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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!


GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS


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



COCK-A-DOODLE TWEET

Gamecocks are excited for National Signing day!





SPURS UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

"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



VIDEO OF THE DAY


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






ROOSTER CROWS

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.


FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

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!

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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



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!

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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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THIS WEEK IN GAMECOCK COUNTRY...


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. 




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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!



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS


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



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB

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

Football: Deke Adams talks Jadeveon Clowney (ESPN)

Baseball: Martin, Carson homers highlight scrimmage (GamecockCentral.com)

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

Athletics: On the Record: Charles Bloom (GamecockCentral.com)



COCK-A-DOODLE TWEET

Always love to see the latest Gamecock decor!



SPURS UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

"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



VIDEO OF THE DAY

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






ROOSTER CROWS
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. 
FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

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!



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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 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 GamecocksOnline.com/tickets 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.


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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.

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.