Jan. 28, 2003
USC, in the second game of its four games in five outings away from The Carolina Center, will play at Tennessee on Wednesday, Jan. 29. The Gamecocks are still winless on the road this season, posting an 0-6 record thus far.
UT owns the series record at 20-18, but USC won the its two meetings last year: 94-60 in Knoxville and 72-54 in Columbia.
USC is 14-10 against the Vols since joining the SEC, including 6-6 in Knoxville.
USC, 7-8 and 1-4 in the SEC, lost at then-No. 22 Mississippi State last Wednesday in its most lopsided defeat of the season, 48-64; and then had the weekend off to prepare for UT. After shooting 50.0% from the field against then-No. 6 Florida on Jan. 18, USC shot just 27.1% at Mississippi State.
Tennessee, 9-6 and 2-3 in the SEC, lost at then-No. 19 Georgia last Wednesday in OT, 76-81, and then fell at home to then No. 9 Louisville in hard fought battle, 69-72, on Saturday. The Volunteers are led by the SEC’s leading scorer, senior forward Ron Slay, who is averaging 21.5 ppg. Slay is also one of the SEC’s leading rebounding, checking in at No. 3 on the SEC list with 7.8 rpg.
The Tennessee game will be carried on the radio airwaves by the Gamecock Sports Network (for radio listings see page 13). 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 www.uscsports.com.
changin’ things up a bit
The Gamecock men’s basketball team will travel to Knoxville on Wednesday morning instead of traveling north on Tuesday night. The team will leave Columbia at 9 am, go to the shoot-around from 11 am – Noon and then go to a local hotel. They will eat pre-game at the regular time and return on Wednesday evening after the game. Coach Odom had wanted to try this for awhile and with a place like Knoxville being closer, it seemed like a logical first time trip.
can history repeat itself?
Last year, entering the game at Tennessee, USC had lost three of its last four in the SEC. USC went on to win 94-60, shooting 60%. The victory was USC’s largest ever in an SEC road game when Carlos Powell scored 19 points, hitting 6-of-7 from the field. Four other Gamecocks poured in double-figure points as well (Bradley 15; Eidson 14; R. Howell 14; Warren 10) .
USC then went 4-3 in its next seven games on its SEC schedule. The game against UT was seen as a real confidence builder, in Knoxville, as USC also won the game against the Vols on its own floor, 72-54, a couple weeks later.
pretty good in the garnet and black
Junior Kerbrell Brown had a four-game stretch in December where he scored in double-figures each game: 17 vs. Georgetown, 15 at NC State, 10 against Wofford and then 14 at Wyoming. After that stretch, he saw his scoring average hit 9.8, a season high. He then hit a ‘mini-slump’ where his average fell as low as 7.9 (after he scored five points against Mississippi).
But, the last four games he has picked up where he left off in December, starting with Kentucky. His scoring average has climbed now to a career-high 10.2 ppg, while he is averaging 3.1 rpg.
Brown put on a three-point show at Kentucky, hitting four three’s in the second half, scoring a career-high 19 points against the Wildcats. He led the Gamecocks in scoring for the first time since he scored 14 points in the loss at Wyoming.
Brown followed up that performance against Florida by scoring 22 points, including four treys, coming off the bench to play 30 minutes. He also collected two assists, one block, one steal and four rebounds to complete a fine performance. The 22 points were a career high for Brown in the garnet and black.
Brown collected 15 points, including three three-pointers in the loss at Mississippi State, leading USC in scoring for the fourth time this season. Brown also collected six rebounds and one block.
10th line-up used at msu; is the 11th around the corner?
USC has used 10 different line-ups in 15 games this season, with the 10th line-up (Howell, Powell, Kitchings, Gerald, Eidson) playing at MSU; and could possibly see its 11th against Tennessee. Two reasons: injuries and looking for the right combination.
It’s become an Algebra problem for Coach Odom at times this season. For example at Kentucky: with seniors Marius Petravicius and Chris Warren not on the trip due to injuries, and Rolando Howell not practicing full court on Thursday or Friday due to the mild head trauma he suffered against Mississippi, Coach Odom made a game-time decision to start Mike Boynton instead of R. Howell. Howell did play 25 minutes in the game, scoring four points and gathering eight rebounds.
USC has only started the same line-up more than one time in a row, starting the following for a three game stretch against Temple, Georgetown and Wofford: Carlos Powell, Howell, Petravicius, Chuck Edison and Mike Boynton.