South Carolina opens the year - its 100th season - with South Carolina State Friday and The Citadel on Monday
Nov. 8, 2007
South Carolina opens its 100th season of Gamecock basketball on Fri., Nov. 9 with an 8 pm contest vs. South Carolina State. It is the second straight year the Gamecocks have opened their season vs. the Bulldogs, picking up a 55-52 win last season in Columbia on Nov. 10, 2006. Both teams won their exhibition openers.
South Carolina will then host The Citadel on Mon, Nov. 12 at 7:30 pm. USC is 74-23 vs. The Citadel lifetime, including 46-9 in Columbia. The Citadel opens its season on Friday night vs. Daniel Webster. The SCSU and TC games can both be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network with Mike Morgan (play-by-play) and Casey Manning (color analyst). In addition, it can be picked up via the internet at www.gamecocksonline.com.
South Carolina is opening its season on Nov. 9 after opening its season Nov. 10 last year, but they have opened earlier than those two dates in the past. In 1998 USC lost to Valparaiso in the NABC Classic on Nov. 7 (61-67). USC fell the next day (Nov. 8) to Indiana 55-76.
Gamecocks Celebrate 100 Years of Basketball
During the 2007-08 season selected "Gamecock Greats" will be recognized at every home game (see first page for SCSU and The Citadel Gamecock Greats). Fans will have an opportunity to vote on an All-Decade team and an All-Century team.
The year-long celebration will culminate Feb. 22-23 with a very special weekend celebration that will create new memories. In addition to USC's game against Mississippi State on Sat., Feb. 23, the weekend will feature a former players reunion, an alumni game, an autograph session and a lettermen's banquet with great food and old stories that will stir the hearts of everyone.
vs. South Carolina State
South Carolina is 15-0 vs. S.C. State in the series between the two schools separated by about 40 miles of I-26 (SCSU is in Orangeburg). The two teams have never played outside of Columbia. Despite being undefeated in the series, the Gamecocks have had their share of close calls against the Bulldogs where two of the last three games have been decided by exactly three points.
First year head coach Tim Carter comes to SC State after spending one season as an assistant coach at Florida State University.
The all-time winningest head coach in University of Texas-San Antonio basketball history, Carter joined the Seminoles after winning 160 games and leading the Roadrunners into the NCAA Tournament twice during his 11-year tenure at UTSA. He has coached in the Big Ten at Northwestern, the Big Eight at Oklahoma State and the Southwestern Conference at Houston.
South Carolina is 16-1 vs. the MEAC, including 15-0 vs. S.C. State. In other MEAC action USC defeated Maryland-Eastern Shore (Nov. 29, 1985; 113-77). The 113 Gamecock points are the fifth-highest tally for a Gamecock team in a regular season game. On the other end of the spectrum, South Carolina fell to Coppin State to end its season in 1997 (65-78, First Round of the NCAA Tournament on March 14, 1997).
Palmetto State Braggin' Rights
South Carolina will play four teams from the Palmetto State again this year including: South Carolina State (Nov. 9), The Citadel (Nov. 12), Clemson (Dec. 1) and College of Charleston (Dec. 22).
Dave Odom is 61-11 overall against all teams in the state of South Carolina -- with his only losses coming to in-state rival Clemson. That total includes one game against the Gamecocks as well. The most wins come against Clemson as Odom is 22-11 against the Tigers and is 36-0 against the rest of South Carolina.
With wins over College of Charleston, SCSU and the Citadel and a loss to Clemson, the Gamecocks were 3-1 vs. teams within their own borders last season. USC finished at 3-1 vs. in-state teams in 2005-06, posting wins over SCSU, Wofford and Winthrop and falling at Clemson.
South Carolina is scheduled to make 21 regular-season appearances on television this year, including looks on the ESPN network (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU) four times. USC was on TV a school-record 29 times in 2005-06.
Wondering where all of South Carolina's Mr. Basketball's are playing college ball? Look no further than the University of South Carolina. Zam Fredrick was Mr. Basketball in 2004, Devan Downey was Mr. Basketball in 2005 and Mike Holmes was Mr. Basketball in 2007. Mr. Basketball 2003, Brandon Wallace (at USC from 2003-07), broke USC's career blocks record and games played record before moving onto the NBA's Boston Celtics this year.
We Really Are ... Half South Carolina
The Gamecocks have 14 players on the 2007-08 roster, including half of its roster from the Palmetto State. It is the most players from the state of South Carolina since the Gamecocks had eight in the 2001-02 season. South Carolina had 10 players from the Palmetto State in 1998-99. The remaining players are from Georgia, (3), North Carolina (2), Wisconsin (1) and Lithuania (1).
And Just One Senior The Gamecocks have 14 players on their roster with just one senior - Dwayne Day. The last time South Carolina had just one senior - 1999-2000 - Herbert Lee Davis.
Downey a Cousy Award Nominee
Devan Downey has been selected as a 2008 Pre-Season candidate for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award. Cousy, also known as "Mr. Basketball," is considered the prototype of basketball point guards. He led teams to championships at both the college and pro level. Even after his retirement from professional basketball in 1963 he went on to become a very successful basketball coach at Boston College. The Cousy Award is a prestigious award that exemplifies all that Bob Cousy has created and is given to the basketball point guard who best represents leadership, vision, and teamwork.
The Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award is presented annually by The Basketball Hall of Fame and The Hartford. A 30-member panel of basketball experts will select finalists for the Cousy Award; among which will be Athlon Sports Senior Editor Mitch Light.
The Gamecocks started three sophomores, a freshman and a senior in the exhibition game on Monday. Carolina started at least two freshmen in 21 of 30 games last season. USC started three freshman against No. 25 Kentucky on Jan. 16, 2007 in Columbia.