South Carolina to Face North Carolina State at Old Spice Classic in Disneyworld
With 395 career wins, head coach Dave Odom is on the verge of 400 wins.
 
With 395 career wins, head coach Dave Odom is on the verge of 400 wins.

Nov. 22, 2007

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South Carolina, celebrating its 100th season of Gamecock basketball, will play North Carolina State in the second round of the Old Spice Classic on Fri., Nov. 23 at 12:30 pm on ESPN2. It will be South Carolina's second straight appearance on ESPN2 in as many days. It will be the two schools 77th career meeting as they both played in the ACC prior to USC joining the SEC in 1991. Carolina coach Dave Odom is 20-11 vs. the `Pack (11-2 H, 8-8 A, 1-1 N). His 31 career games include: a 1-1 at USC; 19-7 at Wake Forest; 0-3 at East Carolina.

The South Carolina-North Carolina State game will be shown live on ESPN2 with Bob Picozzi and Len Elmore making the call. It is the third of 21 appearances South Carolina will make on television this year. It can also 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 last played in a Thanksgiving Weekend tournament in 2005 when it made the finals of the ESPN-televised Great Alaska Shootout with wins over Alaska-Anchorage and Monmouth before falling to Marquette in the championship game 92-89 in overtime.

What South Carolina did to get to the Wolfpack:
Devan Downey had a career-high 30 points and Zam Fredrick scored 14 of his 16 in the second half, helping USC hold off cold-shooting Penn State 74-67 in the opening game of the Old Spice Classic. Downey was 8-for-17 from the field and made 10 of 11 free throws to help USC rebound from last week's 10-point loss to Southern California.

What North Carolina State did to get to the Gamecocks:
Courtney Fells scored 18 points and J. J. Hickson had 13 as North Carolina State came from behind to beat Rider 72-63 in the opening round of the Old Spice Classic on Thursday. Brandon Costner added 11 points for North Carolina State (2-1), which dropped out of the Top 25 this week. The Wolfpack, ranked 21st last week, were beat 65-63 by New Orleans on Sunday.

The last time the Gamecocks played the Wolfpack:
Carlos Powell scored 11 points, nine of them in a decisive 9-2 run, as South Carolina beat North Carolina State 58-55 on Dec. 20, 2003. They were down just two when Gamecock Kerbrell Brown stole a rebound from Marcus Melvin with 10.5 seconds left and hit a layup that clinched the game for South Carolina. Tarence Kinsey then stole a pass and slammed it home as the Gamecocks (10-1) clinched their 13th straight non-conference win since opening the Colonial Center in 2002.

South Carolina's Josh Gonner set a new career-high with 19 points, even though he didn't score in the last 15:30 of the game. Brown had 11 points and a career-high 10 rebounds and Powell also ended the game with 11 points. Julius Hodge led the Wolfpack with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Levi Watkins had 12 points and Engin Atsur added 10 for North Carolina State.

It was the Wolfpack's first trip to the Capital City of South Carolina since February 17, 1971. That year was South Carolina's last year in the ACC. It was also the first team from Tobacco Road to come to Columbia since North Carolina State came in 1971. The visit by N.C. State to Columbia is the first by an ACC team other than Clemson since playing Maryland on December 5, 1988. The Gamecocks won that game 57-51.

The Wolfpack trailed by 10 points before going on a 17-2 run over seven minutes that put them up 48-43 with seven minutes to play. But that's when Powell took over. Powell capped his nine straight points by forcing a steal, then taking a pass from Michael Bonyton, Jr. and hitting a reverse layup as he was fouled. After hitting the free throw, South Carolina led 52-50 with 2:31 left.

If and When Then
If South Carolina wins on Friday, it will play in the Championship game on Sun., Nov. 25 at 6:30 pm. It would be South Carolina's second straight appearance in a Thanksgiving weekend tournament championship, having played Marquette in 2005 in the Great Alaska Shootout Championship. The opponent will be determined on Friday evening. If South Carolina loses it will be play at 4:30 pm on Sun., Nov. 25 with the opponent to be determined on Friday evening. Both games are to be shown on ESPN2.

Last time out ...
South Carolina defeated Penn State 74-67 on Thanksgiving Day in the first round of the Old Spice Tournament. A few highlights included:

  • Devan Downey scored a career-high 30 points, topping his previous high of 24 twice in his career (last time: vs. South Carolina State Nov. 9, 2007). He tied a career high with 4 3s (4 vs. Xavier, 1/19/06), 7 3s attempted (6 at Xavier, 1/19/06) and10 free throws made (10 vs. Ohio on 12/14/05).
  • Downey and Zam Fredrick have scored double digits in every game this season with Downey's 30 a career high for both. Fredrick tied a career-high with 7 rebounds (7 at NC State, 1/14/06). Fredrick played a career-high 40 minutes (38 vs. Boston College, 1/8/06).
  • Mike Holmes has started two games for USC and Sam Muldrow has started the other 2 at center.
  • Dominique Archie started his 34th straight game in a Gamecock uniform - having started every game last season as a freshman (first freshman to do so since Marius Petravicius (1999-00).

    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 Southern California 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.

    Diaper Dandies
    Carolina has started three sophomores, a freshman and a senior in the exhibition game and all four games this season. Freshman Mike Holmes has started two of the games and freshman Sam Muldrow has started the other two games. South Carolina has seven newcomers on its roster this season, including three transfers and two walk-ons.

    Carolina started at least two freshmen in 21 of 30 games last season. USC started three freshmen against No. 25 Kentucky on Jan. 16, 2007 in Columbia.

    Odom on the verge of 400 wins
    South Carolina head coach Dave Odom has 395 career wins in his 22 years as a head coach at East Carolina (38), Wake Forest (240) and South Carolina (117). He would be the 28th active coach to reach 400 wins with two others nationally hot on the track as well. Also looking at 400 wins on the national scene: Mike Deane (Wagner, 395) and Tom Green (Farleigh Dickinson, 392). Odom is already currently the winningest all-time coach in the SEC.