





Winter and Spring Sports:

Men's Basketball and Women's Basketball

Renewal information for 2010-11 season ticket holders will be available in September. For those who didn't have season tickets last year, new season ticket deposit orders are available now!

Baseball and Softball

Baseball season ticket renewal information for Gamecock Club members and university faculty/staff will be available in October 2011. New season ticket information will be available in December 2011. Renewal and new season ticket information for Softball will also be available in December 2011.

After taking a little vacation over the summer, The Spurs Up Daily Round-Up returns as Carolina students return to campus and our fall sports have cranked up pre-season practice! Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks!


GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB

Football: South Carolina has WRs not named Alshon (ESPN SEC Blog)

Football: Lawing has decisions to make (GamecockCentral.com)

Football: USC's Ingram 'motivated by football' (Anderson Independent Mail)

Baseball: Pitching abounds for 2012 season (GamecockCentral.com)



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS

Women's Tennis. Gamecock Women's Tennis Announces 2011-12 Schedule

Football. Wednesday's Scrimmage Open to the Public

Men's Basketball. Brenton Williams Checks in With GamecocksOnline.com

Men's Soccer. Chipper Root Checks In With GamecocksOnline.com

Football. Practice Continues Tuesday Night



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET

I like his style...

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Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!



SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

Info on Gamecock Fan Activities in Charlotte for ECU Game Weekend

Alshon Jeffery on SI Cover, Jeffery & Lattimore Featured in Sporting News

What You Need to Know about Student-Athlete Autographs

ESPN DirecTV Mobile Studio Visits the Gamecocks in Columbia

Spurs Up Top Moments 2010-11: #1 Back to Back National Championships for Baseball
(Catch up on the rest of the Top Moments countdown here as well!)



VIDEO OF THE DAY

Coach Jay Graham discussing his running back crew after practice yesterday: http://gamecocksonline.cstv.com/allaccess/?media=256968



ROOSTER CROWS

The newest edition of Our Game Magazine has the South Carolina Women's Soccer team ranked #19 going into the season. The ladies kick off the season Friday night on the road at East Carolina.



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

Today's photo is from Kelly Johnson of Hardin, Illinois. Her story:

"For the 2007 Homecoming game, three generations of Gamecock fans drove from Illinois to take my then four-year-old daughter Tristan to her first Carolina game.  After getting our tickets stuck in the motel safe and almost missing the game, Tristan ended up getting to meet George Rogers!!  This picture went on her birthday cake the following month along with "Beat Tennesse"!  We only raise Gamecock fans around here!"

Kelly Johnson.jpg


We've got a lot of great submissions so keep them coming! Feel free to send in your photos (any sport/season, either of you or taken by you!) with your name to GamecockAthletics@gmail.com! A lot of the best photos include some Gamecock gear and 'showing your spurs'! We'd love to share with the rest of Gamecock Nation!


You can see the entire Fan Photo of the Day series on our Facebook page!


_1AS4072.JPGOne way to tell that kickoff for football season is near?

"Carolina Calls" with Steve Spurrier returns with its first edition this Thursday, August 18th, from 7:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Wild Wing Cafe in the Vista.

Come to Wild Wing to listen in person or tune in on the Gamecocks flagship station, 107.5 FM The Game, online at GamecocksOnline.com All-Access, or any of our Coaches Shows radio affiliates listed here.



The Daily Round-Up returns as Carolina students return to campus and our fall sports have cranked up pre-season practice! Here's your one-stop-shop for the day's buzz about the Gamecocks:
 


GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB

Football: South Carolina ready to live up to the hype (ESPN SEC Blog)

Football: Practice report: Steve Spurrier proud of USC academic success (The Daily Gamecock)

Football: 10 things we know right now (GamecockCentral.com)

Football: Position rankings: Lattimore rises to best RB (Sporting News)

Baseball: Gamecocks armed and ready (GoGamecocks.com)

Baseball: MLB Draft Wrapup (GamecockCentral.com)



GAMECOCKS IN THE PROS

Bradley 'excited' to join Red Sox (Boston Globe)



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS

Volleyball. 16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day Eight, Cara Howley

Softball. Gamecock Softball Adds Two to 2012 Roster

Baseball. Several Drafted Gamecocks To Return To South Carolina

Football. Gamecocks Work Out Monday Night

Women's Soccer. Kayla Grimsley Named To Hermann Trophy Watch List

Spurrier Vineyards 'Gamecock Garnet' Wine Now Available



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET

Very cool to see South Carolina featured front and center! More info here

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Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!




SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

Info on Gamecock Fan Activities in Charlotte for ECU Game Weekend

Alshon Jeffery on SI Cover, Jeffery & Lattimore Featured in Sporting News

What You Need to Know about Student-Athlete Autographs

ESPN DirecTV Mobile Studio Visits the Gamecocks in Columbia

Spurs Up Top Moments 2010-11: #1 Back to Back National Championships for Baseball
(Catch up on the rest of the Top Moments countdown here as well!)



VIDEO OF THE DAY

Check out videos from today's Baseball press conference. Several Gamecock players including All-Americans Michael Roth and Matt Price elected to return to school rather than sign professional contracts. Seven incoming Gamecocks also elected to come to South Carolina rather than enter professional baseball.



ROOSTER CROWS

Three of our four fall team sports are ranked in their respective preseason Top 25 polls. 2010 SEC Eastern Division Champions Football is ranked anywhere from #7 to #12 in various polls. Women's Soccer is ranked #21, extending a streak of 26 consecutive weeks ranked dating back to Sept. 7, 2009. 2010 Conference USA Champions Men's Soccer is ranked #15 entering the season and will face eight opponents either ranked in the Top 25 or receiving votes.



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

SSG C. Todd Weston sent in today's photo and it's pretty darn awesome. He says:

"Here is a photo of me prior to rolling out on a mission.  No matter when we roll, or where we're going.....it's always SPURS UP!!!"

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We've got a lot of great submissions so keep them coming! Feel free to send in your photos (any sport/season, either of you or taken by you!) with your name to GamecockAthletics@gmail.com! A lot of the best photos include some Gamecock gear and 'showing your spurs'! We'd love to share with the rest of Gamecock Nation!


You can see the entire Fan Photo of the Day series on our Facebook page!


 

As the season gets closer (just 18 days away!!) the national buzz and publicity for the Gamecocks continues to amplify.

This week, Alshon Jeffery and Marcus Lattimore are both featured in popular magazines.

Alshon is on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated (Aug. 22nd edition) declaring this the "Best Gamecocks Team Ever". He is one of five players to be featured, with each student-athlete rotating as the central focus for their regional issue.

SI Cover Alshon Jeffery.JPG

This week's Sporting News, a College Football Preview (Aug. 15th edition), features profiles on both Alshon and Marcus. They shared some details about themselves most fans wouldn't know, such as their dream dates, talents they'd like to have, personal mottos, favorite meals, etc.

Sporting News Jeffery Lattimore.jpg In the Sporting News section previewing the entire SEC, South Carolina was also prominent. They tabbed Alshon as the "most thrilling" player in the conference as well as the highest projected NFL draft pick out of the SEC. They predicted Marcus as their Player of the Year and picked the Gamecocks to win the Eastern Division again.

Can't wait to see these two in action again on the field! 18 days...

-Brittany


2011 South Carolina Football season tickets, three-game mini plans, and single game tickets for Navy and ECU are on sale now. Click here

 

Spurs Up Daily Round-Up: 8/15 We're baaaaack!!

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After taking a little vacation over the summer, The Spurs Up Daily Round-Up returns today as Carolina students return to campus and our fall sports have have cranked up pre-season practice! Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks!
 


GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB

Men's Soccer: Gamecocks UNITED (The State) - two former South Carolina stars have teamed up in an unlikely pairing that has helped D.C. United get into the MLS playoff race.

'Best fans in the nation' (GoGamecocks.com) - Over 3,000 fans came out for Colonial Life Fan Appreciation Day (photos)

Impact freshmen: Jadeveon Clowney leads talented group (Sporting News)

Gamecocks Host Fan Appreciation Day  (WLTX.com)



GAMECOCKS IN THE PROS

Bears' punter Spencer Lanning looks great  (Chicago Sun-Times)



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS

South Carolina Holds Successful Fan Appreciation Day

Football. Gamecocks Hold First Scrimmage Saturday

Baseball. Drew Meyer Returns To Serve As Undergraduate Student Assistant Coach

Volleyball. 16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day Seven, Kellie Schmidt

Volleyball. 16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day Six, Frankie Vain

Volleyball. 16 Gamecocks, 16 Days: Day Five, Lindsey Craft

Men's Soccer. Kevin Stam Checks In With GamecocksOnline.com

Swimming & Diving. Brennan Fourth In Three Meter Springboard At Diving Nationals



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET

Baseball DVD now available! Click here: http://bit.ly/2011BaseballDVD

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Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!



SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

What You Need to Know about Student-Athlete Autographs

ESPN DirecTV Mobile Studio Visits the Gamecocks in Columbia

Gamecock Men's Soccer Enters 2011 Season Ranked #15 in the Nation

Spurs Up Top Moments 2010-11: #1 Back to Back National Championships for Baseball
(Catch up on the rest of the Top Moments countdown here as well!)



VIDEO OF THE DAY

Coach Berson wore a mic to give an inside look at the start of men's soccer practice last week. The Gamecocks start off the season hosting an exhibition match this Saturday, August 20th, at 7:00 p.m. vs. Elon at Stone Stadium.






ROOSTER CROWS

Drew Meyer played for the Gamecocks from 2000-02 before a nine-year professional baseball career. The 2000 and 2002 teams both won the SEC Championship, while the 2002 squad with Meyer at shortstop was the national runner-up in the College World Series.  Meyer still holds single-season records at Carolina from 2002 for at bats (334), hits (120) and singles (86) as well as tied for the record in games played (75) with three other teammates from the 2002 squad.



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

Today's photo is from the Rebecca and Raymond Lowman from Clinton, SC, currently based at an air force base in Texas.  Says mom Rebecca, "we are die hard fans including our first baby boy, Walker Lowman, born July 3. (5 weeks premature)  We want to be sure we start him out the right way by showing his Gamecock Pride."

Rebecca Lowman.JPG


We've got a lot of great submissions so keep them coming! Feel free to send in your photos (any sport/season, either of you or taken by you!) with your name to GamecockAthletics@gmail.com! A lot of the best photos include some Gamecock gear and 'showing your spurs'! We'd love to share with the rest of Gamecock Nation!


You can see the entire Fan Photo of the Day series on our Facebook page!
 

fan appreciation day 2010.jpegThe use of student-athletes' names or images is a hot topic in sports right now, particularly when it comes to autographed items. Understandably, for true fans of a certain team or school, having autographed items or pictures from your favorite student-athletes is special and a signed ball might be a young fan's most prized possession. Unfortunately there are also people (who often aren't even fans of the team) who are looking to make money off of those student-athletes' signatures, selling autographed items for their own personal profit.

That's where it gets sticky. If a student-athlete's name or picture is used for commercial purposes, it can render them ineligible. Pursuant to NCAA bylaws 12.5.1 and 12.5.2.2, individuals and commercial entities may not use the name, picture or appearance of an NCAA student-athlete for promotional purposes. This includes the sale of merchandise featuring a student-athlete's name and likeness.

According to NCAA bylaw 12.5.1.1 member institutions and their recognized entities, member conferences and other non-institutional charitable, educational or nonprofit agencies may use a student-athlete's name, picture or appearance, but only under specific conditions and if certain procedures are followed.

NCAA bylaw 12.5.2.2 (Use of a Student-Athlete's Name or Picture Without Knowledge or Permission) states that if a student-athlete's name or picture appears on commercial items or is used to promote a commercial product sold by an individual or agency without the student-athlete's knowledge or permission, the student-athlete (or the institution acting on behalf of the student-athlete) is required to take steps to stop such an activity in order to retain his or her eligibility for intercollegiate athletics.

South Carolina Athletics, in particular the Office of Compliance Services, works very hard to protect our student-athletes' eligibility and our commitment to following NCAA guidelines. One step they take is immediately sending a cease-and-desist letter when they become aware of a violation of NCAA bylaws, such as an item autographed by a current student-athlete listed for sale online. The letter educates the recipient on the bylaws, requests the immediate removal of the item from sale and to desist from any future sale of items containing current University of South Carolina student-athlete names, pictures, and appearances.

Another step we take to try to protect the student-athletes is educating them and encouraging personalization. If they are going to sign an item, they are encouraged to address it to the person it's being signed for. It's more difficult for someone to sell an autographed football if the ball says, "To Brittany, Go Gamecocks!" along with the student-athlete's signature. Asking for items to be personalized will help make the athletics department and the student-athlete more comfortable that the item is not going to be sold.

Events like Sunday's Colonial Life Fan Appreciation Day are one way we try to help as many true fans as possible still have the opportunity to get autographs from many of their favorite student-athletes at the same time. This is why we as an institution only allow student-athletes to sign the official athletics team posters (provided to fans for free at the event). The event enables us to provide a controlled environment to allow true fans to collect autographs for their own personal enjoyment, but minimizes the chances that someone will try to profit inappropriately from the opportunity and jeopardize a student-athlete's eligibility.

I can speak for the athletics department and for our student-athletes when I say we all really appreciate the great fan support we get from Gamecock Nation, including helping support us in complying with NCAA rules. Your cooperation is appreciated!

Looking forward to seeing folks on Sunday at Colonial Life Arena!

More info on Colonial Life Fan Appreciation Day:

Come hang out with Cocky, the cheerleaders, and several fall sports student-athletes from football, women's soccer, men's soccer, volleyball, and cross country for this fall's annual Colonial Life Fan Appreciation Day. The free event is Sunday, Aug. 14, at Colonial Life Arena from 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. with football student-athletes scheduled to arrive at approximately 1:00 p.m. Parking is available for free in the Colonial Life Arena lots.

Student-athletes will be available to sign autographs. As a reminder, due to our commitment to NCAA compliance, student-athletes will only sign our official South Carolina Athletics team posters that are provided for free at the event. Please do not bring or ask student-athletes to sign other items. Your cooperation and support for the athletics department in complying with NCAA regulations is greatly appreciated.
 
 


With the 2011-12 season right around the corner, we wanted to take a look back at the past year. We've been counting down for almost three weeks and we're finally here... the NUMBER ONE Top Moment of 2010-11 from the Spurs Up perspective. It was a good year for the Gamecocks, so I hope you have enjoyed reminiscing with me. Looking forward to another great year!

Top Moments of 2010-11 #1.jpg

#1 - South Carolina Baseball Wins Second Consecutive National Championship

During Game 1 of the College World Series championship series vs. Florida, I posted on Twitter that I was running out of adjectives to describe the unbelievable moments and games that South Carolina Baseball came up with this season.
Every time the pressure was on the Gamecocks managed to find just a little more magic. As the team took hold of their second NCAA trophy, there was no doubt in my mind that it would go down as not just the Top Moment of 2010-11, but as one of the greatest moments in South Carolina Athletics history.

By the time the Gamecocks had captured the win in Game 2 and their second National Championship, there was really only one possible word left to describe this team: Wow.





Just check out a few of the superlatives from their run:

- NCAA-record 16 straight NCAA Tournament wins.


- First team to go totally undefeated in the NCAA Tournament since Miami in 2001.

- One loss in the last two years in the NCAA Tournament for a 21-1 overall record and two College World Series titles. 

- One of just six teams in NCAA history to win back-to-back championships.

- Finished 55-14 overall





Not to be lost in the fantastic performance of the team on the diamond is the tremendous support the team gets from the fans. Coach Tanner, our student-athletes, opposing coaches and players, TV analysts, everyone always comments on the Gamecock fans at Carolina Stadium and how well they represent Carolina on the road in Omaha.

When the team returned home they were welcomed by a huge crowd of Gamecock fans at Colonial Life Arena all ready to celebrate back-to-back titles. The following Friday, Gamecock fans packed the streets of downtown Columbia for a celebratory parade.




For a team that wasn't "supposed" to win... they found a way to "Win Anyway".

What a great year it has been for South Carolina Athletics. I hope you've enjoyed the countdown (you can check out the list below if you missed any!) and I hope to be here next year with an even better list of moments for 2011-12!


#2: LaKya Brookins Wins Second NCAA Championship in Record Time 

#3: The Gamecocks Take Down #1 Alabama

#4: Amanda Rutqvist Wins South Carolina's First-Ever SEC Swimming Championship

#5: Men's Soccer Wins C-USA Championship in OT

#6: Marcus Lattimore's Record-Breaking Game vs. Florida

#7: Sam Muldrow Sets Career Blocks Record

#8: Johnna Letchworth Named All-American with Nation-Leading Record

#9: Fans Welcome Home the SEC Eastern Division Champions

#10: Women's Golf Advances to NCAA Championship

#11: Women's Soccer Advances on PK's to SEC Tournament Championship

#12: Freshman Julie Sarratt Throws No-Hitter in Debut

#13: Cocky's 30th Birthday Party

#14: Women's Basketball Upsets LSU, 63-61, at Colonial Life Arena

#15: Alshon Jeffery's season-long 70-yard touchdown vs. Tennessee



With the 2011-12 season right around the corner, we wanted to take a look back at the past year. We're down to the last two moments in our countdown of the Top 15 Gamecock moments from 2010-11 across several sports from the Spurs Up perspective. It was a good year for the Gamecocks, so I hope you enjoy reminiscing with me!

Top Moments of 2010-11 #2.jpg

#2: LaKya Brookins Wins Second NCAA Championship with Record-Breaking 60-m Dash

LaKya Brookins ncaa champ cropped.jpegWhen I thought back over the past year to start thinking of ideas for this countdown, I knew senior sprinter LaKya Brookins would be very high on the list for winning her second National Championship in the 60-meter dash (her first was as a sophomore in 2009). National titles are pretty tough to top, you know? What I didn't fully comprehend at the time was how truly remarkable her year was when you look at it all together.

Back in mid-January, the Seneca, SC, native gave everyone a hint that she was headed for a special season after she posted an automatic NCAA qualifying time in the first meet. For those who may not be familiar with collegiate track & field, that means Brookins guaranteed herself a spot in the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships two months later with just one race.

But just because she was already qualified for NCAA's didn't mean Brookins was going to lay off, not even close. Brookins proceeded to post an automatic qualifying time in every single 60-meter race she ran all season, the only runner in that event to do so.

Another hint of what was to come was at the SEC Championships on February 27th. Brookins became the first back-to-back title winner in conference history. She blazed through the finish line with a time of 7.14, the third-fastest time in the world and top time in the NCAA at that point.

A few days before competition started at the NCAA Indoor Championships, in recognition of her stellar season so far, Brookins was named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Southeast Region Female Track Athlete of the Year. She is the first Gamecock to earn the award since Olympic gold medalist Natasha Hastings earned the honor in 2007.

On March 11th, day one of the NCAA Indoor Championships, Brookins threw down the gauntlet, cutting another hundredth of a second off her time and tying her own facility, school and meet records with a preliminary round winning time of 7.13.

The next day in the finals, Brookins would solidify her place in track & field history by crossing the finish line in a blistering 7.09 seconds, the fastest 60-m time in the world by a woman so far this year and a new facility, NCAA meet and school record. The time also tied a 10-year old collegiate record.

Re-live the moment with her:




Brookins followed up her amazing indoor season with more records during outstanding outdoor track & field season, in which she competed in the 100-m dash. On April 16th she ran the nation's fastest wind-legal time in the 100 at 11.10, an improvement on her personal best time and the second-fastest time ever run by a Gamecock. Brookins would go on to also be named the USTFCCCA Southeast Region Female Track Athlete of the Year for the outdoor season and finish sixth in the 100-m at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. She was also awarded the women's indoor track MVP and the Female Athlete of the Year by her peers at the annual Gamecock Gala.

Congratulations to LaKya on all her accomplishments and a big thank you to her for being such a great Gamecock!


Stay caught up on the Top Moments countdown. Only two more moments to go!

#3: The Gamecocks Take Down #1 Alabama

#4: Amanda Rutqvist Wins South Carolina's First-Ever SEC Swimming Championship

#5: Men's Soccer Wins C-USA Championship in OT

#6: Marcus Lattimore's Record-Breaking Game vs. Florida

#7: Sam Muldrow Sets Career Blocks Record

#8: Johnna Letchworth Named All-American with Nation-Leading Record

#9: Fans Welcome Home the SEC Eastern Division Champions

#10: Women's Golf Advances to NCAA Championship

#11: Women's Soccer Advances on PK's to SEC Tournament Championship

#12: Freshman Julie Sarratt Throws No-Hitter in Debut

#13: Cocky's 30th Birthday Party

#14: Women's Basketball Upsets LSU, 63-61, at Colonial Life Arena

#15: Alshon Jeffery's season-long 70-yard touchdown vs. Tennessee


With the 2011-12 season right around the corner, we wanted to take a look back at the past year. We're down to the last few moments in our countdown of the Top 15 Gamecock moments from 2010-11 across several sports from the Spurs Up perspective. It was a good year for the Gamecocks, so I hope you enjoy reminiscing with me!

Top Moments of 2010-11 #3.jpg

#3 The Gamecocks Take Down #1 Alabama

October 9th, 2010. Columbia, South Carolina. History was made.

In one of the biggest upsets in South Carolina Football history, the Gamecocks beat defending National Champion and No. 1-ranked Alabama, 35-21, with a near-perfect game.

alabama game alshon jeffery.jpegAlshon Jeffery hauls in one of two touchdown catches in the game. (AP photo, Brett Flashnick)


"I think that this game was meant to be," said Steve Spurrier with a smile after the game.

It was the first-ever win over a #1 team for the Gamecock Football program and it happened in front of an ecstatic home crowd at Williams-Brice Stadium. This unforgettable day locked up a spot in our Top Moments of 2010-11 countdown at #3.

The buzz was in the air all week leading up to the game... could the Gamecocks take down another #1? Students prepared their best signs for ESPN College GameDay on the Horseshoe while fans frantically searched for tickets for the sold-out game.

Two days before the game I set the scene here on Spurs Up:

"The past year has been one full of huge moments and "firsts" for South Carolina Athletics... why not a few more? The No. 1 college football team in the country, Alabama, full of history and tradition... SEC Game of the Week on CBS at 3:30pm... site of ESPN College GameDay on the Horseshoe, the most historic area of campus... a sold out crowd filling Williams-Brice Stadium to the brim with Garnet, jumping with the sounds of 2001 and Sandstorm... you can just feel it in your bones can't you?? The moment couldn't be any better for a Gamecocks W. Beating No. 1's... It's The Garnet Way."

And beat #1 they did...




In addition to the team's near-perfect play on the field, Gamecock Nation was unmatched that Saturday. Rally towels constantly waving and the electricity of Sandstorm better than I had ever seen it. It was the perfect storm for a magical win and an amazing game day experience.






Stay caught up on the Top Moments countdown. Only two more moments to go!

#4: Amanda Rutqvist Wins South Carolina's First-Ever SEC Swimming Championship

#5: Men's Soccer Wins C-USA Championship in OT

#6: Marcus Lattimore's Record-Breaking Game vs. Florida

#7: Sam Muldrow Sets Career Blocks Record

#8: Johnna Letchworth Named All-American with Nation-Leading Record

#9: Fans Welcome Home the SEC Eastern Division Champions

#10: Women's Golf Advances to NCAA Championship

#11: Women's Soccer Advances on PK's to SEC Tournament Championship

#12: Freshman Julie Sarratt Throws No-Hitter in Debut

#13: Cocky's 30th Birthday Party

#14: Women's Basketball Upsets LSU, 63-61, at Colonial Life Arena

#15: Alshon Jeffery's season-long 70-yard touchdown vs. Tennessee

IMG_3686.JPGWith college football season just around the corner the ESPN DirecTV Mobile Studio has hit the road, making its way around the country visiting pre-season camps for ESPN's college football coverage and studio shows. Wednesday morning the ESPN crew made their way to Columbia to get a look at the Gamecocks at practice and talk with the Head Ball Coach himself, Steve Spurrier, on the air.

There is a lot of buzz around South Carolina's potential for a great season behind team leaders such as Marcus Lattimore and Alshon Jeffery. For the first time since joining the conference in 1992, the Gamecocks have been picked as the favorite to win the SEC Eastern Division and are ranked #12 in the USA TODAY/Coaches Poll pre-season rankings. The excitement has led to an even higher level of media interest in the program, especially from national outlets.

ESPN Senior Assignment Editor Jonathan Whyley, who is the producer in the Mobile Studio, explained that decisions on where the bus will travel are based primarily on what the top college football storylines are and what teams are doing well, but also the complicated travel logistics involved.

"There's a lot of travel so we have to make sure that the drive time matches up with our show taping times as well as the school's schedule. There's a lot of planning that goes into it," said Whyley. "Luckily having the bus as a tool gives us a lot of freedom to work with those variables."

The bus is very well-traveled, having gone all over the country to visit teams and cover games. The ESPN talent rotates based on schedules. Visiting the Gamecocks were analysts Jesse Palmer and Matt Millen and Joe Schad, ESPN's national college football reporter. After visiting the Seminoles in Tallahassee Tuesday and hanging out with the Gamecocks Wednesday, the crew packed up the bus again and hit the road this afternoon to head to Chapel Hill and catch up with the Tar Heels.

"We spend a lot of our time in the Southeast just because the SEC has been so dominant the past five or six years," said Whyley.

Now in its third year of operation, the bus truly fits its name as a studio on wheels, complete with a satellite on the top that allows the crew to go live at any time and connect with the ESPN team back at the studio in Bristol, Connecticut. They also tape segments for all of their studio shows, including College Football Live and College GameDay, air post-game commentary, and more.

IMG_3670.JPG

While I was talking to the crew about their operations, they were in close communication with Bristol in preparation for Jesse Palmer (above) to go live on the air. Palmer did a live hit for SportsCenter highlighting what he observed at the morning practice, including discussion of Stephen Garcia, Marcus Lattimore, Alshon Jeffery, and incoming freshman Jadeveon Clowney, while footage from practice rolled on viewers' television screens. Palmer closed with a statement that will likely make Gamecock fans very happy:

"There are a lot of NFL draft picks on the field here at South Carolina; it's impressive to watch."

After Palmer's segment the crew left the bus to head back out to the practice fields for post-practice media availability with the student-athletes. Schad taped a one-on-one interview with Marcus Lattimore on the field for use on-air.

IMG_3682.JPGWhyley explained that going on the road with the Mobile Studio is a great opportunity for ESPN's reporters and analysts to see practice first-hand while preparing to cover teams throughout the season.

"It helps them on the air. They know what they're talking about," said Whyley. "It's just always good for them to come out and see practice and get a few moments with Coach (Spurrier) and the players."

Later in the afternoon Coach Spurrier boarded the bus to take his turn in the Mobile Studio shooting segments for College Football Live and ESPNU as well as going live on the air with SportsCenter a little after 2:00 p.m. You can watch his SportsCenter segment below:



Thanks to the ESPN DirecTV Mobile Studio team for hanging out with us in Columbia today and hopefully we'll see them back again for some big games this season!

24 days til kickoff...

-Brittany

*Season tickets and three-game mini plans are still available for 2011 South Carolina Football. Click here to order online.*


With the 2011-12 season right around the corner, we wanted to take a look back at the past year. We're down to the last few moments in our countdown of the Top 15 Gamecock moments from 2010-11 across several sports from the Spurs Up perspective. It was a good year for the Gamecocks, so I hope you enjoy reminiscing with me!

Top Moments of 2010-11 #4.jpg

#4 - Amanda Rutqvist Wins South Carolina's First-Ever SEC Swimming Championship

There have been a lot of "firsts" for South Carolina in the past year, and first championships are high on the list! On February 19th, 2011, freshman Amanda Rutqvist delivered the Gamecocks' first SEC swimming championship in program history with her victory in the 200-yard Breaststroke event at the SEC Championships in Gainesville, Florida, and took her place at #4 on our Top Moments countdown. 

Rutqvist led the field the entire race and broke a 10-year-old SEC record with her time of 2:08.56. She beat the second-place finisher by almost two full seconds. The women's squad would go on to finish sixth, their best SEC finish since 2006.




Rutqvist's historic win came a week after another big success as Taryn Zack won her second SEC Championship in 1-meter diving. Zack's winning score of 336.55 was also a new SEC record.

The South Carolina Swimming & Diving teams look to continue their progress under head coach McGee Moody in the 2011-12 season after strong performances in national competitions this summer, including USA Swimming Nationals and the UltraSwim event in Charlotte.



Stay caught up on the Top Moments countdown. I'll post the next moment every weekday and Saturday until we get to #1!

#5: Men's Soccer Wins C-USA Championship in OT

#6: Marcus Lattimore's Record-Breaking Game vs. Florida

#7: Sam Muldrow Sets Career Blocks Record

#8: Johnna Letchworth Named All-American with Nation-Leading Record

#9: Fans Welcome Home the SEC Eastern Division Champions

#10: Women's Golf Advances to NCAA Championship

#11: Women's Soccer Advances on PK's to SEC Tournament Championship

#12: Freshman Julie Sarratt Throws No-Hitter in Debut

#13: Cocky's 30th Birthday Party

#14: Women's Basketball Upsets LSU, 63-61, at Colonial Life Arena

#15: Alshon Jeffery's season-long 70-yard touchdown vs. Tennessee

Bradlee Baladez - NCAA 2010.jpgFollowing up last year's Conference USA championship (#5 on our Top 15 Moments of 2010-11 Countdown!), South Carolina Men's Soccer will enter the 2011 season ranked among the best in the country. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) released their pre-season rankings Tuesday with the Gamecocks at #15.

South Carolina faces a tough schedule, with four games this season against opponents also ranked in the pre-season Top 25: SMU, Brown, Dartmouth, and North Carolina. The Gamecocks are also taking on four more teams just outside the rankings but currently receiving votes: Charlotte, Wake Forest, Tulsa, and UCF. Fortunately, six of those eight matches are at home in Stone Stadium, so the Gamecocks will have their great home crowd support when taking on other top teams.

Pre-season practice kicks off Wednesday for the Gamecocks! Stay tuned for more on the team from GamecocksOnline.com.


Season tickets for every Men's Soccer home game are just $25 for adults and $10 for youth. Click here for info.


NSCAA National Rankings

NCAA Rankings  National  Men
Division I  Pre-Season Poll  - August 09, 2011 


  Rank  

School

  Prev.  

  W-L-T  

1

Louisville 

 2 

   20 -  1 -  3  

2

Akron 

 1 

   22 -  1 -  2  

3

North Carolina 

 3 

   16 -  4 -  4  

4

Maryland 

 6 

   19 -  3 -  1  

5

SMU 

 8 

   16 -  2 -  2  

6

UCLA 

 7 

   16 -  5 -  1  

7

California 

 5 

   14 -  2 -  4  

8

Connecticut 

 13 

   12 -  2 -  6  

9

Michigan 

 4 

   17 -  5 -  3  

10

Creighton 

 14 

   13 -  5 -  2  

11

Brown 

 10 

   12 -  4 -  4  

12

Notre Dame 

 21 

   10 -  6 -  4  

13

William & Mary 

 9 

   15 -  4 -  3  

14

UC Santa Barbara 

 19 

   14 -  5 -  3  

15

Ohio State 

 17 

   11 -  6 -  3  

15

South Carolina 

 12 

   13 -  7 -  2  

17

Indiana 

 20 

   10 -  8 -  2  

18

Penn State 

 18 

   14 -  8 -  1  

19

Michigan State 

 15 

   13 -  7 -  2  

20

Dartmouth 

 16 

   12 -  7 -  1  

21

Butler 

 11 

   16 -  1 -  3  

22

Virginia 

 RV 

   11 -  6 -  3  

23

Duke 

 RV 

   10 -  6 -  4  

24

UC Irvine 

 22 

   14 -  3 -  3  

25

Boston College 

 RV 

   10 -  5 -  5  

 

2010 Final record and ranking shown

 

Also receiving votes: Central Florida, Princeton, West Virginia, Wake Forest, Charlotte, San Diego, Monmouth, Loyola Marymount, Providence, Florida Gulf Coast, Old Dominion, UMBC, Tulsa, Georgetown

With the 2011-12 season right around the corner, we wanted to take a look back at the past year. We're down to the last few moments in our countdown of the Top 15 Gamecock moments from 2010-11 across several sports from the Spurs Up perspective. It was a good year for the Gamecocks, so I hope you enjoy reminiscing with me!

Top Moments of 2010-11 #5.jpg

#5: Men's Soccer Wins C-USA Tournament Championship in OT

After two halves of regulation time and one overtime period, the Gamecocks found themselves in a 0-0 deadlock with Tulsa in the Conference USA Tournament Championship game. With just over three minutes remaining in the second overtime period, a Tulsa hand ball would give the Gamecocks a penalty kick and the chance to win the game. Midfielder Stephen Morrissey knocked home the PK to incite a celebration on the field as South Carolina captured the 2010 Conference USA Championship and the #5 Top Moment on our countdown.

"It's incredible," Morrissey said after the game. "We've been dreaming about this since the start of the season. The first goal was to win the conference championship, and the second was to get to the NCAA tournament. Today, both just happened."




The championship was the second in just two days for South Carolina. This #5 Top Moment was November 14th, 2010, just one day after the #6 Top Moment, Marcus Lattimore's phenomenal play in the football game at Florida that brought home Gamecock Football's first-ever SEC Eastern Division Championship.

The Gamecocks earned C-USA's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, a #7-seed and a first round bye. They would go on to beat Duke (with an OT golden goal from Bradlee Baladez which rivaled for inclusion in our Top Moments!) to advance to the Round of 16 for the first time since 1998.


Season tickets for 2011 Men's Soccer are available for just $25 each for adults and $10 each for youth. Click here.



Stay caught up on the Top Moments countdown. I'll post the next moment every weekday and Saturday until we get to #1!

#6: Marcus Lattimore's Record-Breaking Game vs. Florida

#7: Sam Muldrow Sets Career Blocks Record

#8: Johnna Letchworth Named All-American with Nation-Leading Record

#9: Fans Welcome Home the SEC Eastern Division Champions

#10: Women's Golf Advances to NCAA Championship

#11: Women's Soccer Advances on PK's to SEC Tournament Championship

#12: Freshman Julie Sarratt Throws No-Hitter in Debut

#13: Cocky's 30th Birthday Party

#14: Women's Basketball Upsets LSU, 63-61, at Colonial Life Arena

#15: Alshon Jeffery's season-long 70-yard touchdown vs. Tennessee



Busy Football Media Day at Williams-Brice

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As preseason camp continues, Gamecock Football hosted their annual Media Day Sunday. With the buzz around the Gamecocks going into the 2011 season, the media attention continues to grow. Both national writers and our local media gathered at Williams-Brice Stadium for the event.

The day started off with team photos - both as position groups and individuals. Players then broke into offensive and defensive groups to shoot video headshots (the clips you see on the videoboard during player introductions on gameday with players saying their name, position, class, and hometown).

The student-athletes who were requested the most by media were grouped together as offense and defense to do one big press conference each. Dozens of other student-athletes and coaches were available for one-on-one interviews.

You can check out quotes and videos from the press conferences and interviews here on GamecocksOnline.com.

IMG_3663.JPG
Coach Spurrier with this year's seniors

IMG_3667.JPG
Offensive players press conference


The Gamecocks return to the Proving Grounds practice fields at 7:30 p.m. Sunday evening for their first practice in pads. Practice is open to the public.

 

With the 2011-12 season right around the corner, we wanted to take a look back at the past year. Over the next few weeks I'll be counting down the Top 15 Gamecock moments from 2010-11 across several sports from the Spurs Up perspective. It was a good year for the Gamecocks, so I hope you enjoy reminiscing with me!

Top Moments of 2010-11 #6.jpg

#6 - Marcus Lattimore's Record-Breaking Game vs. Florida

florida post-game.jpegThen-freshman Marcus Lattimore put on a show in several games last season, but perhaps none bigger than on November 13, 2010, down in the Swamp. Lattimore lit up the Gators on the ground with a school-record 40 carries for 212 yards and three touchdowns. His performance helped lead the Gamecocks to a dominating 36-14 victory, their first-ever win over Florida in Gainesville, and landed at #6 on our countdown. Combined with his 31 yards receiving, Lattimore single-handedly outgained and outscored the Gators (226 yards, 14 points). The win clinched South Carolina's first SEC Eastern Division Championship in program history and sparked quite a celebration back in Columbia (including our #9 Top Moment!)




As Lattimore will be the first to tell you, big credit to the offensive line for their great performance that night as well. No turnovers, great defense, clutch catches by Alshon Jeffery, it all lined up for the big win.

Accolades & broken records from Lattimore's debut season:

- unanimous National Freshman of the Year
- unanimous SEC Freshman of the Year
- First-Team All-SEC
- two-time SEC Offensive Player of the Week (Georgia, Florida)
- four-time SEC Freshman of the Week (Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Troy)
- His 1,197 rushing yards shattered a 28-year-old freshman record (Thomas Dendy, 848 yards)
- Third-best single-season rushing total in program history (behind only Heisman-winner George Rogers)
- Became all-time single-season touchdowns leader in SC history (19)
- First Gamecock to ever have three games with 180+ rushing yards in a single season


Photo credit: (AP Photo/John Raoux)


Stay caught up on the Top Moments countdown. I'll post the next moment every weekday and Saturday until we get to #1!

#7: Sam Muldrow Sets Career Blocks Record

#8: Johnna Letchworth Named All-American with Nation-Leading Record

#9: Fans Welcome Home the SEC Eastern Division Champions

#10: Women's Golf Advances to NCAA Championship

#11: Women's Soccer Advances on PK's to SEC Tournament Championship

#12: Freshman Julie Sarratt Throws No-Hitter in Debut

#13: Cocky's 30th Birthday Party

#14: Women's Basketball Upsets LSU, 63-61, at Colonial Life Arena

#15: Alshon Jeffery's season-long 70-yard touchdown vs. Tennessee

With the 2011-12 season right around the corner, we wanted to take a look back at the past year. Over the next few weeks I'll be counting down the Top 15 Gamecock moments from 2010-11 across several sports from the Spurs Up perspective. It was a good year for the Gamecocks, so I hope you enjoy reminiscing with me!

Top Moments of 2010-11 #7.jpg

#7 - Sam Muldrow Sets the Career Blocks Record


Thumbnail image for Sam Muldrow AP.jpeg"Big Sam" Muldrow was a beast on defense this year for the Gamecocks, including becoming the program's first-ever SEC Defensive Player of the Year award winner. Muldrow was also named to the league's All-Defensive Team and to the Lefty Driesell Defensive All-America team. His knack for rejecting shots led to him breaking the career blocks record at Carolina and to the #7 spot on our Top Moments of 2010-11 countdown. 

All season we watched intently as Muldrow inched closer to breaking the all-time career blocks record held by Brandon Wallace (249). He surpassed the mark with his 250th block on February 12th, 2011, against Georgia with his third of four blocks in the game, a rejection of a Chris Barnes lay-up with 8:17 to play. Muldrow collected a conference-leading 103 total blocks in his senior season to bring the new career record total to 274 blocks. Muldrow was honored for breaking the record at mid-court before the February 22nd game against Ole Miss.



One of Muldrow's stand-out games this season was in an upset win in overtime over #22 Vanderbilt, 83-75. Muldrow posted 16 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocks for his first career triple-double and only the second triple-double in program history.

Senior Night Video for Sam Muldrow and Johndre Jefferson:
  




Photo credit: Associated Press


Stay caught up on the Top Moments countdown. I'll post the next moment every weekday and Saturday until we get to #1!

#8: Johnna Letchworth Named All-American with Nation-Leading Record

#9: Fans Welcome Home the SEC Eastern Division Champions

#10: Women's Golf Advances to NCAA Championship

#11: Women's Soccer Advances on PK's to SEC Tournament Championship

#12: Freshman Julie Sarratt Throws No-Hitter in Debut

#13: Cocky's 30th Birthday Party

#14:
Women's Basketball Upsets LSU, 63-61, at Colonial Life Arena

#15: Alshon Jeffery's season-long 70-yard touchdown vs. Tennessee
 
With the 2011-12 season right around the corner, we wanted to take a look back at the past year. Over the next few weeks I'll be counting down the Top 15 Gamecock moments from 2010-11 across several sports from the Spurs Up perspective. It was a good year for the Gamecocks, so I hope you enjoy reminiscing with me!

Top Moments of 2010-11 #8.jpg#8 - Freshman Johnna Letchworth Named an All-American with Nation-Leading 11-1-1 Record

Johnna Letchworth3.jpegWe've had several freshman this year who made a huge impact on their teams (Marcus Lattimore, Bruce Ellington, Amanda Rutqvist, and Julie Sarratt to name just a few), so it's not a huge surprise that a freshman delivered our #8 Top Moment of 2010-11. Freshman Johnna Letchworth was one of 16 riders in the country (four per each of the four events) named to the Varsity Equestrian All-America team. Letchworth led the nation in the Horsemanship event with an 11-1-1 regular season record and a 4-1 post-season record for the best overall Horsemanship record in the nation, 15-2-1.

Three other Gamecocks, Carolyn Curcio, Maggie Fortune, and Kelsey Hart, received Honorable Mention recognition on the All-America team. The South Carolina Equestrian team has had a lot of great moments over the years, not the least of which are two Varsity Equestrian National Championships in 2005 and 2007.

With Letchworth and a great group of riders returning, the Equestrian team will be looking to stay on top in 2011-12. The season starts off with two home competitions - vs. Fresno State on Friday, September 23rd at 2:00 p.m. and vs. TCU on Friday, September 30th at 2:00 p.m. All home Equestrian competitions are held at One Wood Farm in Blythewood; admission is free so come on out!

Photo by Juan Blas


Stay caught up on the Top Moments countdown. I'll post the next moment every weekday and Saturday until we get to #1!

#9: Fans Welcomes Home the SEC Eastern Division Championship

#10: Women's Golf Advances to NCAA Championship

#11: Women's Soccer Advances on PK's to SEC Tournament Championship

#12: Freshman Julie Sarratt Throws No-Hitter in Debut

#13: Cocky's 30th Birthday Party

#14:
Women's Basketball Upsets LSU, 63-61, at Colonial Life Arena

#15: Alshon Jeffery's season-long 70-yard touchdown vs. Tennessee



With the 2011-12 season right around the corner, we wanted to take a look back at the past year. Over the next few weeks I'll be counting down the Top 15 Gamecock moments from 2010-11 across several sports from the Spurs Up perspective. It was a good year for the Gamecocks, so I hope you enjoy reminiscing with me!

Top Moments of 2010-11 #9.jpg

#9: Fans Welcome Home the SEC Eastern Division Champions

With just a few hours notice and the team not scheduled to arrive until 2:00 a.m., several thousand ecstatic Gamecock fans made their way to Williams-Brice Stadium in the cold, early morning hours to welcome home the newly crowned SEC Eastern Division Champions. An overjoyed Gamecock Nation celebrated the team's first ever SEC division title and first ever win over Florida in Gainesville, making this moment our #9 Top Moment of 2010-11. They roared from their seats in the South End Zone as the team got off the buses and made their way on to the field to greet the fans. Several players and Coach Spurrier spoke to the crowd.




Click here to check out the Photo Gallery

It was very cool to see such a great group of fans gather on short notice to celebrate and welcome the team home. 

Marcus Lattimore perhaps said it best, "it's amazing. It's two o'clock in the morning and they're still out here. I love Gamecock Nation. That's why I came here. Born and raised in South Carolina, I love the fans."




Stay caught up on the Top Moments countdown. I'll post the next moment every weekday and Saturday until we get to #1!

#10: Women's Golf Advances to NCAA Championship

#11: Women's Soccer Advances on PK's to SEC Tournament Championship

#12: Freshman Julie Sarratt Throws No-Hitter in Debut

#13: Cocky's 30th Birthday Party

#14:
Women's Basketball Upsets LSU, 63-61, at Colonial Life Arena

#15: Alshon Jeffery's season-long 70-yard touchdown vs. Tennessee

With the 2011-12 season right around the corner, we wanted to take a look back at the past year. Over the next few weeks I'll be counting down the Top 15 Gamecock moments from 2010-11 across several sports from the Spurs Up perspective. It was a good year for the Gamecocks, so I hope you enjoy reminiscing with me!

Top Moments of 2010-11 #10.jpg

#10 - Women's Golf Advances to NCAA Championship Tournament After Fantastic NCAA Regional Performance


While Women's Golf Head Coach Kalen Anderson's squad had some veteran experience this season from last year's NCAA East Regional Championship win in Katie Burnett and Amanda Strang, it was the performance of three freshmen in this year's Regional that propelled the Gamecocks on to the Championship round. Katie Rose Higgins, Suzie Lee, and Samantha Swinehart all put up solid scores to help the Gamecocks to a sixth-place finish in the West Regional. The surprise finish qualified them to advance to the Championship for the second consecutive year and to the Spurs Up #10 Top Moment of 2010-11. It was the third trip to the Championship round in Anderson's four seasons as head coach.

Women's Golf team in Seattle.jpegThe team in Seattle braving the cold and rain

In May 2011 the team headed to Seattle for the NCAA West Regional. They battled cold, windy and rainy conditions throughout the Regional but managed to tough it out and come up with clutch shots when they needed them most. All three freshmen in the lineup saw their score count all three days of the Regional.


"It bodes great for the future," said Anderson back in May. "They really stepped up, I'm so proud of our freshmen. They're a big reason we're going to the NCAA Championship. ... Katie Rose played her steadiest golf in the Regional Championship, which was really key to our success. Sam and Suzie had a top-15 finish in the Regional Championship, that's big time golf right at the most important time of the season. They're going to gain a lot of confidence from that."

I'm looking forward to another great year from Women's Golf next season as this young team continues to develop and build on their success! 

-Brittany


Stay caught on the Top Moments countdown. I'll post the next moment every weekday and Saturday until we get to #1!

#11: Women's Soccer Advances on PK's to SEC Tournament Championship

#12: Freshman Julie Sarratt Throws No-Hitter in Debut

#13: Cocky's 30th Birthday Party

#14:
Women's Basketball Upsets LSU, 63-61, at Colonial Life Arena

#15: Alshon Jeffery's season-long 70-yard touchdown vs. Tennessee

With the 2011-12 season right around the corner, we wanted to take a look back at the past year. Over the next few weeks I'll be counting down the Top 15 Gamecock moments from 2010-11 across several sports from the Spurs Up perspective. It was a good year for the Gamecocks, so I hope you enjoy reminiscing with me!

Top Moments of 2010-11 #11.jpg

#11: Women's Soccer beats LSU in PK's to advance to the SEC Tournament Championship Game for second consecutive year


The 2010 SEC Tournament turned out to be quite dramatic for the South Carolina Women's Soccer Team and the semifinal game turned into our #11 Top Moment of 2010-11. After beating Kentucky in penalty kicks in the quarterfinals, the Gamecocks once again found themselves tied 1-1 after 110 minutes of play heading to a penalty kick shootout vs. LSU to decide who would advance to the title game. It was a re-match of the 2009 SEC Tournament Championship Game which South Carolina won against LSU (also after PK's!) to deliver the first SEC title in program history.

The same five players as the night before vs. Kentucky lined up to take the PK's. Brittiny Rhoades, Kortney Rhoades and Kelsey Barr put the Gamecocks in position to win it at 3-3 after senior goalie Mollie Patton was able to save an LSU penalty kick for the second straight night. After the final Tiger sailed her shot high, Kayla Grimsley scored the winning kick again to send Carolina into the title match for the second straight year.

Mollie Patton - 2010 SEC Tournament semifinal.jpeg
Mollie Patton saves an LSU penalty kick shot

Women's Soccer begins their 2011 season on the road on August 19th at ECU. Their first home game is September 2nd at 7:00 p.m. vs. Northeastern. Be a part of our great crowds at Stone Stadium this season!



Stay caught on the Top Moments countdown. I'll post the next moment every weekday and Saturday until we get to #1!

#12: Freshman Julie Sarratt Throws No-Hitter in Debut

#13: Cocky's 30th Birthday Party

#14:
Women's Basketball Upsets LSU, 63-61, at Colonial Life Arena

#15: Alshon Jeffery's season-long 70-yard touchdown vs. Tennessee

"Once a Gamecock, always a Gamecock."

Darrin Horn's words rang true throughout several conversations last week with former players. Members of the 2009 SEC Eastern Division Championship team Dominique Archie, Devan Downey, Zam Fredrick, and Brandis Raley-Ross were all on hand for "Champions Day" at a Men's Basketball summer camp last week.

The campers saw highlight reels from each player's time at Carolina before they were introduced, building their excitement even more over some of the players' favorite memories - the last-minute Zam Fredrick lay-up in 2009 to beat #24 Florida at home, the huge upset win over #1 Kentucky in 2010, etc.

"The feeling after the game, seeing the crowd...to be a big part of the reason why it happened, I had never had a feeling like that before," said Fredrick, describing his feelings after beating Florida. "Just the way the crowd responded and my teammates rejoicing, I don't think I'll ever get that feeling again."

The players enjoyed the opportunity to come back and be a part of the program they love and be in the college environment again.

"Even though I'm a professional now and getting paid, there's nothing like college," said Downey. "It's just a whole different feeling and environment. We could be here all day talking about memories, I just miss it."

Archie added, "I miss the family setting and the fans, being around these guys
every day and having that bond. I wanted to be back in the environment. I miss it. When the kids see you again and you get that feeling again it's reassuring that someone still cares that you're doing well."
MBB Where are they now - 2009 players.jpg
While they miss their time playing as Gamecocks, all four of these alums have continued their playing careers professionally [see inset], some with NBA time and now overseas. For his part, Coach Horn wants to be sure all his former players are involved with the program and welcomed with open arms.

"This is what we want our program to be all about," said Coach Horn. "Once a Gamecock, always a Gamecock. To have guys back, especially guys who were part of a Championship team, is fun. It's like family coming home. It's neat to see the reaction from the campers and fans who remembered them. One of the things we want to do with our program is make sure these guys aren't forgotten."

One of the unique things about playing for a college team is that you'll always have a bond with your teammates and lifelong friends, whether you played at the same time or not. Once you have worn the Carolina name on your jersey, it's like being a part of a special "club". All of the four players we talked to are in touch with other former players and the current Gamecock team.

"I'm in touch with all these guys, even players farther back like Brandon Wallace, Tre Kelley, Carlos Powell, Renaldo Balkman," said Fredrick. "We may not talk every day but it's a mutual respect for each other. We have a bond."

Raley-Ross stays in touch especially with his fellow Charlotteans currently playing for the Gamecocks - Lakeem Jackson, Malik Cooke, and Anthony Gill are all also from the Queen City. Raley-Ross said he played against Cooke in high school and is also close with Brian Richardson. The former players believe the new guys will make their mark on the South Carolina Basketball program as they once did.

"It's all about timing," said Downey. "When Coach Horn first got here he had this group of guys who had been here, and now we've moved on and it's all about re-building, but I definitely think the program is going in the right direction."

Fredrick believes the youth of the program will find their footing and make progress as they develop their team chemistry.

"Last year we had a lot of young guys, so you really didn't know what to expect - some games we looked way better than others. Once they build a real team chemistry where they know who is going to do what, who you're going to rely on... once they get some consistency out there with the talent they have out there they can get it done...They have enough. If guys step up and fill in their roles like they're supposed to we'll be alright."

Having the guidance and support of former players, including Archie, Downey, Fredrick and Raley-Ross, can only help the newest crop of Gamecocks as they develop.

"For me personally it was a lot of fun and really satisfying to see these guys all doing well and that they want to be back and be a part of the program and, most importantly, they've got their degrees," said Horn. "More than anything we want them to know that they're important to us and that they're always a part of our program."

IMG_3563.JPG
From left: Dominique Archie, Devan Downey, Brandis Raley-Ross, Zam Fredrick