Men's Basketball

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)
"I am really surprised he is retiring. He was like a father figure to me in so many ways and taught me so many things on and off the court. He helped me grow up as a man. He was so honest and he will always tell you things to help you and not hurt you. He taught me a couple things about being a father with my young daughter. He taught me I have to grow up because I have someone else depending on me now.

"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)
"I was definitely surprised by the news. I couldn't believe it. To be honest with you, I know Coach McGuire and Coach Fogler were there before - but who set the bar so high for Coach Odom to have to win the NCAA Championship to be successful? Now the players there now have to step it up. Coach Odom and his staff have the right plays, the right strategy. They are all genuine - Coach Duckett, Coach Potosnak and Coach Sanderson. They are wonderful. It's always more than basketball - especially with Coach Odom. He is an real ICON in my book.


"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)
"I heard on TV last night (during the UT-Vandy game). Yes, last night came as a real surprise. He meant everything to me and I stand behind him 100 percent. Whatever decision he makes will be the right decision for him and for the team. I had no idea when I saw him the last few weeks that he was considering this. He is a great coach and taught me everything I know. He developed me into the player I am today. He is by far the greatest coach I have ever played for and the greatest coach I have ever know. He taught me to stand up and be a man and take responsibility for my actions. The way he carries himself through wins and losses and fans not always rooting for him - he taught me a lot. He taught me how to be a professional. (to the team): Enjoy it while it lasts because you will never find another coach like him. No matter who they bring in, there will ever be another coach like him."

Mike Boynton, Jr. (captain of 2004 NCAA Tournament team)
"I actually had a game last night and after the game I got a text from a friend they had read it on I was very surprised. Not in the fact that he was retiring because he's been at it for quite a while and sometime soon it would come to the end. The timing was the most surprising, but he had to do what was best for himself, his family.

"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
"He is such a nice person and a great person. He really loves USC. He really is for the university. I know this team will continue to grow and be a good team. When he walked in our practices we talked to him and stuff - he was always so friendly. He will be fine as well in the future. He is always so uplifting. Numerous times I just watched how he encouraged his players to play hard and that's very important. Sometimes you can have talent and tell them to go hard and they don't. He told all his players that - from point guard to center. Last summer he told me he had never seen anyone play as hard as me and that's always stuck with me. He's a great person."


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