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Dec. 21, 2002

SETTING THE SCENE … The University of South Carolina men’s basketball team (5-3) will look to end a three-game road losing streak on Sunday, Dec. 22 when the Gamecocks play Colorado State (8-2) in Fort Collins, Co. at 3 pm (ET).

The game is part of a two-game road swing which saw USC lose 77-63 at Wyoming on Thursday night. Wyoming shot 72 % from the free throw line, hitting 21 of 29 free throws to USC’s 5 of 7 effort from the charity stripe. USC was led by junior Kerbrell Brown, who had 14 points with 4 REB and 2 STL. Chuck Eidson added 13 points with two STL four REB and one BLK. Wyoming had five players score in double-figures.

THE SERIES … The two teams have only met once, Dec. 1, 2001, in Columbia. The Gamecocks came away with a 66-58 win behind the 16 points of Jamel Bradley. USC had four players in double figures including Bradley (16), Chuck Eidson (12), and Aaron Lucas (12) and Marius Petravicius (10). USC Head Coach Dave Odom is 1-0 lifetime against CSU.

ON SUNDAYS: USC is 2-1 under Dave Odom on Sundays, including an 1-1 record in 2002-03. Since joining the SEC in 1991-92, the Gamecocks are 7-4 on Sundays. In addition, USC is 9-3 under Odom in December, including a 2-2 record in Dec., 2002.

CHARGE IT, DUNK IT TOO: Junior Rolando Howell leads all Gamecocks with six charges, including the two he took at Wyoming. Michael Boynton is second with four. Rolando Howell is also first on the team in dunks, with 12. Carolos Powell is second on the team with five. The team has a total of 14 charges taken and 21 dunks.

WATCH IT: Senior Chuck Eidson is steadily moving up the SEC career steals chart, after breaking the USC career record against East Tennessee State. Eidson collected two against Wyoming to push his career tally to 234. He is just four from tying Wayne Turner (Kentucky, 1996-99) who has 238 and is fourth all-time. The SEC career steals leader is Clarence Ceasar (LSU, 1992-95) who finished with 310.

NOT BEFORE THURSDAY – BUT HE HAS EXPERIENCE: USC Head Coach Dave Odom, 305-192 career, has coached almost 500 games as a head coach, but until Thursday night’s contest in Wyoming, he had not coached a game in the state of Wyoming. Coach Odom will coach in his 500th career game as a head collegiate coach on January 8 against Mississippi. Overall, as both a college head and assistant coach, he has coached in more than 800 games (805) over a 27 year span.

THE FIRST ONE: Carolina fans missed a Gamecock first on Thursday night in Wyoming when senior Marius Petravicius attempted and made the first three pointer of his career at the 8:20 in the second half. Later that half, he attempted another but it clanked off the rim.

USC’S D.L.: USC brought sophomore Jon Land and senior Tony Kitchings on the trip, with both under going rehab assignments as they are recovering from injuries. Both have been doing extensive rehab on their injuries with USC’s trainer overseeing every step. Land had knee surgery in Nov. and is expected to return early next month. Tony Kitchings broke his hand in the South Carolina State game and had to have surgery. He is also expected to return early next month. Also sidelined against Wyoming was freshman Tarence Kinsey, who suffered a mild concussion in practice on Wednesday and was held out for precautionary reasons. Kinsey should be available on Sunday.

CAJUN PRIDE: Junior forward Kerbrell Brown, a transfer from Dodge City CC in Kansas, led the Gamecocks in scoring on Thursday night for the first time this season. Brown had 14 points. He has scored in double figures the past four games, including the 17 he dumped in at Georgetown. He is averaging 3.3 rebounds a contest and 1.4 assists. Carlos Powell, who had led USC in its past four games and had scored in double figures in each of its first seven contests, finished with six points, a season low as he was averaging 17.6 points per game entering Thursday’s game at Wyoming.

WELCOME BACK BROTHER: Junior Ivan Howell, academically ineligible the first semester, was cleared by the University Wednesday and joined the team in Wyoming that evening. Howell, who is the older brother of junior center Rolando Howell, did contribute quickly, as he came off the bench to score eight points, including two three-pointers, against the Cowboys. Howell averaged 2.7 points, 0.9 rebounds and 0.4 assists playing forward last season. “I am pleased that Ivan has cleared his eligibility and that he joined our team immediately. He is one of the more experienced players, has a lot invested in the team and will make a positive contribution on the team,” said USC Head Coach Dave Odom.

NOT A GOOD NOTE: USC was 1,137-999 before the Wyoming contest in its 95 seasons of playing basketball. With the loss, USC lost its 1000th career game.

ONE MORE BEFORE: USC will play one more non-conference game, Jan. 2 against The Citadel in Columbia. USC is 71-23 against The Citadel, including a 73-57 win in Columbia last season. After that it will play only one more non-conference game the rest of the season, when USC hosts a Feb. 12 7:30 pm game against in-state rival Clemson. USC defeated the Tigers 81-59 in Tiger Town last year. It is the first time in nine seasons the two teams have not played in December. USC is 20-8 in non-conference games in Coach Odom’s two seasons.

WELCOME HOME: USC will play four of its next five games at home, after playing four of its last five on the road. USC will welcome The Citadel, Mississippi, Auburn and Florida (SEC-TV) to the Carolina Center for the first time during that stretch, playing on the road at Kentucky (SEC-TV). USC is 5-0, at home, since opening The Carolina Center Nov. 24 against East Tennessee State.