March 7, 2003
South Carolina will celebrate Senior Day on Sunday in its last regular season game of the year. USC hosts No. 25 Georgia for the 12:06 pm tipoff in a nationally televised contest on CBS. The Gamecocks are aiming to make it nine straight over the Bulldogs in Columbia.
Then-No. 22 Georgia got the best of the Gamecocks two weeks ago in Athens, 66-79. USC was led by Chris Warren (15 pts.) and Tony Kitchings (11 pts.).
Georgia leads the overall series 40-39, but USC leads the series in Columbia 23-12. USC has won the last eight match-ups in the Capital City. The Gamecocks are 12-1 against the ‘Dawgs in Columbia dating back to 1961-62, with the lone loss coming in 1994 (85-96).
Georgia got the best of No. 3 Florida on Tuesday on ESPN, coming away with an 82-81 win in Athens. USC wasn’t as lucky on Wednesday, falling 59-82 at Alabama.
USC, 12-14 and 5-10 in the SEC. USC is in search of its sixth SEC win, with hopes of putting up its third straight season with at least six wins in the league. Dave Odom is 2-3 against Georgia and Bulldog Head Coach Jim Harrick brings in a 3-4 mark against USC.
USC Head Coach Dave Odom talked about the Georgia game on Thursday’s SEC teleconference. “We found out two weeks ago how good Georgia is. They are stocked at every position and go seven-deep. They are well-coached and play as well as anyone as a unit. They have a great supporting cast. They are just a really good team and a team that will be a very difficult one for us right now.”
Georgia is 18-8 and 10-5 in the SEC. Georgia is a sparkling 12-1 at home this season, but 4-6 on the road, including 3-4 in the SEC. The Bulldogs have won five of their last six games. Georgia made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season, bowing out to Southern Illinois, 75-77.
“Georgia has struggled at South Carolina recently,” said Harrick at Thursday’s SEC teleconference. “I just hope we can go in there and play well this weekend. The game is on CBS, so hopefully we can have a good showing. Winning seven of eight going into the SEC Tournament would be a great lift for us going into the postseason.”
The nationally televised game features Tim Brando and Bob Wenzel making the call.
The Georgia game will also be carried on the radio airwaves by the Gamecock Sports Network (for radio listings see page 14). 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.
The Carolina-Georgia game is the school’s 14th television appearance this season. USC is 6-7 record on television in 2002-03, but 6-1 at home.
The Gamecocks are 9-9 on CBS over the years.
USC defeated Georgia, 70-66, on Feb. 27, 1999 in the two teams last appearance together on CBS (also USC’s last appearance on CBS). It was a quite a win for a team that finished the season 2-15 on television, with a 8-21 mark overall.
on deck: the senior finale
USC fans have their final chance to say good-bye to its four seniors on national television when CBS comes calling on Sunday. The Noon game against Georgia and South Carolina will feature a pre-game salute to seniors Chuck Eidson, Tony Kitchings, Marius Petravicius and Chris Warren.
The Fab Four will leave together at the end of the season, but they didn’t all come in together. Kitchings, injured his freshman year and subsequently redshirted, came up from Aiken, S.C. in 1998. Eidson and Petravicius, an unlikely duo from Summerville, S.C. and Kltenenu, Lithuania, respectively, entered in 1999. And finally, Chris Warren, a native of Garland, Texas, transferred to USC last season from Collin County Community College.
Kitchings has played in 112 game in the garnet and black, scoring 959 points thus far, with 118 career blocks. He has averaged 8.1 ppg during his career and 5.6 rpg. Kitchings married former SID student-worker Lindsay Lowery in August.
Petravicius, on his way to breaking the school’s all-time games played record earlier this season, had his career come to a end on Jan. 2, 2003 when he injured his knee in The Citadel game. In 106 games played, he averaged 7.4 ppg and 4.3 rpg.
Warren has played 56 games for the Gamecocks. He has averaged 5.8 ppg over the past two years, starting 12 games.
Eidson, who will start his 98th straight game against Georgia, has 1,048 points in his career, averaging 9.5 ppg in 110 games played. Eidson set the career record for steals at USC earlier this season. He currently has 269 and is also on the top 10 list for assists, assists per game, steals per game, three pointers made and three pointers attempted. He is No. 3 on the all-time SEC career steals list.
Eidson and Petravicius are tied in a unique way off the court as well. Both met their girlfriends at freshman orientation, USC athletes as well, and have dated them all four years of college.