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February 2012 Archives

Men's Tennis Gathering at Russell House Attracts Students

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The #22 ranked South Carolina men's tennis team took to Greene St. in front of the Russell House on Wednesday to hang out with students and hand out flyers for their big SEC opener match on Friday vs. #6 Georgia. The first 50 fans at the match will receive free pom poms and the all students can earn double Student Rewards points.

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Head Coach Josh Goffi hands out flyers to students

The Gamecocks are off to a great start this season, entering conference play with a 10-1 record including upsets of ACC foes Georgia Tech and Wake Forest at the beginning of February. 

The SEC is one of the toughest tennis leagues in the country, setting up a very challenging schedule gauntlet. On the men's side, all 12 current league teams are ranked in the Top 50 with eight of those squads in the Top 25, including the Gamecocks who rose to #22 this week. Georgia is currently the highest ranked of the all the SEC squads at #6. Carolina will follow Friday's match with Georgia going up against #19 Tennessee on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.

IMG_5852.JPG New potential doubles team? The team set up a portable net and hit a few balls back and forth with new found student partners.


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The student-athletes and coaches handed out flyers to passing students


Match time is set for 2:30 p.m. on Friday at the new Carolina Tennis Center at the Athletics Village. Fans are encouraged to park in the new parking garage off Heyward Street. Parking in the garage is free for athletic events.


Spurs Up Daily Round-Up: 2/29 Honoring Malik

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Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: Men's Basketball honors Malik Cooke at Senior Day, four Women's Basketball players earn SEC honors, Baseball takes the win over PC, Gamecocks stand out at the NFL Combine, and more!



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB

Men's Basketball: Family matters (GamecockCentral.com)

Men's Basketball: USC to honor senior Cooke (The Post and Courier)

Men's Basketball: Horn urges players to stick to the plan (GoGamecocks.com)

Women's Basketball: Four USC women's basketball players earn all-conference honors (The Post and Courier)

Baseball: Pankake makes the most of special day (GoGamecocks.com)

Baseball: USC edges Presbyterian; Clemson next (GamecockCentral.com)

Softball: USC bounces back in doubleheader against Charleston Southern (The Daily Gamecock)

Football: 10 who won at this year's scouting combine (Yahoo Sports)

Football: SEC combine update (ESPN SEC blog)
Todd McShay said: "Ingram... has the most explosive, violent hands in the defensive end class and he could end up being a top-10 pick."
Football: Allen chases dream at NFL Combine (Ocala.com)

Football: Former South Carolina DB Stephon Gilmore hopes to make a real name for himself (The Charlotte Observer)



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS

Men's Basketball. Men's Hoops To Host Mississippi State On Senior Day Wednesday

Swimming & Diving. Video - Coach Moody Appears on The Morning Swim Show

Equestrian. Gamecocks Ranked Fifth in Latest Coaches Poll

Women's Basketball. Gamecock Guard Trio Earns All-SEC Honors

Men's Tennis. Men's Tennis Ranked No. 22 by ITA This Week



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET

Melvin made quite an impact on folks this weekend.




Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!



SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

On Senior Night, Malik Cooke Reflects on Time at Carolina

"Inside The Chart" - Malik Cooke (February 29, 2012)

Crews Break Ground on Football Videoboard Project

Men's Hoops Game to be Carbon Neutral from Student-Athlete Project

This Week's Home Events: Carolina-Clemson on the Diamond

10 Burning Questions about the Gamecock IMG Sports Network

Women's Basketball Seniors Reflect on Final Home Game



VIDEO OF THE DAY

Gilmore made quite an impression at the NFL Combine running one of the fastest 40-yard dash times among the DB's, 4.44 seconds.





ROOSTER CROWS

The Gamecock's sole senior, Malik Cooke has emerged into a team leader both on and off the court during his time at South Carolina, especially over the course of the 2011-12 season. His on the court leadership shows through his efforts in leading the team in points (346), points per game (12.4) and steals (49). Cooke, who graduated in December with his degree in sociology, has collected two double-double's this season, has posted 19 double-figure scoring games, and hit the game-winning jumper vs. Georgia in a victory over the Bulldogs earlier this month.



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

Today's photo is from Leisa Reynolds of Seth hanging out with Cocky at the Navy game.

Leisa Reynolds.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!

Previous fan photos may be seen here:
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2012
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2011
 

On Senior Night, Malik Cooke Reflects on Time at Carolina

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The lone senior on the 2011-12 Men's Basketball squad, Malik Cooke has been a team leader on and off the court. He leads the team in points (346), points per game (12.4) and steals (49) for the 2011-12 season. The Charlotte native graduated with a degree in sociology in December and will play in his final home game as a Gamecock tonight at 8:00 p.m. at Colonial Life Arena vs. Mississippi State. We caught up with him to reflect on his time at Carolina.

You can also get to know more about Malik in his Gamecock Spotlight:




So with Senior Night, what's going through your mind about the final home game?

Just a lot of emotions, happy that I was able to come here and be a part of something as big as this, and sad that it's really coming to an end.

Do you have a lot of family coming to the game since they're just up the road in the Queen City?

Yeah, I've got a few people coming, my parents of course, cousins, grandmother, uncles and a couple friends. It'll be good that my family gets to see me play what could be my last game ever, maybe.

You graduated in December with your degree in sociology. What have you been working on since then and what's your game plan once the season is over?

I'm just taking a few classes that I was interested in, a women's studies class, an African American studies class, a retail/fashion class and a religion class.  I'm definitely going to finish up those and after that just go from there and play it by ear.  See what happens after the season and if I have a chance to continue playing, we'll see. I'm interested in coaching basketball, but I definitely want to own my own business one day.

What would you say you have learned the most from your time here at Carolina?

I've definitely learned that you have got to come out and just work hard every day.  I definitely took that from here and that will take you a long way.  I've also learned about making relationships with people and just meeting a lot of different people.  I took that from here too.  That's a good thing to do.

What are some of your favorite memories from Carolina? 

I can't say I just have one favorite memory but the people I've met, like all my teammates and all my friends I've made since I've been here.  They've all been great people.  I'm definitely going to miss everybody from my coaches to my teammates to my friends around campus.

You're a pretty funny guy;  I know you like to be comedic.  Any funny stories or memories? Are you a prankster?

I just do jokes a little bit but I can't say I'm a crazy prankster unless someone gets me then I have to get them back.  A funny moment I've had here? Man, it's been crazy. Every day, honestly, there is something new that I laugh at, especially at my teammates.  It would probably have to be conditioning stories, those would probably have to be the funniest. Like it's bad when you're going through it but when you step back and look at it, after the fact, it's pretty funny.

It has been a tougher year, not quite what you guys had hoped for, but how do you cope or deal with that?

Really it's just about coming out and working hard.  Just trying to bounce back and learn from your mistakes.  We're a young team and we knew we were going to have some ups and downs this year.  Really the key is to just come out and work hard every day and try to bounce back.  That's all you really can do in a situation like this I feel like.

I think what a lot of people noticed about you individually and about the team as a whole is that you never gave up. Anytime you're on the court you always play hard. As the only senior, how do you think you've been able to help the younger players?

Definitely just keep working hard and make the most out of your time here because it goes by fast.  My advice would be to just keep working hard and working on the things that you need to get better at and once you do that everything else will come.  The team will be better if everyone does that.

With that never-give-up playing style, what's going through your mind on the court, during a game?

I really just try to take it a position at a time.  Sometimes I move a little fast and my coaches have to remind me to slow down a little bit and I really just try to slow down and out-think my opponent.  That's what I try to do really, to be honest.

What are your thoughts as you leave about the direction of the program and building the program?

I think the program is going to go up from here, to be honest with you. That's not me being biased or anything I just think we have a lot of good players and a lot of youth. Everyone comes out and works hard every day and they definitely work on their game and they want to get better and they want to learn.  They're coachable.  So I think when we've got players like that the direction can only go up from here really. 

Will we see you back on campus a lot?

Yeah, I only live an hour away so I definitely think I'll be back and forth and in contact with some of the guys and talk to them about their next season and after.

Any closing thoughts about your final home game and your time at Carolina?  

I'm definitely going to miss you guys and miss everything that South Carolina stands for but I had a great time here.  It was a great experience.  I learned a lot from the coaches and the environment here and the players and everything.  I'm definitely going to miss it.  I see nothing but great things coming for South Carolina in the future.


Head Coach Darrin Horn on what he'll miss most about Malik:

"I think just "Cookie" [referring to his nickname].  Obviously, he's been a player that's been pretty steady for us and has produced some solid things but I think more than anything I'll miss just the person that he is.  He's a great guy to be around.  He's been a terrific teammate and he's been an asset to our program."

Click here to hear more from Coach Horn on Malik and tonight's game vs. Mississippi State.


Thank you to Malik for being a great Gamecock!




The Gamecocks tip off at 8:00 p.m. vs. Mississippi State in the final home game of the season at Colonial Life Arena.

"Inside The Chart" - Malik Cooke (February 29, 2012)

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February 29, 2012

 

David Gaines reminds Malik Cooke of the story sometimes.  They still share a laugh over it.

The head coach at the Christ School in Arden, N.C., first met Cooke as a rising 10th grader - "14 years old, skinny as a rail, and the youngest guy in his grade."  Cooke had arrived at the boarding school from his native Charlotte, intent on playing basketball at a high level.

Malik Cooke vs. Clemson.jpegA week after he arrived, Cooke jumped in an afternoon of pickup games at the Christ School's gym.  He was matched against a team featuring identical twins Chavis and Travis Holmes, seniors who would become the highest-scoring set of twins in NCAA Division I history at VMI.

 "Malik had lost 4 or 5 games in a row to the team with the twins.  He came over to me almost in tears," Gaines said. "'Coach, you gotta say something to these guys.'  He was to the point I couldn't understand what he was saying.  I asked him why. 

He said, 'My team lost again.  They told me to sit my a** down."

Gaines calmed down his newcomer.  But he was left with an impression of Cooke that has endured into his final days as a Gamecock.

"It was great in that he didn't like that at all.  We felt as a staff that we had a kid who didn't like to lose." 

Malik Cooke vs. Auburn.jpegAn utter, unbleached disdain for losing.  A willingness to never take a day off.  And a desire to push himself every day to get better.  Talk to those closest to Malik Rashad Cooke, and it's clear those traits have defined him through his 22 years.  

They helped turn a soft-spoken kid into a leader,  a state champion, and a college graduate.  They sustained him as hard luck, losses, and a transfer year could've worn away his resolve.   And they transformed Cooke - the guy too slow to be a shooting guard, too un-athletic to be a small forward, too tiny to be a power forward - into a 1,000-point college career.

As his Senior Night approaches against Mississippi State Wednesday, the man incongruously nicknamed "Cookie" - nothing about him has ever crumbled - reflected on a basketball career that was forged as much by sheer will as raw talent.

"I hope I don't have any regrets when I go back.  I hope I did everything I could to try to be the best I could every day," Cooke said.

--

Gamecock fans have seen Cooke's desire for two years.  His Dad, Richard Jones, has known it for much longer.  In fact, basketball was Cooke's destiny before he even realized it.

Malik Cooke vs. Alabama.jpeg"I put him over top of my head, and the first time he threw a ball at the hoop, it went in [on a regulation-size rim]," Jones said.

 "I said, 'You're going to be a ballplayer."

Jones raised Cooke on taking pride in whatever he did.  Somewhere in those lessons, a fiery competitive streak was born.

"I always hated to lose," Cooke said  "It was just probably in everything I did like video games, foot races, I mean whatever, flag football."

And basketball.  Jones still recalls an AAU tournament in Greensboro, N.C., when Cooke was 12 years old. 

"They had them scheduled for 4 games that day.  The last game was against [Mississippi State guard] Dee Bost.  He was cramping.  They couldn't get him out of the game.  He wanted that game so bad because it was for pool play, and they would go to Nationals. 

 "I could see the tears bubbling up in his eyes from the cramps.  He wouldn't go out for anything in the world," Jones said.  Cooke's team won in overtime.

After spending his freshman year at Vance HS in Charlotte, Cooke and his family decided to enroll him at Christ School, a burgeoning basketball power in the mountains of western North Carolina.

He began as a role-playing 10th grader, fresh off a serious ankle injury in the offseason.  Two years later, he left the Christ School with a career scoring record (1,375 points, a mark that still stands), state titles as a sophomore and senior, and scholarship offers from Nevada and Marshall. 

Cooke opted for Nevada, 2,500 miles from his hometown.  "I thought it was an opportunity to find myself, and be a man," he said.

---

Cooke spent two seasons at Nevada, averaging 9.6 points and 6.2 rebounds for head coach Mark Fox as a sophomore.  But a coaching change - and more importantly, the health of his father - prompted him to seek a school closer to home.

"At the time it was very hard, because I was dealing with sarcoidosis, which was ailing my health," his father, Richard Jones, said. 

Malik Cooke vs. OSU.jpegAccording to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, sarcoidosis is a disease of the immune system that can affect the eyes, lungs, lymph nodes, and liver.  It can lead to organ damage in one-third of all people afflicted with it.  Most experience remission -- Jones' symptoms have mostly cleared up -- but the disease can also be fatal.  NFL Hall of Famer Reggie White died from sarcoidosis.  

"We kept it under the radar for so long.  I knew if there was any way we could get back home, let's try and do it, because I want to see him.  I didn't know the longevity of me being able to see him play," Jones said. 

Cooke parted amicably with Nevada, and found a new home at South Carolina.  But his first season on campus presented a dilemma.  How does someone quench his competitive thirst when there's no competition?  Cooke had to sit out the 2009-10 season per the NCAA's transfer rule.   

Instead of playing, he uncaged his competitive energies in Carolina's practices and scrimmages.  He often led the Gamecocks' reserves against a starting five led by All-SEC guard Devan DowneyCooke and Downey turned routine scrimmages into trash talk-laced wars.  If his team lost, a scowl would linger on his face well after the final buzzer.

"I really didn't try to take it easy on them.  I went as hard as I could.  We had a lot of good players so it was good for me and them.  I wanted to come out every day and just work as hard as I could and try to make them better," he said.

--

At South Carolina, Cooke's play has mirrored his personality.  Horn says his lone senior has an "old man's game."  He attacks offensive rebounds, hits midrange jumpers, and uses cagey moves to score against taller forwards.  It's the perfect blend of guts and guile, steel will and scrap iron.

And of course, he seems to rise when the occasion calls for it most.  In his first SEC start, he filled in for an injured Lakeem Jackson by scoring a career-high 22 points at Tennessee.  With the Gamecocks on a five-game losing streak, Cooke made 9 of 10 free throws against Ole Miss, then sealed the win with a last-second steal of Rebels leading scorer Chris Warren.  A pair of late free throws clinched a win at Clemson.  His baseline bank shot with 20 seconds left propelled Carolina to a win over Georgia in February.

Malik Cooke Bloody Eye.jpgAnd then there was the nationally-televised game against #2 Ohio State Dec. 17.  Cooke had poured in 10 first-half points, helping Carolina to a 4-point lead early in the 2nd half.  Then a Deshaun Thomas elbow bloodied his left eye, forcing him out of the game.  Few will forget the sight of Cooke, blood trickling down his face, slamming his towel to the ground, upset at having to leave his team to get stitched up in the locker room.  By the time he returned, Ohio State had grabbed the lead for good.  Yet Cooke, a bandage still bothering his vision, battled until the bitter - and literally bloody - end, scoring a team-high 21 points.

As a redshirt senior, he evolved into Carolina's unquestioned team leader.  He organized pickup games and team-building outings over the summer, even though he couldn't play because of a dislocated ankle.  In December, he earned his degree in sociology.  The losses have piled up - more than he'd like -- but they have not sapped his will to keep fighting.  And head coach Darrin Horn says Cooke's unflagging work ethic has set an example for his teammates.

"That's one of the reasons that you've seen a team that's got 2 wins in league play continue to come out and play hard and compete.  That's a rare thing given our situation, and I think Malik has been a part of that because of his consistency and leadership," Horn said.

For Senior Night, Cooke was asked to choose a song for his videoboard montage.  He picked Frank Sinatra's "My Way."

It seems like an unusual pick for a 22 year-old, but not an unlikely one.  From his beginnings in Charlotte to his final days as a Gamecock, one thing becomes clear.  

Malik Cooke has only known one way.

Spurs Up Daily Round-Up: 2/28 National "Pankake" Day

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Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: Joey Pankake celebrates National Pancake Day with his first career home run and a Gamecock win over PC, Softball takes one of two against Charleston Southern, Men's Basketball Senior Day tomorrow, student-athletes spearhead carbon neutral project, and more!
 



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB


Women's Basketball: Strong finish propels Gamecocks (GamecockCentral.com)

Women's Basketball: SEC Q&A: ESPN's Cara Capuano (SEC Digital Network)

Baseball: Pankake homer lifts USC past PC 2-1 (GoGamecocks.com)

Baseball: Growing Feud: Clemson- South Carolina baseball rivalry heating up a year after 'bat gate' (The Post and Courier)

Baseball: Pitchers, young guns flourish early (GamecockCentral.com)

Football: Steve Spurrier on recruiting success: We're 8-0 vs. UGA, Florida, Tennessee and Clemson last two years (AJC Recruiting Blog)

Football: Photos: Gamecocks at the NFL Combine (GoGamecocks.com)

SEC Expansion: SEC Q&A: Larry Templeton, Transition Team Chair (SEC Digital Network)



GAMECOCKS IN THE PROS

Men's Soccer: U.S. MNT's Guzan, Torres Back in the Fray for Italy Trip (USsoccer.com)  *Alum Brad Guzan is headed to Italy with US Men's National Team



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS


Baseball. Baseball Earns 2-1 Win Over Presbyterian

Softball. Four Homers Lead Gamecocks to 11-2 Victory vs. Charleston Southern

Softball. Gamecock Bats Stymied in 2-0 Game 1 Loss to Charleston Southern

Women's Tennis. Arlo Elkins Stepping Aside as Women's Tennis Head Coach

Women's Basketball. Gamecocks Open SEC Tournament Play Thursday

Women's Basketball. Newton Named to SEC Community Service Team

Men's Basketball. Men's Hoops To Host Mississippi State On Senior Day Wednesday



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET





Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!



SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

Crews Break Ground on Football Videoboard Project

Men's Hoops Game to be Carbon Neutral from Student-Athlete Project

This Week's Home Events: Carolina-Clemson on the Diamond

10 Burning Questions about the Gamecock IMG Sports Network

Women's Basketball Seniors Reflect on Final Home Game



VIDEO OF THE DAY

Get to know Malik Cooke and come support him and his teammates on Senior Day tomorrow. Men's Basketball plays their final home game vs. Mississippi State at 8:00 p.m.





ROOSTER CROWS

Depending on the type and age of the tree when planted, three to five trees can offset one ton of carbon throughout their lifetime. Learn about carbon neutrality at tomorrow night's basketball game.

Freshman Joey Pankake hit his first career home run today to break a 1-1 tie and give Gamecock Baseball a 2-1 win over Presbyterian.



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

Look at this little face! Payton Grace Henderson at 4 months old, submitted by her alumni parents, David and Stephanie Henderson.

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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!

Previous fan photos may be seen here:
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2012
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2011

Crews Break Ground on Football Videoboard Project

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If you've driven by Williams-Brice the past few days you've probably seen the construction area fencing going up!

Crews have started work on the football videoboard project. There's not much to see yet but we will keep you updated over the next several months with how the project is coming along and regular photos.

If all goes according to plan (who knows what we'll find when we start digging, remember the stadium was originally built in 1934!) the videoboard is still set to be installed and ready for this coming season.

Check out pictures taken today below:

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Thanks to the hard work of two Gamecock Cross Country student-athletes, Wednesday night's final basketball home game of the season aims to be carbon neutral.

Earlier this year, University of South Carolina seniors Nicole Rheinlander and Erin Fedewa earned a $9,000 grant from the Carolina Leadership Initiative, which promotes a vision for leadership development on campus, to work on the project. They developed the idea after founding the Green Initiative Committee for student-athletes.

"Developing a mission statement to help the athletics department advance as sustainable leaders on campus led to the creation of short term and long term goals to make this mission possible," said Rheinlander, an international business and accounting major. The duo sought guidance on the project from South Carolina Director of Sustainability Michael Koman and Coordinator for Life Skills and Community Outreach Erica Nelson.

An event being "carbon neutral" means that enough energy is saved elsewhere to off-set the carbon footprint of an the event.
Lots of factors contribute to an event's carbon footprint: the energy used to power and light the venue, waste, teams and fans driving to the game, etc.

Thumbnail image for Student-Athlete tree planting.JPG
Student-athletes planted trees on campus as part of carbon off-sets for the event.


"The idea for a carbon neutral athletic event took shape when Nicole and I began to realize that as student-athletes, our sporting events produce carbon emissions and, in turn, leave a carbon footprint on the environment," said Fedewa, a marine science major. "USC's first carbon neutral athletic event is a great way to educate students, athletes and fans while paving the way for larger scale carbon neutral events around campus."

The first step in the project was to determine how much CO2 was being produced by a Gamecock basketball game to be able to develop a plan for enough carbon off-sets. The duo completed extensive research on the feasibility of the project during the grant application process, researching energy consumption at different athletic facilities around campus and collecting data on what transportation fans use to get to events and how far they travel.

Led by Fedewa and Rheinlander, student-athletes have been planting trees and exchanging energy efficient light bulbs around campus as carbon off-sets. The newly installed light bulbs are 75% more energy efficient than standard bulbs. Depending on the type and age of the tree when planted, three to five trees can offset one ton of carbon throughout their lifetime. The Green Initiative team, with the help of student-athletes, has planted eight shade trees leading up to the game (pictured below.) Tree plantings and light bulb exchanges will continue after the basketball game to achieve the carbon offset target based on game energy reports from the arena.


Student-Athlete tree planting posed shot.JPG



























Student-athlete tree-planting, from left to right: Nicole Rheinlander (Cross Country/Track & Field), Katie Burnett (Women's Golf), Andre Carter (Men's Track & Field), Mallory Cage (Women's Swimming & Diving), Courtney Newton (Women's Basketball), Rachel Grochowski (Cross Country/Track & Field), Erin Fedewa (Cross Country/Track & Field)


"Colonial Life Arena is committed to educating our patrons on the importance of going green," Global Spectrum's Lexie Boone, General Manager at Colonial Life Arena said. "We continue to expand our own efforts to be environmentally friendly while always striving to aid in the university's progress toward becoming a more sustainable campus."

To help support the carbon neutral basketball game, fans are encouraged to visit the Green Initiatives table on the Colonial Life Arena concourse at Wednesday's game for more information about carbon neutrality. While Fedewa and Rheinlander hope their event will lead to more like it on campus, everyone can be a part of their efforts.

"Our individual carbon footprints can be reduced greatly with sustainable and environmentally-friendly decisions in our everyday lives," said Fedewa. "A carbon neutral event is a great way to show not only student-athletes and fans, but the entire community of Columbia, ways to reduce their carbon footprints and impact the environment."


Men's Basketball tips off vs. Mississippi State at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Get there early to check out the Green Initiatives as well as help celebrate Senior Day for Malik Cooke. We'll also be recognizing student-athletes who earned the Athletics Director Honor Roll distinction on the court at halftime.


Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: Women's Basketball beats Arkansas on Senior Day and returns to the Top 25, Baseball completes a sweep of Elon and preps to host Presbyterian tomorrow, Michael Roth named SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week, Melvin Ingram impresses at NFL Combine, and more!



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB


Women's Basketball: 'We all we got' (GamecockCentral.com)

Women's Basketball: USC wins on Senior Day: NCAAs assured (GamecockCentral.com)

Women's Basketball: USC women back in Top 25 (GoGamecocks.com)

Women's Basketball: USC sends its seniors off in style (GoGamecocks.com)


Baseball: SEC Baseball Players of the Week (SECDigitalNetwork.com)*Co-Pitcher of the Week- Michael Roth

Baseball: USC strikes another sweep (GoGamecocks.com)

Baseball: Pitching, long ball complete sweep (GamecockCentral.com)

Baseball: Pitching dominant, USC sweeps Elon (TheBigSpur.com)

Baseball: USC baseball happy with pitchers but Tanner wants to resolve second base spot (The Post and Courier)

Baseball: Growing Feud: Clemson- South Carolina baseball rivalry heating up a year after 'bat gate' (The Post and Courier)

Football: Big days for Cox, Ingram at NFL combine (ESPN College Football Nation Blog) *Melvin Ingram*



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS


Women's Basketball. Gamecocks Finish SEC Tied for Fourth

Women's Basketball. Gamecocks Rise Over Razorbacks, 53-47


Baseball. Baseball Hosts Presbyterian on Tuesday

Baseball. Michael Roth Honored by Southeastern Conference

Baseball. South Carolina Baseball Notebook

Baseball. Baseball Sweeps Series With 6-0 Victory Over Elon

Men's Golf. Bryan Wins Seahawk Invitational; Gamecocks Claim Third

Equestrian. Katherine Schmidt Named AgSouth Athlete of the Week

Equestrian. Gamecocks Drop No. 4 Baylor, 15-4, on Senior Day


Men's Basketball. Gamecocks Held Off by Tennessee, 73-64

Track & Field. Gamecock Track Earns Three Medals In SEC Final Day

Women's Tennis. Gamecocks Win Fifth Straight, Down Winthrop 6-1

Softball. White's Complete Game Leads SC to 4-2 Win vs. George Washington



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET


Tune in on Thursday for the first round of the SEC Tournament!





Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!




SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

This Week's Home Events: Carolina-Clemson on the Diamond

"Inside the Roost" Tonight: Katarina Petrovic, Kalen Harris

10 Burning Questions about the Gamecock IMG Sports Network

Women's Basketball Seniors Reflect on Final Home Game

#SCopeningday Storified

Athletics Holds Carolina Tennis Center Dedication

New Photos of Farmer's Market Project



VIDEO OF THE DAY

Melvin Ingram NFL Network interview screen grab.JPG












All-American Melvin Ingram has been a hit so far at the NFL Combine, check out his interview with Warren Sapp today for the NFL Network here:

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-combine/09000d5d8273f263/Ingram-impresses-at-combine



ROOSTER CROWS

Women's Basketball closed out its regular season with a win over Arkansas to finish its SEC campaign tied for fourth. It is the highest finish for the program since the 2001-02 team tied for second in the league. The Gamecocks' 21 regular season wins are the highest since the 2002-03 squad.

The seven-run total allowed by the Gamecock Baseball pitching staff through the first six games is the lowest run total to start a season since 1977, when the Gamecocks allowed just six runs in their first six games. 10 of 14 Gamecock pitchers that have seen action have not allowed an earned run.



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

Kylie and Brantley are already big Gamecock fans thanks in part to their "Papa", Mike Sellers (Bishopville, SC, class of 1978), who sent in these photos. Kylie and Brantley's parents are Mr. and Mrs. Doug Nichols of Greenville.

Mike Sellers1.JPG






























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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!

Previous fan photos may be seen here:
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2012
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2011

This Week's Home Events: Carolina-Clemson on the Diamond

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THIS WEEK IN GAMECOCK COUNTRY...










The baseball series the Palmetto State has been buzzing about is upon us as No. 3 Carolina and No. 19 Clemson will face off in a three-game series this weekend. The Gamecocks will also host a mid-week game vs. Presbyterian on Tuesday. Friday's game in Charleston and Saturday's home game at Carolina Stadium are sold out. As with all non-televised home baseball games at Carolina Stadium, the game on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. will be streamed live on GamecocksOnline.com All-Access (Premium). Students coming to the game should be sure to come out early for a pre-game tailgate hosted by the Department of Student Life starting at 12:30 outside of Gate 2. Students can earn double Student Rewards points and practice their cheers on Friday at 2:30 p.m. out at the Carolina Tennis Center for Men's Tennis hosting #4 Georgia in their first SEC match of the season. Men's Tennis will round out the weekend facing #20 Tennessee on Sunday. Softball will host a doubleheader against Charleston Southern on Tuesday before they take flight to California for a weekend tournament. Men's Basketball will play their final home game of the season on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. Get there early to help recognize Malik Cooke on Senior Day and give a loud round of applause at halftime when Gamecock student-athletes who earned the Athletics Director Honor Roll distinction for their work in the classroom are recognized.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Softball vs. Charleston Southern (DH) - 2:30 p.m./ 4:45 p.m.
-Play Softball Bingo for a chance to win a prize
-Official team posters and schedule cards
*The Gamecocks are coming off a 3-0, undefeated weekend in the Gamecock Invitational. They'll host Charleston Southern before heading out to California for the Highlander Classic.

#3 Baseball vs. Presbyterian - 4:00 p.m.
-Play Baseball Bingo for a chance to win a prize


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Men's Basketball vs. Mississippi State  - 8:00 p.m.
-Senior Night - come give Malik Cooke a good celebration in his final home game
-Cocky's Bounce House
-Gamecock student-athletes who earned the Athletics Director Honor Roll distinction will be recognized at halftime.
*This game will also be carbon neutral through the hard work of two Gamecock student-athletes. More info.

*Check out Malik Cooke's Gamecock Spotlight:




Friday, March 2, 2012

#46 Men's Tennis vs. # 4 Georgia - 2:30 p.m.
-Enter to win an autographed team poster
-Official team posters
-Free Pom Poms for first 50 fans
-Double Student Rewards points!
*The Gamecocks are off to a great start to the season with a 10-1 record heading into conference play.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

#3 Baseball vs. #19 Clemson - 2:00 p.m.
-SOLD OUT
-Auction package with tickets, pre-game tour and opportunity to watch batting practice available! Bidding closes on Wednesday, Feb. 29, at 7:00 p.m. ET. Click here for more information.
-Watch or listen live online at GamecocksOnline.com All-Access (Premium)
-Play Baseball Bingo for a chance to win a prize
-Cocky's Bounce House
-Student Life tailgate - 12:30 p.m.
The Department of Student Life is hosting a pregame tailgate party for students outside of Gate 2 at Carolina Stadium, the student entrance. The tailgate will feature complimentary food from Doc's Barbecue and the first 300 students will get free South Carolina Baseball "Win Anyway" t-shirts. Mr. PC will have a gaming lounge set up for entertainment. Students will need a valid Carolina Card for entry.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

#46 Men's Tennis vs. #20 Tennessee - 1:00 p.m.
-Enter to win an autographed team poster
-Official team posters


Gamecocks on the road...

Softball at Charlotte - Wednesday, 5:00 p.m.  Listen Online
#26 Women's Tennis at #6 Georgia - Friday, 3:00 p.m.
#3 Baseball at #19 Clemson (Charleston, SC) - Friday, 6:00 p.m. (SC will be the visiting team)
#3 Baseball at #19 Clemson (Clemson, SC) - Sunday, 2:00 p.m.  TV: ESPN3
Women's Golf at Darius Rucker Intercollegiate (Hilton Head) - Friday-Sunday
#26 Women's Tennis at #10 Tennessee - Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
Men's Basketball at Georgia - Sunday, 1:30 p.m. TV: SEC Network, ESPN3

Women's Basketball at SEC Tournament (Nashville, Tennessee)
First Round - vs. Alabama - Thursday, 10:00 p.m. ET - TV: FSN

Softball at Highlander Classic (Riverside, California)
Live audio available free on GamecocksOnline.com All-Access
Vs. Portland State - Friday, 12:00 p.m. ET
vs. Maine - Friday, 2:30 p.m.
vs. UC Riverside - Saturday, 2:30 p.m.
vs. UC Davis - Sunday, 2:30 p.m.



"Inside the Roost" Monday: Katarina Petrovic, Kalen Harris

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1075 the game logo.jpgJoining Athletics Director Eric Hyman and host Derek Scott tonight on "Inside the Roost" will be Katarina Petrovic, assistant women's tennis coach, and Kalen Harris, head women's golf coach.

Women's Tennis is off to a great start this season with a 7-1 record including an upset victory over #17 Clemson last week. The 4-3 win was the Gamecocks' first victory over the Tigers since 2006. They won both their home matches this weekend vs. College of Charleston and Winthrop. They hit the road this weekend to start SEC play at Georgia on Friday and at Tennessee on Sunday.

Women's Golf is headed to the inaugural Darius Rucker Intercollegiate tournament in Hilton Head this weekend. The new tournament is a joint effort between singer/songwriter and avid Gamecock fan Darius Rucker, Long Cove Club in Hilton Head and South Carolina Athletics, who have all agreed to host the 54-hole event through 2016. Fans are welcome to attend the tournament. More Info

Tune in to "Inside the Roost" tonight and every Monday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. on 107.5 The Game. You can also listen online.

 

THE 10 BIG, BURNING QUESTIONS OF THE GAMECOCK IMG SPORTS NETWORK

By Andy Demetra, "Voice of the Gamecocks"

Contact us:  @GamecockRadio

 

GamecockRadio.jpgWe appreciate you listening to the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.  We also understand you may have some questions about our radio coverage.  Below, you'll find answers to the 10 most commonly asked-questions about our radio network broadcasts.  We hope it'll give you greater insight into the structure, distribution, and contractual commitments of our radio network.  Thanks for listening!     -Andy Demetra

 

1.)    Where can I listen to the game in [insert your town here]?

 

We keep a detailed affiliate list here.

 

2.)    Where can I listen to the game online?

 

By subscribing to Gamecock All-Access.  A subscription to Gamecock All-Access not only lets you watch all South Carolina home baseball games (with the radio call attached), but the live radio calls of all South Carolina away games. 

 

IMG.jpgOur affiliate stations own the terrestrial radio rights to Gamecock athletics.  However, IMG College owns the streaming radio rights to Gamecock athletics.  As part of their contract agreement, all affiliate stations must disable their live streaming during South Carolina football, basketball, and baseball broadcasts.  Violators are subject to penalty by IMG College. 

 

3.)    Can I listen to the game on my phone?

 

Yes!  Gamecocks Online has an official app in the iTunes store and Android Marketplace which allows you to stream broadcasts over your phone.  The app is free to download, but the live content requires a premium subscription ($4.95/year for Android, $9.95/year for iPhone). 

 

Android.jpgWhile it costs less than a Gamecock All-Access subscription, you will not have access to live video for South Carolina home games.  Also, depending on cell reception and your phone's bandwidth, the stream may be more sensitive to buffering.  

 

Please note:  Gamecock All-Access and the Gamecocks Online app are both managed by CBS Interactive, Inc.  The Gamecock IMG Sports Network does not control the availability, reliability, or sound quality of these streams.

 

4.)    What if I have a TuneIn, IHeartRadio, or other radio listening app on my phone?

 

You won't be able to listen.  If a station has disabled its live streaming, a TuneIn, IHeartRadio, or other radio app will not apply.

 

5.)    How can I sync up the radio with the TV call?

 

Because of differences in satellite transmissions, as well as our own FCC-mandated 7-second delay, the radio call will not always match up to the TV.  There are devices you can buy, such as SportSync, that will even out the delay. 

 

 

6.)    Why do certain stations carry all Gamecock baseball games, while some only carry SEC and post-season games?

 

Because of scheduling conflicts, staffing concerns, or local programming restrictions, some stations don't have the ability to run a full broadcast schedule.  To still maintain a Gamecock presence in their market, they may elect to carry only SEC and post-season series.     

 

Carolina Stadium-2.jpegFor the first time in 2012, the Gamecock IMG Sports Network has made all of our baseball broadcasts available "network-wide" when they don't conflict with basketball.  Essentially, our stations have a greater opportunity than ever before to pick and choose their schedules, and expand their non-conference baseball coverage.  It's best to check with your local station to find out whether a particular game will air.

 

In the last 2 years, we've grown our baseball affiliate list from 6 to 13 stations.  You can always approach your local station about carrying all Gamecock baseball games -- community groundswell tends to make things happen, especially if there are local business owners who may be interested in sponsoring the extra coverage.

 

7.)     How come you don't have a station in my hometown?

 

Say you live in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Why doesn't a station there carry South Carolina football?  Simply put, there aren't enough Gamecock fans in Raleigh - and more importantly, advertisers who want to target them -- to justify a station carrying the games. 

 

Each year, the IMG College Affiliate Relations team travels to every market in South Carolina, trying to line up new affiliates and renew existing ones.  We always strive for 100% penetration.  However, for the same reasons listed above - scheduling conflicts, staffing concerns, or other programming obligations - in certain markets, no radio station may be willing to invest in becoming a Gamecock IMG Sports Network affiliate.

 

8.)    But I live in an area that has an affiliate station listed.  Why can't I hear the game?

 

You may have an affiliate station that's designated for your market, but its signal doesn't reach your home.  Unfortunately, there's not much we can do.  Stations' signals are sometimes stronger in one direction than another. 

 

Also, AM radio stations have different signal strengths in the daytime and nighttime.  By law, they have to "power down" their signal at night.  Thus, you may be able to hear Gamecock baseball broadcasts during the day, but can't pick it up once the sun goes down.  Lastly, did you check to see whether your station is carrying the game?

 

9.)     If a Gamecock basketball game or coaches' show airs at the same time as a Gamecock baseball game, why do stations have to carry the basketball game/coaches' show?

 

Invariably, overlaps occur during a season.  As part of our radio agreement, the sport with more affiliates statewide always takes priority on pre-emptions.  Currently, we have more basketball affiliates (21) than baseball (13).  In fairness to our affiliates, and the sponsors who count on our network coverage, we have to offer on our satellite channel the sport that's carried by more of our stations.  From an ethical and business standpoint, it's the right thing to do. 

 

We also defer to the "ongoing" sport.  A late-season conference game should, and will, take priority over an early-season non-conference game.   Wins and losses do not factor into this decision.  It's about staying consistent with our affiliates and our sponsors' expectations.

 

10.)   Is the baseball game on XM?

 

XM.jpgFor selected conference games only.  XM has three dedicated SEC channels (199-201), which makes carrying every South Carolina game impossible (we have the share space with the 11, and soon to be 13, other SEC schools).  Each week, XM selects the games it chooses to carry.  We will notify you when they decide to pick up a Gamecock broadcast (they usually make the decision early in the week).

 

We hope this clears up some of the questions you may have had.  Thanks for listening - we look forward to signing on next!

Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: a great feature on fifth-year senior women's basketball player Courtney Newton, Baseball hosts Elon for the weekend, rainy weather changes today's schedule, a story on freshman shortstop Joey Pankake and more!



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB


Baseball: Matt Price hopes to build off opener (GoGamecocks.com)

Baseball: USC's Tanner has eye on Gamecocks' bullpen (The Post and Courier)

Baseball: Q&A with USC baseball's Kyle Martin (GoGamecocks.com)

Baseball: No nickname necessary for Gamecocks' Joey Pankake (The Post and Courier)

Baseball: Second base still unsettled for USC (GamecockCentral.com)

Baseball: Leadoff settled, two a question (TheBigSpur.com)

Women's Basketball: Inspired (GamecockCentral.com) *Courtney Newton*

Women's Basketball: SEC Tournament watch (GamecockCentral.com)

Men's Tennis: Gamecocks hope to carry momentum to match (The Daily Gamecock)



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS

Men's Tennis. Men's Tennis to Make Carolina Tennis Center Debut Saturday

Equestrian. Equestrian Hosts No. 1 Auburn, No. 4 Baylor in Final Home Weekend

Softball. Friday Washed Out at Softball's Gamecock Invitational

Softball. Softball Hosts Gamecock Invitational This Weekend

Baseball. Baseball Returns To Action Against Elon This Weekend

Men's Basketball. Gamecocks Host Tennessee On Saturday Night

Women's Tennis. Women's Tennis Match Moved Indoors

Women's Tennis. Gamecocks Host College of Charleston, Winthrop

Women's Basketball. Gamecocks Come Up Just Short at #13/10 Kentucky



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET

Still got the game in at least!



Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!



SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS


Women's Basketball Seniors Reflect on Final Home Game

"Inside The Chart" with Andy Demetra (@GamecockRadio) - February 24, 2012

This Week's Home Events: Seven Sports in Action
 
#SCopeningday Storified

Athletics Holds Carolina Tennis Center Dedication

New Photos of Farmer's Market Project

Spurrier Jr. Happy with Signing Class, Recruiting Efforts



VIDEO OF THE DAY


Get to know senior Courtney Newton and come bid her and the rest of the senior class farewell on Sunday in the final home game vs. Arkansas at 2:00 p.m.





FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY


Check out this photo of Blake and Ansley Hagenburger, sent in by Ashley Hagenburger. Gotta love the excitement!

Ashley Hagenburger.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!

Previous fan photos may be seen here:
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2012
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2011
 

Women's Basketball Seniors Reflect on Final Home Game

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This year's women's basketball seniors are a remarkable bunch. They are the first class to be with fourth-year head coach Dawn Staley from the beginning. They have led the 2011-12 team to a 20-8 overall record and appear to have the Gamecocks on the verge of their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2003.

We caught up with Markeshia Grant, Courtney Newton, Charenee Stephens, La'Keisha Sutton and Ebony Wilson to reflect on their time here at Carolina and Senior Day this Sunday vs. Arkansas (2:00 p.m.) Check out some of their answers below.

Brittany: So just reflecting on your final home game, what are some of the thoughts going through your mind?

Sutton_011512_000123.JPGLa'Keisha (left): "I feel like I was just a freshman yesterday. I don't think it's hit me yet, it'll hit me once we start warming up I think. I know I'm going to be emotional because of everything I've been through personally, and the growth of the team, but I'm excited for what USC basketball is going to be like once I leave."

Ebony: "I'm more excited just thinking about where we started when I first got here to where we are now. It's exciting to see our transformation as a team and our success."

Charenee: "I feel like right now with the path we're going, it's all going to just hit me at the end.  It's the last home game but it's not the last game so I'm thinking more or less about trying to get to the tournament and what we're going to do then.  It hasn't hit me.  Once the tournament is over, then I'm going to be like, man, it's over."

Markeshia: "My college career is coming full circle and I think it's a great group of people to go out with. We just need to focus and win the game. It's going to be a crucial game for us, and I think it's a great time in my career."

Courtney: "It's mixed emotions...Knowing that it's my last year I'm just excited to play this last game.  It's gonna be a big game for us.  It's gonna be emotional but we are gonna need the win too.  So, I'm just hoping to end the season on a bang and on a high note."

BL: What do you think you have learned the most from Coach Staley?

WBB-11 Charenee Stephens vs. Furman.jpegCharenee (left): "I have learned that sometimes you have to follow.  I've been a leader my whole life. I've just always been this dominant figure, this person who's always willing to tell someone no, willing to say 'don't do that' or 'I don't like that'. Coming here and starting with Coach Staley, she's that type of person too and it was hard at first. We went at it but I appreciate it because now I know that I can't always be number one.  I can't always be the one who's giving the law, saying how things are supposed to be and I appreciate that.  Now I know how to follow and that's another dimension of my life that she helped me create."

Markeshia: "The thing I've learned the most from Coach Staley is loyalty. I think that's the biggest thing for her, if you're loyal, she'll do anything for you."

La'Keisha: "Life is more than the game of basketball. She's taught me what it means to be committed and dedicated, to work hard, and to compete every time you step on the floor, because she is a competitor. She gave a little joke 'if there's two roaches crawling, I'm going to pick the one that's going to win.' ... I feel like she's taught me to be a better person, helped me mature a lot. As far as basketball, I think she saw something raw, cut at it and cut at it until she got what she wanted and I reached my full potential. Just seeing all of her accomplishments, she's really inspiring."

BL: What are some of your favorite memories from your time at Carolina, both as a student and a basketball player?

01.26.12.vs.ole.miss000010.JPGCourtney (left, #22): "As a student it would be just being a college kid, just being able to go to football games.  I love football and going to those games with my teammates.  For me also just being able to get my undergraduate degree in three years and almost finishing with my graduate...On the basketball court, I would say last year definitely the Georgia game was one of my favorite memories as a player just being able to play like that against Georgia [Courtney hit a career-high five three-pointers in the upset win for the Gamecocks].  That was big for me.  This year we've had so many big wins - the North Carolina game was big and the Tennessee game of course will be one of my all-time favorite basketball memories.  That was just an awesome experience...being a part of history for me is one of the greatest memories.  It's not done yet so hopefully we can continue writing the history books this year."

La'Keisha: "I would definitely say the Tennessee game, the UNC game this year, the Kentucky game from last year, basically the big wins and the stuff we did off the court as a team. We like going to the movies or restaurants and just clowning, teaching Coach Staley how to dance, we do a lot of stuff off the court and I have a lot of pictures to show for it, even just being silly at practices. Coach Staley always finds a way to calm us down during the hard times without us even realizing what she's doing; she's a genius coach."

Markeshia (left, #5): "My favorite memory would have to be beating Tennessee at Tennessee; I think that was the biggest thing that's ever happened to me. It meant so much in so many ways, because growing up I always wanted to play for Pat Summitt and always wanted to be a Lady Vol, but I went in a different direction and ended up beating them. So that was something big for me." 

BL: What are some of the silly, funny or strange times you'll never forget?

Wilson_12studio_084.jpgEbony (left, showing her silly side during a photo shoot): "I just like the way our team can just goof off and have fun around each other. We genuinely like each other so we like to do things with each other, like team functions or school functions like the Halloween party...We always like going in Coach's office, we always get a good laugh. We all like to dance and Coach Staley tried to dance with us but she can't really...we tried to teach her how to Dougie,  but her arms and legs weren't coordinating [laughing]. She knows how to do the Wobble, she's got that down pat, but the Dougie I don't think she's going to get."

La'Keisha: "As a player, I would have to say my first three years we would do track workouts, it's not fun, but it's funny now that I think about it. I would always throw up; I could never NOT throw up. I think that's something I'll be remembered for because nobody else did it. I don't know why. I would never throw up on the court, but I would every single track workout."

Charenee: "My favorite would have to be Coach McCray singing that national anthem [for a game last season] because we, I didn't know...I was getting ready to pray and we locked hands and I put my head down and they said Coach McCray singing the anthem and I was like 'Oh my!!!  What?!?'  She sang that thing and she was nervous.  By the time I got up to touch her she was shaking so hard."

BL: What are your plans for after basketball, after graduation?

La'Keisha (major: broadcast journalism): I hope to play professionally, whether that's in the league or overseas. Once basketball is over, I either want to be a VJ or some sort of sports or fitness model, or try to get into film."

Ebony (major: psychology): "I want to play, if that's an option, I would like to continue to play but I'm also working on going to grad school, I'm applying for social work."

Markeshia (major: psychology): "My plans are to continue to play, grad school, and to travel."

Courtney (earned degree in psychology, working on specialists degree in counselors education):  "I'm in my second year of grad school now.  Next year, I'll be in Columbia and have to do my internship to finish up my degree.  So, I'll be doing that at the beginning of next year and then hopefully looking for a job in a high school, just depends on opportunities. I'd also like to get into some coaching in high school or something like that, but I definitely want to be around kids whatever I am doing."

Charenee (major: psychology): "Well right now I have some things in the works.  I'm trying to be a Richland County Police Officer.  It's really interesting and I think I'll be a good addition.  I like the sound of it."


Check out women's basketball on YouTube to see highlights, Gamecock Spotlights on our players, behind-the-scenes video and more.

The Gamecocks play their final home game of the season this Sunday vs. Arkansas at 2:00 p.m. Get to the game at least 20-30 minutes before tip-off to help give our seniors a proper farewell celebration on Senior Day.

February 24, 2012

 

Pretty only counts in pageants.  In basketball, ugly works.

 

Think you're watching an "ugly" game?  Look a little closer.  Maybe that opponent, which loves getting into the open floor and knocking down three-pointers , has been dragged out of its comfort zone.  Suddenly, it has to scavenge for baskets off free throws and putbacks.  Maybe an opponent, which relies on motion and passing in the halfcourt, has been sped up, and sucked into a choppy, turnover-prone game. 

 

Is that ugly basketball?  Or solid execution of a game plan?

 

Harris vs. Vanderbilt.jpegSouth Carolina may have lacked the aesthetic that mattered most - the scoreboard - against Vanderbilt.  But the Gamecocks forced the normally polished Commodores into engaging them in a rock fight.  Vandy, which entered the game shooting an SEC-high 40.2% from three-point range, only made 4-16 three-pointers en route to an SEC season-low 59 points.  The same applied to Georgia - the Bulldogs' triangle offense relies on spacing, cutting, and constant motion.  Yet the Gamecocks rushed them into 13 turnovers, setting the tone for a rough-around-the-edges victory February 15.

 

In both cases, South Carolina played the way that gave itself the best chance to win.  "Uglying" the game worked.

 At this point, South Carolina makes no pretenses about itself.  Games will be grinds.  The floor will become a junkyard.  But when a team ranks 11th in the SEC in field goal percentage, it's a fool's paradise to believe you can win by out-gunning an opponent.  The Gamecocks need to steer teams to their style - one that's high on hustle, low on glamor, and built around valuing possessions.

 

It may not produce the most eye-pleasing basketball.  To the naked eye, it might look ugly.  But as long as it produces wins, the Gamecocks won't mind.  In fact, they'll see plenty of beauty in it.

 

Pre-tip reads before South Carolina (10-17, 2-11) and Tennessee (15-13, 7-6) tip off at Colonial Life Arena:    

 

Oh By The Way:  Incidentally, Tennessee has rallied around head coach Cuonzo Martin's motto "Stay Ugly."  Keep your pageant sashes at home Saturday. 

 

SEC-ond Coming:  What did we learn from South Carolina's last meeting with Tennessee, a 69-57 Volunteers win in Knoxville?  Pay attention to these four factors Saturday:

 

1.)      The three-pointer is Tennessee's barometer.  Since its win over the Gamecocks, Tennessee has won four of its last five, catapulting into a tie for 4th place in the SEC (and a potential first-round bye). 

 

Skylar McBee.jpegLooking through the splits, the three-point line has been a dividing line in the Volunteers' SEC wins and losses:

 

Three-Point FG% - SEC Games

Wins:                      38.2%

Losses:                    27.2%

 

Individually, the Gamecocks can't lose sight of guard Skylar McBee (right).  The junior, late of the Sonny Bono mustache, burned Carolina for a career-high 18 points in Knoxville.  He also owns one of the more remarkable streaks I've seen in college basketball this season:  his last 36 field goal attempts have all been three-pointers.

 

2.)     Getting inside wasn't the problem.  Finishing was.  South Carolina only scored 8 of its 57 points in the paint, for a season-low "PiP Percentage" of 14.0%. 

 

Lowest "Points In Paint" Percentage - 2011-12

1.)      @ Tennessee                               14.0%  (8 of 57)

2.)       vs. Kentucky                                26.9%  (14 of 52)

3.)      @ Vanderbilt                               29.1%  (14 of 48)

 

South Carolina's SEC average:  39.2% (259 of 759)

 

The problem wasn't settling for jump shots, or failing to find driving lanes against UT's man-to-man defense.  The Gamecocks did plenty of that.  But Damontre Harris and Anthony Gill shot a combined 1 for 13 from the field, a repugnant percentage for a center and power forward.  South Carolina's low-post players need to "finish through" their defenders, whether on entry passes or off of offensive rebounds.

 

Which leads to....

 

3.)     Carolina could crack the offensive glass.  Perhaps it correlates with South Carolina's low finishing rate around the rim.  But the Gamecocks had success offensive-rebounding against Tennessee, finishing with their second-highest Offensive Rebounding Percentage (OReb%) in SEC play.

 

                Highest OReb% - SEC Games Only

1.)      Florida                           1/14                       43.7%

2.)      Tennessee                     2/8                         43.2%

 

Thumbnail image for Gill vs. Alabama.jpegOffensive rebounds serve as the ultimate rally repellent.  They extend possessions, and can lead to fouls on stickbacks.  South Carolina spoiled its comeback bids against LSU and Vanderbilt by not offensive-rebounding effectively enough.  If thrust into a similar situation, can the Gamecocks bang the boards like they did before against Tennessee?

 

Anthony Gill (left) will need to be a presence against Tennessee. 

 

One other thing to contend with:  Tennessee did not play with its 6'8," 250-pound bull-in-a-china-shop freshman forward Jarnell Stokes (wrist).  Alongside leading rebounder Jeronne Maymon, Stokes (8.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg) has returned to the Vols' lineup. 

 

   4.)     The Gamecocks got "Smoke-Screened."    Tennessee rained a fusillade of three's on Carolina, making 10 of 20 from behind the arc in KnoxvilleCoach Horn said his team did not defend the three-point line well enough to win.

 

"That's so important with this defense that we're playing," he said on "Carolina Calls."  "We're not way out on the floor, by the hashmarks, defending and denying.  If the ball gets moved too easily, too quickly, it makes some of our switching and matching more difficult."

Here's the good news:  South Carolina played perhaps its best conference game switching and defending through screens against Vanderbilt.  Will that carry over to Tennessee?  In particular, the Gamecocks need to get matched early against point guard Trae Golden, a physically strong creator who sets up his teammates well.  

 

Wild Bill Free Throw.jpgFree Advice:  Most glaring in Wednesday's box score was Vanderbilt's 28-4 edge in free-throw attempts.  Historically, South Carolina has not shot a high volume of free throws under Darrin Horn.  In fact, in nine seasons as a head coach, Horn's teams have ranked an average of 280th in the nation in Free Throw-Point %, or the percentage of a team's points that come from the foul line. The numbers indicate it's a function of a coach's style, not a hapless weakness of this year's team.

 

It'd be worth seeing this guy for a few more trips to the free-throw line. 

 

I asked Coach Horn for a player who could reach the foul line more.

 

"If I had to pick one, and think he's capable of it with his game, I'd say Anthony Gill," he replied.  "Anthony Gill's a strong, physical player.  He's got a good skill level."

 

More free-throw trips may suit the Gamecocks for another reason:  Tennessee ranks 2nd in the SEC in FG% defense  (39.3%).  Carolina needs to cash in on "easy" ones as often as they can.

 

Stat of the Week:  Tennessee forward Dwight Miller came out of nowhere Wednesday, delivering 10 points in 16 minutes in a 73-60 win over Ole Miss.  Miller did not play against South Carolina, and had scored just two points in 12 prior SEC games.  He also kept alive his rigorous - and humorous -- avoidance of the assist.  In 132 minutes this year, Miller has yet to record an assist.  Even Carlton Geathers has managed 1 assist in 172 minutes.

 

Sadly, Miller's miserliness pales in comparison Florida Atlantic's Kelvin Penn.  According to Ken Pomeroy, Penn leads the nation in minutes played without an assist - 520 minutes and counting.  That's the equivalent of 13 regulation games!  Godspeed, you two.

 

And Finally...  Casey Manning, our radio crew's resident gadabout, chatted up the father of Vanderbilt guard John Jenkins after Wednesday's game.  Jenkins leads the nation with 3.8 three-pointers per game.

 

Jenkins' father told Casey something interesting.  "I'm actually John, Jr.  My son is John Jenkins III."

 

Yes, the nation's leading three-point shooter is a "Third." 

 

Now that we're prepared, we hope you are as well.  Our pre-game coverage starts at 7:30 p.m. EST on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.  We'll see you at Colonial Life Arena.

Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: Women's Basketball is on the road tonight at 7:00 p.m. at Kentucky, Baseball preview for a weekend series with Elon, Women's Tennis gets an upset win over rival Clemson last night, Michael Roth up for prestigious award, and our women's swimming & diving posted the top GPA in the nation!


GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB


Women's Basketball: Gamecocks trying to play spoiler again (GamecockCentral.com)

Women's Basketball: Staley's Gamecocks look to visit success (GoGamecocks.com)

Baseball: Meyers: Pitchers took 'good step forward' (GamecockCentral.com)

Baseball: LB Dantzler enjoying life on big stage (GoGamecocks.com)

Women's Tennis: Gamecocks beat No. 17 Tigers (Daily Gamecock)

Softball: USC softball throttles Winthrop at home (Daily Gamecock)

Football: On Watkins-watch at the NFL Combine (GoGamecocks.com)
   


GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS


Women's Basketball. Women's Hoops Travels to #13/10 Kentucky Thursday

Baseball. Michael Roth Named A Candidate For Lowe's Senior CLASS Award

Baseball. Baseball Returns To Action Against Elon This Weekend

Softball. Softball Hosts Gamecock Invitational This Weekend

Softball. Hathorn's Pair of Two-Run Doubles Helps SC Defeat Winthrop 9-1 in Five

Women's Tennis. Gamecocks Host College of Charleston, Winthrop

Women's Tennis. Gamecocks Fight Back to Down No. 17 Clemson 4-3

Track & Field. Gamecock Track Prepares For SEC Indoor Championships

Track & Field. Video - Radiance Basden & Kierre Beckles SEC Championship Preview

Women's Golf. Gamecock Women's Golf to Host the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate

Men's Basketball. Gamecocks Fall at Vanderbilt, 59-48

Men's Soccer. Men's Soccer To Hold 13th Annual C.A.P.S. Clinic

Swimming & Diving. Gamecock Women's Swimming & Diving Posts Nation's Top GPA



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET


Good luck to all the guys!




Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!



SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

"Inside The Chart" with Andy Demetra (@GamecockRadio) - February 22, 2012

This Week's Home Events: Seven Sports in Action
 
#SCopeningday Storified

Athletics Holds Carolina Tennis Center Dedication

New Photos of Farmer's Market Project

Spurrier Jr. Happy with Signing Class, Recruiting Efforts



VIDEO OF THE DAY

Get to know Adam Matthews!





ROOSTER CROWS

Women's Basketball has won nine SEC games for the just the third time in its 21 seasons in the league. 

A win over Kentucky tonight would be the Gamecocks' 10th SEC win of the season, which would tie the 2001-02 team for the most in school history.



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

Today's weather would have been perfect for relaxing like this! Today's photo is from Alexis Butler with her brother Grant Butler in Orlando relaxing before the Capital One Bowl. "What a great day with family and watching our Gamecocks win!!" Alexis wrote.

Alexis Butler.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!

Previous fan photos may be seen here:

Fan Photo of the Day series - 2012
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2011

Spurs Up Daily Round-Up: 2/22

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Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: Men's Basketball heads to Nashville to take on the Commodores tonight, Women's Tennis hosts rival Clemson; Softball starts its seven game home-stand against Winthrop, Track & Field preps for SEC Indoor Championships, and more!



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB


Men's Basketball: Williams looks to aid Gamecocks at Vanderbilt (The Daily Gamecock)

Men's Basketball: USC wants accountability at Vanderbilt (GamecockCentral.com)    

Men's Basketball: USC looks to shut down Vandy's stars (The Post and Courier)

Women's Basketball: NCAA trip for USC women? (GoGamecocks.com)

Baseball: USC eyeing improvement this weekend (GamecockCentral.com)

Softball: Softball hopes to improve against Winthrop (The Daily Gamecock)

Swimming & Diving: Swimming, diving return from SEC Championships (The Daily Gamecock)



GAMECOCKS IN THE PROS

Baseball: Ex-Gamecocks dot rosters of pro teams (GoGamecocks.com)
    


GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS


Men's Basketball. Men's Hoops Travels To Vanderbilt On Wednesday

Softball. South Carolina Hosts Winthrop on Wednesday

Women's Tennis. Women's Tennis Hosts Rival Clemson on Wednesday

Track & Field. Marvin Reitze SEC Championship Preview

Track & Field. Video - Louis Day SEC Championship Preview

Baseball. Gamecock Spotlight: Adam Matthews

Volleyball. Gamecock Volleyball Set with Four Spring Events



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET


We think Coach Swanson has the right idea!



Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!



SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

"Inside The Chart" with Andy Demetra (@GamecockRadio) - February 22, 2012

This Week's Home Events: Seven Sports in Action
 
#SCopeningday Storified

Athletics Holds Carolina Tennis Center Dedication

New Photos of Farmer's Market Project

Spurrier Jr. Happy with Signing Class, Recruiting Efforts



VIDEO OF THE DAY

Get to know junior guard Brenton Williams!





FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

We just couldn't choose between these two great photos submitted by Windy Hammond 
(BS Chemistry '97 and MT Secondary Science Education '98) celebrating the win over Clemson!

Windy Hammond2.jpg
Cousins pictured from left to right: Grayson Hammond, Andrew Deck and Todd Deck

Windy Hammond.jpg
Windy's son Grayson, happy with the win!


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!

Previous fan photos may be seen here:

Fan Photo of the Day series - 2012
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2011





 

February 22, 2012

 

Greetings from Nashville.  Pre-tip reads before the Gamecocks face the baseline benches, elevated floor, and Kevin Stallings' gym-piercing whistle at Vanderbilt:

 

SEC-ond Coming:  What did we learn from South Carolina's last meeting with Vanderbilt, a 67-57 Commodores win January 10?  Pay attention to these four factors Wednesday:

 

1.)     Vanderbilt's best rebounder may not be who you think:  If Vanderbilt personnel read like a high school yearbook....

-          Most powerful player?  Festus Ezeli. 

-          Most explosive leaper?  Jeffery Taylor, scary highlight-reel maker and the SEC's leading scorer in conference games (18.6).

-          Best rebounder?  Neither.

 

The most difficult Commodore to contain on the boards continues to be 6'7," 230-pound senior Lance Goulbourne.  In 2 of his last 3 games against South Carolina, Goulbourne pulled down 14 and 10 rebounds, respectively.  South Carolina will need every bit of its athleticism - R.J. Slawson's in particular - to prevent Goulbourne from factoring on missed shots. 

 

The Commodores have wanted their role players to pitch in more offensively, and Goulbourne has gone just 5 for his last 24 from the field (20.8%).  Carolina can't let that let Goulbourne generate his offense off rebounds, and emerge as a complementary scoring threat. 

 

  2.)   Trap vs. Vanderbilt.jpegThe Commodores can be turnover-prone if you make them.  South Carolina's 3/4-court press has harried Vanderbilt the last two seasons, forcing them into turnovers or speeding them up once they cross into the forecourt.  South Carolina forced 18 turnovers in their Jan. 10 meeting; the Commodores committed 20 turnovers in a 61-52 win over Georgia Sunday. 

 

A textbook trap of Vanderbilt's John Jenkins (left) Jan. 10.  The Gamecocks forced 18 Vandy turnovers in their first matchup. 

 

The Commodores have a strong mix of polished, athletic finesse players -- when they find their rhythm in Kevin Stallings' thick-playbook motion offense, they can be hard to stop.  South Carolina needs to make it a rock fight, and force Vanderbilt to beat them ugly.  With more turnovers, Carolina can exact its brand of raw, low-possession basketball, a style not befitting the freewheeling Commodores.

 

3.)     Vandy can be dangerous any night from three.  The numbers don't leave much to subtlety:  Vanderbilt leads the SEC in 3pt. FG% (40.2%).  South Carolina ranks last in 3pt. FG% defense (39.0%).  The Commodores drained buckets -- and the Gamecocks' wills - when they connected on 13 of 22 three-pointers in January.  Like Florida, Vanderbilt has three players who shoot better than 40% from three-point range (Taylor .496, John Jenkins .459, Brad Tinsley .423).  If the Gamecocks trap out of their zone, they must do so decisively, and make their rotations crisp.  Any waffling could lead to sluggish rotations - and dangerously open looks for a good-passing Vandy team.  If the Commodores want to beat the Gamecocks from three-point range, make them shoot challenged three-pointers.

 

4.)     john-jenkins.jpgDon't lose track of John Jenkins.  Vanderbilt's three-point sniper produced one of the more incredible stat lines in college basketball against Ole Miss last week.  The junior shooting guard scored a team-high 28 points... on just five field goal attempts.

 

John Jenkins vs. Ole Miss:  28 pts.  (5-5 FG,  4-4 3pt.,  12-15 FT)

 

Jenkins leads the SEC in scoring (20.1 ppg), and leads the nation in three-point field goals per game (3.8).  Vanderbilt weaves Jenkins relentlessly around screens - forward Steve Tchiengang is a particularly hard screener - hoping to give him enough daylight for his lightning-quick release.  Jenkins also loves the stepback jumper if a defender tries to slip underneath a screen.  The Gamecocks can't let him get in rhythm or shoot open transition three's.

Big Fes' vs. Big 'Tre:  Damontre Harris told me he considers Vanderbilt big man Festus Ezeli the strongest player he's faced.  His play against the Commodores' 6'11," 255-pound center will be critical Wednesday. 

 

Damontre Harris LSU.jpegEzeli ranked 7th in the nation last year in fouls drawn/40 minutes, inducing an average of 7.9 fouls per 40 minutes.  As we've seen all year, South Carolina's production inside ebbs and flows with Harris' foul situation.  He picked up his first career double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds) against Vanderbilt Jan. 10.  Can Harris be a wrecking ball against Ezeli, while also staying out of foul trouble?

 

Damontre Harris (left) vs. LSU.  He recorded his first career double-double against Vanderbilt Jan. 10.

 

"It's just about doing my work early in the play, pushing him off the block, and figuring out how the refs are going to call the game," Harris told me.

 

Bump In The Road:  South Carolina was scuttled by a season-low 5 offensive rebounds against LSU.  Despite that output, offensive rebounding remains South Carolina's biggest statistical strength.  The Gamecocks rank 30th in the nation in Offensive Rebounding % (36.8%), a figure which also leads the SEC.

 

That bodes well against Vanderbilt:  statistically speaking, Vanderbilt is one of the poorer teams in the nation at preventing offensive rebounds for its height.  The Commodores rank 11th in the nation in Average Height (players measure an average of 68.1").  However, the Commodores rank 7th in the SEC, and 170th nationally, in Offensive Rebound Percentage Defense.  Only Florida State and Syracuse have taller average heights, but worse percentages.

 

Vanderbilt                             NCAA Rank

Average Height                    11th

OReb % Defense                  170th

 

Watch This:  Need another confirmation of South Carolina's meat-grinder schedule?  Vanderbilt is one of three teams to put three players (Taylor, Jenkins, Ezeli) on the Wooden Award Preseason Watch List.  The other two?  North Carolina and Ohio State.

 

Now that we're prepared, we hope you are as well.  Our pre-game coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. EST on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.  We'll see you in Nashville.

Spurs Up Daily Round-Up: 2/21 Lots of Love for Baseball

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Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: a national feature from ESPN on Carolina Baseball, Bradley Jr. and Wingo speak to youth, men's hoops prepares to travel to Vandy, sophomore fall sport student-athletes participate in the annual etiquette dinner in our Life Skills program, and what might just be the most impressive Fan Photo of the Day ever!



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB

Baseball: Gamecocks begin another title defense (ESPN)
*ESPN The Magazine's Ryan McGee was in town for opening weekend, check out his take above.

Baseball: Webb, Carter vital in first series (GamecockCentral.com)

Women's Basketball: USC women's basketball seeking more history this week (The Post & Courier)


GAMECOCKS IN THE PROS

Baseball: Bradley and Wingo Draw A Crowd At The Ballpark (WLTX.com)
*JBJ and Wingo talked to youth baseball players in West Columbia*



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS

Men's Basketball. Men's Hoops Travels To Vanderbilt On Wednesday

Life Skills. Etiquette Dinner Video Feature

Softball. Two Gamecock Softball Games Picked Up by TV

Softball. Video - Coach Smith Press Conference

Men's Soccer. South Carolina Men's Soccer Announces 2012 Summer Camp Dates

Gamecock Club. 2012 Gamecock Club Playbook Announced



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET


Great response from fans so far to the 2012 intro video for baseball - also today's Video of the Day!


Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!



SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS
 
This Week's Home Events: Seven Sports in Action
 
#SCopeningday Storified

Athletics Holds Carolina Tennis Center Dedication

New Photos of Farmer's Market Project

Spurrier Jr. Happy with Signing Class, Recruiting Efforts



VIDEO OF THE DAY

We uploaded the 2012 Baseball intro video to our YouTube channel yesterday, check it out if you missed it!





ROOSTER CROWS

Almost every single Gamecock team currently in-season plays at home this week - where will you cheer on your Gamecocks? More info on all the events here.



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

The gauntlet has been thrown down, folks. It's going to be pretty tough to top today's Fan Photo of the Day, submitted by Rusty Smith with the following story:

"This picture was made of our family on Christmas day which ranges 5 generations from my 103 year old Grandmother (Mary Ida Lucas) (in the middle) to my 6 year old great nephew (at the front).  This is our Three-peat Wish for Coach Tanner and the Gamecock Baseball Team for 2012. Go Gamecocks!"

Rusty Smith.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!

Previous fan photos may be seen here:
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2012
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2011

Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: Baseball opens the season with a sweep of VMI, Women's Basketball earns their 20th win of the season over Georgia, Kierre Beckles breaks a school record in track, Amanda Rutqvist earns silver in the 200m breaststroke at SEC Championships, senior Malik Cooke earns his 1,000th career point, and more!



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB

Baseball: Look Back, Look Ahead: Freshman Impact (GamecockCentral.com)

Baseball: Pitching comes through for Gamecocks vs. VMI (GoGamecocks.com)

Baseball: USC sweeps VMI (Anderson Independent Mail)

Baseball: New names, old faces combine for sweep (GamecockAnthem.com)

Baseball: Fans Stock Up On Gamecock Baseball Gear (WLTX.com)

Women's Basketball: Staley, Gamecocks secure 20th win of season (GoGamecocks.com)

Women's Basketball: Gamecocks hunting for SEC tourney bye (GamecockCentral.com)


GAMECOCKS IN THE PROS

Men's Soccer: Jimmy Maurer's leap of faith (MLSsoccer.com)



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS

Women's Basketball. Gamecocks Score 20th Win, 69-55 Over Alabama

Men's Basketball. Gamecocks Fall to Tigers 68-58

Swimming & Diving. Courtney Forcucci Named AgSouth Athlete of the Week

Swimming & Diving. Rutqvist Wins Silver in 200 Breaststroke to Wrap Up SEC Championships

Baseball. South Carolina Baseball Notebook

Baseball. Gamecocks Sweep Doubleheader and Series With 13-1 Win Over VMI
 
Softball. Gamecocks Post 15-3 Win over Villanova

Track. Kierre Beckles's School Record Leads 12 Wins In Track Tune-up

Women's Tennis. South Carolina Earns 7-0 Win Over Loyola Marymount

Men's Tennis. Freshmen Star in Singles in Win Over UNC Wilmington

Men's Basketball. Gamecocks Fall to Tigers 68-58
 


COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET


Thank you, fans!




Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!



SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS
 
"Inside the Roost" Tonight: Jerry Meyers, Bill McDonald

This Week's Home Events: Seven Sports in Action
 
#SCopeningday Storified

Athletics Holds Carolina Tennis Center Dedication

New Photos of Farmer's Market Project

Spurrier Jr. Happy with Signing Class, Recruiting Efforts



VIDEO OF THE DAY

Get to know junior women's tennis player Jaklin Alawi and listen up for her unique career dream.





ROOSTER CROWS

Kierre Beckles broke the 55-meter hurdle school record Saturday to lead the Gamecocks to 12 wins at the Gamecock Invitational. Beckles had three runs in the women's 55-meter hurdles Saturday, improving from 7.88 in the prelims to 7.55 in the final to surpass the previous program record of 7.60 set by both Ronnetta Alexander (2006) and Jackie Madison (1998).

South Carolina is No. 2 in the nation in college baseball attendance after opening weekend with an average of
7,751 fans per game and 23,253 total.



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

Today's fan photo is from Rory Smith with his son Roman at Williams-Brice:

Rory Smith.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!

Previous fan photos may be seen here:
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2012
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2011
 
  

"Inside the Roost" Tonight: Jerry Meyers, Bill McDonald

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1075 the game logo.jpgTune in to 107.5 The Game Monday night from 7:00-8:00 p.m. for "Inside the Roost". Athletics Director Eric Hyman and host Derek Scott will be joined by two guests this week.

Baseball Assistant Head Coach Jerry Meyers will be on to discuss the start of the season and his pitching staff, including pre-season All-Americans Michael Roth and Matt Price.

Men's Golf Head Coach Bill McDonald joins the show as the team prepares for their first tournament of the spring season this weekend at the Seahawk Invitational in Wilmington, NC. 


"Inside the Roost" airs Monday nights from 7:00-8:00 p.m. on 107.5 The Game with weekly insight into the world of college athletics and Gamecock sports from Eric Hyman and Derek Scott along with weekly guests. You can also listen online.

This Week's Home Events: Seven Sports in Action

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THIS WEEK IN GAMECOCK COUNTRY...

We have a jam-packed week of home events this week with lots of opportunities to cheer on your Gamecocks! Almost every team currently in season is playing at home this week, including the final home game of the season for Women's Basketball. The Gamecocks earned their 20th win of the season Sunday with a road win over Alabama and will look to close out the season strong this week with Senior Day on Sunday vs. Arkansas. Equestrian hosts two competitions this weekend, vs. Auburn on Saturday with their annual Equifest, and Senior Day on Sunday vs. Baylor. Baseball and Softball are both in action as Baseball hosts a three-game weekend series against Elon and Softball hosts the Gamecock Invitational tournament including four contests for Carolina. Both tennis squads are also playing at home, with Women's Tennis facing rival Clemson on Wednesday followed by two more matches on Friday and Sunday and Men's Tennis hosting a doubleheader on Saturday. All of this week's tennis matches are currently scheduled to be played outdoors in the new Carolina Tennis Center.

Parking Reminder: for softball and tennis events we encourage fans to park in the new Athletics Village parking garage off Heyward St. Parking in the garage is free for athletic events. See map

Baseball season parking is still available. Click here for more information.

We look forward to seeing a lot of fans out at all the events - make it a very Gamecock weekend!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

#26 Women's Tennis vs. #17 Clemson - 2:00 p.m.
-Free pizza for the first 100 students
-Official team posters
*The team picked up two wins in California this past weekend and will face three Palmetto State opponents this week.
*Get to know Jaklin Alawi in the Gamecock Spotlight:




Softball vs. Winthrop - 5:00 p.m.
-Play Softball Bingo for a chance to win a prize
-Official team posters
*The Gamecocks recorded an 8-1 victory over the Eagles during the Palmetto Classic on opening weekend.


Friday, February 24, 2012

#26 Women's Tennis vs. College of Charleston - 3:00 p.m.
-Official team posters
*Jaklin Alawi and Dijana Stojic are currently 4-0 this spring at No. 1 doubles.

#2 Baseball vs. Elon - 3:00 p.m.
-Play Baseball Bingo for a chance to win a prize
*South Carolina is ranked second in the nation in college baseball attendance after opening weekend averaged 7,751 fans per game.

Softball vs. Elon - 5:00 p.m.
-Gamecock Invitational
-Play Softball Bingo for a chance to win a prize
-Official team posters


Saturday, February 25, 2012

#48 Men's Tennis vs. Furman - 10:00 a.m.
-First match for the men's team at the Carolina Tennis Center
-Enter to win an autographed team poster
-Official team posters
*Men's Tennis is currently 8-1 and undefeated at home.

#5 Equestrian vs. #1 Auburn - 10:00 a.m.
-Equifest: Activities will include decorating cowboy hats, horse shoes, stick horses, and a coloring station
-Official team posters

Softball vs. Appalachian State - 12:30 p.m.
-Gamecock Invitational
-Play Softball Bingo for a chance to win a prize
-Official team posters

#2 Baseball vs. Elon - 1:30 p.m.
-Play Baseball Bingo for a chance to win a prize

Softball vs. Presbyterian - 3:00 p.m.
-Gamecock Invitational
-Play Softball Bingo for a chance to win a prize
-Official team posters


#48 Men's Tennis vs. Charlotte - 4:00 p.m.
-Enter to win an autographed team poster!
-Official team posters available

Men's Basketball vs. Tennessee  - 8:00 p.m.
-Flying Hounds halftime act
-Cocky's Bounce House
-One of just two remaining home games
*Senior forward Malik Cooke reached the 1,000-point milestone for his career this past Saturday vs. LSU.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Softball vs. George Washington - 10:00 a.m.
-Gamecock Invitational
-Play Softball Bingo for a chance to win a prize
-Official team posters

#5 Equestrian vs. #4 Baylor - 11:00 a.m.
-Senior Day
-Official team posters

#26 Women's Tennis vs. Winthrop - 1:00 p.m.
-Official team posters

#2 Baseball vs. Elon - 1:30 p.m.
-Play Baseball Bingo for a chance to win a prize

Women's Basketball vs. Arkansas - 2:00 p.m.
-Senior Day - final home game for seniors Markeshia Grant, Courtney Newton, Charenee Stephens, La'Keisha Sutton and Ebony Wilson
-Flying Hounds halftime act
-"Active Gamecocks" game - program winners recognized on the court during the game
-Cocky's Bounce House


Gamecocks on the road:

M. Basketball @ Vandy - Wednesday, 8:00 p.m. TV: SEC Network, ESPN3
W. Basketball @ #13/10 Kentucky - Thursday, 7:00 p.m.  Listen Online
Track & Field - SEC Indoor Championships, Lexington, KY - Fri.-Sun.
Swimming & Diving - Bulldog Invitational, Athens, GA - Sat-Sun
Men's Golf - Seahawk Invitational, Wilmington, NC - Sunday

#SCopeningday Storified

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With digital billboards around Columbia and the countdown going strong all week, fans joined us in using the #SCopeningday hashtag on Twitter to share their excitement about the start of the season. Check out some of the tweets below and see more here.


Spurs Up Daily Round-Up: 2/17 #SCopeningday

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Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition it's Opening Day in Gamecock Country, great features on Matt Price, Joey Pankake, and Tanner English, senior diver Courtney Forcucci wins the SEC title in the 3-meter springboard, Men's Basketball hosts LSU tomorrow afternoon, and more!

rothopeningday-today.jpg

Use the #SCopeningday hashtag on Twitter!





**NOTE: Saturday's Baseball game vs. VMI has been moved up to a NOON start time due to anticipated rain.




GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB

Baseball: Opening weekend is here (GamecockCentral.com)

Baseball: Two-time champion Gamecocks take the field (GoGamecocks.com)

Baseball: No Problem (GamecockCentral.com)

Baseball: VMI eager for chance to face USC (GamecockCentral.com)

Baseball: From closer to starter, Gamecocks' Matt Price ready to make the transition (The Post and Courier)

Baseball: With a shorter swing, freshman LF English ready to contribute to USC (The Post and Courier)

Baseball: 5 questions facing USC baseball (Anderson Independent Mail)

Baseball: Gamecocks not overwhelmed by high expectations (The Daily Gamecock)

Baseball: In our opinion: USC baseball inspires pride in community (The Daily Gamecock)

Baseball: 4-for-4 with Joey Pankake (TheBigSpur.com)

Baseball: Pitching is king in the SEC as Florida, South Carolina start as favorites for league title (The Washington Post)

Baseball: Gamecocks aim for rare baseball 3-peat (Associated Press)



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS

Baseball: Baseball Opens 2012 Season On Friday Vs. VMI

Men's Basketball. Gamecocks To Host LSU On Saturday Afternoon

Men's Tennis. Men's Tennis Ends Road Swing at UNC Wilmington

Swimming&Diving. Forcucci Breaks SEC Record on Three-Meter Springboard to Win Gold at SEC Championships

Women's Basketball. No. 25 Gamecocks Fall To No. 18/15 Georgia, 61-59



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET

Let's go!




Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!



SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

"Inside The Chart" with Andy Demetra (@GamecockRadio) - February 17, 2012

"Carolina Calls" Thursday to Feature Ray Tanner, Former Players

This Week's Home Events: Baseball Opening Day, Hoops vs. Georgia

Athletics Holds Carolina Tennis Center Dedication

New Photos of Farmer's Market Project

Spurrier Jr. Happy with Signing Class, Recruiting Efforts



VIDEO OF THE DAY

Join us at Men's Basketball tomorrow!





ROOSTER CROWS

South Carolina senior Courtney Forcucci claimed the women's 3-meter diving championship with an SEC-record score of 392.40. It marked the second championship in a row for the Gamecocks in that event after South Carolina's Taryn Zack won last season. Forcucci also finished third in the women's 1-meter springboard competition



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

In honor of Opening Day we're heading back to baseball for today's Fan Photo of the Day from Beth DeWolf of her son, Charlie, with Cocky at a baseball game last season.

Beth Wistrom.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!

Previous fan photos may be seen here:
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2012
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2011

February 17, 2012

 

When the losses pile up, players have plenty of reasons to "check out."  To lose pride, slink away, and stray from the things that made them successful.  It's the first slip on a slope that can lead teams to a cardinal sin of sports:  being okay with losing. 

 

When the whistle blew - ahead of schedule -- to end South Carolina's practice Tuesday, the Gamecocks could've merrily skipped away, content to punch the clock and enjoy the early dismissal.  Yet for a half-hour after practice, every Gamecock player stayed behind to get up extra shots.  They went through shooting drills, pushed up free throws, rebounded for one another, and generally ribbed each other as they waited their turn in the rotation. 

 

A 1-9 start in the SEC could have worn away at the Gamecocks' resolve.  It could've splintered them, left them resigned - or worse, made them okay with losing.  But inside those losses were comebacks.  Plenty of them.  In Knoxville, Gainesville, Oxford, and Fayetteville.  Yes, the losses had piled up.  But South Carolina had shown too much fight to stop now. 

 

The Gamecocks finally showed the fruits of their fight against Georgia.  Wednesday's game didn't come easy, nor did it come pretty, but the Gamecocks grinded their way from a seven-point deficit to beat the Bulldogs 57-56.  Will that preparation pay off further against LSU (15-10, 5-6 SEC) Saturday? 

 

Pre-tip reads before Gamecocks and Tigers renew pleasantries at Colonial Life Arena:

 

Cooke vs. Georgia.jpegStepping Up:  In the first half against Georgia, Malik Cooke, Bruce Ellington, and Damien Leonard doddered to a 1-of-13 shooting line.  They combined to go 6-for-12 in the second half.  Georgia shifted to a 2-3 zone in the second half, hoping to slow down Carolina's dribble penetration.  Cooke, Ellington, and Leonard's contributions helped offset that.

 

Malik Cooke (left) led South Carolina with 13 points vs. Georgia.

 

Quick Hands:  Georgia came in averaging 10.3 turnovers per game, the 4th-lowest total in the nation.  South Carolina shook out 13 turnovers from the Bulldogs, their second-highest total in SEC play.

 

Let's put it another way:  Georgia committed 13 turnovers in 40:00 against South Carolina.  Georgia had committed 13 turnovers in its last 82:15 of SEC play. 

 

Man To Stop:  center Justin Hamilton.  Behold!  A true low-post player.  At 7'0," 260 pounds, Hamilton sat out last year as a transfer from Iowa State.  He has since led the Tigers in scoring (13.7 ppg) and rebounds (7.3 rpg), while shooting a team-best 52.2% from the floor.  Hamilton has soft hands and a nice touch around the rim, with the ability to shoot smoothly from 8-12 feet.  His post offense is measured and well-schooled, rather than herky-jerky and explosive, and he shields the ball from his defender exceptionally well.  When you're 7'0," 260 pounds, why not use your body to your advantage?  He's also a terrific offensive rebounder (2nd SEC, 3.7 rpg).


 

Justin Hamilton.jpgIn addition to Hamilton, the Tigers feature 6'9," 262-pound freshman - yes, freshman -- Johnny O'Bryant, a former McDonald's All-American.  Damontre Harris played a career-high 38 minutes against Georgia, controlling the lane with his solar-eclipse length.  Can he avoid the foul trouble that sidetracked him in several SEC games, and maintain a steady defensive presence against Hamilton? 

 

Person of interest:  LSU 7-footer Justin Hamilton, an Iowa State transfer.   

 

Trap Game?  The Gamecocks weren't afraid to trap on the wing, or rotate a weak-side player over, to hunt for turnovers against Georgia.  The risk of a trap, of course, is that it leaves behind one less defender if the opposing ball-handler breaks your trap.  Even if the Gamecocks double LSU's posts, or force the Tigers to slingshot around the perimeter to avoid a trap, it may be worth the gamble.  LSU has shot 13 for its last 73 from three-point range (17.8%) in its last 5 games. 

 

Matchup to Watch:  South Carolina's Bruce Ellington vs. LSU freshman guard Anthony Hickey.  Maturity isn't measured easily in college basketball.  But Ellington has quietly shown more poise at the point during his sophomore season:

 

Bruce Ellington

Year                        Assists                   Turnovers

'10-11                    42                           43

'11-12                    40                           27

 

Ellington vs. Alabama.jpegAs you can see, Ellington has nearly as many assists - in five fewer games - while committing 16 fewer turnovers.  He's rushed less, and played in control more.  He'll receive a test Saturday from Hickey, a 5'10" former Kentucky Mr. Basketball who has had a solid rookie season for head coach Trent Johnson.  In addition to averaging 9.6 ppg and a team-high 3.8 apg, Hickey ranks among the SEC leaders in steals (2.1 spg).

 

Bruce Ellington will get a test from one of the quickest pairs of hands in the SEC, LSU point guard Anthony Hickey. 

 

Ellington and Hickey have several traits in common:  height (Hickey 5'10," Ellington 5'8"), hype (starting point guards from Day One), and crossover ability (both starred at quarterback for their high schools' football teams). Ellington will need to use his more mature ballhandling against Hickey's hyper-quick hands.  We'll also see if Ellington can use his athleticism to shed Hickey off ball screens, something the Gamecocks did often against Georgia.  At eye level, few players see eye-to-eye with Bruce.  Look at how Ellington has fared when facing an opposing point guard shorter than 6'0" in SEC play:

 

Date                       Team                      Player                                     Height                    Points Scored

1/15/11                 Florida                  Erving Walker                       5'8"                         23 points              

2/2/11                   LSU                         Andre Stringer                       5'9"                         20 points

1/14/12                 Florida                  Erving Walker                       5'8"                         17 points

 

Clearly, Ellington has shown he can get his shot up.

 

Threes Need Not Apply:  South Carolina has shot 10-51 (19.6%) from three-point range in its two SEC wins. 

 

We Interrupt This Game... South Carolina sealed the Georgia game thanks to stellar, 14-15 free-throw shooting.  Neither team has shown a penchant to drive or play physically - South Carolina ranks 334th in the nation in FTA/FGA, LSU 335th  That could easily decide the game - which team gets to the line better?

 

And Finally... Did the Gamecocks receive some serendipitous scheduling?  South Carolina held Georgia's triangle offense to an SEC season-low 35.1% FG.  Georgia head coach Mark Fox learned the triangle as an assistant coach at Nevada to Tigers head coach Trent Johnson.

 

Repetition and preparation.  The Gamecocks exhibited it after the practice whistle Tuesday.  They'll try to show it when the referee's whistle blows Saturday.

 

Now that we're prepared, we hope you are as well.  Our pre-game coverage begins at 1:00 p.m. EST on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.  We'll see you at Colonial Life Arena.

 

Spurs Up Daily Round-Up: 2/16 One Day

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Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks!


GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB

Women's Basketball: Georgia is latest focus for Staley, Gamecocks (GoGamecocks.com)

Baseball: Vergason takes the field with shadow waiting (GamecockCentral.com)

Football: SEC "Photoblog": The Football Coaches Meeting (SECDigitalNetwork.com)

Football: Lawing pleased with 2012 D-Line class (GamecockCentral.com)

Women's Soccer: Pitch battle for spots on Canadian roster (Welland Tribune)
*Sabrina D'Angelo competing for spot on U-20 Canadian National Team*


GAMECOCKS IN THE PROS

Men's Soccer: Maurer Excited to Join Concepcion (YanksAbroad.com)
*Gamecocks' goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer becomes only American playing in Chilean Primera league*



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS

Women's Basketball. Gamecocks Host No. 18/15 Georgia Thursday Night

Swimming & Diving. Gamecocks Send Three Swimmers to Thursday's Finals at SEC Championships

Swimming & Diving. Forcucci's Bronze, Women's 200 Medley Relay lead Gamecocks on Day One at SEC Championships

Softball. Gamecocks Fly South for Blue & Gold Feisberg Memorial

Track & Field. Gamecock Invitational Schedule of Events

Men's Basketball. Gamecocks Survive 57-56 Thriller Against Georgia

Men's Basketball. SEC Announces 2012 Men's Basketball Legends

Baseball. Baseball Opens 2012 Season On Friday Vs. VMI

Baseball. Opening Day Festivities Planned For South Carolina-VMI On Friday

Baseball. Commemorative Ray Tanner Limited Release Wines Available Soon



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET

Can't wait!




Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!



SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS


"Carolina Calls" Thursday to Feature Ray Tanner, Former Players

This Week's Home Events: Baseball Opening Day, Hoops vs. Georgia

Athletics Holds Carolina Tennis Center Dedication

New Photos of Farmer's Market Project

Spurrier Jr. Happy with Signing Class, Recruiting Efforts

Fan Comments Featured on Gamecocks Billboard



VIDEO OF THE DAY

Get to know junior guard Ieasia Walker:





ROOSTER CROWS

WBB: Senior guards Markeshia Grant and La'Keisha Sutton have combined to score 48.8 percent of the team's 60.6 points per game over the last five outings. One or the other has been the team's high scorer in each game, including three 20-point games for Grant.


WBB: Freshman forward Aleighsa Welch in the SEC in field goal percentage this season (.608)



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

The Cantrell Family sent in today's photo of Gamecock fan Landon before his 1st birthday!

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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!

Previous fan photos may be seen here:
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2012
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2011

Spurs Up Daily Round-Up: 2/15 Two Days...

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Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition only two days away from Baseball Opening Day, Men's Basketball starts home stand against Georgia tonight, and more!

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GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB


Men's Basketball: Home stand begins with Georgia (GamecockCentral.com)

Baseball: A tall task for USC's Greiner (The Post and Courier)

Baseball: Meyers talks pitching (GamecockCentral.com)

Baseball: Price welcomes new role (GamecockCentral.com)

Baseball: Colby right at Holmes as third starter (GamecockCentral.com)



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS

Women's Tennis. Women's Tennis Returns to Action in San Diego

Baseball. Opening Day Festivities Planned For South Carolina-VMI On Friday

Equestrian. Equestrian Jumps Two Spots in Latest Coaches Poll

Women's Basketball. Jocelyn Penn Tabbed as South Carolina's 2012 SEC Great



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET




Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!



SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS


"Carolina Calls" Thursday to Feature Ray Tanner, Former Players

This Week's Home Events: Baseball Opening Day, Hoops vs. Georgia

Athletics Holds Carolina Tennis Center Dedication

New Photos of Farmer's Market Project

Spurrier Jr. Happy with Signing Class, Recruiting Efforts

Fan Comments Featured on Gamecocks Billboard



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

Today's photo is from the Nelsons!

"Barry and Charlene Nelson (We only missed one game this year and sure didn't want to miss our 11th win.) and Eleanor and Vincent Shurr from Savannah, GA.  Waiting for the pep rally to start." 

Charlene Nelson.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!

Previous fan photos may be seen here:
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2012
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2011





 

February 15, 2012

 

Ever run on a treadmill, then step off and try to walk?  That may be how it feels when South Carolina takes the floor Wednesday. 

 

Malik vs. UGA.jpegIn the SEC, no two opponents combine for a more disorienting change of tempo than Carolina's last opponent and its next one.  Arkansas, with its frenzied "40 Minutes of Hell" style, ranks 15th in the nation in Adjusted Tempo (71.7 possessions/game).  Georgia, led by triangle tactician Mark Fox, ranks 323rd (62.0 possessions/game).

 

Brace yourself:  Slow speeds ahead.

 

Georgia's tempo plays right into Carolina's wheelhouse - the Gamecocks rank a similarly low 318th (62.4).  If you're expecting a lurching, low-scoring muckfest, though, you'll be disappointed.  Georgia (12-12, 3-7 SEC) has racked up impressive back-to-back wins over Arkansas and #20 Mississippi State in overtime.  Carolina hopes to make that confidence short-lived, while igniting some late-season confidence of its own.  Pre-tip reads before Gamecocks and Bulldogs battle it out in Columbia:

 

One Half "Down"...  An eerie coincidence started to unfold in the final minutes of the first half at Bud Walton Arena.  Three days earlier, Tennessee had used an 11-2 run to lead Carolina 35-27 at halftime.  Arkansas followed a similar blueprint, using an 11-0 run to stretch a 27-27 tie into a 38-27 lead at halftime.  Over the last three games, South Carolina has been outscored 28-4 in the final 3:00 of the first half.

 

Final 3:00 of the 1st Half - Last 3 games

Opponent                  Score at 3:00                       Score at Halftime                 Run

Kentucky                    45-25 UK                              52-25                                     7-0         

Tennessee                  23-21 USC                            35-27 UT                               14-4       

Arkansas                    31-27 ARK                            38-27                                    7-0        

                                                                                                                                  USC:  2-13 FG, 0-2 FT

 

And that's despite an interesting stat I unearthed from reviewing the tape.  Oddly, South Carolina got an offensive rebound -- either by an individual or on a dead ball -- on 7 of its 11 missed shots.

 

South Carolina has scored 313 2nd-chance points on 311 offensive rebounds this year - a nearly 1:1 ratio.  Yet in their first-half breakdowns, South Carolina scored 0 points on 7 offensive rebounds. 

 

The remedy is there.  If the Gamecocks can convert, the walk to the locker room need not feel so desultory.

 

Offensive Rebounds                            2nd Chance Points

Season                                   311                                                         313

3:00-Half, Last 3g                 7                                                              0

 

 

R.J. Slawson Defense.jpegTriangle Talk:  With its spacing, cutting, and constant movement, Georgia's triangle offense demands agile, good passing big man.  Georgia had several of them last year in center Trey Thompkins, freakishly athletic Travis Leslie, and burly (but nimble) forward Jeremy Price.  Those three players are all gone, though, leaving behind a frontcourt thin in both talent and experience.

 

If South Carolina's forwards get extended, can they lock down defensively vs. Georgia's triangle?

 As a result, listeners may notice a difference in how Georgia attacks the offensive end.  The Bulldogs don't do as many straight-up post feeds as they did last year, especially off ball reversals.  They instead prefer their action off stagger screens and pindowns (where a post player sets a screen, then rolls toward the basket, effectively "pinning" his defender underneath the rim).  Pay attention to freshman guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (14.5 ppg, 2.4 3-pointer/game) - the former McDonald's All-American is the player most capable of scoring from all spots on the floor.  If South Carolina's low post players become extended, can they deny the dribble-drive?  

 

Gerald Robinson.jpgMan to Stop:  Georgia guard Gerald Robinson Jr.  With Thompkins, Leslie, and Price circulating through the paint last year, Robinson's offense was mostly opportunistic.  This year, the 6'1" Robinson (pictured left) has become the centerpiece in head coach Mark Fox's triangle offense. 

 

Georgia guard Gerald Robinson played two seasons at Tennessee State before transferring to UGa.

 

The triangle is designed to keep the ball well distributed, which makes Robinson's numbers intriguing.  Though far from a high-wattage star, Robinson leads the SEC, and ranks 34th nationally, in % of Possessions Used (%Poss).  Essentially, that's the percentage of a team's possessions that ends with an individual a.) making a shot; b.) missing a shot that isn't rebounded by the offense; or c.) committing a turnover.  When he's on the court, Robinson uses 30.3% of Georgia's possessions.  Last year, Georgia didn't have a player who ranked in the Top 100. 

 

Robinson got to the rim at will against Arkansas, exploding for a career-high 27 points en route to SEC Player of the Week honors.  However, he struggled against South Carolina in two meetings last year, making only 5-17 field goals while committing 9 turnovers.  Take him out of his rhythm, and it fundamentally alters the flow of the Bulldog offense.  The Gamecocks have to stay attached to Robinson, talk out screens, and not allow him to shed them off the dribble.

 

Lakeem Jackson vs. Arkansas.jpegThe "Jack-Hammer":  Lakeem Jackson, the junior forward from Charlotte, played 25 solid minutes against Arkansas, scoring 6 points while only committing one turnover.  He also gave the Gamecocks some rugged perimeter defense against Arkansas' guard-heavy lineup. 

 

He could figure into Carolina's game plan again against another perimeter-oriented team in the Bulldogs.  Georgia does not turn the ball over often in its triangle - opponents get steals on just 6.9% of the Bulldogs' possessions, the 6th-lowest figure in the nation.  On the flip side, Georgia's field-goal percentage (39.5%) ranks last in the SEC.

 

Lakeem Jackson (right) may have earned himself more minutes with his defensive play vs. Arkansas.

 

The recipe should be straightforward:  meet Georgia on the catch, and don't get loose while trapping or defending dribble-handoffs.  Another key:  defensive-rebound forcefully.  Georgia ranks last in the SEC in offensive rebound %, grabbing only 31% of their missed shots.

 

Anthony Gill Dunk.jpegThe Gill-O-Meter:   Not much has gone right lately for freshman forward Anthony Gill.  In his last two games, the easygoing Charlotte native has gone a not-so-easy 0-for-8 from the field.  He has also made just 5 of his last 16 free throws, after entering the month at 75%.  Assistant coach Mike Boynton hollered for Gill to "finish your shot!" during one fruitless free-throw trip at Arkansas.

 

Pay attention to one area in particular for freshman Anthony Gill Wednesday.

 

"One of Anthony's great strengths is he really sees the game, and has good basketball IQ.  Sometimes, I think he sees too much, if that makes sense," Horn told me during our pre-game interview at Arkansas.  "He just need to get him locked in on rebounding the basketball and being aggressive, and he'll do fine."

 

Horn knows of what he speaks.  Gill's commitment to rebounding has been a bellwether for South Carolina.  In the Gamecocks' nine wins, Gill averages 7.0 rebounds per game.  In their 15 losses, that number drops to 3.9 rpg.

 

Anthony Gill '11-12

Wins                       7.0 rpg

Losses                    3.9 rpg

 

It comes as no surprise that Gill's SEC high in rebounds (9) came in Carolina's lone win over Alabama.

 

And Finally... Georgia is looking for its first three-game SEC win streak since its Cinderella run to the 2008 SEC Tournament title.

 

Now that we're prepared, we hope you are as well.  Our pregame coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.  We'll see you at Colonial Life Arena.

Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: the buzz and excitement for baseball Opening Day continues to amplify, including students happy about their new seating, Carolina Tennis Center dedication coverage, Women's Golf finishes 7th at UCF Challenge, welcoming our new Volleyball assistant coach, Swimming & Diving prepare to head to the SEC Championships and more! 


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GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB

Baseball: Florida leads familiar faces looking to deny South Carolina three-peat (SI.com)

Baseball: A section of their own: students relocated for 2012 baseball season (The Daily Gamecock)

Baseball: Tanner wraps preseason practice (GamecockCentral.com)

Baseball: Scrimmage photos - February 13 (TheBigSpur.com)

Baseball: Tanner: Gamecocks' lineup taking shape (GoGamecocks.com)

Baseball: Beal, Seddon ready to wait to pitch (GamecockCentral.com)

Tennis: New tennis digs excite Gamecocks (GoGamecocks.com)

Tennis: Gamecocks dedicate new, long-awaited Carolina Tennis Center (The Daily Gamecock)

Women's Basketball: Staley's Gamecocks cling to Top 25 spot (GoGamecocks.com)

General: South Carolina is paying its top coaches by merit (Anderson Independent Mail)

Football: Holding onto Elliott a coup for Gamecocks (ESPN SEC Blog)


Football: New assistants face challenges in first year (GamecockCentral.com)

Football: What you love about your SEC team (ESPN College Football Nation Blog)


GAMECOCK ALUMNI

Football: Steve Taneyhill to take over at Union County (The State)



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS


Swimming & Diving. Gamecock Swimming & Diving Heads to SEC Championships

Women's Golf. Gamecock Women's Golf Finishes Seventh at UCF Challenge

Men's Basketball. Men's Hoops To Host Georgia In Midweek Game Wednesday

Track & Field. Byrd, Basden Earn SEC Track Athlete of the Week Honors

Volleyball. Julie Darty Joins Gamecock Volleyball Staff as Assistant Coach

Men's Soccer. 2012 South Carolina Men's Soccer Spring Schedule

Baseball. Gamecocks Announce Sellout For Opening Day

Tennis. Photos and Video - Carolina Tennis Stadium Dedication



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET

Dang skippy!! LOL  Follow the #SCopeningday hashtag throughout the week and during the game on Friday!




Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!



SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

"Carolina Calls" Thursday to Feature Ray Tanner, Former Players

This Week's Home Events: Baseball Opening Day, Hoops vs. Georgia

Athletics Holds Carolina Tennis Center Dedication

New Photos of Farmer's Market Project

Spurrier Jr. Happy with Signing Class, Recruiting Efforts

Fan Comments Featured on Gamecocks Billboard

Kyle Thompson, Tommy Gainey Rep Gamecocks at Pebble Beach



VIDEO OF THE DAY

Get to know more about the sophomore point guard from Moncks Corner...





ROOSTER CROWS

Fans can enter to win free tickets to the February 21st Drake concert at Colonial Life Arena at tomorrow night's Men's Basketball game vs. Georgia at 7:00 p.m. Register at the CLA marketing table near section 101 or the Student Rewards table by the student entrance!

Our Swimming & Diving team enters this week's SEC Championships with three swimmers with NCAA `B' cut times and five divers with NCAA Zone qualifying scores.



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

Today's photo is from Donna Williams:

"Gilvonni Fulmore (left) & her bestfriend Donna Williams (right) before the Carolina vs. Clemson game 2011 Go Gamecocks :)"

Donna Williams.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!

Previous fan photos may be seen here:

Fan Photo of the Day series - 2012
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2011

BSB 2011 National Champions logo.JPGOn this week's "Carolina Calls" (Thursday, Feb. 16, 7:00-8:00 p.m. at Wild Wing Cafe in the Vista) we'll have a special preview edition show on the eve of Opening Day featuring South Carolina Baseball Head Coach Ray Tanner and members of the 2011 National Championship team. Players scheduled to attend include Jackie Bradley Jr., Scott Wingo, Brady Thomas, Robert Beary, Steven Neff, Bryan Harper and Adrian Morales. Fans are welcome to attend the show.

Due to the number of guests and topics, fans are encouraged to tweet us their questions for Coach Tanner and the players.  Fans can submit their question to call-in show host Andy Demetra on Twitter (@GamecockRadio) or by using the hashtag #SCopeningday in their tweet.


Be sure to tune in on 107.5 The Game and all across the Gamecock IMG Sports Network of radio affiliates statewide for "Carolina Calls"!
  If you can't listen on the radio, you can listen via GamecocksOnline.com All-Access (Premium).


Tickets for Opening Day vs. VMI on Friday, Feb. 17 are sold out. A limited number of general admission/standing room only tickets remain for the Saturday (3:00 p.m.) and Sunday (1:30 p.m.) games vs. VMI. Click here for more.

Athletics Holds Carolina Tennis Center Dedication

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Watch the full video of the Carolina Tennis Center dedication here

South Carolina Athletics hosted a dedication ceremony Monday afternoon for the new Carolina Tennis Center at the Athletics Village. Athletics Director Eric Hyman hosted the festivities, leading off the introductions by thanking everyone involved with bring the project to life, including the university Board of Trustees, Executive Associate AD Kevin O'Connell, who oversees facility projects, the engineers, architects, construction team and more. The words used most throughout the day by everyone speaking were "magnificent" and "breathtaking".

Carolina Tennis Center dedication.jpeg
From left to right, Hyman, Machado, Goffi, Elkins and Stojic lead the ceremonial ribbon-cutting. Photo by Allen Sharpe.


"When we started doing our long-range master plan for facilities, we knew that improvement on the tennis courts was part of the equation," said Hyman. "This is a piece of the puzzle and we're really excited to do something for our tennis programs. Our job is to give the facilities, the support and the commitment to our student-athletes...our responsibility is to give the proper resources to our coaches so they can achieve on a high level in the field of competition." 

After Hyman's introduction both teams' head coaches and two student-athletes spoke to the crowd.

"We're so grateful to Eric [Hyman] and Marcy [Girton] and everyone else who was involved," said women's tennis head coach Arlo Elkins. "When you look at just this facility, on its own it stands as one of the best facilities in the country. When you look around at the Dodie, the [Rice Athletics Center]...this area will be second to none."

Senior Dijana Stojic, playing her final season with the Gamecocks, spoke on behalf of the women's team, saying, "After three and a half years of hard work, this came as a reward. There is no better feeling than to tell everyone how proud we are to have a new home. There is no better feeling when you host tournaments and every team is impressed with what they see, and there is no better feeling than to finish my college tennis career and to open up the doors to new Gamecocks. I want to thank everyone for doing an amazing job and making us proud."

Josh Goffi, head coach of the men's tennis team, took the mic next to speak.

"I can't tell you how much it means to us - we are in the center of the Athletic Village and a show piece at that. It's absolutely gorgeous. Our guys love the courts...everything about it. It's absolutely perfect. We hope that we can only do it justice in the future and we're trying to build a program that will do just that."

Goffi handed the mic over to senior Ivan Machado to speak on behalf of his student-athletes.

"It's a gorgeous facility; the courts are perfect. We knew it was going to be good, but not this good," said Machado, smiling. "When they started the project Coach DeMars [retired former coach and Hall of Fame member Kent DeMars, who was in attendance at the dedication] was talking to me about it before Josh even got here. I've been looking forward to it since my freshman year, it's great. We want to say thank you to Mr. Hyman, all the members of the board, everybody that made this possible for us and made this investment in the tennis team. We cannot say thank you enough."

Machado and Stojic then led their teams in presenting Hyman with a framed photo of the facility as a thank you gift and the teams gathered around the five speakers for the ceremonial ribbon cutting to much applause from the crowd.

After the dedication Goffi shared how big an impact the new facility will have on recruiting.

"We didn't even have the facility built yet and we were able to recruit the number three class in the country [in 2011]," said Goffi. "It's looking very promising for the future and this is a facility that these teams deserve to be totally honest. Both programs work as hard, if not harder, than any program in the country. They deserve to play in such a high class facility."

Click here to see video of the dedication and a photo gallery



Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition Women's Basketball surged to a win over Florida, a great feature on outfielder Adam Matthews, buzz building for Baseball Opening Day on Friday, Softball wins the Palmetto Classic on their opening weekend, dedication ceremony for the new Carolina Tennis Center, and more!



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB

Women's Basketball: Extra Schooling Fueling South Carolina's Grant (SECDigitalNetwork.com)

Women's Basketball: Grant scores 20 points to lead No.24 South Carolina women past Florida 62-58 (The Washington Post)

Women's Basketball: O Captain!- Sutton delivers in win over Florida (GamecockCentral.com)

Women's Basketball: Grant leads Gamecocks past Florida (TheBigSpur.com)

Baseball: Two-Minute Drill with South Carolina's Adam Matthews (The Post and Courier)

Baseball: Healthy again, Matthews eyes big year (GamecockCentral.com)

Baseball: Glory days for Gamecocks (The Post and Courier)

Baseball: Locating the start of the USC dynasty (The Post and Courier)

Softball: Softball opens season with Palmetto Classic Tournament win (The Daily Gamecock)

Equestrian: McCormack Makes The University of South Carolina Proud At The WEF Collegiate Equitation Challenge (The Chronicle of the Horse)

Football: SEC postseason coaching staff rankings (ESPN College Football Nation Blog)

Football: Trooper had best seat in Gamecocks' stadium (The Times and Democrat)

Football: Football helps spark academic success (GamecockCentral.com)



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS


Women's Basketball. South Carolina Narrowly Escapes Florida 62-58

General News. Video - Eric Hyman Media Availability

Tennis. Photos and Video - Carolina Tennis Stadium Dedication

Softball. Video - Coach Smith Recaps Opening Weekend

Swimming & Diving. Josserand Named to 2012 SEC Swimming & Diving Community Service Team

Cross Country. Gamecock Cross Country Earns USTFCCAA All-Academic Team Honors

Equestrian. Equestrian Signs CQHYA President Kelsey Urban for 2012-2013

Equestrian. Gamecocks Sweep MVP's in 16-3 Rout at UT-Martin

Baseball. Gamecocks Selected To Finish Second In Eastern Division In SEC Poll

Women's Golf. Lee's 71 Leads Gamecocks in First Round of UCF Challenge

Track. Radiance Basden Wins Triple Jump At Tyson Invitational

Men's Tennis. Gamecocks Fall 5-2 at NC State

Men's Basketball. Arkansas Defeats South Carolina, 76-65



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET

4 days away!



Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!



SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

This Week's Home Events: Baseball Opening Day, Hoops vs. Georgia

Athletics Holds Carolina Tennis Center Dedication

"Inside the Roost" Tonight: Curtis Frye, Joe Connolly

New Photos of Farmer's Market Project

Spurrier Jr. Happy with Signing Class, Recruiting Efforts

Fan Comments Featured on Gamecocks Billboard

Kyle Thompson, Tommy Gainey Rep Gamecocks at Pebble Beach



VIDEO OF THE DAY

The Gamecocks earned their first-ever regular season sweep of Florida with their 62-58 win yesterday. They beat the Gators in Gainesville, 49-44, at the beginning of January.





ROOSTER CROWS

Yesterday's win over Florida set some milestones for Women's Basketball. The victory was the Gamecocks' eighth SEC win of the season, making it the second-straight season head coach Dawn Staley's teams have hit that mark. The program had won eight or more league games just twice in the 17 seasons prior.



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

Today's photo is from Kimberly Bentley from Seneca, SC, with Mark Jennings and Ronald Jennings from Easley, SC, tailgating before the Vanderbilt game!

Kimberly Bentley.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!

Previous fan photos may be seen here:

Fan Photo of the Day series - 2012
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2011

THIS WEEK IN GAMECOCK COUNTRY...

We have a busy upcoming week in Gamecock Country! Both basketball teams will face Georgia this week, a match-up of two ranked teams on the women's side on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. Friday marks the highly anticipated Opening Day for 2012 South Carolina Baseball with a 3:00 p.m. game vs. VMI. The series continues over the weekend with a 3:00 p.m. game on Saturday and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. After hosting Georgia on Wednesday, men's basketball will take on LSU on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.


rothopeningday4.jpg
Use the #SCopeningday hashtag on Twitter!





Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Men's Basketball vs. Georgia - 7:00 p.m.
-Official team posters
-AcroDunk halftime act  Check them out
-Free rally towels for the first 1,000 fans
-Cocky's Bounce House
-Register to win free tickets to the Feb. 21st Drake concert at the game. Go to the Colonial Life Arena marketing table near section 101


Thursday, February 16, 2012

#25 Women's Basketball vs. #18 Georgia - 7:00 p.m.
-Official team posters
-AcroDunk halftime act  Check them out
-Play Basketball Bingo for a chance to win a Coach Staley bobble head
-Cocky's Bounce House


Friday, February 17, 2012

#2 Baseball vs. VMI - 3:00 p.m.
-Opening Day - keep up with the excitement with the #SCopeningday hashtag on Twitter!
-Free Back to Back National Championship posters courtesy of University of South Carolina Office of Trademark and Licensing
-Cocky's Bounce House
-Opening Day auction package available: reserved seats in the Perch, all-you-can-eat buffet and a Ray Tanner signed baseball!


Saturday, February 18 , 2012

Men's Basketball vs. LSU - 1:30 p.m.
-Cocky's Junior Sportscaster Contest presented by ABC Columbia
-"Active Gamecocks" program game
-Cocky's Bounce House
-Register to win free tickets to the Feb. 21st Drake concert at the game. Go to the Colonial Life Arena marketing table near section 101

#2 Baseball vs. VMI - 3:00 p.m.
-Cocky's Bounce House
-General Admission/Standing Room Only tickets available

Track & Field
-Gamecock Invitational - Indoor meet at Field House


Sunday, February 19, 2012

#2 Baseball vs. VMI - 1:30 p.m.
-Play Baseball Bingo for a chance to win a prize
-General Admission/Standing Room Only tickets available
-Cocky's Bounce House



Gamecocks on the road...

Women's Golf at UCF Challenge, Sorrento, Florida: Sun.-Tues.
Swimming & Diving at SEC Championships, Knoxville, Tenn.: Weds.-Sat.
Women's Tennis @ San Diego - Friday, 4:30 p.m.
Women's Tennis @ Loyola Marymount (in San Diego) - Saturday, TBA
Men's Tennis @ UNC Wilmington - Saturday, 1:00 p.m.
#25 Women's Basketball @ Alabama - Sunday, 3:00 p.m. TV:FSN, Listen Online

Softball @ Blue & Gold Feisberg Memorial, Miami, Florida:
You can listen to all these games online at GamecocksOnline.com/AllAccess

vs. Providence - Friday, 3:00 p.m.
vs. Illinois-Chicago - Saturday, 3:00 p.m.
vs. FIU - Saturday, 5:00 p.m.
vs. Jacksonville - Sunday, 11:00 a.m.
vs. Villanova - Sunday, 1:00 p.m.

"Inside the Roost" Tonight: Curtis Frye, Joe Connolly

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1075 the game logo.jpgTonight on "Inside the Roost", AD Eric Hyman and host Derek Scott will be joined by two guests.

Newly promoted Director of Football Strength & Conditioning Joe Connolly will be on to discuss football winter workouts and his new position.

Track & Field Head Coach Curtis Frye will join the show to talk about the indoor season so far, which has seen a new school record in the women's high jump from Jeannelle Scheper and several performances that are among the tops in the nation right now. Several Gamecocks who were coached by Frye and now run track professionally will take aim at the 2012 Olympics this summer.

Tune in to 107.5 The Game from 7:00-8:00 p.m. tonight and every Monday for Inside the Roost and weekly insight into Gamecock Athletics. You can also listen online!
  

February 10, 2012

 

Assistant coach Cypheus Bunton has a big day planned Saturday.  And it doesn't even involve going to Home Depot (or Bed Bath & Beyond if he has time).

 

"I'll be turning the big 4-0 on Saturday," Bunton told me on "Carolina Calls" Thursday.  "My birthday wish is to get a win." 

 

The Gamecocks hope to oblige.

 

Pre-tip reads before South Carolina (9-14, 1-8 SEC) and Arkansas (16-8, 4-5 SEC) lock horns at Bud Walton Arena:

 

Mike Anderson.jpgTo "Hell" And Back:  Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson spent 17 years as a Razorback assistant under Hall of Famer Nolan Richardson.  In his first season back, Anderson has resurrected the famed, frenetic "40 Minutes of Hell" style made popular by his mentor.  It has helped the Razorbacks to a conference-leading 8.8 steals per game (16th NCAA) and a gasping-for-breath 71.4 adjusted possessions per game according to Ken Pomeroy.  No other SEC team averages more than 66 possessions per game.

 

Adjusted Tempo* - SEC

1.        Arkansas                               71.4

 SEC average                          65.8       

12.   South Carolina                       62.0

 

*"Adjusted tempo" takes a team's possessions per game, and weights it against the preferred pace of opponents and when the game was played.

 

Arkansas' full-court pressure isn't technical, or tactical, or loaded with principles.  It's meant to be chaotic, and predatory, and panic-inducing.  Find someone as fast as you can, and don't let him get through.  The Razorbacks will double-team on the inbound - often face-guarding the inbounder - and suffocate the lead guard into committing a turnover.   

 

Bruce Ellington vs. LSU.jpegEven if a team breaks Arkansas' press, it comes with collateral damage.  Once teams get past midcourt, they need a few extra seconds to collect themselves.  That leaves less time to run their offensive sets. 

 

Can Bruce Ellington deflect Arkansas' pressure on the dribble?

 

Two areas to watch Saturday:

 

-      Will Bruce Ellington be too quick for Arkansas' traps off the inbounds?  How will his stamina hold up fending it off for 32-35 minutes?

-      Can South Carolina's forwards - Malik Cooke, Anthony Gill, Lakeem Jackson - be proactive on the next pass, and make sound decisions with the ball?

 

Saturday's game shapes up to be a classic tempo tug-of-war. 

 

Offensive Rebound.jpeg"Crash In & Cash In":  Coaches generally aim for an Offensive Rebounding Percentage (OReb%) of 40%.  In other words, they want their team to grab a rebound on 40% of their missed shots.  In a 4-minute span in the first half against Tennessee, Carolina grabbed just 1 offensive rebound on 10 missed FGA.  It rendered the Gamecocks unable to stop Tennessee's three-point binge, and left them with a 35-27 deficit at halftime.

 

Opportunities await for Damontre Harris and R.J. Slawson to crash the offensive glass vs. Arkansas.

 

Here's the good news:  Arkansas' breathless pursuit of traps and steals often leaves them vulnerable to offensive rebounds.  Arkansas ranks 309th in the nation in offensive rebounding defense (36.4%).  On Wednesday, Georgia outrebounded Arkansas by an absurd 44-21 margin (+23), including defensive rebounds on 29 of Arkansas' 31 missed field goals. 

 

The Razorbacks lost their top rebounding maulers from last year, forwards Marshawn Powell (torn ACL) and Delvon Johnson (turned pro).  On top of that, 6'8,"236-pound forward Michael Sanchez is doubtful for the South Carolina game with a shoulder injury.  Offensive rebounds can caulk any dry spell from the field.  The Gamecocks will need to "crash in and cash in" against the Razorbacks.

  

And Another Thing... Get the easy ones against Arkansas.  South Carolina's frontcourt players shot a combined 26.9% FG (7-26) against Tennessee.

 

B.J. Young.jpgMan to Stop:  Freshman B.J. Young (right).  John Pelphrey may have been fired following the 2011 season, but he left behind a nice parting gift:  an incoming recruiting class of three Top-100 players.  Young, the highest-rated of the group, has validated the hype.  A 6'3," 175-pound combo guard, "Young Money" leads Arkansas in scoring (13.9 ppg) and trails only Florida's Brad Beal as the highest-scoring freshman in the SEC.

 

(Incidentally, Beal and Young both hail from St. Louis.  Young eliminated Beal in the quarterfinals of the Missouri state tournament last Spring.) 

 

Young is crafty, athletic, long-armed, and blessed with a jet-quick first step.  He also represents a bigger point:  behind Florida, no team has a more perimeter-oriented offense than the Razorbacks.  Anderson will occasionally trot out a four-guard lineup, playing Young alongside Mardracus Wade (an SEC-leading 50.0% from three-point range), Rickey Scott (10.1 ppg), and Julysses Nobles (9.0 ppg, team-high 3.3 apg). 

 

Arkansas runs lots of ball screens, and tries to break down defenders off the dribble.  According to Bunton, the Gamecocks had several breakdowns communicating through screens against Tennessee, allowing the Volunteers to get open looks from three.  The Gamecocks should have plenty of opportunities to make amends Saturday.

 

Damien Leonard.jpegThree-Guard Night?  Damien Leonard continued his strong play, dropping 11 points against Tennessee.  Brenton Williams sparked Carolina's comeback, scoring all 11 of his points in the 2nd half.  With their offenses heating up together, and Arkansas often rolling out three guards, it begs the question:  would Carolina consider using a Williams-Leonard-Ellington backcourt? 

 

Bunton says no.  "For one, I think we have to have Malik Cooke out there.  Malik Cooke plays the '3' spot for us.  We need that senior leadership and toughness," he said. 

 

Coming alive?  Damien Leonard has averaged 15 ppg (7-12 3pt.) his last 2 games.

 

The lineup would also force Leonard to play on the back line of the 2-3 zone.  "It's something he's not used to. We don't want to put him in an unfamiliar situation."

 

Free, but Costly:  It's hard enough to stare down a deficit on the road.  Not making free throws makes the task even more arduous.  In its last two road games, South Carolina - a 69% free throw-shooting team -- has shot an uncharacteristic 60.8% from the foul line (14-23) in the 2nd half.  Florida and Tennessee shot a combined 82.5%  (33-40).

 

Free Throws - 2nd Half

Team                                      FTM/FTA                               FT%

South Carolina                        14-23                                     60.8%

Ole Miss & Florida                  33-40                                     82.5%

 

Particularly stricken has been Anthony Gill:  the freshman has missed 7 of his last 10 FT, after making 12 of his previous 13.  If the Gamecocks and Razorbacks are locked in late, can Carolina make its trips to the line count? 

 

Cruel and Unusual: With a win Saturday, Arkansas would move to 16-0 at Bud Walton Arena, tying the arena record for wins in a season.  Including Arkansas, the Gamecocks have faced 5 of the SEC's top 6 teams in home-court winning percentage.  Kentucky, Florida, Arkansas, Auburn, and Ole Miss have gone a combined 75-6 at home this year (.926).

 

And Finally... Arkansas' Mardracus Wade gets the award for most creative Twitter handle.

 

@WadeNoDwyane.

 

Now that we're prepared, we hope you are as well.  Our coverage begins at 1:00 p.m. EST on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.  We'll see you in Fayetteville.

 

Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: Women's Basketball readies to take on Arkansas on the road tonight, Michael Roth graces the cover of Baseball America, a feature on Devan Downey, a press conference with head coach McGee Moody before next week's swimming & diving SEC Championships, and more!


**TONIGHT**

Women's Basketball @ Arkansas - 8:00 p.m. ET
No TV, Listen on WISW 1320 AM or online here at GamecocksOnline.com
Live stats on ArkansasRazorbacks.com
Occasional updates from @GamecockWBB on Twitter



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB

Women's Basketball: Surging Gamecocks face red-hot Arkansas (GamecockCentral.com)

Women's Basketball: USC women's basketball 'in a much better place' (The Post and Courier)

Baseball: USC's Roth now a coverboy (Greenville News)

Baseball: Dantzler faces tough task replacing Morales (GamecockCentral.com)

Football/General: USC legend lived life his way (The State) *Dom Fusci*



GAMECOCKS IN THE PROS

Men's Basketball: Downey overcomes all adversity (The Daily Gamecock)



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS


Swimming & Diving. Video - Coach Moody Press Conference

Swimming & Diving. Gamecock Spotlight: Courtney Forcucci

Football. Six Gamecocks Invited to NFL Combine

Men's Basketball. Gamecocks Suffer 69-57 Loss At Tennessee

Women's Basketball. Women's Hoops Hits the Road to Arkansas

Men's Tennis. Men's Tennis Travels to No. 42 Wake Forest



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET

Thanks, Judi, and go Gamecocks!




Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!



SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

Spurrier Jr. Happy with Signing Class, Recruiting Efforts

Fan Comments Featured on Gamecocks Billboard

"Inside The Chart" with Andy Demetra - February 8, 2012

Kyle Thompson, Tommy Gainey Rep Gamecocks at Pebble Beach

This Week's Home Events: Softball Opener, WBB vs. Florida

Staley, Sutton Reflect on Gamecocks' Landmark Victory



VIDEO OF THE DAY

If you missed the coverage of the Baseball team's visit to the State House yesterday, you can watch the video of the recognition today:

http://gamecocksonline.cstv.com/allaccess/?media=299819



ROOSTER CROWS

Women's Basketball has won seven SEC games for just the seventh time in its 21 years in the league. Three of those seven times have been under head coach Dawn Staley. The most SEC games the Gamecocks have ever won is 10 in 2001-02. That record is conceivably in reach for this 2011-12 squad with six SEC games remaining, including tonight's match-up with Arkansas.

The Gamecocks are at the top of the SEC in several defensive categories: scoring defense (1st), 3-point field goal defense (1st), rebounding defense (1st), rebounding margin (2nd).
 



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

Great story in today's Fan Photo of the Day from Stephanie Moore, glad they were able to come into the world on a winning note!

"Watching the USC/Vandy game with William and Ashley Charles just minutes after they were born on September 24, 2011. My lil Gamecocks came just in time for kick-off and witnessed their first Gamecock win.  Don't they look adorable sporting their garnet and black!!! Stephanie Moore ('00) and Penn Moore('99)"

Stephanie Moore.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!

Previous fan photos may be seen here:
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2012
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2011

New Photos of Farmer's Market Project

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We've added new photos of the progress on the Farmer's Market project. It's really starting to take shape!

Here's one and you can see more here on our Facebook page.

IMG_5155.JPG 
The new Farmer's Market project is scheduled to be complete before the upcoming 2012 football season. More information coming soon on a new name for the area and parking options.

Interested in 2012 season tickets? The first step is to join the Gamecock Club. Call 803.777.4276 for more information.

New Parking Option for Gamecock Softball

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Fans heading out to Beckham Field for the season opener this weekend or any Softball games this season will have a new parking option at the Athletics Village.

Fans are encouraged to park in the new parking garage on Heyward St, marked in the image below by the red box. Parking in the garage is free for athletic events.


Softball Fan Parking.jpg 

Softball opens the season with the Palmetto Classic this weekend.

Friday, 3:00 p.m. - South Carolina vs. Tennessee State
Saturday, 12:30 p.m. - South Carolina vs. Western Kentucky
Saturday, 3:00 p.m. - South Carolina vs. Winthrop
Sunday, 12:30 p.m. - South Carolina vs. Cleveland State

Season tickets are still available for just $25 for adults and $10 for youth 17 and under. Click here to check out the full schedule.


Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition Governor Nikki Haley recognizes the Baseball team during Carolina Day at the State House, the Baseball team will play on TV at least 11 times this season, Men's Basketball faces Tennessee on the road tonight, Andrew Adams earns SEC Men's Tennis Freshman of the Week, Track & Field prepares to take on Clemson, and more!



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB

Football: Post Signing Day: 2012 Offense Outlook (GamecockCentral.com)

Football: Spurrier Jr: Focus on trenches is key (GamecockCentral.com)

Men's Basketball: Gamecocks on the road again (GamecockCentral.com)

Men's Basketball: Men's basketball moving on from Kentucky loss at UT (The Daily Gamecock)

Men's Tennis: SEC Men's Tennis Weekly Honors (SECDigitalNetwork.com) *SEC Freshman of the Week Andrew Adams 

Men's Tennis: Gamecocks look to continue winning ways (The Daily Gamecock)

Track & Field: Track, field has impressive show in NYC (The Daily Gamecock)

Men's Golf: Getting back into the swing (GoGamecocks.com)

Baseball: Baseball team, coach recognized at State House (GoGamecocks.com)

General: USC officials stand by Ohio State hire (GoGamecocks.com)



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS


Baseball. Video - Exclusive Interview with Gov. Nikki Haley

Baseball. Gov. Nikki Haley Honors Gamecock Baseball Team on Wednesday

Baseball. Gamecocks Up To 11 Games To Be Televised For 2012 Baseball Season

Women's Basketball. Women's Hoops Hits the Road to Arkansas

Women's Basketball. Gamecock Spotlight: Ebony Wilson

Men's Tennis. Men's Tennis Travels to No. 42 Wake Forest

Men's Tennis. Adams Named SEC Freshman of the Week




COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET




Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!



SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

Spurrier Jr. Happy with Signing Class, Recruiting Efforts

Fan Comments Featured on Gamecocks Billboard

"Inside The Chart" with Andy Demetra - February 8, 2012

Kyle Thompson, Tommy Gainey Rep Gamecocks at Pebble Beach

This Week's Home Events: Softball Opener, WBB vs. Florida

Staley, Sutton Reflect on Gamecocks' Landmark Victory



VIDEO OF THE DAY

Get to know one of the SEC's top divers, Gamecock Diving's Courtney Forcucci:





ROOSTER CROWS

Andrew Adams was named SEC Men's Tennis Freshman of the Week. Adams leads the Gamecocks with a 14-4 singles record this season and has played all six dual matches in one of the top three singles positions.

The honor for Adams was the first conference award for the men's tennis team under second-year head coach Josh Goffi.



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

Check out Gamecock fan Jasper Newell vs. Gator fan Carson Cox!

Jasper Newell.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!

Previous fan photos may be seen here:
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2012
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2011
 
Written by student assistant Rebecca Duensing


Steve Spurrier Jr. 2011.jpgOn Monday night's "Inside the Roost" radio show wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Steve Spurrier Jr. and host Derek Scott talked about the process of recruiting and this year's signing class. 

The best thing about this year's Signing Day? No surprises. Spurrier Jr. said it was a "peaceful signing day," in contrast with last year's late signing of Jadeveon Clowney.

"Last year was a little stressed, but if you get the player, it's always worth it," said Spurrier. I'm guessing Gamecock Country would agree that Clowney was worth it.

For the fourth year in a row, the Gamecocks' signing class includes South Carolina's Mr. Football award winner, Shaq Roland (WR, Lexington High School), who follows in the footsteps of Stephon Gilmore, Marcus Lattimore, and Jadeveon Clowney.

"All of those players have been huge impact players and we certainly expect Shaq Roland to do the same," noted Spurrier Jr. "You can't say enough about what it means to sign Mr. Football for the 4th year."

Including Roland the Gamecocks welcome five Palmetto State players - Jerell Adams (Pinewood), Kendric Salley (Williston), Kwinton Smith (Hamer) and Mason Zandi (Irmo).

"There are a lot of great players in this state and if we can keep them in this state, and sign them to South Carolina, South Carolina can win championships," said Spurrier Jr.

Spurrier Jr. said that while there is no perfect science to designing a recruiting class, they try to sign five offensive linemen every year and usually four to five defensive linemen. Spurrier Jr. emphasized that "linemen are the biggest difference in the game, especially in this conference; you've got to be strong on both lines to be successful."

South Carolina also found recruiting success in Georgia, adding twelve players from the bordering state. Although Carolina competed with UGA for several recruits, Spurrier Jr. pointed out that Georgia can't sign all of them and the success on the field against them the last two years probably doesn't hurt.

Among this year's signing class is a bit of a rarity; the Gamecocks signed a kicker. Spurrier Jr. said it's rare to offer a scholarship to a kicker right out of high school - usually they're brought in as walk-ons and eventually get placed on scholarship - but he said they felt like Nick St. Germain was "one of the players we could sign to make us a better team."

Even though the next Signing Day is almost a year away, recruiting is a year-round endeavor for college coaching staffs.

"We're a long way away from next year's class, but we are spending a lot of time in the office evaluating guys and deciding who we need to offer early and make sure we are recruiting," said Spurrier Jr. "But a lot can happen between now and Signing Day."

Scott joked that Spurrier Jr. must get asked all the time about recruiting from excited fans, mentioning that he was stopped in the lobby on the way to the radio show, but Spurrier Jr. responded that he didn't mind much:

"People love football. People love South Carolina."

Make sure to catch "Inside the Roost" every Monday night from 7:00-8:00 p.m. on 107.5 The Game for weekly insight into Gamecock Athletics with Derek Scott and AD Eric Hyman along with weekly guests.

Fan Comments Featured on Gamecocks Billboard

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Last week we asked fans on our Softball Facebook page for their creative comments wishing the team good luck for the 2012 season for the chance to see their comment featured on our digital billboard in Columbia. We got a lot of great responses and chose five to be displayed on the billboards. Check out one of the billboards below and go to the Facebook page to see more. And stay tuned... we'll do more of these throughout the season!

IMG_5133.JPG 
South Carolina Softball opens the season with four games this weekend as part of the Palmetto Classic. Full schedule here  Season tickets are available for just $25 for adults and $10 for youth!

Keep up with the Softball team all season long on Facebook and @GamecockSoftbll on Twitter!

February 7, 2012

 

They watched, but didn't dwell.  Analyzed, but didn't agonize.  What was the point?  South Carolina knew it played poorly, and Kentucky - well, Kentucky played like a #1-ranked team.  The tape wouldn't reveal anything new, or different, or rosy.

 

So when it came time to break down Carolina's 86-52 loss to #1 Kentucky, the Gamecock coaches ritually studied the tape.  But they decided not to share their findings with the players.

 

Thumbnail image for Broken Tape.jpg"We'll put what's behind us, behind us," Darrin Horn said Tuesday.  "We had a game that we weren't as good as we had been.  Reviewing that game was not going to help us get ready for the next one."

 

Makes sense.  Why show anything that would undercut your team's confidence heading into a key stretch of SEC play?  What good would that do?  Better to flush it out of your system, and move on to the next one.  Besides, bigger opportunities lay ahead for the Gamecocks.  After a brutal SEC schedule that featured teams with a combined .716 SEC winning percentage, South Carolina's next eight opponents have a combined .384 SEC winning percentage. 

 

SEC Winning %

1st 8 opponents:  .716

2nd 8 opponents: .384

 

The Gamecocks hope for more pleasurable viewing Wednesday against the Tennessee Volunteers (11-12, 3-5 SEC).  Tennessee shrugged off an embarrassing loss of its own to Kentucky (the Vols shot a season-low 28% from the field) to defeat Georgia in its last game.  Can the Gamecocks pull off their own Wildcat redemption?  Pre-tip reads before Carolina tries to snap a 9-game losing streak at Thompson-Boling Arena:

 

 

Ugly Is Beautiful:  New Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin has centered his team's identity on defense, rallying around the phrase "Staying Ugly."  The Volunteers don't rank highly in Turnover %, Block %, and Steal %.  They prefer instead to guard players straight-up, and force them to execute their sets to completion.  Martin values defense so much that he benched leading scorer and assist man Trae Golden for the Georgia game, displeased with the sophomore's defensive intensity. 

 

Tennessee does an especially good job bringing help and rotating over - being "ball conscious," as Horn puts it.  South Carolina had one of its better-executed offensive halves against Florida, stretching the floor with quick passes and slashing from the wings in the 2nd half.  If they can keep the floor spaced, it may neutralize Tennessee's defense.

 

Lakeem Jackson vs. Alabama.jpegBroken Glass: Rebounding is as much about establishing an attitude as gaining a possession.  It sets an aggressive, determined tone that coaches hope will spread to the rest of their team's game.  The Gamecocks have always made aggressive, swarming rebounding a priority. 

 

South Carolina will look to renew their commitment to pounding the boards  (right:  Lakeem Jackson).

 

Yet they've drifted that from identity lately, getting outrebounded by a -33 margin in their last three games (-11 rebs./game).  In fact, the Gamecocks have been outrebounded in each of their last 4 games; they were outrebounded 5 times in their first 18 games.  The Gamecocks need to get back to their hard-rebounding roots against Tennessee.

 

And We'll Be Counting:  In the last three games of the series, Tennessee has made 65 free throws.  South Carolina has only attempted 40.

 

There One Day...  It has become one of the most taunting - and tantalizing - developments of the 2012 season.  Freshman Damien Leonard showed off his smooth shooting stroke and heat-up-in-a-hurry ability against Kentucky, scoring a career-high 19 points on 3-6 three-point shooting.  No player may be a bigger "X" factor in the second half of SEC play than Leonard - he can stretch the floor for players like Bruce Ellington, Malik Cooke, and Anthony Gill to penetrate or get isolations. 

 

But look at Leonard's follow-up games after his biggest high-water scoring marks of the season:

 

Opponent                             Points Scored                         Next Opponent                   Points Scored

Mississippi Valley St.          16                                           North Carolina                     15

North Carolina                      15                                           Southern Cal                         0

Wofford                                  14                                           USC-Upstate                          1

Kentucky                                 15                                           Vanderbilt                             0

Kentucky                                 19                                           Tennessee                              ?

 

Thumbnail image for Damien Leonard vs.UK.jpegLeonard's combined shooting in those last three games:  0-10 FG,  0-6 3pt.

 

Darrin Horn remarked that Damien "showed that he belonged" against Kentucky.  Can he now do it on a more consistent basis?  Staying aggressive, but knowing when to be aggressive? 

 

Man to Stop:  forward Jeronne Maymon.  Sophomore guard Trae Golden may lead the Volunteers in points (12.9) and assists (4.7).  But given Carolina's struggles containing opponents on the glass, Maymon takes top billing.  A 6'7," 265-pound redshirt junior from Madison, Wisc., Maymon is a hard-nosed forward who both finishes at a high rate (.557 FG, #2 SEC) and also pounds the boards (8.4 rpg, #2 SEC).  He's not quite a raw banger like 6'8," 250-pound freshman Jarnell Stokes, but Maymon likes to drive hard from the high post.   

 

Jeronne Maymon.jpgIn their win over Georgia Saturday, the Bulldogs regularly doubled the post, allowing Tennessee's guards to score 40 of their 63 points.  If South Carolina opts to not double-team Maymon, can Carolina's big men prevent Maymon from outmuscling them - or worse yet, getting them into foul trouble?

 

Forward Jeronne Maymon (right) leads Tennessee in scoring and rebounding in SEC games.

 

And Another Thing:  Maymon's older brother, Devonte, plays for South Carolina's exhibition opponent, Kentucky Wesleyan.  Maymon did not make the trip to Columbia (doghouse issues, I was told).

 

Damonster:  Nobody rises to the road occasion more than sophomore Damontre Harris. In four SEC road games, Harris has made 14 of 18 field goals (77.8%) with 15 blocks (3.8 bpg).

 

Damontre Harris '11-12

SEC games                             FG%                        BPG

Home                                     56.0%                     1.8

Road                                      77.8%                     3.8

 

And Another Thing, Part II:  Golden, a former Georgia Mr. Basketball, played on the same McEachern HS (Powder Springs, Ga.) basketball team as Gamecock football players Rory Anderson and Marcquis Roberts.

 

And Finally...  Gamecock players have latched onto a catcall from an opposing student section for their newest nickname.  During warm-ups at Rupp Arena, Kentucky students began calling Anthony Gill "Pauly D," believing his coiffure resembled the Jersey Shore star celebrity character.  Naturally, the Gamecocks have run with it on their freshman forward.

 

 

 

The latest nickname Gamecock players have latched onto.

 

Now that we're prepared, we hope you are as well.  Our pre-game coverage starts at 7:30 p.m. EST on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.  We'll see you in Knoxville.

 

Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: find out which six Gamecocks are headed to the NFL Combine, the folks at ESPN think highly of the Gamecocks' linemen this past season, Jeannelle Scheper earns SEC honor, Markeshia Grant named National Player of the Week in women's hoops, and a blog post on a great TwitPic from PGA TOUR's Kyle Thompson!



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB


Football: SEC tops list of invitees to NFL scouting combine (Yahoo! Sports)

Football: SEC postseason position rankings: DL (ESPN SEC Blog)
*SC at No. 3 behind only LSU and Alabama*


Football: SEC postseason positions rankings: OLs (ESPN SEC Blog)
*SC at No. 3 behind only LSU and Alabama*

General: Pastides hopes possible athletics changes suit fans (The Daily Gamecock)

Softball: Softball relying on veterans in 2012 (The Daily Gamecock)

Baseball: Greiner, Rosenberg will each play (GamecockCentral.com)

NFL Combine Official Invite List



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS

General News. Chris Rogers to Head Compliance Staff

Equestrian. Katherine Schmidt Selected to Compete at WEF on Friday

Equestrian. Kimberly McCormack Selected to Compete at WEF on Friday

Track & Field. Jeannelle Scheper Named SEC Field Athlete of the Week

Softball. 2012 Softball Preview Part 3: Pitchers and Catchers

Men's Basketball. Gamecocks On The Road At Tennessee For Midweek Matchup

Women's Basketball. Grant Tabbed National Player of the Week by USBWA



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET

Six Gamecocks will head to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis at the end of this month! Good luck, guys!





Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!



SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

Kyle Thompson, Tommy Gainey Rep Gamecocks at Pebble Beach

This Week's Home Events: Softball Opener, WBB vs. Florida

Staley, Sutton Reflect on Gamecocks' Landmark Victory

Ingram, Allen Grab Attention at Senior Bowl



VIDEO OF THE DAY

Catch Ebony and the #24-ranked Women's Basketball team this Sunday vs. Florida at 5:00 p.m. in the first of their final three home games!





ROOSTER CROWS

Jeannelle Scheper is the first Track & Field Gamecock to be honored by the SEC this year and the first to earn SEC Field Athlete of the Week honors since she also earned the award as a freshman last year on March 22, 2011.

Senior forward Malik Cooke has been one of Carolina's most consistent players this season. He has tallied 15 double-figure scoring games, 14 games with at least two assists, 11 games with at least five rebounds and 14 games with at least two steals. He leads the Gamecocks in points, scoring average, field goal attempts, free throw attempts and free throws made, in steals and in minutes per game. 



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY


Today's Fan Photo of the Day is from Sheri Austin Ryder (class of 1993) who shared her picture from the Capital One Bowl.

"My daughter Sami and I flew down from DC for her first Carolina game and my first Bowl game. It was such a wonderful experience for both of us!! I loved being able to share it with her!"

Sheri Ryder.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!

Previous fan photos may be seen here:
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2012
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2011

A great picture from University of South Carolina alumnus and PGA TOUR golfer Kyle Thompson made the rounds among Gamecock fans on Twitter yesterday:

Kyle Thompson-Tommy Gainey at Pebble Beach.JPGThompson posted the photo with this tweet:




Thompson (right) is posing with fellow Gamecock fan and new Gamecock Club member Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey in Pebble Beach, California, while playing on the PGA TOUR. Gainey (left) is known not only for wearing two gloves when he plays, but also for the Cocky head cover that he keeps on his driver. Thompson returned to Carolina last fall, along with fellow alum and PGA TOUR player Mark Anderson, for the Men's Golf Alumni Weekend golf tournament.

Great to see them representing their Gamecocks!


Follow Kyle Thompson on Twitter

Follow Tommy Gainey on Twitter 




Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: great day for Women's Basketball as Markeshia Grant earns SEC Player of the Week honors and the squad re-enters the national rankings at #24 in the AP Top 25; high jumper Jeannelle Scheper breaks her own school record; Sabrina D'Angelo will head to the U-20 Canadian National Team camp for women's soccer; and more!



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB


Football: Elliott eyes developing young O-Line talent (GamecockCentral.com)

Football: Re-ranking 2009 recruiting classes (SI.com)
*South Carolina: #7, Original 2009 ranking: #12*

Women's Basketball: Staley hopes for even bigger milestones ahead (AP)

Women's Basketball: SEC Women's Hoops Players of the Week (SECDigitalNetwork.com) *Markeshia Grant

Women's Basketball: Gamecocks in search of more history (GoGamecocks.com)

Women's Basketball: Gamecocks in AP top 25 (GoGamecocks.com)

Men's Basketball: In our opinion: Fans should return to basketball games (The Daily Gamecock)

Baseball: Is Walker the best hitter in the country? (GamecockCentral.com)



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS

Women's Soccer. Sabrina D'Angelo Called Up To Canadian U-20 Team

Track. Jeannelle Scheper Sets New School Record In NYC Final Day

Football. Mangus, Ward On Top 50 Recruiters List

Baseball. Limited Tickets Remain For Opening Baseball Weekend

Softball. Coach Smith Pre-Season Softball Press Conference

Women's Basketball. Grant Earns SEC Player of the Week Honors

Women's Basketball. Coach Staley & La'Keisha Sutton Recap Win Over Lady Vols

Men's Basketball. Gamecocks Fall to No. 1/1 Kentucky, 86-52

Track. Jeannelle Scheper Sets New School Record In NYC Final Day

Men's Tennis. Cox Rally Sparks 5-2 Win Over No. 22 Georgia Tech



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET

Ingram had a strong performance in the All-Star Challenge that aired on Sunday. You can catch encore airings at 4:30 p.m. ET on Feb. 12 and Feb. 26 on ESPN.




Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!



SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

"Inside the Roost" Tonight: Steve Spurrier Jr.

This Week's Home Events: Softball Opener, WBB vs. Florida

Staley, Sutton Reflect on Gamecocks' Landmark Victory

Ingram, Allen Grab Attention at Senior Bowl



VIDEO OF THE DAY

Get to know the smiling junior from Holly Hill, South Carolina!





ROOSTER CROWS


The Gamecocks' top scorer and SEC Women's Basketball Player of the Week, Markeshia Grant poured in a career-high 27 points in South Carolina's first win over Tennessee in Knoxville Thursday night. Grant's seven 3-pointers in the outing were two shy of the school record.



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY


Today's Fan Photo of the Day is from Tara Bobb, who said:

"Our son's first Carolina football game - Gamecocks victory over ECU Pirates to kick off the 2011-12 season - celebrating "just like Dad."

From parents:
Tara Surratt Bobb, M.Ed. '91
Parker Aumerl Bobb, B.S. '88

Also USC alumni:
2 Cousins
2 Uncles
1 Aunt
2 Grandparents
2 Great Uncles
1 Great Grandfather, B.A. 1933!
 
- a family tradition!!"


Tara Bobb.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!

Previous fan photos may be seen here:
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2012
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2011





 

"Inside the Roost" Tonight: Steve Spurrier Jr.

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1075 the game logo.jpgTune in to "Inside the Roost" tonight (107.5 The Game, 7:00-8:00 p.m.) to talk some football. Host Derek Scott will be joined by wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Steve Spurrier Jr. to talk about the 2012 signing class that saw the Gamecocks brings in four PARADE All-Americans and the fourth straight South Carolina Mr. Football award winner in Shaq Roland.

The Gamecocks' signing class was ranked among the tops in the country by various journalists and recruiting websites. Last week, 247sports.com named G.A. Mangus and Lorenzo Ward in their Top 50 recruiters in the country list.

Check out all the GamecocksOnline.com Signing Day coverage here and tune in tonight for more from Spurrier Jr.!


"Inside the Roost" airs every Monday night from 7:00-8:00 p.m. on 107.5 The Game with host Derek Scott and AD Eric Hyman giving weekly insight into South Carolina athletics and hot topics around the college athletics landscape. You can also listen online.
THIS WEEK IN GAMECOCK COUNTRY...

Spring is just around the corner, ushered in by the season opener for softball! The Gamecocks will host the Palmetto Classic this weekend including four games featuring Carolina. Season tickets for softball are still available for just $25 for adults and $10 for youth 17 and under.

After a road game on Thursday at Arkansas, Women's Basketball will return home to Colonial Life Arena to host Florida at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. The game is our third literacy game of the season and the winning classrooms and top readers of the third segment of our "Read with the Gamecocks" program will be recognized on the court at halftime. It is also our "Play 4 Kay" game presented by Academy Sports in support of breast cancer awareness. The first 1,000 fans will receive pink Gamecock t-shirts. The team's 18 wins to date matches the most under Coach Staley with six regular season games still remaining. Staley's squad is 18-5 overall and 7-3 in SEC play going into this week's games and re-entered the AP Top 25 at No. 24.

WBB-11 Team huddle circle.jpeg

















Women's hoops takes on Florida, Sunday at 5:00 p.m.




Friday, February 10, 2012

Softball vs. Tennessee State - 3:00 p.m.
-First home game of the season!
-Palmetto Classic (we'll be hosting games all weekend at Beckham Field!)
-Play Softball Bingo for a chance to win a prize
*Click here to watch head coach Beverly Smith's pre-season press conference.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Softball vs. Western Kentucky - 12:30 p.m.
-Palmetto Classic
-Play Softball Bingo for a chance to win a prize
*Season tickets available for $25 for adults, $10 for youth  More Info

Softball vs. Winthrop - 3:00 p.m.
-Palmetto Classic
-Play Softball Bingo for a chance to win a prize
*Learn more about this season's infielders with this preview.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Softball vs. Cleveland State - 12:30 p.m.
-Palmetto Classic
-Play Softball Bingo for a chance to win a prize

#24 Women's Basketball vs. Florida - 5:00 p.m.
-Official team posters and schedule cards
-Play Basketball Bingo for a chance to win a Coach Staley bobble head
-Nationally televised on ESPN2 - let's show them a big crowd and great atmosphere!
-"Play 4 Kay": First 1,000 fans receive pink shirts in support of breast cancer awareness - sponsored by Academy Sports
-"Read with the Gamecocks" literacy game - winners from the third segment of our "Read with the Gamecocks" program will be recognized at halftime.

*The Gamecocks have won four straight SEC games coming into this week including an upset of #8 Tennessee in Knoxville last Thursday. Senior Markeshia Grant was named SEC Player of the Week after contributing a career-high 27 points in the win.


Gamecocks on the road...

Men's Basketball @ Tennessee - Wednesday, 8:00 p.m. TV: SEC Network, Radio
Men's Tennis @ Wake Forest - Thursday, 3:00 p.m.
Women's Basketball @ Arkansas - Thursday, 8:00 p.m.  Listen Online
Men's Tennis @ NC State - Saturday 1:00 p.m.
Men's Basketball @ Arkansas - Saturday, 1:30 p.m. TV: SEC Network, Radio
Equestrian @ UT Martin - Saturday, 4:00 p.m.
Track & Field @ Tiger Paw Invitational, Clemson and Tyson Invitational, Fayetteville, Ark. - Fri-Sat.
Women's Golf @ UCF Challenge, Sorrento, Fla. - Sunday


Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: Women's Basketball makes history with an exhilarating win over No.8 Tennessee last night, Spurrier completes the coaching staff with Grady Brown, why new RB coach Everette Sands said Carolina was the ideal place for him, Ward & Mangus among Top 50 recruiters, a great feature by Baseball America on pitcher Michael Roth, Men's Basketball prepares to host No. 1 Kentucky tomorrow, and more!


***THIS WEEKEND***

Men's Basketball vs. #1 Kentucky - Saturday, 6:00 p.m.
Tickets Available
TV: ESPN   Radio

All-Star Football Challenge (Melvin Ingram) - Sunday, 4:00 p.m.
TV: ESPN2



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB

Women's Basketball: Gamecocks make history, topple Tennessee (GoGamecocks.com)

Women's Basketball: Gamecocks beat Tennessee (GamecockCentral.com)

Women's Basketball: Keys to USC's epic win at Tennessee (GoGamecocks.com)

Football: Class of 2012 Top 50 recruiters (247sports.com)
*Lorenzo Ward and G.A. Mangus in the Top 50*

Football: Spurrier transforms USC staff (GamecockCentral.com)

Football: Elliott pleased with O-line signees (GamecockCentral.com)

Football: USC 'ideal' place to be for Everette Sands (The Post & Courier)

Baseball: Roth Star: A Day in the Life of South Carolina's Improbable Ace (BaseballAmerica.com)

Baseball: Rosenberg's return bolsters catching spot (GamecockCentral.com)



GAMECOCK ALUMNI

Football: USC football legend Dom Fusci dies (GoGamecocks.com)

Women's Basketball: USC basketball player Wanda Briley gets letter, 37 years later (The Post and Courier)



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS

Women's Basketball. Gamecocks Rally Past #8/8 Tennessee 64-60

Women's Basketball. Ballin' With Brett - "Historic Win in Knoxville"

Women's Basketball. Gamecock Spotlight: Imani Sellers

Men's Tennis. Gamecocks Travel to No. 22 Georgia Tech

Equestrian. No. 7 Gamecocks Travel to Face No. 2 Bulldogs

Football. Grady Brown Hired as Secondary Coach

Men's Basketball. No. 12/11 Gators Survive Upset Bid, 74-66



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET





Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!



SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

Staley, Sutton Reflect on Gamecocks' Landmark Victory

"Inside The Chart" with Andy Demetra - February 3, 2012

Ingram, Allen Grab Attention at Senior Bowl

"Carolina Calls" Radio Show Spring Schedule

This Week's Home Events: Men's Hoops Host Kentucky

Coach Ward Talks New Role, Building a Program

Lorenzo Ward's Take on Who Will Step Up on Defense



VIDEO OF THE DAY

Check out the highlights from last night's women's hoops victory over the Lady Vols:

http://gamecocksonline.cstv.com/allaccess/?media=297642



ROOSTER CROWS

Markeshia Grant scored a new career-high 27 points against Tennessee including seven three-pointers.

The victory was the Gamecocks' first ever win over the Lady Vols in Knoxville and Tennessee's first SEC home loss since 2008.



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

Alison sent in her picture of her "Garnet and Black Gamecock wedding reception of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Loper in Greenwood, SC, on 1/28/2012. Thanks Cocky! Go Carolina!"

Alison Burns.JPG

We'd love to have another themed fan photo album of more Gamecock wedding pictures, so if Cocky was a guest at your wedding or you had other Garnet and Black or Carolina-themed touches, we'd love to see it! Email photos with your name and any backstory to gamecockathletics@gmail.com!




Previous fan photos may be seen here:
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2012
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2011




 

Staley, Sutton Reflect on Gamecocks' Landmark Victory

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WBB-11 Dawn Staley at Tennessee.jpegThe excitement all day has been our Women's Basketball team making history last night with their 64-60 victory over #8 Tennessee. It was South Carolina's first victory over the Lady Vols in Knoxville and only the second win in program history, with the only other coming in 1980. Pat Summitt's team had not lost to an SEC opponent on their home court since 2008, but all that came to an end behind a career-high 27 points from senior Markeshia Grant, including seven three point baskets. Fellow senior La'Keisha Sutton added 12 points of her own and clinched the victory for Carolina by knocking down both free throws on a 1-and-1 chance.  (Click here to see the full recap, photo galleries, post-game interviews and highlights) Dawn Staley's squad improved their overall record to 18-5 and 7-3 in the SEC.

Staley and Sutton were all smiles when they met with the media Friday afternoon to reflect on the victory and its significance.

"The locker room was very loud [after the game]," said Sutton. "It was really exciting just to see everybody happy and just cheering. It really touched us, Markeshia was crying...there was a lot of energy."

WBB-11 Team celebrates at Tennessee2.jpeg



















While Staley said the team would still stick to their 24 hour rule of celebrating a victory or mourning a loss, she confirmed that this was a truly proud moment for her as a coach.

"I just told them [after the game] that it was a very proud moment for the people that were standing in the room, but also for the people who were part of other Gamecock eras," said Staley. "I got text messages, phone calls from former players who really believed in us winning the game and making history, so it was a great, proud moment that we want to enjoy."

"We talked about [the 24 hour rule] last night on the bus," said Sutton, smiling. "We said we were going to celebrate this one just a little longer, but we still have to prepare for the next team... after today we can start focusing on Arkansas."

Coach Staley said in her post-game interview that as far as wins in her coaching career, this one might be the biggest. The significance of the game was not lost on Athletics Director Eric Hyman nor the HBC, Steve Spurrier, who were both in attendance at the game in Knoxville with their wives, Pauline and Jerri, along with a contingent of die-hard Gamecock fans overjoyed to witness the win in person. 

WBB-11 fans at tennessee.jpeg


















Gamecock fans after the win, looking much happier than their orange-clad counterparts


"I just wanted to win the game for a lot of reasons, for our players, fans, but when you look at us not winning in 32 years in the history of our program, that's something special," said Staley. "There are a lot of players that put on a Gamecock uniform that were not victorious when we played against Tennessee. We're changing generations."

However, as momentous a win as this one was, Staley was quick to say this is not the end of the season - there is still a lot of work to be done to finish the season strong and secure an NCAA Tournament berth.

"You've got to be somewhat nervous that our team will be thinking that this is our pinnacle of our season, which it isn't," explained Staley. "This [game vs. Tennessee] is a point in our journey which we highlighted on. We wanted to win, like we've wanted to do the last four years and what other teams in the past wanted to do. It just so happens that it's smack in the middle of our conference season, but we keep moving on because our ultimate goal is to get to the NCAA Tournament and hopefully win some games in the tournament."

Click here to watch video of all of Coach Staley and Sutton's comments.

Next up for women's hoops is another road game at Arkansas on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 8:00 p.m. They then return home for the first of just three remaining home games on Sunday, Feb. 12, at 5:00 p.m. vs. Florida. Come out and cheer on your Gamecocks!

Tickets



February 3, 2012

 

February 4th has been a magnet for milestones in South Carolina basketball.

 

On February 4, 1956, the Gamecocks had their highest-scoring game, a 121-point effort against The Citadel in Charleston.  On February 4, 1971, John Roche poured in a school-record 56 points in a win over Furman.

 

We'll see if February 4 time-stamps another historic moment for South Carolina basketball.  Pre-tip reads before #1 Kentucky descends on Gamecock Country:

 

SEC-ond Coming:  The Gamecocks have a short turnaround to engineer a not-so-short turnaround from their last meeting with Kentucky, a 79-64 loss in Lexington.  What did we learn from that first game?  What has evolved with the Wildcats since?  Pay attention to these four factors:

 

Terrence Jones.jpgKeep Up With The Joneses:  Heading into the Gamecocks' first matchup, the newspapers in Lexington blared with "What's Wrong with Terrence Jones?" headlines.   In the first two months, Jones' play drifted between uninspired and indifferent, a problem only worsened by a broken pinky on his shooting hand.  Against South Carolina, the 6'9" sophomore made his first 8 shots, finished with a team-high 20 points, and hasn't looked the same since.

 

Terrence Jones (left) has elevated his game since the last time South Carolina faced him.

 

In three career games against the Gamecocks, the 6'9" sophomore has averaged 17.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.  He has a smooth left hand, the playmaking skills of a guard, and the ability to break down taller defenders on the perimeter.  When he's on, teammates like Darius Miller and Doron Lamb have more room, as head coach John Calipari put it, "to do what they do."  Can the Gamecocks reduce his impact Saturday? 

 

Protect At All Costs:  Like the Miami Heat, no team in the SEC converts turnovers into fast breaks as quickly as Kentucky.  With the nation's leading shot blocker, Anthony Davis, playing goaltender around the rim, the Wildcats can play aggressively and gamble for steals on the perimeter.  It helped UK to a 12-0 edge in fast-break points against the Gamecocks January 7. 

 

Yet for all their ponderous length and athleticism, Kentucky doesn't go after turnovers as hard as you think.  The Wildcats rank 9th in the SEC, and 218th nationally, in TO%.  Only 19.8% of opponents' possessions result in turnovers. 

 

Kentucky is not an aggressive takeaway team, meaning Carolina needs to be strong with the ball (right:  Lakeem Jackson vs. Florida).

 

The Wildcats prefer to lay back, wait for blocks (1st NCAA block %), and get runout-rebounds (1st NCAA 2pt. FG% defense).  The Gamecocks only committed 12 turnovers against Kentucky in Lexington.  Can they be strong with the ball again in Columbia?

Kentucky's a Tougher Team:  Not "tougher" in the sense of more talent-laden, but "tougher" in the sense of, well, toughness.  LSU and Tennessee both tried to play Kentucky physically - swinging elbows, delivering hard fouls, and in the case of LSU's Malcolm White, horse-collaring Anthony Davis on a breakaway.  The strategy only seemed to inflame the Wildcats.  Kentucky not only responded, but it dished out punishment of its own, overpowering the Tigers and Vols with its defense and athleticism.  The Wildcats have held their last three opponents to 50 or fewer points, the first time that's happened in three consecutive games since the 1950-51 season.  

 

Ellington vs. Alabama.jpegKentucky has responded to physical play, but John Calipari admitted before the Tennessee game that "we don't want this to be a rough, win-in-the-weight-room game.  That's not how we play."  Can the Gamecocks set a physical tone, but avoid the foul trouble that plagued them in other SEC contests?  Damontre Harris, in particular, was racked by fouls in Lexington - Kentucky outscored Carolina by 14 points over the final 13:50 of the first half after Harris collected his second foul.

 

Bruce Ellington has had star-crossed stat lines vs. Kentucky.

 

Get Bruce to Produce:  Bruce Ellington relied on unpredictability to be an effective Wildcat quarterback.  He'll need that same unpredictability as he quarterbacks the Gamecocks against the Wildcats.  Ellington has shot 7 of 35 (20.0%) from the floor and 3 of 24 (12.5%) from three-point range for his career against the Wildcats, often bothered by their unending parade of tall guards.  On the bright side, Ellington has dished out 12 assists versus 2 turnovers in 84 career minutes.

 

Creator vs. Facilitator? - Bruce Ellington Career vs. Kentucky

Shooting                7-35 FG  (20.0%),  3-24 3pt. FG  (12.5%)       

Passing                   12A,  2 TO  (6:1 A/TO ratio)

 

Ellington sometimes rushes against tall backcourts, quick-firing shots or trying to shoehorn drives into the lane.  That's understandable - he needs an extra half-step to get his shot over players 8" to 13" taller than him.  The Gamecocks will need his offense Saturday.  But if the situation calls for it, can Bruce still make an impact without scoring?

 

And Finally... Kentucky reserve forward Eloy Vargas practiced with the Dominican Republic National Team this summer, but didn't make the final roster for the FIBA Americas Tournament.

 

Who was the Dominican Republic head coach who delivered that unkind cut?

 

John Calipari.

 

Now that we're prepared, we hope you are as well.  Our pre-game coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.  We'll see you at Colonial Life Arena.

 

Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: both basketball teams face ranked opponents on the road tonight, lots of coverage of the Gamecocks' football signing class, Devan Downey picked up by NBA D-League team, and more!


TONIGHT
Women's Basketball @ #8 Tennessee - 7:00 PM
TV: CSS, ESPN3.com    Radio: Listen Online

Men's Basketball @ #12/11 Florida - 9:00 PM
TV: ESPN2     Radio: Gamecock IMG Sports Network



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB

Women's Basketball: Summit's coaching legend has yet to peak (GoGamecocks.com)

Women's Basketball: USC Heads to Tennessee (GamecockCentral.com)

Men's Basketball: USC's Damien Leonard takes cues from teammate's experience (The Post and Courier)

Men's Basketball: USC on the road at #12 Florida (GamecockCentral.com)

Football: National Signing Day a chance to soothe a family's pain (News-Press.com, Fort Myers, FL) *SC signee Jordan Diggs*

Football: USC fills necessary skill position voids (The Post and Courier)

Football: Signing Day Notebook (GamecockCentral.com)

Football: USC enjoys "peaceful" signing day (TheBigSpur.com)

Football: Spurrier pleased by recruits' talent, attitude (GoGamecocks.com)

Football: Ward's hard work in recruiting pays off (GamecockCentral.com)

Women's Golf: Rucker helps bring women's collegiate golf, private concert to Hilton Head (The Island Packet)



GAMECOCKS IN THE PROS

Men's Basketball stand-out Devan Downey has been signed by the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the NBA Development League.



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS

Women's Basketball. Women's Hoops Heads to #8/8 Tennessee

Men's Basketball. Men's Basketball Travels To No. 12/11 Florida Thursday

Men's Basketball. "Inside The Chart" with Andy Demetra

Men's Basketball. Limited Number Of Tickets Remain For Kentucky Contest Saturday

Video - Gamecocks Welcome Missouri Tigers to SEC

Women's Soccer. Gamecock Women's Soccer Announces Nine Signees for 2012

Womens' Golf. Gamecock Women's Golf Adds Matheson to 2012 Signing Class

Track. Video - Gamecock Track Heads to NYC

Softball. Gamecocks Play Intrasquad Scrimmage Friday Afternoon

Football. Steve Spurrier Introduces Four New Coaches

Football. Signing Day Press Conference Quotes, Photos & Videos



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET

Tell me about it! Men's Basketball plays on the road at #12/11 Florida tonight at 9:00 p.m. and will host #1 Kentucky back in Columbia on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. Rough stretch.




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SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

Ingram, Allen Grab Attention at Senior Bowl

"Carolina Calls" Radio Show Spring Schedule

This Week's Home Events: Men's Hoops Host Kentucky

Coach Ward Talks New Role, Building a Program

Lorenzo Ward's Take on Who Will Step Up on Defense

PGA TOUR's Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey Shows His Gamecock Pride



VIDEO OF THE DAY

If you missed it yesterday, check out our Welcome to Gamecock Country video in honor of Signing Day:





ROOSTER CROWS

In yesterday's Signing Day press conference, Coach Spurrier noted that all of the recruits who officially committed to the Gamecocks stuck with us. We had no de-commits or wafflers.

With Shaq Roland signing with South Carolina yesterday, the past four consecutive South Carolina Mr. Football award winners have become Gamecocks. Spurrier noted the streak in the press conference.

"To get the Mr. Football four years in a row is neat. Looking back, Stephon Gilmore being the first really helped us four years ago. We had just come off the Outback Bowl where we played like crap. I was hoping someone didn't get ahold of Stephon, but he was a mid-year guy, came in January and stuck with us. Then Marcus (Lattimore) and (Jadeveon) Cloweny and now Shaq (Roland). They've all been outstanding players and will continue to be. It's pretty neat that we've been able to do that."



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

Jay Law (class of 1998) shared this photo of himself with his wife Mandy at the Capital One Bowl. Great smiles during a Gamecock win!

Jay Law.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!

Previous fan photos may be seen here:
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2012
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2011

Ingram, Allen Grab Attention at Senior Bowl

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During this year's Senior Bowl week, Melvin Ingram and Antonio Allen did their fair share to stand out while representing the Gamecocks in the game. Several media outlets had plenty to say about these two stand-outs as we get closer to the NFL Draft this April.


Ingram_09_10_11_000104_TB.jpgOn Melvin:

"...looked terrific in pass rushing drills. He plays low and has been tough to block."- SportsIllustrated.com

"Collapsed the pocket well and even tossed a running back to the ground like a rag doll to end one play." - NYTimes.com

 "...natural athlete who is versatile, explosive, and a high motor player." - NFLsoup.com

"He's got really light feet." - TheNewsTribune.com

"...able to diagnose plays quickly...used power and quickness to win the majority of his matchups." - ESPN.com

"He flashed natural change of direction skills on his spin move...he can reach the pass rusher in a number of ways...he should be a first round selection" - Revengeofthebirds.com

"He has a rare combination of quickness, agility and power closing...we are confident Ingram will end up as a first-round pick." - SportingNews.com

"...terrific athletic ability, really impressive guy." - ScoutsNotebook.com

"...high-motor, quick, strong. Fun to watch, tough to block." - ProFootballWeekly.com

"Very productive and versatile...good pursuit...good motor...good athletic ability." - NFLmocks.com

"...an athletic and versatile defensive lineman who can be a terror against the pass." - Mockingthedraft.com

"If you can't get a quarterback, get the other team's quarterback. The Seahawks need a pass rusher and Ingram fits the bill." - ESPNFlorida.com

Melvin Ingram earned consensus All-American status for his 2011 season that saw him score three touchdowns and tie the school record for single-season sacks at 10.

Melvin Ingram YouTube Playlist






Allen_091011_000082_TB.jpgOn Antonio:

"...flashed skill all day." - SportsIllustrated.com

"He's a very sudden player that jumps out of nowhere to make plays." - SportsIllustrated.com

"Allen is a vicious hitter." - SportsIllustrated.com

"...played very physical and consistently made solid form tackles" - PewterReport.com

"At South Carolina, Allen essentially played outside linebacker and spent a lot of time near the line of scrimmage. Allen, who is from Ocala, Fla., was the only player to finish among the top 10 in the SEC in tackles (88), interceptions (three), forced fumbles (four) and fumble recoveries (three).

But at 6-1 and 202 pounds, Allen projects as a safety in the NFL. It will take some getting used to.
...
Asked about ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. ranking him as his No. 2 safety prospect behind Alabama's Mark Barron, Allen said: "I'd say he's doubting me a little bit. But Kiper's a good guy."

- The Charlotte Observer

Antonio led the Senior Bowl's South team with seven tackles, including five solo tackles, also a team-high.




The first round of the NFL Draft will take place Thursday, April 26, followed by the second and third rounds on Friday, April 27. Rounds 4-7 will be held Saturday, April 28.

February 2, 2012

 

Brenton Williams' shooting ability has been a poorly kept secret in the Gamecocks' practice facility.

 

"I always challenge our guys after practice to see how many [three-pointers] they can make in a row.  He holds the record - 31 in a row," assistant coach Mike Boynton said on "Carolina Calls."

 

Brenton Williams.jpegNow, Williams' marksmanship has started to leak out to the rest of the SEC.  After dropping a career-high 15 points against Ole Miss, the 5'11" Kissimmee, Fla., native has shot his way into a more prominent role in the Gamecocks' backcourt rotation.  He'll have a chance to solidify that spot Thursday, when the Gamecocks return to his mater patria to face #12 Florida (9:00 p.m. EST, Gamecock IMG Sports Network). 

 

Ironically, the Gamecocks' recruitment of Williams required several trips to Gainesville.  Despite earning county Player of the Year honors at Osceola HS, Williams' best scholarship offers came from Division I lightweights Louisiana Tech, Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman.  He opted instead to enroll at Santa Fe Community College, two hours southeast of Kissimmee but 2.3 miles from Florida's Stephen C. O'Connell Center in Gainesville.  Williams said his father convinced him that by going to a junior college, he could play his way into a larger offer.

 

"I definitely got what I wanted out of it.  Good coaching, good competition," Williams said.

 

Seeking help in the backcourt - a need intensified by Bruce Ellington's decision to play football - the Gamecock coaches were intrigued by Williams' play.  He only averaged 11.8 ppg and 39% 3-point shooting at Santa Fe, but his numbers didn't illustrate his impact. 

 

"We could immediately see his athleticism and explosiveness on the offensive end," Boynton said.  "One thing that always happened, whether in high school or junior college, was he was always efficient when it came to scoring the basketball."

 

Brenton Williams-2.jpegAssistant coach Neill Berry, head coach Darrin Horn, and Boynton all made trips to Santa Fe to scout Williams. They enticed him into making a campus visit in April, taking him to a baseball game at Carolina Stadium.  The Gamecock coaches also had to fend off his hometown school, UCF, which had begun to show interest (no small task, considering Williams' closeness to his family). 

 

Fresh off a career-high 15 points against Ole Miss, sophomore Brenton Williams (right) will return to his junior college's hometown Thursday. 

 

Williams began the year as Carolina's third-string guard, a position that only became cemented when he missed five non-conference games due to a knee injury.  His confidence blooming, Williams now gets his shot at the Gators, in the city where his play first caught South Carolina's eye.

 

More pre-tip reads as South Carolina prepares for reptilian warfare in Gainesville:

 

Stopping the Rain:  Very little has changed since the Gamecocks and Gators met January 14.  Florida still leads the nation in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, and ranks second in Effective Field Goal %  (57.2%).   The Gators share the ball, take care of the ball, and ultimately, bury opponents under an avalanche of threes.  The Gators have a lethal combination of shooting a high percentage from three, while also attempting a high volume of three-pointers.  Florida ranks 7th in the nation in 3pt. FG% (40.8%), while ranking 5th in the nation in 3PA/FGA (44.3%). 

 

In fact, Florida could be on the verge of history:  in the last 10 years, no team from a major conference has finished in the top 10 nationally in both 3pt.% and 3PA/FGA.

 

Statistic                  Percentage                           NCAA Rank

3pt. FG%                40.8                                        7th

3PA/FGA                44.3                                        5th

 

 

Florida 3.jpgAs South Carolina holds firm in its 2-3 matchup zone, Darrin Horn addressed how Carolina can better defend Florida's three-point gunning.  The Gators converted 12 of 24 three-pointers in their January 14 meeting.

 

"The thing we've got to do, which hurt us in the first game, is to eliminate some of the easy ones that come off our mistakes," Horn said.

 

Look for Florida junior Kenny Boynton (left - #1) to seek his shot vs. Carolina.

 

One person who might look to break out:  junior guard Kenny Boynton.  The Gators' leading scorer (17.2 ppg) was held to a season-low 2 points in Florida's last game, a 69-57 win over Mississippi State.  Since knocking down 4 of 7 three-pointers vs. Carolina, Boynton has only made 4 of his last 17.

 

Board Control:   Why does Florida have a probable first-round draft pick, 6'9," 250-pound center Patric Young, coming off the bench?  Ankle tendonitis has forced Florida head coach Billy Donovan to bide Young's minutes. 

 

Patric Young Rebound.jpgWith leading rebounder Patric Young (#4) slowed by an ankle injury, can the Gamecocks take advantage of Florida's smaller lineup?

 

As a result, the Gators have switched to a three-guard lineup, with 6'3" freshman Brad Beal joining 6'1" Boynton and 5'8" Erving Walker in the backcourt.  6'10" sophomore Erik Murphy plays outside-in in the mold of Chandler Parsons, leaving only 6'7" Will Yeguete as a committed, active rebounder. 

 

The Gamecocks are at their best when they offensive-rebound effectively.  Florida has been outrebounded -26 in its last two games, versus Ole Miss and Mississippi State.  Have the Gators left themselves vulnerable on the glass?  

 

Damien Leonard.jpegLeonard's Law:  Freshman Damien Leonard remains in the starting lineup, despite making only 3 of his last 19 three-pointers.  No one who watches the slender freshman doubts the purity of his form.  But Boynton, a former Gamecock guard himself, says Leonard needs to do a better job preparing himself before the ball arrives.

 

"For a kid who shoots the ball as well as he does, he doesn't always have great shot preparation habits.  Is he ready to shoot when the ball is coming his way?  Is he anticipating that next pass?  Or is the ball coming to him, and he's only then realizing that's he's the open man?"  Boynton said.

 

Shot mechanics haven't been the problem for freshman Damien Leonard (left).  Shot preparation has, according to assistant coach Mike Boynton.

 

That means being down, having both feet set, and both hands in a ready position.  Along with the mechanical, Leonard has an intangible working for him:  he saves his best games for Carolina's most towering opponents.  Against South Carolina's four highest-ranked opponents, Leonard has knocked down 41.7% of his threes.  That number drops to 28.8% for everyone else.

 

Damien Leonard 3-pointers

Opponent                             3pt. FGM/FGA

#1 UNC                                   5-11

#2 Ohio State                        2-6

#2 Kentucky                           3-6

#12 Florida                            0-0

                                                 10-24  (41.7%)

Rest of opponents                23-80  (28.8%)

 

Free Throws:  Malik Cooke's game-tying free throw against Ole Miss may have caromed off, but it shouldn't overshadow a strong foul-shooting year by the Gamecocks.  South Carolina has shot 70.6% as a team, 2nd-best in the SEC behind Alabama.  At this rate, they'll become the first Gamecock team to shoot higher than 70% at the free-throw line since the 1987-88 team shot 71.1%.

 

Wild Bill Free Throw.jpgSo after Carolina finished 11th, 12th, and 10th in the SEC in FT% the last three seasons, why hasn't its foul shooting drawn more publicity?  Perhaps it's because the Gamecocks rank 5th-worst in the nation with 14.8 FTA/game.  Combine that with South Carolina's slow-by-design style -- 331st nation in possessions/game -- and the Gamecocks haven't given themselves enough opportunities to showcase their foul shooting.  Look for players like Damontre Harris and Anthony Gill to generate more contact on offensive rebounds, instead of kicking out for three-pointers.

 

Even the heaviest - er, hardiest - of distractions hasn't bothered South Carolina at the FT line.

 

14.8 FTA/game  (340th NCAA) +  61.9 Possessions/Game  (331st NCAA) = Not enough FTA!

 

Cash In:  Getting to the free-throw line has been an important part of South Carolina's victories over Florida recently.  In 2010, Carolina converted 19 of 24 free throws in a 77-71 win.  In their 72-69 upset in Gainesville in 2011, the Gamecocks made 11 of 15 free throws.  Opportunities like that come scarcely against the Gators:  in the last two years, Florida ranked 340th and 342nd in the nation in fouls per game.

 

Short Turnaround:  As the Gamecocks embark on their first Thursday-Saturday turnaround in SEC play, perhaps they can take notes from Florida.  The Gators are 11-1 in Thursday-Saturday SEC turnarounds since 2010.

 

And Finally... The father of Florida guard Kenny Boynton is a Broward County Sheriffs Deputy.  He had a K-9 dog as a family pet growing up.

 

Now that we're prepared, we hope you are as well.  Our coverage begins at 8:30 p.m. EST on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.  We'll see you then.

Spurs Up Daily Round-Up: 2/1 Signing Day Fever

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Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: Signing Day fever spreads around the country, Women's Basketball hits the road to take on the Lady Vols, Men's Basketball heads to Florida for a match up with the Gators, Senior Courtney Forcucci earns her fourth SEC Female Diver of the Week honor, and more!



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB

Football: USC recruiting well in Georgia (The Post and Courier)

Football: Different paths led Davis brothers to S.C. (GoGamecocks.com)

Football: Song of Roland: Shaq glad to be a Gamecock (GamecockCentral.com)

Football: Gamecocks recruit Roland living an atypical life (The Post and Courier)

Football: Roland inks his future with the Gamecocks (GoGamecocks.com)

Football: Tomorrow (TheBigSpur.com)

Women's Basketball: Women's hoops to take on the No. 8 Lady Vols (The Daily Gamecock)

Track & Field: Track travels to NYC for New Balance Invitational (The Daily Gamecock)



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS

Football Signing Day page

Women's Soccer Signing Day page

Men's Soccer Signing Day page

Women's Basketball. Women's Hoops Heads to #8/8 Tennessee

Men's Basketball. Men's Basketball Travels To No. 12/11 Florida Thursday

Men's Basketball. Gamecock Spotlight: Eric Smith

Equestrian. Gamecocks Hold Steady at No. 7 in Latest Equestrian Poll

Baseball. South Carolina Baseball Weekend Scrimmage Schedule

Swimming & Diving. Forcucci Named SEC Female Diver of the Week

Softball. 2012 Softball Preview Part 2: Infield



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET

Congrats and welcome!

tweet237.jpg


Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!



SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

"Carolina Calls" Radio Show Spring Schedule

This Week's Home Events: Men's Hoops Host Kentucky

Coach Ward Talks New Role, Building a Program

Lorenzo Ward's Take on Who Will Step Up on Defense

PGA TOUR's Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey Shows His Gamecock Pride

Facilities Update: Farmer's Market project, Football Video Board



VIDEO OF THE DAY

In honor of Signing Day... we wanted to welcome the newest class of Gamecocks to Gamecock Country:





ROOSTER CROWS

Senior diver Courtney Forcucci has been named the SEC Female Diver of the Week.  Forcucci, who wins the award for the fourth time this season, swept the boards to help lead the Gamecocks to victories over East Carolina and Vanderbilt last weekend



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

Nikky Allen and Kendra Ostrander tailgating in today's Fan Photo of the Day sent in by Nikky. Thank you to all of our fans for creating a fantastic gameday atmosphere at Williams-Brice. 

Nikky Allen.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!

Previous fan photos may be seen here:
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2012
Fan Photo of the Day series - 2011