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South Carolina will travel to the Sunshine State on Tuesday, Feb. 25 to play No. 7 Florida (Feb. 17 AP ranking) at 7 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN.

Florida got the best of USC when they played last, defeating the Gamecocks 75-77 on Jan. 18 in Columbia. USC led a majority of the game until a Matt Bonner dunk with :35 seconds on the clock foiled USC’s upset bid. At the time, Florida was ranked No. 6, but later zoomed up for a week to No. 1 nationally (Feb. 3), before falling at Kentucky, 55-70, in its next contest.

USC, 11-12 and 4-8 in the SEC, lost at No. 22 Georgia on Saturday, 66-79. The Gamecocks had won the last four games, including its last three SEC games, before the loss in Athens.

Florida comes into the game with a 22-4 record and a 10-2 SEC record. The Gators had to go to overtime up in Nashville on Saturday night to beat the Commodores 77-74. Its two SEC losses are away games: at Kentucky and at Tennessee.

The Florida game will be televised on ESPN to a national audience. Dave O’Brien (play by play) and Larry Conley (analyst) will make the call from Gainesville.

lights, camera, action

The Florida-Carolina game on Tuesday is Carolina’s 12th television appearance this season. USC will be looking to return to .500 on the tube as the Gamecocks check in with a 5-6 record on television in 2002-03.

Historically, USC is 12-20 on ESPN. USC is 256-227 in televised games overall, including 38-104 in away games.

Another note, concerning Tuesdays. USC hasn’t played a Tuesday game this year, the one day of the week they have rested. But the Gamecocks were 3-2 under Odom last season in his first year at the helm and are 19-13 since joining the SEC.

Playing its last game in February, the Gamecocks are 4-3 this season in the second month of the year. They are 7-8 under Odom and 39-57 since joining the SEC.

score us 70

This season USC is 6-1 when scoring 70-79 points, with its lone loss coming at the hands of the Gators (75-77 on Jan. 18). On the flip side, when USC scores less than 70, the Gamecocks are 3-11 with its only wins coming against Temple (66-47), The Citadel (66-50) and Mississippi (55-49).

pretty and lucky

With The Carolina Center receiving rave reviews from both the competition and media, the Gamecocks have made it a nice nest for them as well. The men’s team is 10-3 in its new confines. Combined with the women’s record of 13-2, the building has a record of 23-5. Both the men’s and women’s teams were undefeated in non-conference play this year, including wins against both Clemson teams at home.

former gamecocks help w/ coaches vs. cancer

On Saturday, USC basketball coaches Dave Odom and Susan Walvius will host Coaches vs. Cancer, as the men take on Vanderbilt at 5 p.m on SEC-TV.

Former Gamecock football players and NFL greats Duce Staley and John Abraham and former basketball players Jamel Bradley and Dr. Martha Parker-Hester will participate in a three-point shootout.

The total number of shots they make will be added to the Gamecocks’ game total. All proceeds from the shooting contests throughout the evening and the silent auction will benefit the American Cancer Society.

turning it up a notch

Turning it up a notch is what Tony Kitchings is up to these days. After averaging just six points and 2.6 rebounds in three games (UK, at LSU and at Vandy), Kitchings has averaged 16.0 ppg and 6.5 rpg the past four games. He has raised his points per game average, hitting a season-high 10.8 ppg.

In last Wednesday night’s game against UT, Kitchings scored 21 points with eight rebounds, both team leaders. He blocks three shots, including two by SEC Player of the Year Candidate Ron Slay.

At Georgia he had 11 points and four rebounds. It was his fourth straight game in double figures.

This isn’t something new for Kitchings, a late-season surge. Last season, Kitchings had a nine-game stretch where he did not score in double-figures, seeing his points average dip to 5.4 per game (at UK to MSU). He then turned it on to score in double figures nine straight games and push his average to 7.0. Prior to the nine game stretch, he had only scored in double figures three times last season.

sitting on No. 13

USC has used 13 different line-ups in 23 games this season. USC used its 13th line-up for the fifth straight time against Georgia. That line-up includes Kerbrell Brown, Chuck Eidson, Rolando Howell, Tony Kitchings and Chris Warren.

Prior to line-up No. 13 USC had only started the same line-up more than two times 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.

likes the hotel food?

On the road, Kerbrell Brown is second on the away scoring list with 12.1 ppg. But, at home Brown is just sixth on the list with 7.6 ppg. First on the away list is Carlos Powell, who is averaging 12.5 ppg.

“I like playing in a hostile environment I guess,” said Brown.

Powell leads USC with a 13.3 ppg average at home and Chuck Eidson is second at 12.4 ppg.

road weary

South Carolina was 0-8 on the road this year, but with the win at Vanderbilt the Gamecocks snapped that streak. Since then, the Gamecocks have dropped another road game, at Georgia, pushing their record to 1-8 in 2002-03.

The last time USC went 0-8 on the road to start the season was in 1981-82. With Coach Bill Foster’s second season, USC lost eight straight on the road to begin the year, before winning 63-56 at Hofstra on Feb. 3, 1982. USC, 14-15 that year, won two more road games later in the season (at Furman and at Florida State).

Proving the road is a tough place to play, there are three SEC teams that are still winless on the road this season: Vanderbilt (0-9), Arkansas (0-8) and LSU (0-6).