Aug. 23, 2002
COLUMBIA, S.C. – In the 2002-03 schedule released Friday, the University of South Carolina men’s basketball team will open the 18,000-seat Carolina Center with four games in nine days culminating with a Dec. 2 contest with national power Temple. The Gamecocks will play non-conference foes Temple, Georgetown, Clemson, North Carolina State, Wyoming and Colorado State and will face off against 15 teams who participated in the 2002 postseason as part of the 27-game schedule for Carolina and second-year Head Coach Dave Odom.
The Gamecocks will play their first game in the new, 18,000-seat Carolina Center Sunday, Nov. 24 against East Tennessee State at 3 p.m. The Lady Gamecock basketball team, which opens its 2002-03 season vs. Clemson Friday, Nov. 22, will take on the College of Charleston in the second half of the doubleheader at 5:30 p.m. The Gamecocks then play three games in four days at home after Thanksgiving, taking on South Carolina State (Nov. 29), Appalachian State (Nov. 30) and national-power Temple (Dec. 2, Fox SportsNet South television).
“This year’s schedule certainly gives us the opportunity prove ourselves early against some quality competition,” said Odom, who won his 300th career game in the NIT semifinals against Syracuse. “We have worked hard to challenge our team early and often against quality opponents, some of which are national opponents. Combined with the opening of our new arena, the 2002-03 schedule promises to be one of the most exciting in Carolina history.
“Year in and year out, the SEC is one of the top conferences in the nation and we get our feel of the league early with games against Ole Miss and Kentucky. Our team is proud to be part of such an exciting time in our basketball history and we look forward to giving Carolina’s great fans something to cheer about in the new Carolina Center.”
We have worked hard to challenge our team early and often against quality opponents, some of which are national opponents. Combined with the opening of our new arena, the 2002-03 schedule promises to be one of the most exciting in Carolina history.
Head Coach Dave Odom
After playing a pair of exhibition contests at the Carolina Coliseum (Nov. 7, 13), the Gamecocks open the 2002-03 season with the nine-day, four-game stretch at the Carolina Center before playing Georgetown Dec. 5 in MCI Center in a rematch of last year’s nail-biter won by Georgetown. USC then travels to North Carolina State (2002 NCAA participant) for a Dec. 8 contest televised nationally by Fox SportsNet – the first meeting between the old Atlantic Coast Conference rivals since the 1989 NCAA Tournament.
Carolina returns home after final examinations to take on Wofford (Dec. 16) before a Rocky Mountain swing for games at 2002 NCAA participant Wyoming (Dec. 19) and Colorado State (Dec. 22). The Gamecocks’ final pre-conference contest is a Jan. 2 game against in-state rival The Citadel.
The Gamecocks open 2003 Southeastern Conference action much like it has the last two seasons – with great competition right out of the gate. Carolina plays four of its first five and five of its first seven games against teams who played in the 2002 NCAA Tournament, headed by a Jan. 8 contest against Ole Miss at Carolina Center. A year ago, Carolina played nine of its first 10 games against NCAA teams from the previous season and in 2001, the Gamecocks took on postseason teams from 2000 in each of their first nine contests. In all, 12 of the Gamecocks’ 16 SEC games this season will be against teams who played in the postseason a year ago.
After the opener vs. Ole Miss, USC heads to Kentucky (Jan. 11, SEC-TV), hosts Auburn (Jan. 15) and Florida (Jan. 18, SEC-TV) at the Carolina Center, travels to Mississippi State (Jan. 22) and Tennessee (Jan. 29), and has a rematch with Kentucky (Feb. 1, JP-TV). The Gamecocks also finish strong with its last five league contests coming against postseason teams – four against teams who went to the NCAAs – including a pair of games vs. Georgia (Athens, Feb. 22, JP-TV; Columbia, Mar. 9, CBS) and contests on the road at Florida (Feb. 25, ESPN) and at Alabama (Mar. 5).
At least 12 of Carolina’s regular-season contests will be televised either regionally or nationally, including five of the final seven SEC contests capped by a CBS national audience for the Gamecocks’ home finale at Carolina Center against Georgia Mar. 9. The SEC Tournament is slated this season for the Superdome in New Orleans, Mar. 13-16, and will be televised by Jefferson-Pilot and CBS. A year ago, Carolina had 24 television appearances, giving the Gamecocks at least 36 showings on the tube in Dave Odom’s first two seasons.