Nov. 14, 2007
There is a buzz in Columbia this week after the Gamecock basketball team's 103-42 win over The Citadel on Monday night. It feels like everyone is talking about the South Carolina-Southern California game at the Colonial Center on Sat., Nov. 17 at 7:30 pm - including the Gamecock basketball team itself. Good seats still remain and can be purchased at The Colonial Center or online at gamecocksonline.com.
The Gamecock players know it's just one game on their schedule: "We are the real USC, but we aren't going to do a lot of talking in the papers this week about it. We are going to go out and play hard and let the game take care of itself," said sophomore point guard Devan Downey.
But, Dominique Archie said for many of the fans it's still a battle of who the official USC is. South Carolina head coach Dave Odom agrees with Downey - it's just one game on the schedule: "Saturday night is the next big test for this team, but also for our fans. We hope they get their early, generate enthusiasm early and stay late. We hope they cheer every minute."
Downey is anxious for the team to create memories of its own for the 100th Anniversary and show the fans they are a new team. "We are different this year - we have so many new players. We run, run, run. We want the fans to be there, be loud and be supportive. It's very important for them to be there for us."
Dwayne Day talked about the momentum the fans create: "We need all their support this season. We know a lot of people doubted us, but when the game gets slow - the crowd really gives us that extra boost of energy. We hear them!"
Mike Holmes seconded Day and agreed the fans `get us amped!' "We are already into the game, but it gets us amped up even more when they get loud. Monday, the fans were really into it - yelling `air-ball, air-ball' when someone missed a shot. Next year we are going to have 20,000 people in the Colonial Center even though it only holds 18,000."
Sam Muldrow loved the student's passion in Monday night's game vs. The Citadel when USC scored 100 points: "The crowd makes the game even more fun. We love the support!"
Austin Steed said the crowd much louder than he anticipated when something good happens and they appreciate that. "They give us momentum and the tempo gets turned up."
Downey may have summed it up the best: "On Saturday night, Gamecock fans need to be in the Colonial Center and then we'll see what happens."
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