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Nov. 20, 2003

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South Carolina will host the Naval Academy on Friday, Nov. 21 in the Midshipmen’s season opener. Tipoff is set for 8:00 pm, due to the Tiger Burn pep rally, which is set to begin at 6:00 pm outside The Colonial Center.

USC is 0-1 against Navy, dropping a 43-22 game on Valentine’s Day in Annapolis in 1925.

The season opener for Navy, the Midshipman were 8-20 last season, including a 4-10 record in the Patriot League. They are led by Don DeVoe, who enters his 31st as head coach and his 12th year at the Navy helm. Navy returns one starter and six letterwinners.

DeVoe is 1-4 against USC, posting a 1-3 record while the head coach at Virginia Tech and a 0-1 record when he was the head coach at Tennessee. He won his 500th career game last season, a 68-5 win over Central Florida on Nov. 22.

Not so much

USC is 1-2 in its history against service academies – facing each one just once. USC dropped a 43-22 game to Navy on Valentine’s Day in 1925. USC defeated Air Force 69-51 on Dec. 29, 1966 at the Triangle Tournament in Raleigh. USC fell to Army 59-45 in the second round of the NIT Tournament March 18, 1969 in New York City.

Happy Birthday!

There will be a birthday celebration at the South Carolina-Navy men’s basketball game, as The Colonial Center, the Gamecocks’ 18,000-seat sports arena, will observe the anniversary of its one-year opening. As a show of gratitude to Gamecock fans, tickets for that game will be discounted to $5. In addition, fans are encouraged to bring a toy to the game with those donations being distributed to a pair of local charities – Prevent Child Abuse of South Carolina and the Carolina Children’s Home. A commemorative poster will also be distributed to fans.

At Friday night’s game against Navy (8:00 pm), in Celebration of the Colonial Center’s first Birthday members of Team Gamecocks will be collecting unwrapped toys for the Children of the Carolina Children’s home and Prevent Child Abuse, S.C.

Some items that are on the wish lists include: Footballs and basketballs, board games, Pokemon , SpongeBob, Action figures, Baseball caps, Winnie-the-Pooh, Barbies and baby dolls, Scooby-Doo, hair dryer, curling iron, flat iron, curlers, Hair care products and makeup, Bath and Body Works products, Disposable cameras, Jewelry, educational toys, books, diapers, wipes, dolls (all races), clothes, coloring books, crayons and book bags.

Prior to the basketball game that evening, Gamecock fans are encouraged to attend the Tiger Burn pep rally featuring a live band, which begins at 6 p.m. across the street from The Colonial Center.

He’s the MAN!

Sophomore Tarence Kinsey’s break-out performance in the first and second rounds of the Guardians Classic earned him MVP honors of the South Carolina Regional.

Kinsey scored a career-high 21 points in the win over Idaho and pulled down a career best 9 rebounds against Gardner Webb. The sophomore from Tampa is averaged 17.5 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 2.5 APG and 1.5 SPG during the first two rounds.

The Guardians Classic Continues

USC will play Southwest Missouri State (SMS) in the semi-finals of the Guardians Classic in Kansas City on Monday, Nov. 24 at 9 pm EST. It will be the first-ever meeting between the Bears and the Gamecocks. SMS is led by Barry Hinson (Oklahoma State, 1983), who is in his fifth year. The Bears were 17-12 in 2003, with a 12-6 record in the Missouri Valley (tied for third).

Prior to Carolina’s game, Richmond will play San Francisco in the other semi-finals. The winners will advance to the Guardians Classic Championship game on Tuesday, Nov. 25 at 9:00 pm EST. The losers of the semi-finals will play in the consolation game at 7:00 pm EST on Tuesday. All games will be played in Municipal Auditorium.

In last year’s Guardians Classic finals, Creighton defeated Notre Dame 80-75 to win the tournament. In the inaugural 2001 Classic, Missouri defeated Iowa 78-77.

The Guardians Classic promotes the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ Guardians of the Game program, dedicated to recognizing the role coaches play in the lives of student-athletes and their communities.

Not looking ahead, BUT

The majority of teams in The Guardians Classic have little or no history with USC, but there is one that does. Hosting its own first and second rounds, the Richmond Spiders hold an 8-7 series record over USC.

The last time the two met might have been the most damaging, though. Gamecock fans certainly haven’t forgotten the 62-61 loss to the Spiders in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 1998. The Gamecocks, seated No. 3 in the East Regional after its second straight 20-win season, saw both BJ McKie’s jumper and a successive LeRon Williams tap fall short as then-ranked No. 14 Carolina fell to Richmond in the MCI Center in Washington, D.C. It was the second-straight year an Eddie Fogler-coached team fell in the first round of the NCAA Tournament as the year before, in 1997, USC fell 78-65 as the second seed to No. 15 seed Coppin State (East Region, Pittsburgh, Pa.).

USC is 0-1 against San Francisco, dropping a 72-71 (OT) loss on January 9, 1982 in Columbia.

Tournament Past

In the Gamecocks last pre-season tournament appearance, they finished fourth in the Maui Invitational in 2001. In November tournaments, since 1980, USC is 8-8. In preseason tournaments (Maui Invitational, Puerto Rico Shootout and Guardians Classic), USC is 6-5.

All told the Gamecocks have won 14 tournaments in the past, dating back to 1951. Those titles include the following: 1959 Richmond Invitational (86-85 win over Lafayette), the 1960 Gulf South Classic (85-79 win over Ole Miss), 1968 Quaker Classic (62-59 win over LaSalle), 1969 Sugar Bowl Classic (84-83 OF win over Notre Dame), 1970 Holiday Festival (86-84 win over Western Kentucky), 1971 Cable Car Classic (67-59 win over California), 1974 Carolina Classic (77-64 win over LSU), 1975 Carolina Classic (70-61 win over Oklahoma State), 1980 Palmetto Classic (62-53 win over Furman), 1983 Florida Citrus Bowl Classic (64-51 win over Stetson), 1987 City of Miami Classic (76-63 win over Miami, Fla.), 1989 Sun Carnival Classic (62-60 win over Kansas State), 1990 Diet Pepsi Tournament of Champions (74-70 OF win over Houston) and the 1991 Texas Star Classic (71-69 2OF win over San Diego State).