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February 2013 Archives

Spurs Up Daily Round-Up: 2/28

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Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: Basketball hosts Missouri tonight; LB Dantzler is a candidate for Senior CLASS Award; Swimming & Diving's Michael Flach named second team All-SEC; fan photo of the day; and more!


Baseball. Baseball Faces Clemson In Weekend Series

Baseball: LB Dantzler A Candidate For Senior CLASS Award

Gamecock Club. Block Party & Gamecock Headquarters For Reedy River Rivalry Game

Men's Basketball: Gamecocks Host Missouri Thursday In Primetime Matchup On ESPN2

Women's Basketball: #14/13 Gamecocks Head to Midwest for Thursday Tilt

Swimming & Diving: Flach Named Second Team All-SEC

Women's Tennis. South Carolina Opens SEC Play at No. 6 Texas A&M on Friday

Men's Tennis: Gamecocks Host Top-20 Teams in Key Weekend Action

Cross Country. Gamecock Cross Country Posts Nation's Second Best GPA


Let's go Gamecocks!


Throwback Thursday: Dual-Sport Star Bobby Bryant

Gamecocks At NFL Combine Recap

"Inside The Chart" with Andy Demetra (@GamecockRadio) - Previewing Mizzou

This Week's Home Events: Baseball Faces Rival Clemson

Photos: Softball Stadium Progress

Jadeveon Clowney Featured On Sports Illustrated Cover


Highlights: South Carolina Baseball vs. Furman - 2013

Freshman left-hander Jack Wynkoop hurled 5.1 scoreless innings in his first career start and seventh ranked South Carolina Baseball scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to break a scoreless tie as the Gamecocks defeated Furman 5-2 on February 26, 2013.


Equestrian redshirt junior Johnna Letchworth has been named SEC Co-Horsemanship Rider of the Month. Letchworth was 3-0 for the Gamecocks during the month of February, picking up MVP wins vs. No. 1 Georgia (Feb. 2) and at No. 2 Auburn (Feb. 14). In her victory over the Tigers, she set the SEC single-season record with a score of 80.5

Senior first baseman LB Dantzler is one of 30 NCAA baseball student-athletes who excel both on and off the field to be selected as a candidate for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate baseball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. 


Today's Fan Photo of the Day is from TSgt Dave Hart who drove from Langley, Virginia, for the Homecoming game vs. Arkansas!

Dave Hart.jpg

Send in your own fan photo submissions to Include your name and any back story. Some of the best submissions include Gamecock gear and showing your spurs!

Throwback Thursday: Dual-Sport Star Bobby Bryant

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It's Throwback Thursday! This week we take a look at Bobby Bryant, who was inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 1979. Bryant was a two-sport athlete at Carolina, lettering in football in 1964-66 and in baseball in 1965-67. Bryant was a first-team All-American and All-ACC at defensive back in 1966 and was named the ACC's outstanding athlete in 1967 with the Anthony J. McKelvin Award. He still holds the school record for longest punt return (98 yards vs. NC State, 1966). He was the first pitcher at Carolina to strike out 100 batters in a season and was drafted by the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox in baseball. He played in the NFL for the Minnesota Vikings for 14 seasons from 1968-1981.

Bryant was among almost 50 former Gamecocks who played in the NFL who returned to Columbia for a "Gamecock Pros" luncheon on Monday. For more on the luncheon, click here (photos, video interviews, etc.)

Throwback Thursday - Bobby Bryant.jpg

Have an idea for who/what you want to see featured on Throwback Thursday? Share it in the comments.


Inside The Chart.png 

Pre-tip reads before South Carolina and the Missouri Tigers (19-8, 8-6 SEC) take their show to the other Columbia (9:00 p.m. EST, Gamecock IMG Sports Network):


SEC-ond Coming:  What did we learn from Carolina's last game with Missouri, a gritty, 71-65 loss January 22?  Pay attention to these four factors:


1.       Missouri is a different team in personnel - but maybe not in personality - from that first meeting.  Back in January, Missouri was in a funk, dogged by questions about its intensity and ability to handle adversity.  They were also playing without a pair of key starters, guard Keion Bell and forward Laurence Bowers (more on them later).


One month later, the Tigers still haven't escaped head coach Frank Haith's scrutiny.  "Our effort, and what we needed to do on the defensive end, wasn't there," Haith said following Missouri's 90-83 overtime loss to Kentucky, calling his team's display "disturbing" and "extremely frustrating."  Missouri enters Colonial Life Arena with a 1-7 record in true road games.  Like they did at Mizzou Arena, can the Gamecocks challenge Missouri's intensity and discipline early, and force the Tigers to respond?


2.       Beware the pick-and-roll.  The Gamecocks held Missouri point guard Phil Pressey in check, limiting the SEC's Preseason Player of the Year to 6 points (2-8 FG), 7 assists, and 4 turnovers.  Little of the Tigers' offense came on Pressey's forte, the screen-and-roll from the top of the key. 


The reason was twofold:  first, Carolina jammed Missouri's screeners, preventing them from rolling easily to the basket.  Carolina also "flattened out" the screens, forcing Pressey to move laterally or backwards.  Unable to turn the corner at his desired speed, Pressey couldn't get into the lane - and put the Gamecocks on their heels.  "If you keep him out of the lane, you have a chance," Frank Martin said on "Carolina Calls." 




Mizzou Screen and Roll.jpg

Missouri point guard Phil Pressey (#1) setting up a screen-and-roll at the top of the key with junior Earnest Ross (#33).


The Gamecocks' 3-2 zone was also an effective screen-and-roll deterrent.  Carolina could make guard-to-guard switches on Pressey up top, so they wouldn't lose any quickness in defending him.  Meanwhile, their back-line defenders could sit back, and wait on Missouri's forwards to roll to the rim.


Pressey exploded for a career-high 27 points (12-24 FG) and 10 assists against Kentucky, the Tigers' first 20-10 game since 1993.  When he's on, he's one of the most dazzling, dynamic guards in college basketball.  When he's off, Missouri's offense can unravel with him.  The key to which Phil Pressey shows up may rest in how well South Carolina defends the pick-and-roll.


3.       Missouri's guards are hard to stop north-south.  Sophomore Jabari Brown and junior Earnest Ross, both 6'4" and 200-plus pounds, use their body well.  Against South Carolina, they consistently lowered their shoulders and drove to the rim, resulting in 17 points for Brown and a team-high 21 points for Ross.  Those attacks helped Missouri to a 28-11 edge in free throws.  To pull the upset, the Gamecocks need to put the brakes on their fouls.


4.       Offensive rebounds weren't the problem.  Cashing in off them was.  South Carolina held its own against Missouri's mammoth front line, equaling the Tigers with 16 offensive rebounds.  However, Missouri outscored South Carolina by 10 points off its offensive rebounds.


January 22                          ORebs                  Pts. off OReb

Missouri                               16                         20

            South Carolina                      16                         10


Between 6'9," 255-pound Alex Oriakhi and 6'9," 240-pound Tony Criswell, Missouri has arguably the SEC's biggest "grown man" front line.  Like they did against Ole Miss, the Gamecocks need to avoid foul trouble and take the ball up fearlessly. 


Laurence Bowers.jpgBowers Power:  He watched the game at Mizzou Arena in a blue button-down, a gold tie, and khaki slacks, an unassuming ensemble better suited to an insurance salesman than one of the SEC's most gifted inside-outside threats.  Redshirt senior Laurence Bowers, sidelined by a knee injury in the Gamecocks' first meeting, returns to his normal uniform tonight.  The senior from Memphis, Tenn., leads Missouri with 14.1 points per game and ranks second with 6.1 rebounds per game.


"He's long.  He's athletic," Martin said on "Carolina Calls."  "He's got an ability to block shots.  He impacts the game in a positive way on both ends of the floor." 


Missouri leading scorer Laurence Bowers (right) did not play vs. South Carolina January 22.


He'll also be joined by Bell, another starter who was sidelined by a sprained ankle against South Carolina.  A 6'4" pure scorer, Bell averages a team-high 14.5 points per game in SEC play while shooting 58.0% from the floor.  He'll try to improve a ghastly 5-of-27 three-point shooting night by the Tigers.


Another Note On Pressey:  Pressey's game against Kentucky erased a spate of poor outings on the road.  Can the Gamecocks make him regress Thursday?


Phil Pressey                           3pt. FGM/FGA       Assists            Turnovers

At Kentucky                             3-7                        10                   4

Prev. 6 SEC road games           1-23                       30                   33


Fate of Free Throws:  The fact that a team attempts more free throws in wins isn't exactly groundbreaking news.  But the disparity in free throw attempts between Carolina's wins and losses is startling.


                              South Carolina       Opponents

Wins:                     20.7                       13.3

Losses:                  17.2                       27.9


In six of their 11 losses, the opponent made more free throws than the Gamecocks attempted. 


And Finally... Carolina's first game against Missouri hatched an odd superstition.  Over the course of the game, Missouri head coach Frank Haith shed his jacket, then his necktie.  He joked afterwards that he almost took everything off.  Haith's gradual disrobing continued the next game against LSU, when the Tigers again needed a second-half rally.


The superstition inspired one of the funniest headlines in college basketball this year, courtesy of the Columbia-Star Tribune:  


"Haith Hopes To Stop His Stripping."


Our pre-game coverage begins at 8:30 p.m. EST on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.  See you at CLA.  -AD--

Gamecocks At NFL Combine Recap

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*Written by student assistant Kelly McAlindin

Seven Gamecocks were evaluated by NFL scouts, general managers, and coaches this past weekend at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Players are able to attend the Combine by invitation only and work out in their different position groups in addition to medical exams and multiple interviews. Gamecock NFL-hopefuls will also have a chance to impress scouts at our Pro Day on March 27, where scouts come to Columbia. 

Marcus Lattimore - NFL Combine.jpeg


Lattimore did not perform in any of the drills during the Combine as he continues to recover from his knee injury, but he did undergo a medical evaluation that was reportedly attended by representatives from all 32 NFL teams, and conduct multiple interviews and generate a lot of media attention for his ahead-of-schedule rehabilitation and recovery. His draft grade is 74.9

Marcus Lattimore way ahead of schedule in bid to play this year (USA Today)
"This time, I'm progressing faster even though it was a worse injury, because this time I'm not timid to do certain things." - Marcus Lattimore

NFL Fan Pass: Marcus Lattimore's road to recovery (

Marcus Lattimore Says He Will 'Shock' Doctors at NFL Combine With Progress in Recovery From Knee Injury (

VIDEO of Marcus Lattimore's press conference here


Hard-hitting safety D.J. Swearinger has built a name for himself as a dynamic defender and a guy who loves to hit. Swearinger has the highest draft grade at 81.4.

40 yd Dash - 4.67 sec.
Bench Press - 17 reps
Vertical Jump - 37 in.
Broad Jump - 124 in.
3-Cone Drill - 6.70 sec. (TOP PERFORMER)
20 yd Shuttle - 4.11 sec.

2013 NFL Combine: SEC safeties standing out (
*Swearinger believes in his abilities at the professional level - "I haven't played in the NFL, but a lot of my past teammates say it's no different that the SEC, just more professional. I think that will be a big help with me going into the next level."


With guys like Melvin Ingram and Jadeveon Clowney on the other end of the line, it was easy to get distracted. But having a player like Devin Taylor to deal with too helped the Gamecocks' D-line wreak havoc the past several seasons. Taylor's long, lean ideal athletic build has a lot of teams interested. He had the widest wingspan of any defensive lineman at the Combine (87 inches) and was a top performer in several of the drills.

Devin Taylor - NFL Combine.jpg

40 yd Dash - 4.72 sec.
Bench Press - 14 reps
Vertical Jump - 35 in. (TOP PERFORMER)
Broad Jump - 128 in. (TOP PERFORMER)
3-Cone Drill - 6.89 sec. (TOP PERFORMER)
20 yd Shuttle - 4.3 sec. (TOP PERFORMER)

Combine could help shape Packers' draft strategy (Green Bay Press Gazette)
*Taylor as possible candidate to lengthen Green Bay's defensive line.


Holloman's draft grade was 70.5 coming into the Combine. Holloman moved to the Gamecocks' hybrid Spur position last season after three seasons at strong safety and worked out as a linebacker at the Combine. He was said to be a versatile defender with a strong build.  He is projected to be a solid Saturday draft pick but has the potential to outplay his draft position.

40 yd Dash - 4.76 sec
Bench Press - 15 reps
Vertical Jump - 33 in.
Broad Jump - 113 in.
3-Cone Drill - 7.3 sec.
20 yd Shuttle - 4.26 sec. (TOP PERFORMER)

What Dolphins decide to do in free agency will dictate direction they go in draft (Yahoo Sports)
*Holloman's potential not overlooked by Miami - "Holloman is a hammer."


Sanders didn't wow scouts with his 40-time, but impressed with his quickness in the other drills (as anyone who has watched him on punt return knows, his lateral moves are killer!) and his hands in running routes.


40 yd Dash - 4.58 sec.
Bench Press - 7 reps
Vertical Jump - 32 in.
Broad Jump - 117 in.
3-Cone Drill - 6.81 sec.
20 yd Shuttle - 4.37 sec.
60 yd Shuttle - 11.29 sec. (TOP PERFORMER)

Chargers Draft Watch: Acing The WR/PR Value - Ace Sanders (Bolt Beat - San Diego Chargers)
* "Ace is a special teams ace."


Cunningham's draft grade is 63.0. He was said to be a great blocker, be quick on his feet, and have savvy route running against defenders.

40 yd Dash - 4.94 sec.
Vertical Jump - 31.5 in.
Broad Jump - 116 in. (TOP PERFORMERS)
3-Cone Drill - 7.12 sec.
20 yd Shuttle - 4.45 sec.
60 yd Shuttle - 11.88 sec.

2013 Bengals draft team needs: Defensive turnover will make for a busy spring in Cincinnati (Yahoo Sports)
*Cunningham considered a tight end option for his blocking - "Justice Cunningham is a good blocker, as well, and became a seam target in the passing game as the season progressed."


Johnson's draft grade was 59.0. Although he lacks the physical numbers, his size, smarts, and amount of experience will potentially help him earn a late-round draft pick.

40 yd Dash - 5.33 sec.
Bench Press - 32 reps
Vertical Jump - 25.5 in.
Broad Jump - 96 in.
3-Cone Drill - 7.83 sec.
20 yd Shuttle - 4.74 sec.

Photos: Softball Stadium Progress

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After several rainy days, we took advantage of a gorgeous sunshine and 60-degree day to get some new photos of the Gamecocks' softball stadium as construction continues to progress. Please note a few game location changes to maximize working time on the stadium.
Check out a couple of the photos below. To see more, check out our Facebook photo album for the project! 

Softball: 2.27.13

Thumbnail image for Softball; 2.27.13
Season ticket deposits for the 2013 softball season are available now for just $25 for adults! Click here to purchase online.

Spurs Up Daily Round-Up: 2/27

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 Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: Baseball Earns 5-2 win over Furman; Softball updates schedule with changes; First football game of the season set for August 29th; Jadeveon Clowney Featured on Sports Illustrated Cover; Fan photo of the day; and more!


Baseball: Baseball Earns 5-2 Win Over Furman

Softball: Gamecocks Update Softball Schedule with Site Changes, Game Additions

Football: South Carolina-North Carolina Set for Thursday, August 29

Football: Jadeveon Clowney Featured on Sports Illustrated Cover

Football: Carolina Hosts Luncheon For NFL Gamecocks

Men's Soccer: Dates Announced for Gamecock Men's Soccer Spring Season

Swimming & Diving: Gamecock Men Climb To No. 12 In Endless Pools Top 25

Track & Field:  Women's Track & Field at 15th in USTFCCCA Rankings


Football: Former Gamecocks With NFL Ties Reunite (

Football:Clowney lands 'Sports Illustrated' cover (

General: Tanner leading push to reunite ex-Gamecocks with their school (

Baseball: USC- Furman Diamond Extra   (



This Week's Home Events: Baseball Faces Rival Clemson

Photos: Softball Stadium Progress

Jadeveon Clowney Featured On Sports Illustrated Cover

Facebook Fan of the Week: Jason and Jaxon Romanstine

Carolina's 1977 College World Series Team Recognized

Gamecocks At NFL Combine Recap


South Carolina Men's Tennis discusses the importance of team chemistry.


Freshman left-hander Jack Wynkoop hurled 5.1 scoreless innings in his first career start and seventh ranked South Carolina scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to break a scoreless tie as the Gamecocks defeated Furman 5-2.

Standout Gamecock defensive end and top player in college football Jadeveon Clowney is featured on a regional cover of Sports Illustrated this week!

The South Carolina men's swimming and diving team climbed 28 spots to No. 12 in the latest Endless Pools Top 25 after a stellar showing at the SEC Championships last week in College Station, Texas.


Today's fan photo of the day was sent to us by Benton Boyd of Hartsville, SC. Benton is currently studying abroad in Ireland. She showed her Gamecock pride on a trip to see ancient monuments, including Newgrange pictured here, which she tells us is older than the pyramids and Stonehenge!


Send in your own fan photo submissions to Include your name and any back story. Some of the best submissions include Gamecock gear and showing your spurs!

This Week's Home Events: Baseball Faces Rival Clemson

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Baseball starts the week off taking on Furman on Tuesday before prepping to host arch rival Clemson in a three-game series this weekend. Game 1 on Friday is at Clemson, Game 2 on Saturday is at Fluor Field in Greenville (our allotment of tickets is sold out), and Game 3 is at home at Carolina Stadium (sold out). Men's Tennis also faces the rival Tigers this weekend, facing Clemson on Sunday at 1:00. Sunday is a full day in Gamecock Country as Women's Basketball hosts the final game of the season and Senior Day for Ashley Bruner, Ieasia Walker, and Sancheon White with tip-off vs. Florida at 1:00. Make a day of it and come check out women's hoops and men's tennis before you head over to the baseball game! Equestrian will host their final home meet of the season vs. Delaware State Friday afternoon at 1:00 out at One Wood Farm. After nearly upsetting them in the other Columbia, Men's Basketball takes a shot at Missouri at home in Colonial Life Arena this Thursday at 9:00 PM airing live on ESPN2. Be sure to stay tuned for a special halftime - the University Army ROTC will hold their contracting ceremony.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

#7 Baseball vs. Furman - 4:00 PM - Carolina Stadium
-  First mid-week game of the season; freshman Jack Wynkoop expected to get first career start on the mound.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Men's Basketball vs. Missouri - 9:00 PM - Colonial Life Arena
-    Coke towels given out to fans (while supplies last)
-    USC Army ROTC Contracting Ceremony at Halftime
-    Academy Sports Game Sponsor

Friday, March 1, 2013

#5 Equestrian vs. Delaware State- 1:00 PM - One Wood Farm
-  Final home meet of the season
-  Free admission

#48 Men's Tennis vs. #14 Texas A&M- 5:00 PM - Carolina Tennis Center
-  Fan Ball Toss - each fan will receive a numbered tennis ball when they arrive and during the break between doubles and singles matches, will toss their tennis ball from the stands into a bucket for a chance to win a free iPod Shuffle

Sunday, March 3, 2013

#14 Women's Basketball vs. Florida - 1:00 PM - Colonial Life Arena
-    Senior Day - final game of the regular season! Pre-game senior ceremony to honor Ashley Bruner, Ieasia Walker, and Sancheon White
-    Read with the Gamecocks Day - Elementary schools who participated in the Read with the Gamecocks program will be highlighted at halftime. Click here for more info on our reading program!
-    Youth Day - FREE admission for youth 17 and under

#48 Men's Tennis vs. #51 Clemson - 1:00 PM - Carolina Tennis Center
-    Fan Ball Toss - each fan will receive a numbered tennis ball when they arrive and during the break between doubles and singles matches, will toss their tennis ball from the stands into a bucket for a chance to win a free iPod Shuffle

#7 Baseball vs. Clemson - 3:00 PM - Carolina Stadium

Gamecocks on the road...

#14 Women's Basketball @ Missouri - Thursday, 8:00 PM - Radio: 1320 AM, Listen Online
Men's Basketball @ Texas A&M - Saturday, 7:00 PM - TV: ESPNU | Radio: Gamecock IMG Sports Network

#38 Women's Tennis @ #10 Texas A&M - Friday, 6:00 PM
#38 Women's Tennis @ #55 Missouri - Sunday, 1:00 PM

#7 Baseball @ Clemson - Friday, 6:30 PM - No TV (online stream TBD) | Radio: Gamecock IMG Sports Network
#7 Baseball vs. Clemson (at Fluor Field) - Saturday, 2:00 PM - TV: ME-TV in Columbia (Over the air on channel 25.4, Time Warner Cable digital channel 106 and other cable systems in the Midlands. Not available on U-Verse, DirecTV, or Dish. | Radio: Gamecock IMG Sports Network

Softball at Eagle Classic - Statesboro, Georgia - Follow @GamecockSoftbll on Twitter for updates
vs. Alabama State - Saturday, 9:30 AM
vs. Kennesaw State - Saturday, 11:30 AM
vs. FIU - Sunday, 12:00 PM
vs. Georgia Southern - Sunday, 2:00 PM

Jadeveon Clowney Featured On Sports Illustrated Cover

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Standout Gamecock defensive end and top player in college football Jadeveon Clowney is featured on a regional cover of Sports Illustrated this week!

Jadeveon Clowney SI cover February 2013.jpg

It's Great to be a Gamecock!  If you can't wait until this 2013 season either, season ticket deposits are available now at

Spurs Up Daily Round-Up: 2/25

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Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: Baseball sweeps three-game series against Albany with first no hitter since 1975; Men's
Golf places third in Bayou City Collegiate Championships; Swimming & Diving finish up a week at SEC's in Texas; NFL combine with 7 Gamecocks underway; and more!


Baseball: Baseball Opens Series With 8-3 Win Over Albany

Baseball:Baseball Defeats Albany 14-1 in Game One of Doubleheader

Baseball:Baseball Sweeps Albany With 6-4 Win In Series Finale

Men's Basketball: Gamecocks Fall In Overtime At Georgia, 62-54

Football: Watch Marcus Lattimore's NFL Scouting Combine Press Conference

Men's Golf:
Gamecocks Claim Third At Bayou City Collegiate Championships

Equestrian: Schmidt's 2-for-2 Day Leads Carolina Past No. 6 Texas A&M on Senior Day

Swimming & Diving: Gamecocks Close Out Strong Week At SEC Championships

Men's Tennis: Gamecocks Fall at No. 34 VCU 5-2

Women's Tennis:
South Carolina Posts 5-0 Victory Against Charleston Southern


Sarge Fry-E sandwich unveiled at Grand Market Place (

Marcus Lattimore hopeful injuries won't jeopardize NFL career (

NFL Combine 2013: Marcus Lattimore motivated to return from injury (

Taylor hopes to show versatility (



Highlights: South Carolina Men's Basketball vs. Ole Miss - 2013

South Carolina Men's Basketball defeated Ole Miss 63-62 courtesy of a three pointer by Eric Smith and good defense down the stretch.


Carolina's 1977 College World Series Team Recognized

Looking Back at the 1977 Gamecock Baseball Team

Follow the Gamecocks in the NFL Combine

Behind The Scenes: Jadeveon Clowney Photo Shoot


Colby Holmes, Forrest Koumas and Josh Knab combined for the first no-hitter by a Gamecock baseball team since March 26, 1975 as fifth ranked South Carolina exploded for nine runs in the bottom of the fifth inning on the way to a 14-1 win over Albany in game one of a doubleheader at Carolina Stadium. The no-hitter is the seventh in school history and the first combined no-hitter as well.

The South Carolina swimming and diving teams posted four more NCAA provisional qualifying times and swam seven lifetime bests on Saturday night to wrap up competition at the 2013 SEC Championships.


Fan Photo Of The Day sent in by Brian Murrell: "These are my nephews from Charleston, SC, Lawson (12) and Ellis (7). This was Ellis' first game. After the game Ellis changed his Christmas gift list to all things Gamecocks!"

Brian Murrell.JPG

Send in your own fan photo submissions to Include your name and any backstory. Some of the best submissions include Gamecock gear and showing your spurs!

Facebook Fan of the Week: Jason and Jaxon Romanstine

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Check out this week's Facebook Fan of the Week winner! Robin Campbell of Pelion, SC, submitted the photo of her son, Jason Romanstine, and her grandson, Jaxon, all tuckered out after another Gamecock win against the Clemson Tigers! Said Robin: "We raise them right in our family...GO GAMECOCKS!!!"


Want to be the next Facebook Fan of the Week? Sign up on the Fan of the Week tab on our Facebook page, upload your photo and story, then share and get your friends to vote! Winners are selected each Friday and featured here and on

Carolina's 1977 College World Series Team Recognized

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A special group returned to Columbia to be recognized this Saturday. The Gamecocks' 1977 baseball team was recognized on the field and received rings for their appearance in the CWS. The 1977 team went all the way to the national championship game at the College World Series under first-year head coach June Raines. After losing its first game in the postseason, the Gamecocks won four straight at Sarge Frye Field to win the NCAA Atlantic Regional Championship. The squad won three straight games in Omaha to advance to the finals of the CWS and finished with a 43-12-1 record.


The team gathered at Carolina Stadium early before the game with their families to take a tour of the state-of-the-art facility and catch up with each other. We talked with pitcher Randy Martz, who battled several inches of snow to make the long drive to Columbia from Illinois just outside of St. Louis, about what it meant to be back. Martz had a 14-0 record (best undefeated record in school history), was named National Player of the Year, unanimous first team All-America, won the Lefty Gomez Plate given to the top amateur baseball player in the country, and was a first round draft choice of the Chicago Cubs. He pitched four years in the major leagues. Martz shared that he has been back to Columbia for two alumni games, one at Sarge Frye and one at Carolina Stadium before it was totally completed, so this was his first time seeing the completed stadium (with added decor from two national championships.)

"I was pleased to be recognized," Martz said. "It's been a good situation for all the guys coming back and seeing each other. That's the biggest thing - getting to see all the players you haven't seen in a long time...To come down and see Carolina again, it's a good thing."

Martz said his favorite memory was beating Clemson in Clemson, 2-1, snapping a 26-game winning streak for the Tigers. After that win the Gamecocks compiled a 30-6 record the remainder of the season for a final mark of 43-12-1. The late season surge included two more wins over Clemson for a sweep of the season series.

In addition to Martz, the 1977 team had several other players go on to Major League Baseball.  Mookie Wilson was second team All-America and played 1,403 major league games in 12 seasons with the Mets and Blue Jays. Ed Lynch played eight years with the Mets and Cubs and became general manager of the Cubs. Jim Lewis made it to the big leagues for brief stints with the Mariners, Yankees and Twins.

Today the landmark team gathered together to receive their rings and reflect back.  


The ring


Johnny Hunton (assistant coach) and June Raines (head coach) greet Athletics Director Ray Tanner


Raines and Hunton with Mookie Wilson (center)

Watch video of the pre-game recognition:

Looking Back at the 1977 Gamecock Baseball Team

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*Written by Assistant Media Relations Director Andrew Kitick. See more, including the 1977 roster, statistics, and individual notes for each game of the season, in this weekend's game notes.

Thumbnail image for 1976-77bsb.jpg

1977 Team Photo

Two years after their first trip to the College World Series, the Gamecocks found themselves back in Omaha under a different head coach.

Bobby Richardson, who in seven seasons built the South Carolina program into a national power, resigned and June Raines was brought in to continue the success forged by Richardson. That included South Carolina's first three bids to the NCAA Tournament and first trip to Omaha.

For Raines, it was a return to the Gamecock Roost. Fol¬lowing a 10-year career as a catcher in the Cleveland Indians and Washington Senators minor league systems, Raines had served as a student assistant coach under Jack Powers and Richardson while earning bachelor and masters degrees.

Raines inherited a good nucleus from Richardson whose final team, 1976, had compiled a 38-14 record. Richardson's previous two teams were 48-8 in 1974 and 51-6-1 in 1975.

Raines added some outstanding talent in outfielder Mookie Wilson, catcher Johnny Long and right-handed pitcher Randy Martz from the Gamecock football squad to the returnees left by Richardson.
Through his first 20 games, Raines won 68 percent of the time, excellent under most criteria but somewhat short of Richardson's .828 percentage over his final three seasons. After winning 10 of his first 11 games, Raines saw his team lose five and tie one over the next nine. Arch rival Clemson, on the other hand, was unbeaten after 26 games with the best record in the nation.

South Carolina broke the Tigers' win streak with a 2-1 victory at Clemson behind Martz and the Gamecocks compiled a 30-6 record the remainder of the season for a final mark of 43-12-1. The late season surge included two more wins over Clemson for a sweep of the season series.

South Carolina was awarded its fourth consecutive regional site but quickly fell into the losers' bracket with a 7-6 loss to nationally second ranked South Alabama. Starter Ran¬dy Martz left the game with the lead but the bullpen couldn't hold it. Carolina would have to win four consecutive games over the next three days if it was to win the regional.

The uphill trek began with a 4-1 win over East Carolina behind a six-hit complete game by right-hander Jim Lewis. The task ahead required two Sunday victories to force a show¬down game on Monday.
Ed Lynch, from the Gamecock basketball team, drew the first assignment and stifled South Alabama. He scattered seven hits in an 11-2 rout. Sophomore right-hander Hal Hutchens caused some anxious moments when he allowed 12 hits and walked four but was tough with runners on base. With ninth inning relief help from Lewis, Hutchens came out with a 5-2 win over Wake Forest. With two days rest, Randy Martz got the call vs. the Demon Deacons. Although he allowed 10 hits, he struck out 12. Johnny Hinkel, Mark Van Bever and Mookie Wilson homered as the Gamecocks won 6-1 to clinch a spot in Omaha.
The opening game of the 1977 College World Series was a classic. With undefeated Randy Martz pitching for South Carolina, and Panamanian right-hander Jaime Cocanower for Baylor, the score was tied 1-1 after nine innings with both starters still on the mound.

Martz retired the first two Baylor batters in the top of the 10th but three successive ground ball singles produced a run and the Bears took a 2-1 lead to the bottom of the 10th inning.
Van Bever lashed a double down the left field line and advanced to third when Wilson grounded out to deep short¬stop. That brought up left fielder Chuck McLean who hit a line drive on the first pitch that carried over Baylor center fielder Burl Coker's head.

Raines said later that he would have held McLean at third if he had been the third base coach. However, after nine innings, he had turned third base coaching duties over to assistant Johnny Hunton "to change over the luck" and Hunton waved McLean past third base. He slid home safely with an inside the park home run and a 3-2 Gamecock victory.

Lewis scattered eight hits and struck out 14 defeating Cal State-Los Angeles 6-2 and Martz came back on short rest to down Southern Illinois Carbondale 5-4 earning Carolina a bye to the championship round as the only undefeated team.

A shoulder injury to power hitting first baseman Johnny Hinkel (15 home runs) left the Gamecocks a little short. Lynch pitched well in a complete game effort but lost 6-2 to Arizona State setting up another meeting with the Sun Devils. Lewis also pitched well but was on the short end of a 2-1 score and for the second time in two tries, South Carolina finished second in the College World Series.

Martz, with a 14-0 record, was named National Player of the Year, first team All-America and first round draft choice of the Chicago Cubs. He pitched four years in the major leagues. Wilson was second team All-America and played 1,403 ma¬jor league games in 12 seasons with the Mets and Blue Jays. Lynch played eight years with the Mets and Cubs and became general manager of the Cubs. Lews made it to the big leagues for brief stints with the Mariners, Yankees and Twins.

**The 1977 team will be recognized and receive rings for their College World Series appearance prior to this Saturday's game vs. Albany at Carolina Stadium. Game time is now set for 4:00 PM.

Follow the Gamecocks in the NFL Combine

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NFL Combine logo.jpgSeven Gamecocks are in Indianapolis this weekend for the 2013 NFL Combine where they will be evaluated, interviewed, poked and prodded by NFL scouts, general managers, and coaches. will have official test results, video, photos, and more.  Marcus Lattimore speaking to the media was a top story today. You can sort the list of participants by college here, to help you keep track of the Gamecocks' performance. With the current grades, D.J. Swearinger is the Gamecocks' highest rated player. You can watch live coverage of the NFL Combine on NFL Network and

Combine workout schedules:

Saturday, Feb. 23: Tight Ends, Offensive Line, Special Teams -- Justice Cunningham, T.J. Johnson

Sunday, Feb. 24: Quarterbacks, Running Backs, Wide Receivers -- Marcus Lattimore (will not participate in drills), Ace Sanders

Monday, Feb. 25: Defensive Line, Linebackers -- Devin Taylor, DeVonte Holloman

Tuesday, Feb. 26: Defensive Backs -- D.J. Swearinger

Behind The Scenes: Jadeveon Clowney Photo Shoot

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Sports Illustrated, The State, and Athlon Sports all came to Williams-Brice this week to stock up on photos of Jadeveon Clowney. As the media look toward the 2013 season and season preview publications, you can expect to see the buzz about the nation's top player continue to grow, including several magazine stories and covers.


Getting ready to practice facial expressions


Clowney joked around throughout the shoot, keeping photographers and staff members laughing

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Close-up and long range views...

Clowney photo shoot B 2-20-13.jpg

Several different poses for each photographer


Steve Spurrier looks on from the wall


Thank you, sir!


Whew! All done!

2013 football season ticket deposits are available online now. Spring practice will start on March 5 with the Garnet & Black Spring Game set for April 13. More spring practice info

LB Dantzler Explains The Bieber Fever

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BSB-12 LB Dantzler vs. Alabama.jpegFans in the ballpark for Opening Day last Friday were surprised by one Gamecock Baseball player's choice for his walk-up music. Third baseman LB Dantzler went with a choice one might expect more coming from a pre-teen instead - "Baby" by Justin Bieber. His unique choice even made him the winner of our Twitter poll during the game for fans' favorite walk-up song. See a full list of the team's walk-up songs here.

Dantzler explained that he wanted to do it last year, but with it being his first year he was a little nervous about pulling it off. This year he decided to go for it.

"I figured it would be something funny, that fans would get a kick out of it, and just keep everything light," Dantzler explained. "A lot of times I can't even hear my walk-out song so I'm not concerned with picking something to pump me up. Into the season I wouldn't really get pumped up by the same song anyway. Just something fun for fans."

The song seemed to be successful as Dantzler crushed one to right field for a home run in his first at bat of the season (also the Gamecocks' first run of the season!) and made all Gamecocks "Beliebers".

"I think it could have been an omen. I think I need to keep it. I have the fever."

As part of honoring Black History Month, staff members in the Dodie (our academic center and dining hall for student-athletes on campus) asked several student-athletes who is the most influential African-American in history to them and why. Check out some of the student-athletes' responses below and feel free to add your own answer to the question in the comments.

Samantha Sanchez (WTK/F) Sojourner Truth - "When thinking about the most influential people in African American history, at first I thought that there are just so many - names like Martin Luther King Jr. , Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Harriet Tubman, Barack Obama, and Thurgood Marshall all ran through my head. Suddenly, a light bulb went off and I came to thinking about Sojourner Truth. She is regarded as one of the greatest abolitionists, speakers, and thinkers of all time, not only for African American rights but also for women's rights. She had a great gift of public speaking and is best known for her speech 'Ain't I a Woman?' given at the Ohio Women's Right Convention. I always get the goose bumps after reading her speech. And the most astonishing thing is that the speech wasn't even a prepared one, since she was uneducated and illiterate. The things she said came solely from the heart and were put in a very blunt and straight to the point style. Just recently Sojourner Truth became the 1st African American women to be honored with a bust in the US Capitol. Michelle Obama was in attendance of the unveiling and stated, mostly gracefully that, 'I hope that Sojouner Truth would be proud to see me, a descendant of slaves, serving as the First Lady of the United States of America.' Sojourner Truth also was the first black woman to win a lawsuit in the U.S.  She has paved the way for all women to strive for equal rights and to not let men put us down."

Shelby Gonzales (SB) Jackie Robinson- "Although he was not a political influence, he was a social & athletic breakthrough. He was the first African-American to play baseball professionally. He not only represented the African-American population as a baseball player but he broke down the walls that limited African-Americans in athletics."

Jaki Alawi (WTN) Martin Luther King, Jr.- "Martin Luther King, Jr. is the most influential African-American because he fought and defended human rights with a passion that not many people would have. Because of him, we live in a better society, in a better America."

JP Rafferty (MSC) Herman Boone- "I have to say Herman Boone. He was the head football coach at T.C. Williams High School in Virginia. He brought a high school together and formed a state championship team. Someone I really look up to."

Josh Suttmeier (MTK/F) Jackie Robinson- "As an athlete, I would have to say the African-American who most influenced me was Jackie Robinson. I remember reading a biography on him when I was younger and was amazed by the patience, self-control, and kindness he continually exhibited in the face of such adversity, hatred, and evil. Jackie paved the way for the equality within our society through his actions."

Nigel Redic (MTK/F) Muhammad Ali- "He challenged the world and never backed down."

Kaysee Sullivan (MTK/F) Coretta Scott King- "Since I am an education major I believe Coretta Scott King is a very influential African-American [in] history. Mrs. King was an activist for civil, women's, gay, human, and equal rights. On top of that, she was an author. The American Library Association named an award [after her] for outstanding African-American writers and illustrators of children's books, heavily related to my major."

Tyler Brockington (WTK/F) Madame CJ Walker- "To men, she was a woman who made cosmetics, but to African-American women, Madame CJ Walker was a beautification visionary. Without the development of the relaxer, certain hairstyles would not be possible today. Some argue that Walker is wrong for her creation because she is part of the reason black women don't wear their hair's natural texture. However, I believe she provided people with an option to fashion their outward appearance in a way that best suits the individual. Everyone wants to be fabulous. Thanks to Madame CJ Walker, that goal is now possible."

Alex Holland (WSC) Martin Luther King, Jr.- "I consider Martin Luther King, Jr. to be the most influential African-American in history because he stood up for what he believed was right and his actions still affect us today. He was always a strong advocate for other African-Americans and their civil rights. Through all the adversity he endured, he still stood up for what he knew was right."

Clayton Gravesande (MTK/F) Jackie Robinson- "Jackie Robinson was a black athlete who played, at that time, an all-white sport in baseball. I think it took a lot of confidence and self-determination to succeed in an environment like that. He faced death threats and still rose to the occasion and became one of the best baseball players ever. As an athlete myself, I can respect a man who faced adversity like this."

Danielle Travis (WTK/F) Michael Jackson- "I believe he is the most influential because not only did he change the face of music, but he set an example for so many young people. He didn't care what people thought about him, and followed his beliefs. This is such a lesson to younger people so they can break through their boundaries as well."

Kelly Coyle (WTK/F) Malcolm X- "Malcolm X because he proved that not only race but also religion does not and should not matter. If you are not happy with how society is then try and change it."

Ashley Cady (WTK/F) Jessie Owens- "He performed to his full potential despite political pressure in the Olympics in track & field."

Cheslie Kryst (WTK/F) Barack Obama- "In my opinion, Barack Obama is the most influential African-American in history. As the first black president not only has he broken barriers that before seemed impossible to move past, he has fulfilled a dream that makes apparent to others that a goal like becoming leader of the free world is within reach regardless of your race. Beyond that, Obama serves as an excellent role model and is a perfect picture of what it is to be a successful politician, leader, and African-American."

Olivia Hassler (WTK/F) Jessie Owens- "I feel that he revolutionized the world of sports on the national and Olympic level. Being a track & field athlete, I feel that he really had an impact on the sport that has the biggest impact on me."

Paris Smalls (MTK/F) Harriet Tubman- "Harriet Tubman because she showed oppressed slaves that there was hope that they could one day achieve freedom."

Josh Jones (MTK/F) Ida B. Wells- "She helped fight for blacks' civil rights and helped wrongfully accused African-Americans get out of jail. She was a journalist who documented lynching in the U.S."

Gabrielle Gray (WTK/F) Rosa Parks- "Rosa Parks because she stood up for every other African-American. Not only to make it where African-Americans can sit anywhere on the bus but she let people know that we are all equal. Nothing is different but our skin color."


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With his team trailing Ole Miss 62-56 and 3:39 to play, Frank Martin didn't like what he saw. 


But he liked what he heard.


Martin's volume is often inversely proportional to his players.  The less his team talks, the louder - and madder - he gets.  For the Gamecock head coach, silence equals selfishness.  That's why, when the Gamecocks gathered for their under-4:00 media timeout, Martin was pleased to hear Bruce Ellington break the silence.  The junior from Moncks Corner, S.C., urged on his teammates, saying they had worked too hard to not close the deal.  Eric Smith soon chimed in.  Even Michael Carrera, conscripted to the bench, shouted out encouragement. 


Eric Smith Celebration.jpeg"You break the huddle feeling good about, hey, let's go do this rather than let's go out there, and here we go again.  That's where leadership comes in," Martin said in his post-game radio interview.


The Gamecocks talked. 


And by game's end, Gamecock fans were talking, too.


Eric Smith (right) sank the game-winning three-pointer to beat Ole Miss.


Carolina scored the final seven points of regulation to seal a 63-62 upset over the third-place Rebels.  The Gamecocks now take that newfound momentum into Athens, when they face the Georgia Bulldogs (12-14, 6-7 SEC).


Pre-tip reads before Carolina makes its return trip to Stegeman Coliseum (2:00 p.m. EST, Gamecock IMG Sports Network):


SEC-ond Coming:  What did we learn from the Gamecocks' first meeting with Georgia, a 67-56 defeat February 2?  Pay attention to these four factors:


1.    Make Kentavious Caldwell-Pope work.  The Gamecocks - and the rest of the SEC - only wish this Pope had resigned.  The Bulldogs' 6'6" sophomore guard, a likely SEC Player of the Year, poured in a team-high 19 points and 7 rebounds against Carolina.  Caldwell-Pope showed an uncanny ability to drive right or left, and score from any spot on the floor. 


A player like "KCP" will get his touches no matter what.  Said associate head coach Brad Underwood:  "You can't let him do anything easy.  You have to make him work and earn his points, so down the stretch he's a little fatigued.  He shoots out of rhythm, and he doesn't cut as hard." 


2.    Screen Better.  Underwood said his team did a poor job setting screens in their February 2 meeting.  Against a jumbo-sized lineup like the Bulldogs, the Gamecocks need to "create length" by planting - and using - good screens.


3.     Mann, He's Tough.  At 6'4," 205 pounds, freshman point guard Charles Mann is Georgia's most gifted creator off the dribble.  His 11 points and 6 assists against Carolina provided a second-half spark, and helped pave the way for a road win. 


Mann's bullish driving style also leads to plenty of free throws:  his 6.6 Fouls Drawn/40 Minutes ranks 24th nationally.  South Carolina had one of its best games of the season denying dribble-drives against Ole Miss.  Can they duplicate that success against Mann?  By playing the dribble-drive well - i.e., not needing rotations - Carolina can also prevent him from setting up Georgia's three-point threats, Vincent Williams (38.2% 3pt. SEC) and Sherrard Brantley (33.3% SEC).


4.    South Carolina's press didn't give Georgia as many headaches as they thought.  The Bulldogs' 23.9% Turnover Percentage ranks 329th in the nation.  Yet when the Gamecocks tried a full-court press against the Bulldogs, Georgia handled it with surprising ease.  Don't let their deliberate pace fool you - the Bulldogs are sneakily good in transition.


Carolina may not press as much, but don't expect them to abandon ball pressure completely.  Georgia's triangle offense relies on pacing and flow.  If Carolina can throw Georgia's guards out of rhythm, they may make it difficult for them to run coherent offense.


KCP.jpgThe Dark Arts of the "Long Pass":  Few players inspire more hold-your-breath moments in the SEC than Ole Miss mad-bombing guard Marshall Henderson.  The SEC's leading scorer (19.7 ppg), Henderson was handcuffed to 11 points on 4-of-17 field goal shooting against the Gamecocks.


In his post-game interview, Martin explained what led to Henderson's long night.  Surprisingly, it had less to do with on-ball defense.


The job the Gamecocks did against SEC leading scorer Marshall Henderson Wednesday could help them against Georgia's Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (17.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg).


"Our initial ball defense was good.  That means our pick-up points were higher on the floor," he explained.  "Keep the ball as far away from the baseline as possible, so the passes are longer."


Long passes lead to uncomfortable, out-of-rhythm catches.  Because of that, Henderson couldn't pivot as easily into his shots, resulting in a 3-of-11 night from three-point range.  That tactic could benefit them against Caldwell-Pope, who ranks second behind Henderson for the SEC's scoring lead.


Stat of the Week:  Junior Eric Smith has more assists this year than his first two seasons combined.


Eric Smith Assists

First two seasons:            75

This season:                      79


An Inside Look:  To the chagrin of tongue-tied announcers everywhere, Laimonas Chatkevicius has begun to make a name for himself.  The freshman from Klaipeda, Lithuania, posted a career-high 11 points and 7 rebounds against Alabama, then followed it up with a 7-point, 7-rebound effort against Ole Miss' dominant front line.


Chatkevicius.jpegAll season long, Chatkevicius' play has teased, tempted, and mostly tortured the Gamecock coaching staff.  At 6'11" and a sturdy 250 pounds, he's the biggest post player the Gamecocks have.  Yet when he arrived at South Carolina from South Kent School in Connecticut, he still needed to shed his "Euro post" tendencies.  Instead of banging around the paint, he preferred to face-up and shoot from outside.  At a preseason practice in October, Martin lamented that Chatkevicius had only grabbed one rebound in two hours.


Lie-MONE-is Ha-KEV-i-chitz (left) has averaged 9.0 points and 7.0 rebounds over the last 2 games.


Underwood, who coaches the Gamecock forwards, says "Big L" has embraced the dirty work of an SEC post player.


"The offensive end has never been a problem.  He understands where every player should be on the play, in every set," Underwood said.  "The one thing he's had to mature with is to understand the physicality, and to be able to play at the rim."


Chatkevicius wears that evidence on his arms, where grayish bruises mottle his skin.  His willingness to get physical has also shown up in his block numbers:


Laimonas Chatkevicius - 210 minutes played

First 105 minutes:                           1 block

Next 105 minutes:                           5 blocks


Conditioning has also played a role.  Chatkevicius logged 25 minutes against Alabama and Ole Miss.


"First game of the year, 25 seconds might have been a stretch," Underwood quipped.


The days of 25-second cameos for Laimonas Chatkevicius may be over.


Crashing Carrera:  Michael Carrera suffered through his first scoreless game of the season against Alabama.  He responded with flair and fury against Ole Miss, posting his fifth career double-double (13 points, 13 rebounds).


In the first half alone, Carrera collected the third most offensive rebounds by a freshman in a game this year.


Most Offensive Rebounds by a Freshman - 2012-13

1.        Jordan Reed  (Binghamton)                        10

2.        Anthony Bennett (UNLV)                                 9

   Michael Kessens (Longwood)                    

   Steven Adams (Pittsburgh)

   Devin Thomas (Wake Forest)

   Xavier Thomas (Colorado)

3.        Michael Carrera (South Carolina)              8


And Finally...  How loose were the Gamecocks when they returned to practice Thursday, fresh off their upset of Ole Miss?


"Andy Assalley, our Director of Basketball Operations, had our team working on the Harlem Shake all day," Underwood said.


He was joking, of course.  But after shaking off a six-game losing streak, the Gamecocks have reason to feel good.


Our pre-game coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. EST on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.  See you in Athens.  --AD--

"Miracle Child" Enjoys VIP Gamecock Basketball Experience

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Not only did South Carolina Basketball get to enjoy a conference win over Ole Miss Wednesday night, they also enjoyed the company of a young fan who had a wish to attend a game and meet the team.

Keldon Hemingway, 11, is a "Miracle Child". Each year, University of South Carolina students participate in a Dance Marathon event to raise awareness and funds for Palmetto Health Children's Hospital, our local Children's Miracle Network Hospital. Dance Marathon is the largest student-run philanthropy on campus with this year's event taking place at the Strom Thurmond Wellness Center on March 1st-2nd. Each year they ask some of the children who have been patients at the hospital for a wish and they do their best to grant them. Keldon was diagnosed with a tumor in the center of his brain at age six. Since his diagnosis Keldon has undergone several surgeries, multiple MRIs, and two different types of chemotherapy. With treatment his tumor has remained stable and he attends school full time and even recently completed a season of basketball. Keldon's wish was to attend a men's basketball game at South Carolina and meet some of the team members. With support from head coach Frank Martin and the basketball staff, Erica Nelson (Coordinator, Life Skills and Community Outreach in the athletics department) worked to help facilitate a great experience for him.

Keldon and his family arrived early at the game to meet the team and Coach Martin during warm-ups, even getting to sit on the pre-game speech in the locker room. They enjoyed the game from seats right behind the bench and vouchers for the concession stand. Keldon proudly wore his new men's basketball t-shirt and took an autographed team poster. The Gamecocks provided a thrilling game, beating Ole Miss 63-62. After the game, Keldon joined the team in the locker room to celebrate (great picture below!) as many of the players called him their "good luck charm".

Keldon Hemingway post-game.JPG

Tune in to The Frank Martin Show on Sunday, March 3rd, at 11:30 AM and/or 7:30 PM on SportSouth for a behind the scenes video feature on Keldon's special experience with the Gamecocks. Tune in to this week's show on February 24 for a behind the scenes look at practice through Lakeem Jackson.

In addition to liking basketball, it turns out Keldon has some pretty slick dance moves! Check him out at the 2011 Dance Marathon event on campus:

Spurs Up Daily Round-Up: 2/21

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Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: Men's Basketball wins against Ole Miss; Baseball to host Albany this weekend; Football spring practice dates released; Swimming and Diving send four to SEC finals; and more!


Men's Basketball: Gamecocks Win Thriller Over Ole Miss 63-62

Baseball: Baseball Hosts Albany This Weekend

Football: Annual South Carolina Football Coaching Clinic Set

Football: Gamecocks Set Spring Practice Dates

Men's Golf: Gamecocks Open Play Friday In Bayou City Collegiate Championships

Women's Golf: Golf Week Magazine Features Carolina Women's Golf

Swimming & Diving: Gamecocks Send Four To Day Two Finals At SEC Championships

Swimming & Diving: Flach, Kranz Medal On Day Two At SEC Championships

Men's Tennis: Gamecocks Battle Out 4-3 Win Over No. 37 UNCW

Women's Tennis: South Carolina Picks Up 6-1 Victory at Furman


Gamecocks beat Ole Miss to end losing skid (



Gamecock Spotlight: LB Dantzler - 2013

Get to know South Carolina Baseball senior LB Dantzler in his Gamecock Spotlight!


Golf Week Magazine Features Carolina Women's Golf

Throwback Thursday: 1977 Baseball Team


Junior guard Eric Smith hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 27 seconds remaining and freshman forward Laimonas Chatkevicius blocked the final Ole Miss shot to give South Carolina (13-13, 3-10 SEC) a 63-62 conference win over Ole Miss (19-7, 8-5 SEC) at Colonial Life Arena on Wednesday night.

The South Carolina swimming and diving teams will have three swimmers and one diver in tonight's finals after posting three NCAA B cuts and 18 career bests in the preliminaries Wednesday morning at the 2013 SEC Championships.


This Fan Photo Of The Day was sent to us from Casey Floyd. This is picture is of her son Carter Lee Bic, posing for the camera in his Gamecock gear after the Gamecocks won the 2013 Outback Bowl against Michigan!

camo gamecock bay.jpg

Send in your own fan photo submissions to Include your name and any backstory. Some of the best submissions include Gamecock gear and showing your spurs

Golf Week Magazine Features Carolina Women's Golf

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South Carolina's coaching duo of Puggy Blackmon and Kalen Harris.

A recent Golf Week article took a look at the Gamecocks' "odd couple" in Director of Golf Puggy Blackmon and Head Women's Golf Coach Kalen Harris and sung the praises of the program. Check out an excerpt below and read the full article here.

Kalen Harris doesn't look quite old enough to be in charge of a perennial top-30 team. The petite South Carolina coach blends in with her players on the course. Her hat is always pulled down low, sunglasses on, presence unassuming.

Harris, at 34, doesn't fit the mold in the SEC coaching circle. She's among the youngest coaches in a league that is one of the most competitive in the nation. Still, the age jokes that fly good-naturedly around the team are directed more at director of golf Puggy Blackmon, 62, who also travels with the team.

It's an unusual dynamic, but it works at South Carolina. Since Blackmon sought out Harris for the head coaching position when it opened up in the spring of 2008, the Gamecocks have made four trips to the NCAA Championship. They won the NCAA East Regional in 2010 and again last year - as the No. 8 seed. That team went on to finish fifth at the NCAA Championship.

Women's Golf hosts The Darius Rucker Intercollegiate tournament in Hilton Head starting March 8. Debuting last year, the Carolina tourney has quickly become one of the nation's most attractive tournaments for teams.

Throwback Thursday: 1977 Baseball Team

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It's Throwback Thursday! The 1977 South Carolina baseball team went all the way to the national championship game at the College World Series. June Raines' first squad made a statement. After losing its first game in the postseason, the Gamecocks won four straight at Sarge Frye Field to win the NCAA Atlantic Regional Championship. The squad won three straight games in Omaha to advance to the finals of the CWS and finished with a 43-12-1 record. This Saturday, they will receive College World Series rings recognizing their achievements in a pregame ceremony.

For more notes on the 1977 squad, check out the preview for this weekend's series vs. Albany.

Throwback Thursday - 1977 Baseball team.jpg

Have an idea for who/what you want to see featured on Throwback Thursday? Share it in the comments.

Spurs Up Daily Round-Up: 2/20

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Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: Check out this weeks home events; men's swimming and diving sets two school records; Track and Field member  named 2012 sportswoman of the year in home country; take a look at the 2013 baseball walk up songs; fan photo of the day; and more!


Men's Basketball: Gamecocks To Host Ole Miss In Midweek Matchup Wednesday 

Swimming and Diving: Gamecock Men Set Two School Records On Day One Of SEC Championships

Men's and Women's Golf: Rotella Honored By Gamecock Golf


Gamecocks Meet Ole Miss in Match Up  Wednesday (


Baseball - Jackie Bradley Jr.


Gamecock Spotlight: Men's Tennis - Teammates  



The South Carolina men's swimming and diving team posted a pair of school records at the finals on Tuesday night, giving the Gamecocks a strong start at the 2013 SEC Championships at the Texas A&M Student Recreation Center.
South Carolina junior high jumper Jeannelle Scheper was named the 2012 Junior Sportswoman of the Year at the 32nd annual St. Lucia National Sports Award Ceremony this past weekend. Scheper earned the nod over swimmer Sion Huxley, who was given the honor last year.


This picture was sent to us from John and Debra Dugas. This is a photo of their son John J Dugas Jr. in the Kunar Providence showing his Gamecock Spirit. Thank you for everything you do for our country, John Jr.! 


Send in your own fan photo submissions to Include your name and any back story. Some of the best submissions include Gamecock gear and showing your spurs


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More pre-tip reads before the Gamecocks and Rebels meet in Columbia, where Carolina has gone 9-1 all-time against Ole Miss (7:00 p.m. EST, Gamecock IMG Sports Network):


On Ole Miss:  Head coach Andy Kennedy can set Ole Miss' career record for wins Wednesday with his 145th.  For all his accolades, though, one thing has eluded Kennedy in his seven seasons in Oxford: an NCAA Tournament appearance.  That seemed a foregone conclusion three weeks ago when the Rebels started a school-best 6-0 in SEC play.  Since then, Ole Miss has dropped four of six to fall to 19-6, 8-4 SEC.  An 84-74 overtime win against Georgia righted the ship Saturday, but the Rebels still enter Colonial Life Arena precariously close to the bubble. 


Martin says that Kennedy "has this ability to instill unbelievable confidence in his players.  He does a phenomenal job of getting players shots from areas where they're really efficient."  The Rebels' 79.5 points per game ranks 5th in the nation, and their 71.2 possessions per game only trail Arkansas for fastest tempo in the SEC.  Guard Marshall Henderson, a charismatic, unrepentant three-point gunner, leads the SEC in scoring (19.7 ppg).  Senior Murphy Holloway, whose odyssey to (and from) South Carolina has been well-documented, leads all active SEC players with 34 double-doubles.  Point guard Jarvis Summers binds the offense with an SEC-leading 2.7 assist-to-turnover ratio, and senior Nick Williams, a player Martin once recruited, has a versatile game that can fill any role.


Marshall Henderson.jpgLook for Ole Miss to base most of its action off screens for Henderson and isolations for the left-handed Holloway.  A living, breathing definition of a "volume shooter," Henderson has attempted 266 three-pointers, the third-highest total in the nation - and when he's on, he's not afraid to tell everyone about it.  Key for Henderson:  force him to catch with his body facing the sideline or opposing baseline.  If Henderson is allowed to pivot into his shot, he can be deadly.  The Gamecocks can also "take out his legs" by making him chase and work in the defensive halfcourt.


Ole Miss junior guard Marshall Henderson (left) scored 14 points in the final 3:36 of regulation to send the Rebels' game vs. Georgia into overtime.  Ole Miss won 84-74.


Holloway, though, could be a prime candidate for touches.  The Columbia, S.C., native has eight double-doubles in Ole Miss' wins, but only one in the Rebels' losses.  He's athletic, active, a powerful offensive rebounder, and armed with a nifty spin dribble.


Paint Job:  At their morning shootaround in Tuscaloosa, Gamecock coaches drilled their players to sprint hard around screens.  Alabama had ridden a vise-grip defense to a #12 national ranking in points allowed (57.3 ppg).  Any lapse in energy, and the Tide would choke the life out of the Gamecock offense. 


Carolina lost 68-58, but Martin praised his team for swinging the ball quickly, running good offense, and getting high-percentage looks in the halfcourt.  The Gamecocks scored 34 points in the paint - accounting for 17 of their 23 field goals - for their highest percentage of the season.


Opponent           Pts. in Paint        Total Points        Percentage

1.       Alabama     34                58               58.3%

2.       Arkansas    40                75               53.3%


Reginals Buckner.jpgThey'll need that discipline against the Rebels.  Ole Miss is one of a handful of major-conference schools that ranks in the Top 50 nationally in both Steal Percentage (18th, 7.9%) and Block Percentage (45th, 7.6%).  Ole Miss' guards gamble for steals, namely because Holloway, senior Reginald Buckner (296 career blocks, 6th SEC history), and 6'9" reserve Chris Perez all lurk as rebounding and shot-blocking forces underneath. 


Ole Miss forward Reginald Buckner (left) leads the Rebels in blocks.  Ole Miss' elite, athletic length allows its guards to play for more steals.




 Can the Gamecocks run good offense - not only to stay ahead of Ole Miss' harassing guards, but to get clean looks in front of the Rebels' shot blockers?  Freshman Laimonas Chatkevicius, coming off career highs in points (11) and rebounds (7) against Alabama, will need to cut a presence beyond his years.   


Return of Brenton:  In addition to his 14 points, junior Brenton Williams collected four steals in 26 minutes against Alabama.  Williams had five steals in his first 162 minutes of SEC play.


With the Rebels playing an uptempo pace, the Gamecocks will need to have their scorers ready.  Williams might need a repeat of his performance in Tuscaloosa.


And Finally...  Trivia time:  How many Venezuelan native play in NCAA Division I?


Venezuela flag.jpgAnswer:  Five.


Two of them will meet at Colonial Life Arena Wednesday.  Freshman Michael Carrera (Anzoategui, Venezuela) will oppose Ole Miss freshman forward Anthony Perez, a native of Cumana, on the northern coast.


The country of Venezuela will have 40% of its NCAA Division I players on the floor Wednesday.


Carrera isn't the only Gamecock with a connection to Perez:  freshman Mindaugas Kacinas was his teammate at Word of Life Traditional School in Wichita, Kan.


Our pre-game coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. EST on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.  See you at CLA.  -AD--



Inside The Chart.png


Frank Martin was done with basketball.  Adrift.  "A young derelict," as he described his 19 year-old self.


He had failed to make the basketball team at Miami-Dade Community College, cut during fall tryouts.  He thought an opportunity re-appeared when eight players flunked out at the end of the semester.  When he was playing in an open gym in January, preparing for a new wave of tryouts, he tried to block the shot of future N.C. State star Chris Corchiani.  Martin tore his knee instead.


His body was broken - and so was his spirit for school.


"Ripping my knee up had put such a sour taste in my mouth with basketball that I kind of didn't want to be around school.  I had no idea about the next chapter in my life," Martin said.


He dropped out of Miami-Dade, began studying for his real estate license, and took a job at Ocean Bank.  It filled his days, but left him far from happy.  It was a steep drop for the basketball-obsessed kid whose passion for the game defined him at Miami Senior High School.


Then in September, a lifeline came.  Marcos "Shakey" Rodriguez, his old varsity coach at Miami Senior, gave him a call.


"Shakey called me and up and said, 'Why don't you go back to school?'"  Martin remembers. 


He was ambivalent.  "So he said, 'Well, why don't you come by here and help us coach the kids?  Sergio could use somebody,'" Martin recalls.


"I talked to Serge, and he said yeah, I'd love to have you."


"Serge" was Sergio Rouco, a 24 year-old, Cuban-born graduate of Miami Senior who was serving as the Stingarees' head JV coach.  With a wide smile, deep-set eyes, and a swoop of slick black hair, Martin remembered Rouco (pronounced ROE-co) well.  He first coached Martin when he was 12 years old, playing in the San Juan Bosco church league in his Little Havana neighborhood.  He also coached him in a Kiwanis Club league that played its games at the Orange Bowl. 


"If it wasn't for Shakey and Sergio calling me, I never would have come," Martin said.


Frank Martin-2.jpegMartin latched on as Rouco's volunteer assistant, working alongside him during the 1984-85 season.  After he finished his shift at the bank, he'd make the 15-minute commute to Miami Senior to help the JV team's 7-9 p.m. practice.


"Serge was always very detailed.  He had an ability to relate to players.  That's what I remember - he'd make players understand what he wanted," Martin recalls.


It didn't take long before Rouco gave Martin his first head coaching shot.  In February of that year, Rouco came to school with an announcement.


"Serge had a family situation and he couldn't make a game," Martin said.  "I go up [to Rodriguez, the varsity head coach].  I'm 19 years old.  I'm like, 'Yo, what do I do here?'


"He said, 'What do you mean, what do you do?  Coach the game.'"  Martin's team won.


A more permanent opportunity arrived in the summer.  Rouco accepted a head coaching position at Miami Loyola High School, a move that initially caught Martin off-guard.


"Serge left, and I'm like, I don't know what I want to do.  Coach [Rodriguez] came up to me and said, 'Hey I need you to drive a group of 15 year-olds to Orlando for a tournament.'  I'm like, 'For what?' 'Well, if you're going to be my JV coach, this is a year-round job.  This isn't a three-month thing.


"That's how the whole thing got started."


Martin accepted the assignment.  Soon after, convinced of his former player's commitment, Rodriguez named him Rouco's successor as Miami Senior JV coach.  The "young derelict," rudderless without basketball less than a year ago, was back in the game. 


"Thirty years later, I'm still doing it," Martin added.


Rouco eventually moved to the college ranks, spending five years as the head coach at Florida International University.  In 2011, another of Martin's friends, Ole Miss' Andy Kennedy, was searching for a pair of new assistant coaches. 


Martin called him and recommended a guy.  


Wednesday night at Colonial Life Arena, Frank Martin and Ole Miss assistant Sergio Rouco will meet again.


Our pre-game coverage of the Gamecocks and Rebels begins at 6:30 p.m. EST on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.  For Part II of our pre-tip reads versus Ole Miss, CLICK HERE.  -AD-


Fans Tweet #SCOpeningDay to Success

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Thank you to all the fans who tweeted along with us for #SCOpeningDay last Friday. It was so much fun to see everyone's pictures from the game and excitement about the start of baseball season. There were almost 2,000 total tweets that included the hashtag, according to metrics from  The most popular link shared along with the #SCOpeningDay hashtag was unsurprisingly the 2013 Intro Video, which has over 11,200 views on YouTube so far.

Check out some of the top users of the hashtag in the embedded chart below. Gamecock fans are the best!

Congrats to Ann, who was our grand prize winner of a Chad Holbrook autographed baseball for her panoramic photo of Carolina Stadium that she tweeted with the hashtag during the game. Five other lucky fans won game-used baseballs for their pictures and four others won 2011 National Championship hats.

Fans also used the power of Twitter to vote for their favorite walk-up songs. Fans tweeted with the hashtag #SCWalkUpSongs and the player's last name to cast their vote. The winner of the vote was LB Dantzler. His selection of Justin Bieber's "Baby" seemed to be good luck - he sent the first pitch he saw over the right field wall for a home run.

Thanks to everyone who tweets with us every day. Check our Connect page for more ways to connect with us in social media and sign up for Gamecock Social Rewards for a chance to win prizes for your social media activity.

Gamecock Baseball Walk-Up Songs List

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Now that the excitement of Opening Day is behind us, we wanted to share the full list of this year's South Carolina Baseball walk-up songs! We'll update this list with any changes throughout the season. Whose song is your favorite? LB Dantzler's choice of Justin Bieber won our Twitter poll on Friday. What do you think?


Player Song Artist
Tanner English I Want You Back Jackson 5
Connor Bright Sail AWOLNATION
Patrick Harrington Takeover Jay-Z
Shon Carson Young and Getting It Meek Mill
TJ Costen Paul Revere Beastie Boys
Joey Pankake Make Some Noise Beastie Boys
Sean Sullivan Smells Like Teen Spirit Nirvana
Chase Vergason Money For Nothing Dire Straits
Dante Rosenberg Watch Dis Plies
DC Arendas Barry Sanders Wale
LB Dantzler Baby Justin Bieber
Grayson Greiner Thrift Shop Macklemore
Max Schrock The Stroke
Billy Squier
Brison Celek Kick In The Sticks Brantley Gilbert
Graham Saiko Satisfaction (Remix) RL Grime
George Iskendarian Bad Boys For Life P. Diddy
Erik Payne Intergalactic Beastie Boys
Kyle Martin They Just Don't Know Gyft
Curt Britt Turn On the Lights Future
Ahmad Christian Million Dollars Cash Young Jeezy


Player Song Title Artist
Joel Seddon Let's Groove Tonight Earth, Wind, and Fire
Drake Thomason Breathe Clean Fabulous
Jack Wynkoop I Can't Wait Nu Shooz
Evan Beal From Whom The Bells Toll Metallica
Nolan Belcher Let Me Clear My Throat DJ Kool
Vince Fiori Original Don Flosstradamus 
Adam Westmoreland Fat Bottomed Girls Queen
Forrest Koumas Shake Your Tail Feather Nelly
Jordan Montgomery Bust A Move Young MC
Curt Britt Black Betty Ram Jam
Josh Knab Midnight Voyage Ghostland Observatory
Tyler Webb Dead and Bloated Stone Temple Pilots
Patrick Sullivan Good Vibrations Markey Mark & the Funky Bunch
Alex Satterfield Gold Dust DJ Fresh
Colby Holmes I Knew You Were Trouble Taylor Swift
Tyler Jackson The Next Episode Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dogg


Both basketball squads take on squads from the Magnolia State with the men facing Ole Miss Wednesday and the women taking on Mississippi State on Sunday at 3:00 in their next to last home game of the season. You can also catch both tennis teams at home in the beautiful Carolina Tennis Center this week. Men's Tennis looks to upset UNC Wilmington Wednesday afternoon while Women's Tennis hosts a doubleheader on Saturday against in-state foes College of Charleston and Charleston Southern. Equestrian will host their next to last home competition and hold Senior Day on Saturday vs. Texas A&M. Admission is free and fans can enjoy our annual Equifest festivities. Baseball takes on Albany this weekend in the second series of the season. We'll have a special recognition at Saturday's game as the 1977 College World Series team receives their rings.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

#49 Men's Tennis vs. #39 UNC Wilmington - 2:00 PM - Carolina Tennis Center
Match Preview
-  Team Poster available
-  Fan Ball Toss - Every fan at the match will receive a numbered tennis ball.  Between the doubles and singles matches, fans will have a chance to attempt to toss their tennis ball into a basket on the court to win an iPod shuffle!

*Hear from the men's tennis team about the importance of teammates in this Gamecock Spotlight:

Men's Basketball vs. Ole Miss - 7:00 PM
-    National Love your Pet Day - First 1,000 fans receive a free pet ID tag (sorry, pets can't come to the game!)

Friday, February 22, 2013

#5 Baseball vs. Albany - 3:00 PM
-  Baseball Bingo
-  Team posters

Saturday, February 23, 2013

#30 Women's Tennis - Doubleheader - Carolina Tennis Center
vs. College of Charleston - 10:30 AM
vs. Charleston Southern - 4:00 PM

#4 Equestrian vs. #6 Texas A&M - 1:00 PM - One Wood Farm
-  Equifest - annual event sponsored by the town of Blythewood. Young fans will enjoy painting their own horseshoes and building stick ponies.
-  Free admission
-  Senior Day! We'll be recognizing this year's seniors.

#5 Baseball vs. Albany - 1:30 PM
-  Baseball Bingo
-  Team posters
-  1977 South Carolina Baseball team will be recognized and presented with their College World Series rings.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

#15 Women's Basketball vs. Mississippi State - 3:00 PM
- Halftime Mascot Scrimmage - Various sponsor mascots and Cocky will take each other on in a halftime scrimmage!
*The Gamecocks are 21-5 overall and 9-4 in SEC play after defeating Ole Miss on the road this weekend. Get to know Coach Staley better in this one-on-one interview from our Ballin' With Brett series:

#5 Baseball vs. Albany - 1:30 PM
-    Baseball Bingo
-    Team Posters

Gamecocks on the road...

Swimming & Diving at SEC Championships, at Texas A&M - Tuesday through Saturday
Track & Field at SEC Indoor Championships - Friday through Sunday
Men's Golf at Bayou City Collegiate Championships - Friday through Sunday

Women's Tennis at Furman - Wednesday, 5:00 PM
Men's Tennis at William & Mary - Friday, 6:00 PM
Men's Tennis at VCU - Sunday, 1:00 PM

Men's Basketball at Georgia - Saturday, 2:00 PM - TV: CBS | Gamecock IMG Sports Network radio

Softball at College of Charleston Cougar Classic
vs. Wagner - Saturday, 10:00 AM
vs. Charleston Southern - Saturday, 7:00 PM
vs. Radford - Sunday, 2:30 PM
vs. College of Charleston - Sunday, 4:30 PM

"Inside the Roost": Chad Holbrook, Marcus Lattimore

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1075 the game logo.jpgTune in to "Inside the Roost" tonight from 7-8 p.m. on 107.5 The Game! Joining host Derek Scott will be Athletics Director Ray Tanner, Head Baseball Coach Chad Holbrook, and calling in to the show will be Marcus Lattimore.

Listen to "Inside the Roost" every Monday from 7-8 p.m. on 107.5 The Game for weekly insights into Gamecock Athletics and special guests. You can also listen online!  

Spurs Up Daily Round-Up: 2/18

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Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: Gamecocks finish up their three game series against Liberty 2-1; Women's Basketball  snags the win against Ole Miss 62-47; Swimming and Diving head to the SECs; Men's Basketball defeated by Alabama; Track and Feild win 10 in final indoor home meet.


Baseball:Baseball Notebook

Baseball: Baseball Defeats Liberty 4-3 on Opening Day

Baseball: Baseball Rallies For 8-7 Win Over Liberty

Baseball: Baseball Falls 3-2 To Liberty In Nightcap

Men's Basketball: Gamecocks Drop Road Contest to Alabama 68-58

Women's Basketball: Gamecocks Power Past Ole Miss 62-47

Football: Elliott to Remain at South Carolina

Swimming and Diving: Cory Burkarth and Coach Moody Preview SECs

Track and Field: Gamecocks Win 10 in Final Indoor Home Meet

Equestrian: Gamecocks Edged by No. 2 Auburn, 10-9, on Thursday

Softball: South Carolina Falls to UT Arlington 9-6

Women's Tennis: Gamecocks Drop 4-3 Decision at William & Mary


Gamecocks Rally Late to Beat Liberty 8-7 (

Gamecocks power past Ole Miss 62-47 (

Gamecocks Split Doubleheader With Liberty (


2013 South Carolina Baseball Intro Video


Marcus Lattimore to Participate in Jon Gruden QB Camp Series

Throwback Thursday: #SCOpeningDay 2009


South Carolina opened the 2013 season with a series victory vs. Liberty at Carolina Stadium. The Gamecocks defeated Liberty 4-3 on Opening Day, rallied from seven runs down, for an 8-7 win vs. Liberty in game one of a doubleheader on Sunday and lost 3-2 in the nightcap, a seven-inning affair. South Carolina is 2-1 on the year and will next be in action hosting Albany in a three-game series at Carolina Stadium beginning on Friday, Feb. 22.

South Carolina (12-13, 2-10 SEC) fell to Alabama (17-8, 9-3 SEC) 68-58 in SEC action at Coleman Coliseum Saturday afternoon. Junior guard Brenton Williams scored 14 off the bench to lead the Gamecocks.

South Carolina (12-13, 2-10 SEC) fell to Alabama (17-8, 9-3 SEC) 68-58 in SEC action at Coleman Coliseum Saturday afternoon. Junior guard Brenton Williams scored 14 off the bench to lead the Gamecocks.


This photo was sent to us from Charlton Allen. This is a picture of his daughter, Cambell posing in her Gamecock gear!

gamecock baby and teddybear.jpeg

Send in your own fan photo submissions to Include your name and any backstory. Some of the best submissions include Gamecock gear and showing your spurs



Inside The Chart.pngFrank Martin needed a topic for his first paper in college, an English 1101 course at Florida International.  The professor told the class to write about a person they respect. 


Martin chose the first person that popped into mind: his former high school basketball teammate, Anthony Grant.


"Writing has never been one of my favorite things, but I do remember this:  it was one of the few papers where my thoughts rolled off," he said.


Plenty of coaches call themselves friends.  The word gets tossed around so casually, so cloyingly, it makes you wonder how genuine some of those friendships really are.  Yet few coaches in college basketball share a stronger bond than Martin and Grant, the man he'll coach against Saturday at Alabama (4:00 p.m. EST, Gamecock IMG Sports Network).  They'll face off for the third time in their careers -  they also played each other in 2007 and 2012.


"[He's] one of the best human beings I've come across in my life," Martin said in his office Tuesday.  "When I've got to make decisions, I don't make them without having a conversation with him first.


Frank Martin.jpegThat friendship has unfurled over three decades, from the time they first met as 14 year-olds in Miami.  It grew out of long hours and modest beginnings as high school assistants, working together on the same staff, and has continued to the highest echelons of SEC basketball.  Their memories are robust, full of wins and laughs -- like the time Grant won a car on a Spanish-language variety show (more on that later).  But above all, Martin and Grant have a friendship built on a deep, lasting respect for one another's values.


"We've shared so many experiences in our journey as college coaches, getting in the business and finding some success in the business, and everything that life brings," Grant said.1


"It's been a long 30 years of a history there."


The Teammates


Martin had seen Grant play in church and park leagues.  He knew his reputation as one of Miami's budding basketball stars.  Sometimes, those players carry a reputation as prima donnas. 


Yet if Martin had any apprehensions when Grant transferred to Miami Senior High School from Belen Jesuit, a private school north of Miami, they melted away the moment Grant walked into his sophomore English class.


"He cared about people, his teammates, his school, his friends.  He walked the hallways and teachers and students all respected him.  That's something I never forgot," Martin said. 


On the court, they were worlds apart.  Grant was the 6'4" All-City forward, bound for a Division I scholarship.  Martin was the benchwarmer, acutely aware of his athletic limitations.  But both shared a burning love for basketball - and a willingness to outwork anyone to perfect it. 


Together, their Miami Senior squad began 22-0 their junior year, and won 23 games their senior year.  Martin recalls the time Grant poured in 32 points and 21 rebounds in a win over rival South Miami.  He was more impressed by how Grant carried himself as a leader.


"He was the best player, but he was the hardest worker on the team," Martin recalls.  "He was the star player, yet he treated everyone like he was the bad player and you were the good player."


It wouldn't take long before Martin and Grant would be teammates again.


Back to School


Martin says he and Grant were close in high school, but their friendship really blossomed after they graduated in 1983.  Grant earned a scholarship to Dayton University, playing on a Flyers squad that reached the Elite Eight his freshman year.  Martin enrolled as a student at FIU, and began cutting his teeth as the head JV coach at Miami Senior. 


Anthony Grant-2.jpgAfter Grant's playing career ended2, he rejoined Martin at Miami Senior, where he was hired as a varsity assistant and math teacher.  Both men immersed themselves in the profession.  They soaked up the lessons of their old coach, the legendary Marcos "Shakey" Rodriguez.  Grant would sometimes sneak into the locker room and eavesdrop on Martin's halftime speeches, eager to hear his - uh, colorful - messages to the JV.


"When you're dealing with 14- and 15 year-olds, they don't always do what the coach wants them to do," Grant said.  "We'd know at halftime, hey, this is going to be a pretty good one once he walked into that locker room.  He never failed us.  It either fired you up or gave you a pretty good laugh."


"After the games we'd go out to eat.  They'd be making fun of the whole deal," Martin said. 


That closeness stretched beyond the sidelines.  In addition to coaching together, Martin and Grant reprised their roles as teammates in a Miami recreational league. 


"He had never passed me the ball," Martin joked.  "He decided to pass it to me in an adult league game, and I tore up my knee.  So I'm still [ticked] at him that he passed me the ball."


There was also the time Martin brought Grant to a taping of Sábado Gigante¸ the wildly popular Spanish-language variety show on Univision.  Grant was not only selected from the studio audience to participate on stage.... he wound up winning a car.


"He had to stand up there, live on television, and speak Spanish.  You should've seen him try to say, 'This is awesome' in Spanish.  It was hilarious watching him standing on-stage, trying to say the words 'Qué fantástico!" Martin said.


On the bench, though, Martin and Grant were all business.  Their sideline demeanors appeared radically different: Martin the flinty-eyed taskmaster, Martin the stoic observer.  But their personalities were identical beneath the surface.  A "fire in the belly," as Martin put it. 


Their Miami Senior teams reflected that intensity.  They won big.  In five years, the Stingarees won three state championships.  They produced good students, and better Division I players.  


Not long after, the Division I schools began courting them, too.


The College Assistants


Grant was the first to go.  After five years at Miami Senior, he accepted a job as an assistant at Stetson University.3  In 2000, Martin began his own college journey, accepting a job as an assistant at Northeastern. 


Each has molded winners the same way they did at Miami Senior.  Grant is aiming for a second straight NCAA Tournament appearance.  Martin reached the NCAA Tournament four times in his five seasons as head coach at Kansas State.  Through it all, they've remained close.  Grant was named godfather to Martin's oldest son.  Martin was one of the first people who called Grant after he suspended three of his starters last February.  He praised him for not putting wins above the integrity of his program, something they learned at Miami Senior.  Grant was one of the first people to text Martin after he accepted the South Carolina job. 


And on Saturday in Tuscaloosa, shortly before three o'clock local time, Martin and Grant will meet at the scorer's table for their pre-game handshake, the latest stop in a journey that has intertwined them in life and basketball. 


"I'm very proud of what he's been able to accomplish, not only as a coach - that's been documented - but as a man, a father, and a husband.  I know South Carolina they got a great guy running their program.  I know the results will show," Grant said.


It may come at the expense of his dear friend.  But Martin hopes to prove him right Saturday.



1 Grant's quotes courtesy of "Voice of the Crimson Tide" Chris Stewart

2 Grant played one season with the Miami Tropics of the United States Basketball League.  One of his teammates was former NBA veteran World B. Free

3 Martin left that same year for his first head coaching job at North Miami High School


Beloved Gamecock running back Marcus Lattimore is busy this spring preparing for the upcoming NFL Draft and rehabilitating after a knee injury last season. He'll be one of three non-quarterbacks participating in Monday Night Football analyst and former coach Jon Gruden's "QB Camp" this spring.   Check out the excerpt below and see more of this story here from ESPN.

Gruden's QB Camp series presented by Corona Extra is back for a fourth year this spring, beginning Thursday, April 4 at 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2) and continuing throughout the month with segments on SportsCenter and NFL studio shows across multiple ESPN networks.

Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden with former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck during Gruden's QB Camp in 2012. (Tim Casey/ESPN Images)

The SportsCenter specials will offer a first-hand look at some of this year's top prospects leading up to the 2013 NFL Draft, which ESPN will again televise April 25-27.

Nine of the top quarterbacks in the draft are scheduled to participate in Gruden's QB Camp:

• Matt Barkley (USC)
• Tyler Bray (Tennessee)
• Zac Dysert (Miami, OH)
• Mike Glennon (N.C. State)
• Landry Jones (Oklahoma)
• EJ Manuel (Florida State)
• Ryan Nassib (Syracuse)
• Geno Smith (West Virginia)
• Tyler Wilson (Arkansas)

The series will also include a trio of non-quarterbacks:

• Luke Joeckel (Texas A&M), the 2012 Outland Trophy winner and top-five prospect at offensive tackle.
Marcus Lattimore (South Carolina), the heralded Gamecocks running back who suffered a severe knee injury in October but hopes to play in the NFL in 2013.
• Manti Te'o (Notre Dame), the highly-touted linebacker and Heisman Trophy runner-up who led the Fighting Irish to the BCS Championship game.

Each prospect will visit Gruden's office in Tampa, Fla. -- affectionately dubbed the Fired Football Coaches Association (FFCA) -- for a film session. Most of the players will also participate in an on-field workout.

Throwback Thursday: #SCOpeningDay 2009

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Throwback Thursday! Check out this picture taking us just a few years back to Opening Day in 2009, the first-ever game at Carolina Stadium! The Gamecocks went on to beat Duquesne 13-0 and are undefeated on opening weekends since then.

Throwback Thursday - 2009 Opening Day.jpg

Have an idea for who/what you want to see featured on Throwback Thursday? Share it in the comments.


Inside The Chart.png 

To snap their four-game losing streak, the Gamecocks have called on a secret weapon: assistant coach Matt Figger.


As South Carolina prepares to face LSU (13-8, 4-6 SEC) Thursday, Figger will again deliver the scouting report for the Gamecocks, something he did for their 82-73 overtime win January 16.  In all, Figger has had the scouting report of LSU head coach Johnny Jones 12 times.  He faced Jones 10 times at South Alabama, when Jones was head coach at North Texas; once when Kansas State met UNT in the NCAA Tournament; and again this year.


Including last month's tilt in Baton Rouge, Figger is 11-1 against Jones. 


With stats like that, how can one not be confident?


Pre-tip reads before the Gamecocks and Tigers share Valentine's Day reservations for 10 at Colonial Life Arena (7:00 p.m. EST, Gamecock IMG Sports Network):


SEC-ond Coming:  What did we learn from the Gamecocks' last meeting with LSU?  Pay attention to these four factors:


1.      The 3-2 zone scrambled LSU.  With the Tigers leading by two and two minutes remaining, Frank Martin "played a hunch" and switched to a 3-2 zone, placing Lakeem Jackson between Bruce Ellington and Brenton Williams up top.  The Tigers finished the game missing 10 of their last 12 shots, with the only baskets coming on a fast break and a putback.  When LSU had to run a halfcourt set, they shot 0-for-10.


3-2 Zone vs. LSU - Final 2:00 + OT

FG's:                2-12  (.167)

Rebounding:    -7


Jackson vs. LSU.jpgThe Gamecocks' switch to a 3-2 zone accomplished three things:  it clotted driving lanes for point guard Anthony Hickey; it made LSU stand around more, and forced most of it shooting to the corners; and it prevented the Tigers from finding Johnny O'Bryant, their physically imposing forward.


Lakeem Jackson shutting off a drive from LSU's Jalen Courtney (left).  Jackson's work in the Gamecocks' 3-2 zone helped swing the game.


The Gamecocks won't catch the Tigers off-guard with a zone Thursday.  Can they still execute it effectively?



    2. Anthony Hickey may be the fastest draw in the SEC.  Hickey, who scored a team-high 18 points against the Gamecocks, has a hair-trigger release and won't hesitate to shoot threes at any time in the shot clock.  He's incredibly evasive working off ball screens, and with his ability to shoot, slash, and create, it's no surprise the Tigers rank 3rd in the SEC in percentage of three-pointers taken (36.1%).


In their January meeting, Bruce Ellington harassed Hickey into a season-high 5 turnovers, most of them coming from over-dribbling around the perimeter.  The Ellington-Hickey matchup - a battle of jet-quick, 5'8" guards - will make for great theater.  If Ellington makes Hickey work on the offensive end, will it sap his quickness chasing after steals (an NCAA-leading 3.4 spg)?


3.      The Gamecocks avoided "habit passes."   Figger described them in our pre-game interview:  "Passes like normal wing entries, cross-court passes, things like that.  The [LSU] kids are so great, and are such good anticipators.  It's kind of like a blitzing secondary," Figger said.


For the most part, the Gamecocks avoided those habit passes against LSU.   The Tigers managed just 9 steals in 79 possessions for a Steal% of 11.4%, below their season average of 14.3%.


LSU Steal %

Season:            14.3%

Vs. USC:          11.4%   (9 steals, 79 possessions)


Equally important, the Gamecocks prevented LSU from converting those turnovers into fast breaks.  The Tigers managed just 4 fast-break points, and South Carolina outscored them 27-17 off turnovers.  Against a fevered, uptempo team like LSU, that "category win" was significant.


LSU grabbed a season-low 3 steals against Alabama.  Will the Gamecocks find them in an extra larcenous mood Thursday?


4.      Johnny O'Bryant has gotten healthier.  That's not a good thing.  When they met in Baton Rouge, O'Bryant was still working back to full strength from a high ankle sprain.  One newspaper described his play as "sporadic and less than spectacular."  Foul trouble overshadowed him, as did freshman Michael Carrera, who torched the Tigers for 23 points and 10 rebounds.


Johnny O'Bryant.jpgSince then, the 6'9," 260-pound O'Bryant has returned to his usual, spring-loaded self.  In the seven games since that unceremonious night against the Gamecocks, "JOB III" has averaged 15.5 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.   His 9 double-doubles lead the SEC, and he scored a career-high 22 points in a 60-57 loss to Alabama Saturday. 


Johnny O'Bryant

Before South Carolina               10.5 ppg            7.7 rpg 

After South Carolina                  15.5 ppg           10.7 rpg


Johnny O'Bryant (right) likes to turn over his left shoulder (Photo courtesy:


Like another double-double machine, Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes, O'Bryant favors shooting over his left shoulder, but he also has more of a face-up game.  The Gamecocks elected not to double-team Stokes, so they wouldn't leave Tennessee's three-point shooters unprotected for kickouts.  The gambit worked:  the Volunteers only shot 3-of-14 from three-point range, and leading scorer Jordan McRae was held in check.  When it comes to three-pointers, LSU's light is almost permanently green.  Can the Gamecocks' interior defenders push O'Bryant off the block, and play solid one-on-one defense? 


Hidden Hero:  At first, the numbers don't jump out - five points and one assist over 35 minutes.  Yet after Carrera, junior Eric Smith had posted the next highest plus-minus against LSU (+17).  In the 35 minutes in which Smith was on the floor, Carolina outscored LSU by 17 points. 


Eric Smith.jpegMartin said Smith made an impact, even if it wasn't seen in the box score.


"It's about making solid decisions.  It's about doing your job.  It's about being in the right place.  That was one of his better performances across the board," he said on "Carolina Calls."  "He was solid on defense.  He got us into offense.  He made good decisions with the basketball." 


Thanks to Smith's ballhandling and decision-making, LSU couldn't unleash the full brunt of its style.  Don't discount "E-Wade's" important in the rematch.  


Eric Smith (left) did the little things vs. LSU.


Destined To Be?  The Gamecocks have worked on their late-game execution after another win slipped out of their grasp against Tennessee.  But they've also been foiled by something beyond their control.  In all but one of Carolina's "close" SEC games, their opponent has exceeded its season average at the free-throw line. 


Team               FT% Entering Game   FT% vs. Carolina

Miss. State        66.1%                            72.0%  (18-25)

Auburn              68.5%                            64.3%   (18-28)

LSU                   59.2%                            81.3%   (13-16)

Vanderbilt         56.8%                            60.6%   (20-33)

Missouri            72.5%                            77.8%   (28-36)

Georgia             67.0%                            68.8%   (11-16)

Tennessee        66.0%                            72.0%   (27-37)

Average           65.1%                            71.2%    (+7.1%)


Like South Carolina, LSU has lived in a permanent state of suspense.  The Tigers' last six games have all been decided by five points or less.


And Finally.... In a distinction only a stat geek could love, the Gamecocks have scored 1568 points.... and allowed 1569.


Our pre-game coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. EST on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.  See you CLA (I'll bring the chocolates).  -AD--


Facebook Fan of the Week: MadiLynn Harmon

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Check out this week's Facebook Fan of the Week winner!  MadiLynn Harmon of Ladson, SC, a self-proclaimed former Tiger fan who converted to being a Gamecock fan!

MadiLynn Harmon - FOTW.jpg

Want to be the next Facebook Fan of the Week? Sign up on the Fan of the Week tab on our Facebook page, upload your photo and story, then share and get your friends to vote! Winners are selected each Friday and featured here and on

This Week's Home Events: #SCOpeningDay

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Spring is upon us and so comes Opening Day for Gamecock Baseball! Game time is 3:00 on Friday but be sure to get to your seats by 2:30. You won't want to miss the pre-game festivities. The series vs. Liberty continues Saturday and Sunday with a limited number of tickets remaining. Purchase tickets online here. Men's Basketball takes on LSU Thursday night at 7:00 after beating the Tigers in Baton Rouge back in January. Be sure to get there early and pick up an "I 'heart' SC" long-sleeve t-shirt! Women's Basketball hits the road for two games this weekend along with softball and tennis, while Track & Field hosts the indoor Gamecock Invitational.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I-Heart-SC.jpgMen's Basketball vs. LSU - 7:00 PM
- Valentine's Day Games
- "I-heart-SC" long sleeve shirts to first 1000 fans
- Cocky's Bouncehouse

Friday, February 15, 2013

Baseball vs. Liberty - 3:00 PM**
- Opening Day festivities
***Get to your seats by 2:30 for some special pre-game ceremonies you don't want to miss!
-#SCOpeningDay - be sure to use the official hashtag to earn points for Gamecock Social Rewards
-#SCOpeningDay Photo Contest - tweet your photos from Opening Day with the hashtag for a chance to win prizes!
- Team schedule posters available

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Baseball vs. Liberty - 1:30 PM
- Team schedule posters available

Track & Field - 10:00 AM - Field House
- Gamecock invitational

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Baseball vs. Liberty - 1:30 PM
-    Team schedule posters available

Gamecocks on the road...
#16/14 Women's Basketball @ #9/7 Kentucky - Thursday, 7:00 PM - 1320 AM, Listen Online
#16/14 Women's Basketball @ Ole Miss - Sunday, 2:00 PM - TV: SEC Network | 1320 AM, Listen Online
#4 Equestrian @ #2 Auburn - Thursday, 2:00 PM
#30 Women's Tennis @ #47 VCU - Saturday, 10:00 AM
#30 Women's Tennis @ #53 William & Mary - Sunday, 1:00 PM

Softball at UCF Holiday Inn Select Tournament - Listen Online
vs. Florida A&M - Friday, 4:30 PM
vs. Stetson - Friday, 6:30 PM
vs. UCF - Saturday, 6:00 PM
vs. Buffalo - Saturday, 8:00 PM
vs. UT Arlington - Sunday, 9:00 AM

Baseball Intro Video Screenshot

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Get a sneak peek at the 2013 Baseball intro video (done by Justin King) with this screenshot:

2013 teaser - Tradition.png

Can't wait til Opening Day on Friday! Game time is 3:00 but be sure to get to your seats by 2:30. You don't want to miss the pre-game festivities!

Gamecock IMG Sports Network FAQ's

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GamecockRadio.jpgAnswers to the 10 most commonly asked questions about Gamecock IMG Sports Network radio broadcasts.  Thanks for listening! 

-Andy Demetra, "Voice of the Gamecocks"/Director of Broadcasting, Gamecock IMG Sports Network



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


        We keep our affiliate list for all sports here.



2.)   What if I live in an area that doesn't carry Gamecock baseball?  Can I listen to games on my computer?


Yes!  By subscribing to Gamecock All-Access.  A subscription to Gamecock All-Access lets you watch all South Carolina home baseball games that aren't televised, with the Gamecock IMG Sports Network radio call underneath.  It also lets you listen to the live radio broadcasts of all Gamecock road games.   



3.)  Can I listen on my local station's online stream?  What if I have a TuneIn, IHeartRadio, or other radio listening app?


No.  Our affiliates only own the terrestrial radio rights.  IMG College owns the streaming radio rights.  As part of their contract, all affiliates must disable their live streaming devices during South Carolina football, basketball, and baseball broadcasts.  That includes any TuneIn, IHeartRadio, or other apps.



4.)    Can I listen to games on my tablet or mobile phone?


Yes!  Gamecocks Online has an official app in the iTunes store and Android Marketplace which allows you to stream broadcasts over your phone or tablet.  The app itself is free to download, but the live content requires a premium subscription ($4.95/month, $19.99/year for iPhone, e.g.). 


Gamecocks Online App - Cropped.png

Search "South Carolina Gamecocks" in the iPhone or iPad Apps category of the iTunes store.


While it costs less than a Gamecock All-Access subscription, please note:  a subscription for your phone/tablet does not give you video.  Also, depending on your cell phone's bandwidth, your audio stream may be more sensitive to buffering.  A subscription to the Gamecocks Online app is separate from a subscription to Gamecock All-Access. 


Gamecock All-Access and the Gamecocks Online app are managed by CBS Interactive, Inc.,  The Gamecock IMG Sports Network does not have control over the availability, reliability, or sound quality of these streams.  Some things we can control from the booth; unfortunately, this isn't one of them!



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


      Because of differences in satellite transmission times, as well as our own FCC-required 7-second delay, our radio call will not always match up to the TV feed.  There are devices you can buy, such as SportSync, that will even out the delay.  Other than that, your best bet to fix it is trial-and-error.   



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


Some stations don't have the ability to run a full, 56-game broadcast schedule.  This could be due to scheduling conflicts, staffing concerns, or local programming restrictions.  To still maintain a Gamecock presence in their market, a station may elect to carry only SEC and post-season series.     


Beginning 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.  As always, it's best to contact your local station to find out whether a particular game will air.


If you live in an area that doesn't carry Gamecock football, basketball, or baseball broadcasts - or if your local station doesn't carry a full schedule - you can always approach them.  Community groundswell tends to make things happen, especially if there are local businesses that may be interested in sponsoring the extra coverage.



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


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


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



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?


Inevitably, conflicts arise during the fall (when football and basketball overlap) and early Spring (when basketball and baseball overlap). 


As part of our radio agreement, the sport with more affiliates statewide always takes priority.  Currently, we have more basketball affiliates (21) than baseball affiliates (13).  In fairness to our affiliates -- and the sponsors who count on them -- we have to offer on our satellite channel the sport that's carried by more of our stations.  It's a common industry protocol, and 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 precedence 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.


Please note:  this does not shut you out of listening to your desired game!  You can still subscribe to Gamecock All-Access or buy the Gamecocks Online iTunes or Android listening app.



10.)   Can I listen to the baseball game on XM?


       For selected conference games only.  XM has three dedicated SEC channels (199-201), which makes carrying every South Carolina game impossible.  After all, we have to share those channels with 13 other SEC schools.  Each week, XM selects the games that it carries.  We will notify you when they decide to pick up a South Carolina broadcast (they usually make the decision early in the week).  You can also check their programming schedule on


Inside The Chart.pngNot even rival student sections can resist the charms of Michael Carrera.


In the second half of the Gamecocks' 77-55 loss to Kentucky, Carrera toed the free throw line, looking to complete a three-point play.  As he drummed out some rhythm dribbles, the UK student section, which occupied the far baseline, began serenading him with the now-familiar "Who wears short shorts?" chant.


(If you haven't been paying attention, Carrera self-tailors his shorts to an early-90's length.  He says his Dad wore them that way, and he has always followed suit.)


Carrera vs. Kentucky.jpgUnfazed, Carrera sank the free throw.  And as he ran down floor, he winked and flashed his dimpled smile at the UK students.  They returned the favor by smiling and laughing in approval. 


Michael Carrera scored 18 points against Kentucky, the most by a freshman against the Wildcats this year.


The freshman from Anzoategui, Venezuela, has had more reasons to smile than friendly tete-a-tetes with opposing student sections.  After his 18-point, 6-rebound performance against the Wildcats, Carrera now leads the Gamecocks in scoring (10.6 ppg) and rebounding (6.9 rpg).  He could become the first freshman ever to lead the Gamecocks in scoring and rebounding, and the first underclassman since Jimmy Foster did it as a sophomore in 1981-82. 


Now comes a new trick:  posting those numbers in a win.  The Gamecocks will look to snap an 11-game losing streak to the Tennessee Volunteers (11-10, 3-6 SEC) Sunday when they meet at Colonial Life Arena.  Pre-tip reads before the Gamecocks and Volunteers play their first Sunday spectacular since 2008 (1:00 p.m. EST, Gamecock IMG Sports Network):


Midrange Mike?  Carrera also showed off a growing perimeter game against the Wildcats, knocking down nearly as many three-pointers (2) as he had all season (3).  He gave a glimpse of the mismatches it could create on the play that led to his free-throw trip.  After catching on the left wing, Carrera pump-faked a three, which drew Kentucky's 6'10" shot blocker Nerlens Noel in the air.  He drove by Noel with ease, and double-clutched a layup through contact.


"We put Mike in some action - actually a couple of flare screens - to get him wide open on the perimeter.  He knocked them down," associate head coach Brad Underwood said in our post-game radio interview.  "We had the big guy [Noel] rotating at him, and Mike's able to put the ball on the floor and get by him."


Don't be surprised to see Carrera step out more often.


Very Offensive:  Tennessee was the toast of the SEC last year, defying expectations to almost reach the NCAA Tournament.  This year, injuries and a low-voltage offense have dimmed the Vols' chances.  A 68-62 home loss to Georgia Wednesday dropped Tennessee to 11-10, 3-6 SEC.  The Volunteers head to Columbia winless in true road games this year (0-6).     


Like the Gamecocks, the Volunteers' struggles are easy to spot:  they have a hard time scoring.  Tennessee has only surpassed 60 points once in the last 5 games.  Their 28.9% shooting from three-point range ranks 318th in the country.  On top of that, they've been playing without starting point guard Trae Golden, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury.  Jordan McRae, the Vols' rangy leading scorer (14.0 ppg) has logged more time at the point, though it's not a natural fit.  Freshman Armani Moore got the start against Georgia.  


Michael Carrera vs. Clemson.jpegAs a result, the Volunteers have struggled to find good "flow" on offense.  That may be music to the ears of the Gamecocks, who've allowed far too much string music - 57.1% opponents' field-goal shooting, to be exact --- during their losing streak.  Key for Sunday:  don't let the Vols off the hook.


The Gamecocks have allowed 57.1% FG shooting during their three-game losing streak.


"One thing we're working on is not letting teams score off our mistakes.  Make them score off their execution," Underwood told us Wednesday.


No Trespassing:  The Volunteers have counterbalanced their plodding offense with a prickly defense.  Tennessee doesn't try extend the floor or turn teams over.  They prefer to deny and force tough catches, making halfcourt possessions feel like battles of attrition.  



Tennessee's "stay at home" philosophy is best reflected in a few numbers:


·         The Vols' 5.9% Steal Percentage (% of possessions that result in a steal) is 4th-worst in the country.

·         Only 27.4% of opponents' field goal attempts are three-pointers, the second-lowest percentage in the league behind Kentucky.

·         Tennessee's guards have blocked more shots (41) than its forwards (36).


The Gamecocks had some of their best ball rotation of the season during their first-half comeback against Kentucky.  "I think there were possessions where we got the ball to the third, fourth, maybe even to the fifth side.  When you share the ball and don't let it stick, and make the defense move, you also put into the equation that they may make a mistake," Underwood said.


Can the Gamecocks do that more consistently against the Vols?  Can Carolina's guards get more dribble penetration, something Tennessee has struggled to cut off lately?  Georgia's repeated breakdowns led to 11-of-20 three-point shooting, most of them coming off kickouts. 


Man To Stop:  Tennessee forward Jarnell StokesThe Vols were dealt a blow in October when Preseason All-SEC forward Jeronne Maymon was forced to redshirt because of a hurting knee.  That put an even greater burden on Stokes, his frontcourt mate.


At 6'8," 270 pounds, Stokes' shoulders were more than equipped to handle it.


Jarnell Stokes-2.jpgTennessee's bull-in-a-china-shop sophomore has polished off four straight double-doubles, the latest a 16-point, 11-rebound effort against Georgia.  Stokes has quick, soft hands, and uses his size to sledgehammer away on post-ups.  He also has a quick drop-step move, and nimble feet for someone his size.  His strength has allowed him to rank 2nd in the SEC in offensive rebounds (3.3/game). 


Jarnell Stokes  (12.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg)  (Photo courtesy:  Times Free-Press)


Georgia limited his touches by sending two or three players near him, and inviting Tennessee to shoot from outside.  Can players like Lakeem Jackson play solid defense without racking up fouls?  The Gamecocks may also want to abide a longstanding philosophy of Frank MartinThe key to good post defense is good perimeter defense.  If Bruce Ellington and Eric Smith -whom Martin calls a "bulldog" on defense - can pester the Vols' lead guards, they'll make it tougher to feed Stokes.


Crash The Party:  As Lakeem Jackson goes (to the glass), so go the Gamecocks.  The senior from Charlotte, N.C., has been held without an offensive rebound in three of Carolina's last four games.  Prior to that, he hadn't been shut out in a game all season. 


Lakeem Jackson - 0 offensive rebounds

First 18 Games                  0

Last 4 Games                     3


In a game ticketed for a grind-fest, Jackson will need to bring his hard hat, and chisel out extra possessions for the Gamecocks.


And Finally... One last note on Carrera.  In addition to his scoring and rebounding totals, he has drawn a charge in eight straight games.


Our pre-game coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. EST on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.  See you Sunday.  -AD--



Cocky Recognized at the State House

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February 6, 2013 was Carolina Day at the South Carolina State House in downtown Columbia. Amidst several festivities, our beloved mascot, Cocky, was recognized from the floor:

Spurs Up Daily Round-Up: 2/6 National Signing Day

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Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: Get all the information from National Signing Day; Softball stadium construction update and pitching preview; Hoops Doubleheader on Sunday; and more!


Football: 2013 Signing Day Central

Men's Soccer: 2013 South Carolina Men's Soccer Signing Day Central

Women's Soccer: Women's Soccer Announces 10 Signees for 2013

Men's Basketball: Gamecocks Fall to Wildcats 77-55

Women's Basketball. Gamecocks Head to Alabama for Thursday Night Contest

Women's Basketball: Gamecock Spotlight: Tiffany Davis

Equestrian. Equestrian Ranked No. 4 in First Coaches Poll of 2013

Equestrian: Amber Henter Selected to Compete at WEF on Friday

Softball. Previewing the Gamecocks in 2013: Pitching

Softball: The Dugout Club: The Masters Sisters


Gamecocks are excited for National Signing day!


"Who in the SEC is raking in top prospects?" from ESPN SEC Blog

Photos: Softball Stadium Progress

This Week's Home Events: Hoops Doubleheader Pink Games


Check out the new men's basketball locker room in Colonial Life Arena in this Frank Martin Show feature!


The Gamecock football team's 2013 signing class features 21 new student-athletes from seven states. The Gamecocks signed the most players at offensive line (5), defensive line (4), and linebacker (4). Carolina also signed three cornerbacks, two safeties, two running backs, and one quarterback.


Today's fan photo of the day was sent to us by Kayce Cantrell. This shot was taken at the Little Miss. South Carolina Pageant, where her daughter Sarah-Katherine Cantrell, and Little Miss. South Carolina overall princess, Haley Heusstess are shown posing with Cocky! Work it girls!


Send in your own fan photo submissions to Include your name and any backstory. Some of the best submissions include Gamecock gear and showing your spurs

Photos: Softball Stadium Progress

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Softball hits the road this weekend to open up the season! We're a little over a month away from the first home game scheduled to be played in the new softball stadium and progress is coming along. Check out some of the latest photos below, including a cool panoramic shot from the outfield
, and for even more photos check out our Facebook photo album for the project!

Softball: 2.6.13

Softball: 2.6.13- 2
The team is excited to start practicing on their new field!


More information to come later on season tickets in the new stadium, but season ticket deposits for the 2013 softball season are available now for just $25 for adults! Click here to purchase online. View the full 2013 schedule here.  
Outback Bowl - Steve Spurrier.jpegIn advance of the 2013 Signing Day today, ESPN's SEC writer Chris Low recently took a look at recruiting in the SEC over the past four years and the results on the field. Good news for your Gamecocks.

The school doing the most with the least has been South Carolina. The Gamecocks have signed 13 ESPN 150 prospects since 2009, which is seventh in the league. But the Gamecocks have the third-best record over the last four years (38-15) behind only Alabama and LSU. They're also one of two teams in the league (along with Alabama) to have won 11 or more games each of the last two seasons.

As the Head Ball Coach himself would say, somebody's coaching 'em up in Columbia.

Read the full article here.

Check out the Gamecocks' Signing Day Central page for coverage of this year's class.

This Week's Home Events: Hoops Doubleheader Pink Games

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Can you believe it's already February? Men's and Women's Basketball embark on the final month of the regular season including a doubleheader this Sunday, February 10. Men's Basketball starts off the day with Tennessee at 1:00 PM. Fans with tickets for the men's game are welcome to stay for the second game, a Top-15 match-up as Women's Basketball takes on new SEC foe Texas A&M at 3:30. Fans with tickets to the women's game may enter at halftime of the men's game. Men's Tennis hosts two matches this weekend against a pair of ranked ACC teams in Wake Forest and NC State. Weather-permitting they'll be enjoying the beautiful Carolina Tennis Center for the first time this season. 


Friday, February 8, 2013

#47 Men's Tennis vs. #49 Wake Forest - 4:00 PM - Carolina Tennis Center
-    Team posters
-    Match will be played outdoors at Carolina Tennis Center. If inclement weather arises, the match will be moved indoors to the Field House.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Men's Basketball vs. Tennessee - 1:00 PM - Colonial Life Arena
-    Doubleheader
-    Free food for students! Let's keep the great student support going!
-    "Pink Game" in support of breast cancer awareness | Pink Pom-Pom giveaway

#15 Women's Basketball vs. #14 Texas A&M - 3:30 PM - Colonial Life Arena
-    "Pink Game" in support of breast cancer awareness | Pink Pom-Pom giveaway
-    Active Gamecocks Day - One of the designated games for which participants in our Active Gamecocks program may use their free tickets! Active Gamecocks is a statewide initiative to fight childhood obesity.  Children in Kindergarten to 5th grade participate in the program by logging their physical activity for two weeks with a goal of 30 minutes per day with the ability to earn free athletic event tickets. Over 4,200 participants from 64 schools participated in this segment of the Active Gamecocks program!
-    Youth Day  - children 17 and under receive FREE admission
-    Team Day - Local youth teams/leagues are invited to the game
-    Free Cocky growth chart to the first 500 children 12 and under in support of a healthy lifestyle

#47 Men's Tennis vs. #35 NC State - 2:00 PM - Carolina Tennis Center
-    Team Posters
-    Match will be played outdoors at Carolina Tennis Center. If inclement weather arises, the match will be moved indoors to the Field House.

Gamecocks on the road...
Men's Basketball @ Kentucky - Tuesday, 9:00 PM - TV: ESPNU | Gamecock IMG Sports Network radio
Women's Basketball @ Alabama - Thursday, 7:30 PM - Radio: 1320 AM or Listen Online
Softball @ Stetson Lead-Off Classic, DeLand, Florida - ***Season-opening tournament***  Listen Online
- vs. Stetson - Friday, 6:30
- vs. Michigan State - Saturday, 1:30
- vs. Stetson - Saturday, 4:00
- vs. Michigan State - Sunday, 12:00
Track & Field @ Tyson Invitational, Tiger Paw Invitational, and Washington Invitational - Friday-Saturday


Inside The Chart.png 

South Carolina enters the "Blue Mist" trying to shake a fog of its own.


As they enter the halfway mark of SEC play, a pair of losses has dropped the Gamecocks to 12-8, 2-6 SEC.  In both games last week, Carolina allowed better than 50% shooting from the field. 


That put head coach Frank Martin in a reflective mood when he visited the media Monday.


"We had been playing so good that I got wrapped up with the other team more than my own team," he said.  "I'm asking our guys to fight every single day for the culture we're trying to build.  Well, they've never done that, and for me to expect them to do it on their own right now is not fair to them."


That "culture" building continues Tuesday at one of college hoops' holiest cultural temples.  Pre-tip reads before South Carolina and Kentucky meet at famed Rupp Arena (9:00 p.m. EST, Gamecock IMG Sports Network):


On Kentucky:  The talent is undeniable.  So is the inconsistency.  With 10 games left in the regular season, Kentucky head coach John Calipari says the Wildcats are still looking for "the best version of ourselves."  The SEC's preseason favorites, Kentucky (15-6 , 6-2 SEC) hasn't routed teams with the effortless ease of last year's national championship team.  While never one for encomiums, Calipari has talked often about prodding the Wildcats to play with more intensity.  As recently as last week, he told the media "we just don't have a swagger about us." 


Jackson vs. Missouri.jpgThe most telltale sign of Kentucky's inconsistency?  Blown leads, which is why Carolina can't get despondent over an early deficit.  The Wildcats coughed up a 13-point first-half lead at Texas A&M before beating the Aggies in overtime.  Ole Miss cut a 17-point second-half deficit to one; LSU, a 15-point hole.  In their game in Tuscaloosa, Alabama hunkered into a zone - something the Gamecocks have done well lately - and turned a 9-point halftime deficit into a win.


The same blueprint which almost led to an upset of #22 Missouri could work again for the Gamecocks.


Blown leads or not, make no mistake:  the Wildcats are talented.  Leading scorer Archie Goodwin (14.8 ppg) is a slashing specialist who can finish through contact.  When he's locked in, forward Alex Poythress (12.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg) is capable of highwire acts of athleticism.  Sophomore Kyle Wiltjer, the lone returning player from last year's rotation, is a 6'10" pick-and-popper who ranks third in the SEC in three-point percentage (40.9%).  And then there's Calipari's shot-blocker-in-residence, freshman Nerlens Noel (more on him later).


The Gamecocks may need to follow the blueprint which brought them success against then-#22 Missouri.  Cut hard (Kentucky has never ranked highly in Steal%, an indicator that they don't gamble aggressively for turnovers).  Attack the boards.  Swing the ball with purpose, and knock down open shots.  Above all, force Kentucky to match their intensity early.       


Block Rocker:  Last year it was "The Brow."  This year, it's the "Flat Top."


Nerlens Noel.jpgWith the departure of eventual #1 NBA Draft pick Anthony Davis, Calipari has filled his shot-blocking void with 6'10," 228-pound freshman Nerlens Noel.   The sinewy, skyscraping Noel broke a Kentucky record with 12 blocks against Ole Miss, and averages 7.0 blocks in SEC play.


Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel (right) ranks 2nd in the nation in blocks per game (4.6).


Noel's help-side instincts are superb, and he angles his body well to avoid fouls (only 3.3 Fouls Committed/40 Minutes).  His restraint in not biting for pump fakes has also improved.  And Noel doesn't chase blocks recklessly - he also ranks in the top 20 nationally in steals per game (2.3)  The Everett, Mass., native also excels in "kept-ball blocks" - swatting shots that are saved inbounds by Kentucky.


"If you hesitate on your move, you better pass that ball.  Blocked shots are turnovers," Martin said of his players when operating around Noel. 


The Gamecocks, though, have had experience facing menacing "rim protectors."  Carolina has opposed two players this season with a higher block percentage (Block%) than Noel.


Block % (% of a team's FGA that a player blocks)          % vs. USC

1.       Chris Obekpa  (St.J)                   17.0%                    3.1%

7.    Rhamel Brown (Manhattan)       13.95%                  10.3%

12. Nerlens Noel (UK)                        12.86%                  ???

*-Block%:  % of a team's 2pt.FGA that are blocked          


Welcome Home:  Tuesday's game is a long-overdue homecoming for assistant coach Matt Figger.  "Coach Fig" grew up in Jenkins, Ky., a two-hour drive from Lexington, and will coach for the first time in the Commonwealth's cathedral to college basketball.


Create or Facilitate?  Tall guards have typically bothered Bruce Ellington.  That's understandable - the 5'8" junior often needs an extra half-step to release his shot over players 8" to 13" taller than him.


In four games against Kentucky, the Wildcats' parade of tall, athletic guards have usually left Ellington with a string of scattered shots.  Even if his shots haven't dropped, Ellington has proven himself effective as a facilitator:


Creator vs. Facilitator? - Bruce Ellington Career vs. Kentucky

Shooting               8-44 FG  (18.2%),  4-29 3pt. FG  (13.8%) 

Passing                 15A,  4 TO  (3.75A/TO ratio)


Between 6'2" point guard Ryan Harrow, 6'2" Julius Mays, and 6'4" Archie Goodwin, Kentucky boasts the smallest backcourt in the three years Ellington has faced them.  Calipari has lamented his team's lack of a defensive stopper on the perimeter, although Mays helped contain A&M guard Elston Turner in their last meeting.  If Ellington has trouble squeezing off his shot, can he make an impact by setting up others?


Tale of the Tape:  Who has served as the Gamecocks' biggest barometer between wins and losses?  Junior Brian Richardson.


Brian Richardson FG%

Wins:                     51.2% FG

Losses:                 29.6% FG


Richardson bucked that trend against Georgia, scoring 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting.  If his footwork is good, Richardson's shots often are, too.


And Finally... Noel also leads Kentucky with 9.5 rebounds per game.  That's fitting, considering he has a brother named, yes, Rodman.  His two older brothers both play football in the ACC - Rod is a linebacker at N.C. State, Jim is a defensive back at Boston College.


Our pre-game coverage begins at 8:30 p.m. EST on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.  We'll see you in Lexington.  -AD--

Spurs Up Daily Round-Up: 2/4 WBB Wins for NGWSD

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Catch up on the day's buzz about the Gamecocks! In today's edition: Women's Basketball earns 5th straight victory over Auburn; Women's Swimming and Diving gives coach 100 career wins; Baseball and Softball Television schedules updated; Mrs. Pastides and Mrs. Tanner featured in video of the day; check out our Facebook fan of the week; and more!


WBB-12 Khadijah Sessions.jpegWomen's Basketball. Free Throws Clinch #15/13 South Carolina Victory Over Auburn

Men's Basketball. Gamecocks Travel To Kentucky For Tuesday Primetime Matchup

Men's Basketball. Video - Legend's Club Weekend

Swimming & Diving. Gamecock Women Defeat Alabama To Give Moody 100 Career Wins

Track & Field. Kayla Lampe Named AgSouth Athlete of the Week

Track & Field. Gamecocks Win Four on Final Day in New York

Men's Golf. NeSmith, Harbin Conclude Play At Jones Cup Invitational

Men's Tennis. Gamecocks Cruise to 4-0 Win Over Wofford

Men's Tennis. Gamecocks Storm Past Yellow Jackets 6-1

Softball. Three Gamecock Softball Games Picked for SEC Television Package


Football: Ex-Gamecock relives Super days (The State)

Football: Deke Adams talks Jadeveon Clowney (ESPN)

Baseball: Martin, Carson homers highlight scrimmage (

Baseball: Gamecocks 'feel good' about 2013 pitching staff (Anderson Independent Mail)

Athletics: On the Record: Charles Bloom (


Always love to see the latest Gamecock decor!


"Inside the Roost" Tonight: Jerry Meyers, Kevin Epley

Facebook Fan of the Week: Jessica Goodwin

NGWSD Video Features

Sneak Peek at 2013 Baseball and Softball Posters


Mrs. Pastides and Mrs. Tanner participated in our National Girls and Women in Sports Day event at Women's Basketball on Sunday.

A career-high 19 points from freshman guard Khadijah Sessions propelled No. 15/13 South Carolina past Auburn 59-51. Sessions shot 8-of-9 from the free throw line, including 5-of-6 in the final 90 seconds of the game to help seal the victory.

The women's swimming and diving team pulled out a thrilling 162-148 victory over Alabama on Saturday at the Alabama Aquatic Center, giving head coach McGee Moody his 100th career victory. 

Today's fan photo of the day was sent to us by Erin Pearson. This shot was taken at Boiling Springs First Baptist Church as Erin's 6-month-old son met Gamecock offensive lineman A.J. Cann. He also got to meet quarterback Dylan Thompson. Gotta love the looks on both of their faces!

aj cann and baby.jpg

Send in your own fan photo submissions to Include your name and any backstory. Some of the best submissions include Gamecock gear and showing your spurs

"Inside the Roost" Tonight: Jerry Meyers, Kevin Epley

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1075 the game logo.jpgTune in to "Inside the Roost" tonight from 7-8 p.m. on 107.5 The Game! Joining host Derek Scott we'll have Associate Head Baseball Coach Jerry Meyers, who coaches pitching, and Head Women's Tennis Coach Kevin Epley discussing the start of his season.

Single game baseball tickets go on sale exclusively to Gamecock Club members tomorrow, February 5, at 10:00 AM. Log in to Account Manager at to purchase. Any remaining single game tickets (except the Clemson game) will go on sale to the general public on February 8 at 10:00 AM. 

Listen to "Inside the Roost" every Monday from 7-8 p.m. on 107.5 The Game for weekly insights into Gamecock Athletics and special guests. You can also listen online!  

Facebook Fan of the Week: Stephen Williamson

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Check out this weeks Facebook Fan Photo of the Week! This picture was sent to us by Stephen Williamson of Lexington, SC.This picture is of Caulder Williamson after getting his first "real" Carolina baseball from Joey Pankake.

joey pankake kid part 2.jpg

Want to be the next Facebook Fan of the Week? Sign up on the Fan of the Week tab on our Facebook page, upload your photo and story, then share and get your friends to vote! Winners are selected each Friday and featured here and on

NGWSD Video Features

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We sat down with two very important women to discuss the importance of Title IX and the opportunities the legislation has had on their lives. As you get ready for the NGWSD game Sunday at 3 PM, take a few minutes to watch the three feature interviews below with Mrs. Karen Tanner and Mrs. Patricia Pastides.


Inside The Chart.pngEvery team has a "burn the tape" game, a loss so lacking in redeeming value that it's better to forget it ever happened.


Frank Martin stopped short of that Thursday.  When his team gathered for practice, Martin showed his players the highlights from their grisly, 75-36 loss to Florida. 


He wasn't without temptation, though.



Be Kind Rewind.png 

There was little rewinding of the tape from Carolina's game versus Florida.


"I tried to jump in that dumpster to burn myself along with the film, but I didn't fit in there," Martin joked on "Carolina Calls."


The Gamecocks hope for more pleasurable viewing Saturday when they host the resurgent Georgia Bulldogs (9-11, 3-4 SEC) at Colonial Life Arena.  Georgia has won three of its last four, and even that lone loss wasn't shameful:  the Bulldogs led Florida at halftime before falling 64-47.  With young players rounding into form, and an All-SEC guard scoring in a variety of ways, the Bulldogs faintly resemble the team that lost 7 of 8 games in December.


What does the tape reveal about Georgia?  Pre-tip reads before the Gamecocks and Bulldogs battle at Colonial Life Arena (1:00 p.m. EST airtime, Gamecock IMG Sports Network):


Untangling The Triangle:  The triangle offense rose to fame with Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls in the 1990s.  But its roots trace back to a place Martin knows well:  Tex Winter perfected and popularized the system as head coach of Kansas State in the 1950s.  It lives on at Georgia thanks to head coach Mark Fox, who - no surprise - grew up in Garden City, Kan., and logged time as a K-State assistant.


Triangle setup.jpgThe offense takes its name after its basic set-up:  a triangle on the strong (ball) side, formed by a player on the low block, wing, and corner.  The triangle relies on a series of "reads," with every player moving, cutting, and passing based on what the defense shows them.


The basic premise of the triangle offense:  a triangle on the strong side of the ball.


A favorite play is the "flex screen," where a player cuts from the corner, uses a baseline screen, and runs to the opposite block.  Both the screener and cutter then look for post-ups, hoping to duck in and "pin down" their defender.  Georgia will also run plenty of action through the "pinch post," or the high post on the help side of the ball.  With four players in the starting lineup measuring 6'5" or taller, Georgia's length only adds to the triangle's treachery.


Georgia Projected Starting Lineup

PG          Vincent Williams                              6'0"

                -or- Charles Mann                          6'4"

SG          Kentavious Caldwell-Pope               6'5"

SF           Brandon Morris                               6'7"

PF           Donte Williams                                6'9"

C             John Florveus                                 6'11"


Martin talks often about disrupting a team's rhythm, and few teams rely on it more heavily than the Bulldogs:  an SEC-leading 57.4% of their baskets are assisted.  Martin says the Gamecocks must affect that rhythm by forcing long passes.


"They want to catch that ball somewhere between the top of the key and the foul line," he explained, referring to the pinch post.   "You have to make the passer catch it above the top of the circle.  Now that pass becomes a longer pass [inside], which makes it easier on your guys to guard that stuff inside."


Long passes may also provide relief to Carolina's guards, who could find themselves defending the post often Saturday.


Man to Stop:  Georgia guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.  A 6'5" sophomore from Greenville, Ga., Caldwell-Pope (17.5 ppg) has led Georgia in scoring in 18 of 20 games this year.  No SEC team has a wider margin between its leading scorer and second-leading scorer than the Bulldogs - forward Nemanja Djurisic is next at 7.7 points per game - which only magnifies Caldwell-Pope's importance. 


KCP-3.jpg"You've got a lot of people right now who are saying he's the best pro prospect in the SEC.  They use him in all kinds of different ways - off pick-and-rolls, they post him.  He makes open shots.  They're doing a great job of running their offense through him," Martin said. 


Georgia guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ranks 2nd in the SEC in scoring (17.5 ppg)



"KCP" has played more shooting guard this year, after spending the majority of his time at small forward last season.  Can the Gamecocks force him into uncomfortable catches, and make a second scorer emerge?  Players like Lakeem Jackson and Brian Richardson need to use their length and toughness around screens.


Mann Alive:  Georgia has also profited from the improved play of freshman point guard Charles Mann (6.1 ppg).  The Alpharetta, Ga., native presents a tricky matchup for his ability to both distribute (a team-leading 2.9 assists/game) and reach the foul line (a team-leading 90 FTA).  He's also not to be confused with Charles Mann, who started alongside former Gamecock Brad Edwards on the Super Bowl XXVI-winning Washington Redskins.


February.jpgMonster Month:  February may be the shortest month, but Frank Martin has turned it into a long, torturous one for opponents.  In five seasons as a head coach, his teams have gone 25-6 (.806) in the month of February.


Chance To Strike?  Martin doesn't believe in gambling for steals on defense.  He prefers staying in position, denying gaps, and forcing teams to take contested shots.    


An opportunity might present itself Saturday.  Georgia, which plies a patient, precision triangle offense, ranked 7th in the nation last year in turnovers per game (10.4).  This year, playing at a similar possessions-per-game pace, the Bulldogs have dropped off to 289th in the nation (15.4).


Let's look at South Carolina's "Points Per Turnover" averages, a crude measure of their efficiency in converting turnovers into points.


Points Per Turnover Forced

Overall:                   1.10 PPTO  (317 pts. off 286 turnovers)

SEC:                       0.98 PPTO  (108 pts. off 106 turnovers)

vs. Florida:             0.17 PPTO   (2 pts. off 12 turnovers)


Transition basket.jpegThe Gamecocks forced 12 turnovers against Florida, but only managed a season-low 2 points off them.  Can they do a better job converting turnovers into baskets against the Bulldogs?  Martin said Georgia's size might demand it. 


Can the Gamecocks duplicate their transition game against Arkansas (left), when they picked up easy baskets before the Razorbacks could set up their defense?


"We have to create an uptempo game where we utilize our speed, so those [smaller] guys can get easier looks in the open court rather than against them when they are set up.  Now you have to crack a 6'7" guy with a 5'11" guy," Martin said.


Allergic to Fouls:  If South Carolina draws a foul on Sherrard Brantley, look for confetti to rain from the sky.  A reserve three-point specialist from Dublin, Ga., Brantley has played 369 minutes this year... and committed 7 fouls.  His average of 0.8 Fouls Committed/40 Minutes makes him the most foul-allergic player in college basketball.


And Finally... RJ Slawson isn't the only member of his family with a busy winter at Colonial Life Arena.  His older sister, Jackie, is a manager for Dawn Staley's women's basketball team.  She plans on pursuing a coaching career in softball, her sport of choice in high school.


Our pre-game coverage begins at 1:00 p.m. EST on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.  We'll see you at CLA.  -AD--