Oct. 26, 2007
With basketball season right around the corner, South Carolina's website, gamecocksonline.com (GO), is visiting with a Gamecock basketball player every few days. Today's player is Gamecock transfer Branden Conrad. Branden transferred to USC from Navy and sat out last year. He is excited for the team's exhibition on Nov. 5 vs. Guilford (FREE!) and its season opener on Fri., Nov. 9 vs. South Carolina State at 8 pm.
Get to know Branden Conrad, a Charlotte, N.C. native.
GO: What is the most positive thing you've seen so far from this year's team?
BC: Probably just the way we've come together as leaders. There are so many people who have stepped up and have been excited about the start of the season.
GO: What have you seen as a difference between this year's team and last year's team?
BC: I think on the court we'll have more of an up-tempo style. We also have more outspoken people -- you know when you do well and when you don't.
GO: When you have a day off, what do you like to do?
BC: Usually, I'll come in and get some shots off with a manager. I also like to just hang out at my apartment with my roommates.
GO: If you could play a pick-up game with anyone, who would it be, and why?
BC: Probably my own teammate, Devan Downey. The way he plays is so enthusiastic. Even in just a pick-up game you can see the determination in his eyes and losing a pick-up game is like losing the NCAA Tournament with him. He just makes us all better. It's fun to be competitive with him.
GO: What do you see yourself doing in the future aside from basketball?
BC: A dream job would be some kind of management position where I could make decisions in some kind of business firm.
GO: You're a double major. How can you manage your time between school and basketball?
BC: I don't know (smiling). When I figure that out, I'll let you know. I guess I just kind of try to make it through each week. It's kind of picked up this semester. I'm getting in to more major classes, so it's been difficult, and I know it'll get more difficult as the season starts and we get on the road. I'll try to just roll with it though.
GO: You spent a week in Singapore for one of your classes recently. Tell us about that trip?
BC: I was invited to go with my management class. Three students and myself went over there and we were in a case competition called the Asian Business Case Competition. We were given a company, a ship building company, and we pretty much had to come up with a solution to keep profits high and to make sure the company stayed growing in the next ten years or so. We got there a day late. We had one day, and then we were given the case the next morning, so we were a little jetlagged. Then they gave us the case and 40 hours to research and to come up with a presentation on it. I went on a 60-hour span where I only slept about five hours so I was pretty tired. We ended up coming up with a really good presentation. It's amazing, the third day, off of no sleep, how much energy you get from presenting. We did real well. We made it to the finals and came in second. There were 12 schools from all across the world including a Swiss team, one from Singapore -- just all over. There were four schools from the U.S.: Washington, Florida, South Carolina (our team) and Minnesota. Florida actually won it, so the SEC went one-two over there, but it was a tough competition, and we did really well.
GO: What's the funniest moment you've had with the team?
BC: Meeting Evka for the first time last year. He was my roommate. I remember walking in: he had his towel and he was walking down to the pool. He had shorts that barely went past his thighs with a tank top and European sandals. He just walked up with a big smile and opened his mouth with his European accent. He's just kept it funny ever since he's been here.
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