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This Week's Home Events: Baseball SEC Home Opener

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THIS WEEK IN GAMECOCK COUNTRY

Baseball opened SEC play on the road last weekend, taking a 2-1 series win over Missouri and returns home to Carolina Stadium this weekend in a three game series vs. Arkansas. Track & Field hosts their annual Weems Baskin Invitational this weekend, while Women's Tennis faces both Auburn and Alabama at Carolina Tennis Center.


Friday, March 22, 2013
               
Track & Field Weems Baskin Invitational - 12:00 PM - Weems Baskin Track
-    Team posters available
-    Students bring your CarolinaCard to earn points for Gamecock Student Rewards!

#49 Women's Tennis vs. #18 Auburn - 5:00 PM - Carolina Tennis Center
-    Team posters available
               
#5 Baseball vs. #21 Arkansas - 7:30 PM - Carolina Stadium
-    Baseball Bingo
-    Team Posters


Saturday, March 23, 2013
               
#5 Baseball vs. #21 Arkansas - 3:15 PM
-    Baseball Bingo
-    Team Posters

Track and Field Weems Baskin Invitational - 10:00 AM - Weems Baskin Track
-    Team Posters
-    Students bring your CarolinaCard to earn points for Gamecock Student Rewards!


Sunday, March 24, 2013
               
#49 Women's Tennis vs. #8 Alabama - 1:30 PM
-    Team posters available

#5 Baseball vs. #21 Arkansas - 1:30 PM
-    Team posters available
-    Baseball Bingo


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 as tonight's guests are: Samie Garcia from the softball team to discuss the opening series in the new stadium; Associate Head Coach Lisa Boyer will join us once the women's basketball team finds out who, when and where they are playing in the NCAA Tournament; and Brainard Cooper will tell us about the life of an Athletic Trainer as he deals with multiple injuries to the baseball team.

Did you know it's National Athletic Training Month? Thank you to all our Athletic Trainers who provide great medical care for our student-athletes.

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: Max Vaughn

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Check out this week's Facebook Fan of the Week winner! Max Vaughn of Prosperity, SC, uploaded this picture of her son with the following caption:

"This is my 19 month old son Max. He has been a Gamecock since birth and is actually a Gamecock Club Member. On the ride home from daycare while mommy was listening to the Carolina/Clemson baseball game and shouting Go Gamecocks, Max yelled his first GAMECOCKS and was clapping. Its great to be a little Gamecock also."


Max Vaughn- 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 GamecocksOnline.com.

 

 

Inside The Chart.pngWell friends, we've reached the end of our third season of "Inside The Chart," our weekly broadcast blog on Gamecocks Online.  Preparation is at the heart of what we do, and whether a game turns into a blowout or an instant classic, we want to make every broadcast informative, entertaining, and memorable.

 

That often leads me on some strange twists and turns through the Internet wormhole.  Or, when I'm looking at stats, I'll discover a "fish," some hidden number that offers a clue to the game.  Our access to the players and coaches also gives us a cache of memorable quotes.

 

With another season behind us, it's time to look back at the best of the best, the strangest of the strange, and the most random of the random.  Enjoy our first annual "Year In Charts" from "Inside The Chart":

 

The Frank Martin Section

After a year of working with him on "Carolina Calls" and post-game radio interviews, one thing became clear:  Frank Martin has led one heck of a life.  Some of those stories you can find with a quick Google search.  Others we discovered for the first time.  Some of the more memorable stories from a truly captivating coach:

 

*      Martin had an uncredited role in the football movie "Any Given Sunday" starring Al Pacino and Jamie Foxx.   Martin played the Miami Sharks' offensive line coach during football scenes filmed in Homestead, Fla.    

 

*      Martin said he and his friends used to sneak in to the Orange Bowl every New Year's Day.  Martin said they used the same time-honored tactic:  find the most elderly ticket taker, wait until the line got crowded, and hurdle the turnstile unnoticed.  Unfortunately, one of the Orange Bowls Martin attended was Clemson's national championship-clinching victory over Nebraska in 1982.

 

*      When they were assistant coaches at Miami Senior High School in Miami, Fla., Martin and Alabama head coach Anthony Grant attended a taping of "Sabado Gigante," the popular variety show on Spanish-language television station Univision.  Grant was chosen from the studio audience, and, to Martin's astonishment, won a car.  When the emcee, Don Francisco, began peppering him with questions on stage, Grant - whose knowledge of the Spanish language was minimal - could only utter the phrase "Que fantastico!"  The story had been kept a secret until Martin spilled the beans on "Carolina Calls." 

 

When asked about it by my colleague, "Voice of the Crimson Tide" Chris Stewart, Grant rolled his head to the sky, laughed, and said, "Who told you?"

 

*      Like Martin, Ole Miss assistant coach Sergio Rouco is a Miami native.  Their connection, though, goes well beyond a shared hometown:  Rouco coached Martin as a 12 year-old in the San Juan Bosco church league in Little Havana.  Martin's first coaching gig was as a volunteer JV assistant at Miami Senior, when Rouco was the head coach.  Rouco also led the Marinos de Anzoategui to a Venezuelan league title in 2010, where his assistant coach was Luis Carrera, the father of freshman Michael Carrera.

 

*      Martin has kept the same in-season haircut superstition for the past 20 years.  He says he gets a trim after his team finishes semester exams, and again after the last regular-season game. 

 

Martin Head.jpg*      For the last several years, Texas A&M's "Reed Rowdies" have waved a giant, oversized head of Martin to distract shooters.  After Kansas State's last game there in 2012, several A&M students autographed the head and presented it to Martin.  He still has it in his son's room.  The Reed Rowdies came prepared with a new edition this year.

 

Picture taken before South Carolina's game at Texas A&M.  The Aggies' student section, the "Reed Rowdies," rekindled their tradition of waving an oversized head of Frank Martin during free throws.

 

The "Told You So" Section

We have a rampant curiosity - okay, obsession - for numbers and patterns.  Our proudest moments of tea leaf-reading this year:

 

*      Entering the final weekend of the regular season, Georgia's Aaron Murray and Clemson's Tajh Boyd ranked #1 and #2 in the nation in quarterback efficiency.  Their combined numbers against Carolina:  40% completion percentage, 1 touchdown, and 3 interceptions.

 

Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd getting pulled down by defensive end Aldrick Fordham.

 

 

Aldrick Fordham vs. Clemson.jpeg

 

 

*      Heading into its game against Tennessee, South Carolina had the worst fumble recovery percentage of any team in the nation with 10 or more forced fumbles (3 of 14, 21.4%).  A Jadeveon Clowney strip-sack, followed by a Shaq Wilson fumble recovery, helped seal the Gamecocks' 38-35 win.

 

*       At 6'5," freshman Michael Carrera was the shortest player in the nation to rank in the top 100 in Offensive Rebounding Percentage (13th) and Defensive Rebounding Percentage (21st).

 

*      Earlier in the week, we pointed out that Clemson ranked 101st in the nation in total defense versus FBS winning teams.  That put the Tigers alongside defenses like Arkansas (100), East Carolina (102), and Tennessee (104) - all of whom Carolina shredded.  True to form, the Gamecocks rolled up 444 yards of offense behind backup quarterback Dylan Thompson in a 27-17 win.

 

       Total Defense vs. FBS Opponents with Winning Records - Entering Week 13

       100.    Arkansas

       101.    Clemson

       102.    East Carolina

       103.    Wake Forest

       104.    Tennessee

 

*      The South Carolina-Auburn game featured a staggering 27 lead changes, the most in a Division I game this year.  Notre Dame and Louisville traded leads 26 times in their February 9 duel in South Bend, but that game lasted five overtimes.

 

*      South Carolina completed as many pass plays of 50+ yards in the first 20 minutes of the Outback Bowl (2) as Michigan had allowed all season.

 

 

The Cornbread Walker Siblings, Relatives, and Nicknames Division:

When preparing for a game, I always try to research the opposing players to find some interesting stories.  I've been awed and inspired by some of the tales I've found.

 

For some reason, though, this year's teams blessed us with an incredible array of odd names.  The Gamecocks weren't immune, either.  This year's memorable moments in nomenclature (named in honor of Kentucky Wesleyan guard Cornbread Walker):

 

 

*      Missouri wide receiver Bud Sasser has two sisters named Brandy and Tequila.

 

*      It figures that Kentucky forward Nerlens Noel, the SEC's leading freshman rebounder, has an older brother named Rodman.

 

*      Mississippi State freshman guard Craig Sword has a nickname better suited to playing for South Carolina, not against them: "Chicken."

 

*      Linebacker Shaq Wilson rarely gets called Shaq back home.  Among family and friends in Jacksonville, Fla., he's universally known as "Diesel," a play on his Dad's name, Demesio.

 

*       Missouri football has not one, but two freshmen named Mitch Hall.

 

*      A.J. Cann revealed to us that his family nickname growing up was "Ganky."  Its origins remain unclear, but Cann says it was bestowed upon him by his grandmother.

 

*      One of the most distinctive names belonged to St. John's guard Sir'Dominic Pointer.  Even more amazingly, Pointer's birth name was Dominique.  He legally changed it to Sir'Dominic.

 

The Best In Random Information

*       Gamecock wide receiver Damiere Byrd eats a pack of gummy bears before every game.

 

*      Bruce Ellington popped a tendon in his pinky finger in high school, but not on the football field.  He did it while jumping over a porch, trying to run away from a loose pit bull.  The finger still gives him occasional soreness after football games, like when he clutched an ice pack after his 5-catch, 104-yard performance against Arkansas.

 

*      Linebacker Quin Smith says he plays hard thanks to a traumatic incident he had as an eight year-old.  Smith needed 68 stitches (at least - his Dad stopped counting past then) on his arms when he ran through a glass door at the home of a friend.  One piece of glass came within an inch of severing his main artery.

 

*      Assistant coach Matt Figger lived in an empty room in a warehouse in his first year as an assistant at Vincennes University, a junior college in Vincennes, Ind.  It was one of many Spartan conditions to which Figger subjected himself as he chased - and realized - his dream of becoming a major-college basketball coach.

 

*      In a nod to casual wear, St. John's Steve Lavin and his staff wear sneakers on game day.  Apparently, the fashion statement even extends to the priests.

 

Priest Air Force Ones.jpg Picture taken at. John's, even the priests get stomping in their Air Force Ones.   

 

The Year In Quotes:

Our best collection of quotes from "Inside The Charts" and pre-game interviews:

 

*       "They want to go like Ricky Bobby.  They want to go fast."

-Assistant coach Matt Figger, on Arkansas' tempo. 

 

*       "I was actually about seven years old.  The guy that I hit was one of my good friends.  I felt good doing it.  It was just a feeling I couldn't explain."

-Safety D.J. Swearinger, discussing when his love for hard hitting began.  For the record, Swearinger and his tackling guinea pig remain friends.

 

*       "A guy stopped me in a truck and asked, 'Hey, are you back?'  I was like, 'Yeah, I'm good to go.'....  He then went on to say, 'How's your shoulder feel?  I said fine, though I remember thinking I haven't had a hurt shoulder.  Then he said, 'Why didn't you bring Marcus Lattimore and Dylan Thompson with you?'  That's when I knew."

-Gamecock baseball player Adam Matthews, on his resemblance - to some, at least - to Gamecock quarterback Connor Shaw.  Matthews has put up with numerous cases of mistaken identity since Shaw rose to stardom at South Carolina.

 

*         "I don't think I've even hit him in practice." 

-Connor Shaw, on his first career completion to fullback Qua Gilchrist in the Gamecocks' win over Missouri

 

*         "I tried to jump in that dumpster to burn myself along with the film, but I didn't fit in there."

-Frank Martin, when asked if Carolina's 75-36 loss to Florida qualified as a "burn the tape" game.

 

*         "If the Michigan secondary tackled as well as that chair, South Carolina wouldn't have won the Outback Bowl."

-Us on-air, after Bruce Ellington's leg got caught in a courtside folding chair during Carolina's game at Mississippi State January 9.  Play had to be stopped so Ellington could extricate himself. 

And Finally... Thanks again for supporting our radio network and everything we do.  This blog spanned about 120 pages and too many sleepless nights, but I enjoyed every minute of it.  We can't wait to go "Inside The Chart" with you again next year.  -AD-- 

Throwback Thursday: Trinity Johnson - Softball

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As we prepare to open the new Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field this weekend hosting #4 Alabama, let's take a look back at one of the all-time Gamecock Softball greats for this edition of Throwback Thursday.

Trinity Johnson was inducted into the South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004. Check out some of her impressive accolades from her 1997 senior season below. Johnson helped lead the team to the SEC Championship, SEC Tournament Championship, and a Women's College World Series berth in 1997. The 1997 team went 63-5 overall and 25-1 in the SEC.

- Softball National Player of the Year (Honda Award for softball, first ever winner for South Carolina in any sport)
- US Olympic Committee Softball Player of the Year
- Major League Players Alumni Association Fastpitch Pitcher of the Year
- SEC Female Athlete of the Year
- SEC Player of the Year (unanimous)
- First-team All-SEC
- First-team NFCA All-American (three-time winner)
- SEC Tournament Most Valuable Player


Throwback Thursday - Trinity Johnson.jpg














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

This Week's Home Events: First Home Softball Games

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THIS WEEK IN GAMECOCK COUNTRY

Softball will play their SEC opener and first games in the new Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field vs. defending national champion #4 Alabama this weekend. It will be tough competition for the Gamecocks' first home games of the season, but we're all happy to be in our new home. Fans, please "pardon our mess" as the saying goes - there are still some elements of the new stadium under construction. We will have a bigger dedication ceremony later in the season for the new stadium. Advanced tickets for the three-games series are all SOLD OUT!  Women's Tennis hosts two ranked SEC foes this weekend at Carolina Tennis Center while Baseball takes on USC Upstate and Davidson in midweek games before hitting the road to the other Columbia in Missouri for their SEC opener.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

#5 Baseball vs. USC Upstate - 7:00 PM - Carolina Stadium
-    Baseball Bingo
-    Team Posters available


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

#5 Baseball vs. Davidson - 7:00 PM - Carolina Stadium
-    Baseball Bingo
-    Team Posters available


Friday, March 15, 2013

#32 Women's Tennis vs. #44 Tennessee - 5:00 PM - Carolina Tennis Center

-    Tennis Ball Toss - each fan will receive a numbered tennis ball when they arrive and, during the break between doubles and singles matches, will attempt to toss their tennis ball from the stands into a bucket for a chance to win a free iPod Shuffle
-    Team Posters available
-    Campus Kids Day - designed to expose current and aspiring junior players (and their parents and coaches) to college tennis.  Food and refreshments will be provided by the Women's Tennis team. 

Softball vs. #4 Alabama - 7:00 PM - NEW Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field - ADVANCE TICKETS SOLD OUT
-    Softball Bingo
-    Team Posters Available
-    First Pitch by the field's namesake, the Beckhams
-    Free Softball Visors while supplies last
-    Twitter Photo Contest - Follow @GamecockSoftbll and use the hashtag #BeckhamField in your tweet with your best photo from the opening series for a chance to win a game-used softball!
*First game ever in the new Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field!


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Softball vs. #4 Alabama - 12:00 PM - NEW Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field - ADVANCE TICKETS SOLD OUT
-    Softball Bingo
-    Team Posters Available
-    Television game -  CSS
-    First Pitch by head women's basketball coach Dawn Staley
-    Twitter Photo Contest - Follow @GamecockSoftbll
and use the hashtag #BeckhamField in your tweet with your best photo from the opening series for a chance to win a game-used softball!


Sunday, March 17, 2013 - Happy St. Patrick's Day!

#32 Women's Tennis vs. #12 Georgia - 1:30 PM - Carolina Tennis Center
-    Team Posters Available
-    Free admission

Softball vs. #4 Alabama - 1:00 PM - NEW Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field - ADVANCE TICKETS SOLD OUT
-    Softball Bingo
-    Team Posters available
-    First Pitch by head football coach Steve Spurrier
-    Free St. Patrick's Day Gamecock t-shirts while supplies last
-    Twitter Photo Contest - Follow @GamecockSoftbll
and use the hashtag #BeckhamField in your tweet with your best photo from the opening series for a chance to win a game-used softball!

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Softball t-shirts



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 Nolan Belcher, senior captain of the baseball team, who currently has an 18-inning scoreless streak on the mound, and former Gamecock and current Atlanta Falcon Travian Robertson to talk about the process of going from late-round draft pick to the NFL Playoffs, and what some of his former teammates need to do to make a similar transition.

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: Lauren & George Watson

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Check out this week's Facebook Fan of the Week winner! Lauren Watson of Chesterfield, SC, uploaded this picture of her son with the following caption:

"George Paisley Watson, III was born on January 30, 2013. He is a third generation Gamecock fan. He is already watching Gamecock basketball games with his dad and we hope he will be a future Gamecock!"


Lauren Watson - 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 GamecocksOnline.com.

 

Inside The Chart.png

 

Eric Smith got the tattoo on his chest over the summer, a prescient quote for the season ahead.

 

"Walk by faith, not by sight."

 

At 14-17 overall, 4-14 in the SEC, the Gamecocks haven't seen the wins they've wanted.  But through it all, they've maintained their faith - in the playbook, the principles, and the process under first-year head coach Frank Martin. 

 

It hasn't been easy.  But sooner or later, that faith gets rewarded.  The Gamecocks hope it begins with a spirited, season-ending run in the 2013 SEC Tournament in Nashville.  Pre-tip reads before the Gamecocks and Mississippi State (9-21, 4-14 SEC) take the floor at Bridgestone Arena for the second time in a week (7:30 p.m. EST, Gamecock IMG Sports Network):

 

The Four Factors:  What did we learn from Carolina's 79-72 win over Mississippi State Wednesday?  Pay attention to these four factors:

 

1.      The Bulldogs can run.  Mississippi State, while far from an uptempo team, has had uncommon success against South Carolina in transition.  In two games, the Bulldogs have outscored the Gamecocks 45-14 in fast-break points.  That easily surpasses their fast-break average against the rest of the SEC. 

 

Mississippi State - Fast Break Points/Total Points

Vs. South Carolina (2g):                                 35.1%

Vs. Rest of SEC (16g):                                     9.8%

 

For a team that struggles to score in the halfcourt - Mississippi State averaged an SEC-low 58.9 points per game in conference games - the Gamecocks can't allow MSU's running game to get in full locomotion.

 

 

2.       Keep the ball moving.  On January 9, Mississippi State's 1-3-1 zone frustrated Carolina into an SEC-high 24 turnovers.

 

On Wednesday, Carolina dissected that zone to the tune of 18 assists on 21 made field goals.

 

Bruce Ellington vs. Mizzou.jpegWhat was the key?  Martin said he installed a series of plays that he ran at Kansas State when the Wildcats played Oklahoma.  Like Mississippi State, OU also used a 1-3-1 zone.  Martin thought the plays may not have worked earlier in the year, given his personnel.  They generally began with a high ball screen for point guard Bruce Ellington.

 

Bruce Ellington (right) benefitted from the high ball screen against Mississippi State's 1-3-1 zone.

 

"That high ball screen against the 1-3-1 releases that top guy's pressure, so now you can reverse the ball a little bit," Martin explained afterwards. 

 

He continued:  "We tried to keep a two-guard front, and keep guys in a triangle:  foul line and [two players at the] blocks extended.  That makes that 1-3-1 kind of stay back, rather than get extended and get after you."

 

As a result, the Gamecocks got terrific ball rotation, and only committed seven turnovers by the time they broke open a 59-37 lead midway through the second half .  Carolina operated skillfully against the 1-3-1 zone Wednesday.  Can they do it twice in one week?

 

 

3.       Someone needs to replace Jalen Steele's scoring.  The Bulldogs were already cruelly short-handed when three players went down with season-ending knee injuries before the season started.  One of their few veterans, 6'8" forward Wendell Lewis, lasted eight games before a fractured kneecap required a medical redshirt.  Then on Wednesday, Steele, a lithe 6'3" guard who was tied for the team scoring lead at 9.7 points per game, tore his ACL in the second half.  While his three-point percentage hovered at 32%, Steele still commanded the top shooting reputation on the Bulldogs.

 

Craig Sword-2.jpg

 

Freshman Craig Sword (left) scored 20 points against South Carolina last week.

 

In his absence, look for freshman Craig Sword to carry an even greater scoring lead.  A "rhythm player who doesn't settle for anything" according to assistant coach Lamont Evans, the 6'4" guard led MSU with 18 points against Carolina in January, and scored a team-high 20 on Wednesday.  Freshman guard Fred Thomas may also look to assert his outside shot, and 6'8" power forward Colin Borchert, a classic "stretch four," can stroke the three-pointer.

 

 

 

4.       Offensive rebounds are there... but Carolina needs to take advantage of them.  In two games, South Carolina only managed a 34.5% Offensive Rebounding Percentage against Mississippi State, well below its season average of 38.5%.  That's odd, considering MSU ranks 322nd nationally in Defensive Rebounding Percentage - i.e., they allow gobs of offensive rebounds.

 

 

Stat of the Year?  The South Carolina-Auburn game January 12 featured 27 lead changes, the most in college basketball this year. 

 

Louisville and Notre Dame traded 26 leads when they met February 9 in South Bend - but that game lasted five overtimes.

 

Carrera vs. Kentucky.jpgGlass Eater:  Michael Carrera grabbed his first rebound 13 seconds into the season opener against Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

 

Talk about setting a tone.

 

Michael Carrera almost became the first underclassman to lead the Gamecocks in scoring and rebounding since Jimmy Foster in 1982.

 

Carrera's maniacal intensity has been a fixture all season long.  The freshman forward from Anzoategui, Venezuela, finished the regular season ranked 13th in the nation in Offensive Rebounding Percentage (OReb%), and 21st in the nation in Defending Rebounding Percentage (DReb%).  Carrera was one of two freshmen nationally to rank in the top 100 in both categories (Weber State's Joel Bolomboy is the other, but you already knew that). 

 

Michael Carrera - Rebounding Percentage*

Category              Percentage         NCAA Rank

OReb%                15.5%                13th

DReb%                24.5%                21st

 

*-Offensive Rebounding Percentage = % of a team's missed shots that are rebounded by an individual.

*-Defensive Rebounding Percentage = % of an opponent's missed shots that are rebounded by an individual.

 

At 6'5," Carrera is also the shortest player to rank in the top 100 in both categories.

 

Where There's A Will(iams), There's A Way:  Junior Brenton Williams closed the regular season by pouring in 55 points over his final two SEC games.  Several of his baskets against Vanderbilt were of the acrobatic, are-you-kidding-me variety, the nets giving an angry hiss to the Memorial Gymnasium crowd.

 

"The basket looks like a 55-gallon drum to him right now," associate head coach Brad Underwood said afterwards.

 

Underwood says Williams' activity off the ball has led to his accuracy with it.

 

"[Vanderbilt] tried bumping him off every screen, and that's what Brenton has to understand.  Teams are going to do that.  He can make shots.  He's got a knack for that.  Now he's got to learn how to do that through the physicality of the game," he said.

 

After his 38-point explosion against Mississippi State, there's little doubt the Bulldogs will plant a tracking device on Williams. Regardless of who defends him, can Williams "cut his legs," and sap Mississippi State physically with his nonstop movement?  The Bulldogs have a short bench; Williams may not repeat his 38-point performance, but he can wear the Bulldogs down for their own offensive possessions. 

 

And Finally... It's a big week for Frank Martin.  And an even bigger week for his barber. 

 

Barber Pole.jpgMartin says he has kept the same hair-cutting superstition for the past 20 years.  He gets one haircut after his team finishes winter exams, and another after their last regular-season game.

 

With the regular season over, Martin gets his long-awaited tonsorial appointment.  And with the regular season over, the Gamecocks hope to put some close shaves behind them, too.

 

Our pre-game coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. EST on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.  It's been a great year - thank you for reading our insights, anecdotes, and scouting reports on "Inside The Chart."  We hope you enjoyed our stories as much as we enjoyed preparing them.  See you in Nashville.  -AD--


With all the regular season head to head competitions between South Carolina and Clemson complete for 2012-13, the Gamecocks have secured a win in the all-sports series for the sixth straight year. So far in 2012-13 South Carolina has beaten Clemson eight times with the Tigers coming out on top just four times. The Gamecocks have defeated the Tigers more times each year since 2007-08. In 2006-07 the two programs split at an even 7-7. Clemson has not had the edge over Carolina since the 2005-06 season.

The most recent wins over our Palmetto State rival came from Baseball and Men's Tennis this past weekend. Baseball earned a series victory over the Tigers, two games to one. On the same Sunday afternoon that Nolan Belcher pitched a complete game shutout to clinch the series with an 8-0 Carolina victory, then-No. 43 Men's Tennis upset then-No. 18 Clemson with a 4-3 victory at Carolina Tennis Center.

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The Gamecocks have now beaten Clemson in 20 of the last 28 baseball contests between the two schools dating back to the 2007 season.


Football has done its part to help the cause, bringing home a fourth-straight victory over Clemson this season. Jadeveon Clowney had 4.5 sacks in the 27-17 win, setting the single-season sack record at Carolina at 13. The win gave Coach Spurrier 65 victories at Carolina, a new school record.



 
Women's Basketball stormed past the Tigers with a 64-43 victory in November for their third consecutive win over Clemson. The South Carolina defense did not allow a Clemson field goal for the first 11 minutes of the game and never looked back in holding the Lady Tigers to 23.9 percent shooting.

In addition to Baseball, Football, Women's Basketball, and Men's Tennis, South Carolina earned victories over Clemson in Men's Soccer (a thrilling 1-0 shutout), Men's & Women's Diving (the Gamecocks swept the competition), and Volleyball (a 3-0 sweep over the Tigers in front of the 3rd-largest crowd in program history). The Gamecocks' only losses to Clemson this year came in Men's Basketball, Women's Soccer (the Gamecocks had been on a four-game winning streak), Women's Tennis, and one game in Baseball.

IT'S GREAT TO BE A GAMECOCK!!!