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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.


GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS

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 AROUND THE WEB

Gamecocks Rally Late to Beat Liberty 8-7 (wltx.com)

Gamecocks power past Ole Miss 62-47 (thetandd.com)

Gamecocks Split Doubleheader With Liberty (live5news.com)



COCK A DOODLE TWEET
VIDEO OF THE DAY

2013 South Carolina Baseball Intro Video





SPURS UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

Marcus Lattimore to Participate in Jon Gruden QB Camp Series

Throwback Thursday: #SCOpeningDay 2009



ROOSTER CROWS

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.



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY


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


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Send in your own fan photo submissions to GamecockAthletics@gmail.com. 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.

 

Footnotes

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.


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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:  nola.com)

 

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!

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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.

This Week's Home Events: #SCOpeningDay

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THIS WEEK IN GAMECOCK COUNTRY

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:


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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 siriusxm.com.

 

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--