Men's Basketball

South Carolina-Southern California Coaches, Athletes Speak

Nov. 16, 2007

Columbia, SC - With the South Carolina-Southern California basketball game set to tip on Saturday night in the Colonial Center at 7:30 pm, both head coaches and select players met with the media Friday afternoon in Columbia. Good seats remain for the game.

Head Coach Dave Odom
(On O.J. Mayo)
"We don't worry about him. He deserves the attention. They have other players that deserve just as much - Taj Gibson, Daniel Hackett - many others. OJ is a very talented player, but we have not put too much attention on him because we will freeze up on other quality spots."

"This is the first time this year we've met a team that is as talented and as big as we are. We will see where we stand."

"Saturday night is the next big test for this team, but also for our fans. We hope they get there early, generate enthusiasm early and stay late. We hope they cheer every minute."

Devan Downey
"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."

"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."

"On Saturday night, Gamecock fans need to be in the Colonial Center and then we'll see what happens."

Dominique Archie
"OJ Mayo is a great player, but we have to play all five players on the court. We have talked about this game all week. We are pumped."

Head Coach Tim Floyd
"We are looking forward to a quality SEC opponent. We are a very young team. We had our first taste of winning last night. The Citadel gave us a very lively crowd and we expect an even more lively crowd for tomorrow's game."


"We are relying on sophomores and freshmen, a lot like South Carolina, but South Carolina has more Division 1 experience with Devan Downey and his time in Cincinnati. OJ (Mayo) has said he's a good player, and after watching film on him, I'd have to agree."

"Dave Odom is a good friend of mine. They have a talented team. With Renaldo Balkman last year, I think they go to the NCAA Tournament. We're a team that's healing now. Daniel Hackett practiced for the first time Monday. Taj (Gibson) missed practices too. Other than all that (referring to practices missed by so many players), we're doing well. "

"I felt that in building teams, you have to learn to win at home. We didn't do that with Mercer. Second, you need to learn to win on the road. That's why we schedule The Citadel first, and then South Carolina. Then, you have to win in the non-conference. After that, we have the tough Pac-10. This was needed for such a young team."

(On who is the real USC)
(said laughing) "I refer to us as S.C. So Cal is offensive to some and so is Southern Cal. We'll try to be politically correct."

Taj Gibson
(On last night's game)
"Lot of swinging the ball around. We got back on defense. We were playing as a team. We played much better."

(On O.J. Mayo)
"It's great to have a player like him on our team. With him it's all about winning. We appreciate that he's with us."

Daniel Hackett
"I'm still working back in to things. I'm getting in better game shape. I'm trying to do the right things on court without pushing too hard."

O.J. Mayo
"I'm not really sure what to expect. This is only my second road game in college. I'll just focus on the game and playing as a team."

(On Devan Downey)
"I've known him for awhile. I went to high school in Cincinnati. We played in the Top 100 camp together. He's the toughest guard I've ever played against. He's good. We just need to play good defense and limit him the ball."

"I approach the game like a business. More important than me is helping the team to win games."


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