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Dec. 30, 2002

USC will play one final non-conference game before starting SEC play Jan. 8, when it hosts The Citadel Jan. 2 in Columbia. USC is 71-23 against The Citadel, including a 73-57 win in Columbia last season. USC has won eight straight over the Bulldogs, dating back to 1988 when they lost an 87-88 game in Columbia. Prior to that, USC had won 35 straight.

The Citadel game will be carried on the radio airwaves by the Gamecock Sports Network. Charlie McAlexander (play-by-play) and Casey Manning (color) will call the action on more than 25 stations in the Palmetto State and world-wide on the internet at

The game will be shown on television on ComCast regionally with Mike Morgan calling the action and Wimp Sanderon working as the color analyst.

After the contest with The Citadel, USC 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 20-9 in non-conference games in Coach Odom’s two seasons.

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.

EIDSON AT POINT, KITCHINGS ON THE MEND Coach Odom announced today that senior Chuck Eidson would play exclusively at the point guard position.

Odom added further that Tony Kitchings’ hand was mending well and that he had been working hard at his rehab. and cardio efforts. Odom thought he would be ready by the Mississippi game on Jan. 8 but added that he had not been cleared by the doctor yet. He has been practicing with the team, but added he had not been catching the ball.

PERFECT THUS FAR With wins over Wofford, ETSU , App. State, Temple and South Carolina State, South Carolina now is 5-0 in school history at new The Carolina Center.

LEADING THE CHARGE AND THE DUNK Junior Rolando Howell leads all Gamecocks with eight charges, including the two he took at Wyoming and then two at Colorado State. 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 16 charges taken and 24 dunks. Opponents have four charges taken and 12 dunks against USC.

EIDSON WORKING UP THEFT CHART 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 235. 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.

BACKCOURT STRUGGLES ON THE ROAD The Gamecock point guard trio of Chuck Eidson, Mike Boynton and Jarod Gerald put up solid, if not impressive, numbers through the first four games of the season. However, the first four away games, Carolina got a combined 38 points from the three At Georgetown, the three combined to go 1-of-6 from the floor with four assists and 11 turnovers. USC’s leading scorer coming into the game, Eidson was just 1-of-4 from the floor with two assists and eight turnovers. Boynton started at point guard and was held scoreless in seven minutes of action, as was Gerald in 21 minutes on the court. At NC State, only Edison scored, putting in nine points with two steals and five assists. The three-some combined for five TO, and shot 2-12 from the field, including 1-6 from the three-point line. At Wyoming, Eidson poured in 13, while Boynton scored zero. At Colorado State, Eidson was the lone scorer in the threesome, tallying 13.