Jan. 29, 2008
Columbia, SC - USC head coach Dave Odom spoke to the media on Tuesday to preview the Georgia game (Wed., Jan. 30 at 7:30 in the Colonial Center). The following are a few of his comments followed by Gamecock players Dominique Archie and Devan Downey.
Coach Odom Opening Statement:
"Ramel Bradley (of UK) and Gaines (of UGA) are both seniors, both grizzled, tough as nails, they score, they defend, excellent point guards, both from NYC. They have good leadership at Georgia and the re-occurring theme in this division - they have very very big players. They are huge and we have to deal with that on the offensive and defense end. It will be a huge challenge for us.
"We took Sunday off and practiced yesterday and will practice today. One of our problems in SEC play is we become a little bit fatigued and so I will back off practice about 15 minutes early today. I want to make sure our team goes into the game tomorrow night as fresh as possible. That is one thing I will try to do. My staff is leaning really hard on me to give Devan and Zam some rest during the game - that is not my tendency. They assure me that can't do anything, but help. I will have to put that in their hands without stopping it. They do need some rest and I hope we pick the right time to do it. We would not take both of them out at the same time, barring anything that is unusual.
"The other is to try to build their confidence and keep knocking on the door. We just haven't played well enough to win over 40 minutes.
"The other concern is we are getting crushed at the free throw line. We went 2 of 3 the other night and they go 18 of 23. We have to find a way to get to the free throw line. We can't play the game avoiding contact and hopefully they'll blow it in our favor some. I think everything else we are doing well.
"The line-up of Evka, Dominique, Dwayne, Zam and Devan is a good line-up and hopefully that will get us off to a good start. Sam Muldrow played well the other night and Mike Holmes was solid in practice yesterday.
"Brandis Raley-Ross is struggling to make a jump shot and he wants to make one so bad and he can't. I told him yesterday to not take a single shot during the scrimmage today and hopefully he'll make some baskets tomorrow night. We are doing everything we can to get him moving again. He is just struggling and we need him back so we can get the rest we need for Fredrick and Downey."
Q: How is fatigue a problem? How do you know when they are fatigued?
"Our kids are in great shape right now. They really are. I think our guys are in as good of shape as any team, but we need more help."
How do you keep them from being frustrated?
"Devan had a terrific practice yesterday. Devan doesn't score a lot in practice. It's not like he's averaging 20 points in practice, too. Dominique Archie has really stepped up his leadership ability. He is doing a terrific job."
Gamecock Players Statements
"There is really nothing we can do about getting to the line. Devan talks about finishing at practice. We have to counter other teams runs. I think we start to play too careful and start passing up a lot of shots we should take. I think we are more worried about making the play, rather than the wrong play. Even if we are up, we have to keep playing the same way."
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