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Nov. 27, 2003

Starting the season 5-0 for the first time since 1997-98, USC will host Campbell on Saturday, Nov. 29 in the second game of a doubleheader at the Colonial Center with game time slated to be 8 pm. The women will play Florida A and M at 6 pm.

Campbell, 0-2 on the young season, is led by Robbie Laing (Troy State, 1982), who is in his first year with the Camels. The Camels were 5-22 in 2002-03 and return two starters and eight letterwinners from that team.

USC is 4-1 lifetime against Campbell, winning 84-64 in the two school’s last meeting (Dec. 18, 2000 in Columbia). One and eight against the SEC, the Camels only SEC win came against USC in 1994 (a 73-72 overtime win). Campbell is looking to snap an 18-game road losing streak on Saturday.

Carolina’s smallest win against Campbell was 17 points in 1987-88. The largest win was 34 in the 94-95 season. The average margin of win in the four games is 22.75 points.

Five and Alive

Carolina currently has a five-game winning streak to start the 2003-04 season. The longest winning streak at SC under Coach Odom is five. The five game winning streak started on December 8, 2001 and ended on January 5, 2002 in Gainesville against the Gators. Under Odom, the Gamecocks have posted four straight wins four times.

USC hasn’t started 6-0 since the the 1998-89 under Coach George Felton. The 6-0 start in 1988 included wins over Maryland, Clemson and Ohio State. That team ended up 19-11 and lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to N.C. State.

With the win over SMS, it marked the second straight year that the men’s basketball team starts out with a 4-0 record. Since joining the SEC, USC has started 4-0 only twice.

Settled that score

Looking to settle a score for knocking the Gamecocks out of the 1998 NCAA Tournament, Carolina defeated Richmond on Tuesday night 67-61 – bringing home from Kansas City both the Guardians Classic Championship trophy and the MVP. Tarence Kinsey followed up his MVP performance at the South Carolina Regional by winning MVP of the Guardians Classic. Carlos Powell was also named the All-Tournament team.

Its was USC’s 15th tournament title and its first pre-season tournament title. It was the first time that South Carolina has finished first in a tournament since playing in the 1991 Texaco Start Classic in San Diego, California. Past Guardians Classic champions include NCAA Tournament participants Creighton (2003) and Missouri (2002).

Tournament Past

USC’s 67-61 win over Richmond clinched the school’s first tournament championship since 1991 (the 1991 Texas Star Classic with a 71-69 2OF win over San Diego State). In the Gamecocks’ last pre-season tournament appearance, they finished fourth in the Maui Invitational in 2001. In November tournaments, since 1980, USC is 10-8. In preseason tournaments (Maui Invitational, Puerto Rico Shootout and Guardians Classic), USC is 8-5.

All told the Gamecocks have won 15 tournaments in the past, dating back to 1951.

Kinsey’s Kickin’ It

Tarence Kinsey stumbled through his freshman year – scoring just 43 points with 15 rebounds. He said this the other night of his freshman year ‘I was so nervous so many times.’

Nerves have all but disappeared this year, as Kinsey passed the 43 point mark in the third game this year and has collected 79 points in the first five games, averaging 15.8 ppg. His ppg leads the Gamecocks and his 5.6 rpg is third on the team.

So far this year he has been named the MVP of the South Carolina Regional and the Guardians Classic Tournament. Kinsey scored a career-high 21 points in the win over Idaho and pulled down a career best 9 rebounds against Gardner Webb.

Double-Double, Double-Double

Carlos Powell’s 12 points against Richmond marked the 34th time that he has scored in double figures in his career. Powell added the fifth double-doubles of his career against Richmond when he scored 12 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. He also tallied five blocks and one steal.

He also posted a double double against Gardner Webb in the first game of the year this season.

Diaper Dandies doing it

USC brought in five newcomers this year – four freshmen (Renaldo Balkman, Brandon Wallace, Paulius Joneliunas and Tre Kelley) and one JUCO transfer, Josh Gonner. Thus far in the 2003-04 campaign USC is averaging 75.2 ppg. The Fab Five are averaging almost 35 percent of the Gamecocks points with 25.6 ppg as a collective group with only Paulius Joneliunas looking for the first points of his career. The five have also scored in double figures six times the first five games (Gonner three times, Balkman, Wallace and Kelley once).

November Reign

Odom is 11-2 at South Carolina in the month of November. The two losses came against Duke and UCLA in the 2001 Maui Invitational.

On the Road again

To start the December slate, South Carolina hits the road for a three game road trip after the Campbell game. Carolina plays at The Citadel, Clemson and Temple.

The Citadel game will find Carolina in Charleston for the first time since the 2000-01 season. Carolina won the game 74-71. USC has won 44 of the last 45 games against the Citadel. The Citadel’s last win against South Carolina was a 88-87 win Columbia on February 22, 1989. SC leads the series 72-23.

1,149 and counting

The Gamecocks have a 1,149-1,013-1 mark in 96 seasons and are one of 11 teams in the SEC to have won 1,000 or more games.

Dave Odom is 39-31 in three years at Carolina and 317-205 in his 17 years as head coach. His overall college record, tallying his 28th year, is 512-321.