South Carolina hosts last 3 non-conferences games: UC Irvine (Dec. 28), Radford (Jan. 2) and UNCA (Jan. 5)
Dec. 27, 2007
The Gamecocks, 6-5 and celebrating 100 seasons of Gamecock basketball this season, will host UC Irvine (4-7) on Fri., Dec. 28 at 7:30 pm and then Radford (4-9) on Wed., Jan. 2 at 7:30 pm.
UC Irvine fell in its last game on Dec. 22 at Texas A&M 88-66. Radford lost 90-60 on Dec. 19 on its home court to West Virginia in its final game before playing at USC. West Virginia knocked down a facility-record 18 three pointers.
The UC Irvine game will be shown on CSS with Mike Morgan and Wimp Sanderson making the call. The game will also be shown on ESPN's FullCourt Package.
Both games can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network and will also be featured on Sirius Satellite Radio (UC I: No. 130 and Radford: No. 127). It can also be picked up via the internet at www.gamecocksonline.com.
Odom on the verge
Dave Odom is just two wins away from another milestone win with the Gamecocks. Odom has 398 career wins in his 22 years as a head coach at East Carolina (38), Wake Forest (240) and Carolina (120). He would be the 28th active coach to reach 400 wins. Odom is already currently the winningest all-time coach in the SEC.
Odom has 120 wins at Carolina as compared to 91 losses. The 120 wins are fourth all-time at USC - only Frank McGuire, Frank Johnson and Eddie Fogler have more wins in their Carolina career. He is hot on Fogler's tail as he won 123 games to 117 losses in his eight year career with the Gamecocks.
With the two wins over UF's Billy Donovan and the win over Rick Pitino's Louisville crowd in 2006, Odom has posted a number of quality wins over coaches who have led their teams to the Final Four and/or won national championships during their own careers. With 398 careers wins as a head coach in his 23 years at East Carolina, Wake and South Carolina, Odom has wins over a number of legendary coaches including Donovan, Pitino, Roy Williams (at Kansas), Lon Kruger, Rick Majerus, Dean Smith, Gary Williams, Mike Krzyzewski, Tubby Smith, John Chaney, Nolan Richardson, Bobby Cremins, Denny Crum, Jim Valvano, Jim Boeheim, Terry Holland and Eddie Sutton.
UC Irvine (4-7) continues on its streak of five consecutive road games facing South Carolina Friday (Dec. 28) and Harvard Sunday (Dec. 30).
The Anteaters dropped a pair of games in Texas last week, losing to Sam Houston State, 61-54, and then-11th-ranked Texas A&M, 88-66.
They are led by Patrick Sanders (13.2) and Darren Fells (12.6) who both average double figures. Kevin Bland pulls down a team-high 5.6 rpg and Sanders is second at 5.1 rpg.
UCI plays in the Big West Conference and finished last season at 15-18, including 6-8 in conference play (fifth place). USC is 2-1 vs. the Big West with a loss to UCI last year in Irvine and a 2-0 record vs. Idado in Columbia.
Radford enters the Jan. 2 contest with a 4-9 record after falling 90-60 to West Virginia on Dec. 19. The Highlanders have had two weeks off since that loss.
Radford coach Brad Greenberg is in his first season as a head coach. Radford has four players averaging double figures: Joey Lynch-Flohr ((11.1), who also leads the team with 5.8 rpg; Martell McDuffy at 13.8; Amir Johnson at 13.2; and Kenny Thomas leads the team at 14.2.
Radford plays in the Big South and is the first of two straight Big South teams USC will play in a three-day span as the Gamecocks host UNC Asheville on Jan. 5 in its last non-conference game prior to SEC play. USC is 22-3 vs. the Big South with contests against Charleston Southern (7-1), Coastal Carolina (1-1), Elon (1-0), UNC-A (7-1), Radford (1-0) and Winthrop (5-0).
80+ and Odom
After 11 games the Gamecocks are averaging 79.6 points per game and have already scored five times this season - the same number of times they scored 80+ the entire season the last two years. It is the soonest under Odom the Gamecocks have reached 80+ in a season.
The following are the number of 80+ games under Odom in the last seven years.
Year # scoring 80+ Reached 5th in what game?
2007-08 5 11
2006-07 5 28
2005-06 5 23
2004-05 2 NA
2003-04 8 22
2002-03 2 NA
2001-02 7 18
Carolina has three players averaging double figures: Devan Downey (18.4), Zam Fredrick (15.7) and Brandis Raley-Ross (11.5). Downey leads the team with 5.4 apg and 3.2 spg. Dominique Archie is close behind with 9.9 ppg. Sam Muldrow leads the crew with 1.8 bpg.
Mike Holmes leads the charge on the boards grabbing 6.5 rpg including a career-high 16 vs. NCSU. Archie is second with 5.7 rpg and Muldrow is third with 4.9 rpg
Taking 12 days off for final exams, USC dropped a 92-84 loss to Baylor on Wed., Dec. 19 and then followed up with an 85-82 win over College of Charleston on Dec. 22. USC has had six days off since for the holidays.
Brandis Raley-Ross has now hit 2.7 3s per game this year after the College of Charleston game, making 68.2% of this tries. He is currently leading the country with the top percentage.
Have you ever seen?
Oddly enough, Carolina is second in the SEC in three point field percentage at 44.5% to Vandy's 45.6%. Inside the 3, USC is last in the SEC at 45.5% and Florida leads the SEC at 50.5%.
Carolina has scored 40+ first half points in four of its six home games this season. (SC State, The Citadel, Campbell, Baylor). Last year USC scored 40+ in only eight halves total. USC scored 52 in the second half of the C of C game.
The Gamecocks have at least 5 steals in 11 of 12 games this season. After 12 games last season, the Gamecocks had at least 5 steals in 4 games.
Carolina has scored 531 points in the six home games this season for an average of 88.5 points per game. A Colonial Center record, Carolina scored 103 points in its 103-42 win over The Citadel on Nov. 12.
In five of its games, USC has finished with 9+ steals per game. During its season-high 15 steals vs. The Citadel, Devan Downey lead the charge with a season-high six steals. Raley-Ross added two and Sam Muldrow, Zam Fredrick, Chad Gray, Branden Conrad, Rob Wilder, Dwayne Day and Mike Holmes each picked up a theft.
Dominique Archie told the media recently that Brandon Wallace's school-record 249 blocked shots might be jeopardy if Sam Muldrow plays four years for the Gamecocks. While that is quite a stretch 11 games into the Florence native's freshman campaign, he is making his shot-blocking abilities known. Muldrow, the cousin of former All-SEC Gamecock forward Carlos Powell, leads the team with 1.8 bpg. He blocked five shots vs. Campbell on Nov. 28. It's the most for a freshman since Renaldo Balkman blocked five shots on Feb. 11, 2004 vs. Mississippi State. He followed up that performance with 4 blocks at Clemson.
The Gamecocks have forced double-digit turnovers against every opponent this season except one (9, Southern California). Penn State let the ball fall into Gamecock hands a season-high 21 times and Campbell turned it over 20 times. Opponents are turning the ball over an average of 14.8 times a game with USC is averaging just 10.7 turnovers a game. USC has turned the ball over 10 times are fewer in five games.
USC is averaging 79.6 ppg and has hit 74+ points in a game eight of 11 times this year. Last year after 11 games USC was averaging 65.9 ppg.
Carolina is holding opponents to just 32.4 % from three-point range on the year, including The Citadel who shot 3-29 from beyond the arc (10.3%) and Penn State who went 4-25 for a 16% showing. Likewise USC is hitting 45% of its 3 point attempts with Brandis Raley-Ross leading the charge in the SEC at 68% by averaging 2.7 threes per game.
The Gamecocks played four games at two neutral sites this season (three in Orlando at the Old Spice Classic and one in Philadelphia at the Pizza Hut Big East-SEC Challenge). It is the most USC has played on a neutral court early in the season since it played four of its first 7 regular season games in 1998-99 (two in Indianapolis and two in Charlotte).
The Gamecocks have made at least one 3-pointer in 179 consecutive games since they went 0-19 vs. Mississippi State on March 2, 2002 - a 64-57 loss. They have also had at least one block in 97 consecutive games since they went block-less on Jan. 15, 2005 in a 66-63 win vs. Tennessee.
A last looks at College of Charleston
USC defeated Coll. of Charleston 85-82, coming back from a 15-point deficit on Dec. 22. The following are a few highlights.
* All 5 Gamecock starters scored in double figures. The last time USC recorded five players to score in double figures was on Nov. 12, 2007 against The Citadel. The last time USC had all five starters score in double figures was on Dec. 29, 2006 in a 80-73 win over Jacksonville.
* Devan Downey has 5+ assists in 6 games this season including the last 3 games.
* Brandis Raley-Ross scored 16 points on his 4 of 6 performance from beyond the arc. Raley-Ross scored 10+ for the 14th time in his career and the 7th time this season.
* Zam Fredrick scored 21 points. Fredrick scored in double figures for the 10th time in 11 games. Fredrick scored 20+ in 3 games this season. Fredrick was 2-5 from the field in the first half with 4 points before going 6-10 (including 5 of 5 from the 3 pt. line) for 17 points in the 2nd half
* South Carolina took a 79-77 lead with 3:23 remaining in the 2nd half. It was Carolina's first lead since leading 29-26 with 5:27 remaining in the 1st half. USC was losing by as many as 15 in the second half (61-46 at 13:26).
* The Gamecocks went 1-8 from behind the arc in the first half before going 8-8 in the second half.
Tops in the SEC
Carolina is leading the SEC in a number of statistical categories as of Thurs., Dec. 27. The following are a few:
* The Gamecocks are No. 2 in the SEC in three point field goal % at 44 % and No. 2 in assist-turnover ratio (+1.36).
* Brandis Raley-Ross hit 6 of 7 3's vs. Campbell for a league-best 86% 3 point shooting % (single game). He leads the SEC in three point field goal % at 68% (30 of 44). He is tied at No. 5 at 2.7 3s pg.
* Devan Downey is second with 35.5 mpg and is fifth in scoring at 18.4 ppg. Downey leads the SEC with 3.2 steals per game and is third in assists at 5.4 apg.
* Zam Fredrick is third at 34.4 mpg and ninth in scoring (15.4 ppg).