Gamecock players weigh in on Coach Odom retiring
Jan. 18, 2008
Columbia, SC - South Carolina head coach Dave Odom announced today he will retire at the end of the 2007-08 season. Numerous friends, family and former players called Coach Odom today to wish him well including Tarence Kinsey, Renaldo Balkman, Bryce Sheldon, Georgia State head coach Rod Barnes - the list goes on and on. The following are a few comments from Gamecock basketball players.
Carlos Powell (finished in 2005, 2005 NIT MVP, 2-time All-SEC)
"As far as the team, I would tell them hard work pays off and keep going. You have to keep working hard. I wouldn't say more than that right now - it's hard to write. He's very special."
Tre' Kelley (2007 first team All-SEC; led SEC in scoring in 2006-07)
"First of all, away from basketball he taught me how to be a man. Here I was a guy coming from a high school in D.C. and he taught me to be a man. He and the coaching staff. They really helped me understand what it was like to grow up and be away from home. They taught me how to take care of myself and how important it is for me to finish school. I am handling myself now. I live by myself, take care of myself and the coaching staff taught me the right and the wrong things to do.
"I remember his coaching and his confidence in me. He taught me to have confidence in me. His confidence as a coach is at the highest level. He knows what he is talking about at all times. He knows what needs to be done from point guard to center. From the first player to the last. He knows what needs to be done. I am going to talk to him sometime today and I will tell him all of that.
"Who will they get they get to replace him ? Dean Smith is retired. Red Aulerback is dead. You won't find a guy better or a staff better. He is one of the greatest coaches alive. I heard some fans booed him at the Tennessee game. That is a disgrace to the university and to him. He's one of the best coaches - he and his staff - with the X's and O's. He didn't deserve to be treated like that.
"Right now I wish I had taken a medical redshirt last year so I could be there right now. I know the players feel the same way - they want to win every single game the rest of the year."
Brandon Wallace (2007 All-SEC; set school record in blocks)
Mike Boynton, Jr. (captain of 2004 NCAA Tournament team)
"He was fantastic. I appreciate what I learned from him even more now than when I was a player. I try to instill in my guys the understanding that you can never prepare for everything in a game. Sometimes in a game things happen that you don't anticipate so you always have to be prepared. From a point guard's perspective, doing things consistently and being disciplined. I always try to preach that to guys that I coach.
"Off the court handle your business and you are always representing your family, your university and yourself. He taught me you want to make sure they are proud of what you are doing away from the court as well. I owe him some real credit for letting me know those things were important.
"As for the team, I wouldn't tell them anything different. They have to play every game as hard as they can with as much passion as possible. You are playing to win, but you are playing for pride, for a sense of respect and continue to do the things you are doing. I would love to see him go out with a successful run, but that should be part of the motivation, but not the total motivation."
Demetrius Adams, current Gamecock women's basketball player