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Dec. 22, 2003

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South Carolina continues its six-game homestand with the South Carolina State Bulldogs calling Monday, Dec. 22 at 7:30 pm. After the game, Carolina will go on Christmas vacation, returning to practice the night of Dec. 28, with Yale coming in town for a 7:30 pm tip-off on Dec. 30.

The Bulldogs, 3-3, are coached by first-year Head Coach Ben Betts. Last season SCSU was 20-11, winning the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference with a 15-3 record. They return two starters and nine letterwinners.

USC is 11-0 all-time vs. the Bulldogs. The series dates back to 1979, with USC winning 82-65 last season (Nov. 29, 2002).

With a win

With a win against S.C. State, the Gamecocks will tie the longest home winning streak in the Colonial Center. The Gamecocks won seven straight last year in the buildings opening year. Currently, the Gamecocks have won six in a row at the Colonial Center (Gardner Webb – N.C. State).

USC is undefeated in non-conference play at The Colonial Center. Since its opening last November, the Gamecocks have a perfect 13-0 record. In fact – USC has only dropped four games at The Colonial Center (known last year as the Carolina Center). The losses last season to: Auburn, No. 6 Florida, No. 6 Kentucky and No. 25 Georgia.

Who has next?

South Carolina will take a few days off for the holidays and then return to the Colonial Center for a 7:30 pm match-up with Yale on Dec. 30. Tickets are available.

Looking back for a second

USC is 7-3 in its last 10 games against ACC teams, but 7-2 under Coach Odom. The three losses are to N.C. State last year in Raleigh 76-64, Duke, 81-56, in the Maui Invitational in 2001, and to Clemson 61-58 on Dec. 16, 1999.

And the point is …

Last year, the Gamecocks were 1-4 in games decided by six points or less. So far this season, USC is 2-0 with wins over Richmond and N.C. State.

This season at least three players have scored in double figures every game. Last season, USC only had four games where they failed to have three players reach double figures. All four of those games resulted in a Carolina loss. The games were they had just two players in double figures: Florida (2/25/03); Georgia (2/22/03); LSU(2/5/03) and Wyoming (12/19/02).

The Gamecocks had five players score in double figures against SMS. It marked the second time this year at least five players score in double figures. (Carolina had six players against Gardner Webb on November 17, 2003).

Not once last season did USC have five or more players in double figures in a single game.

Best starts under Odom

The 10-1 start by USC marks the fourth time that a Dave Odom-coached team has reached 10 wins in the first 11 games in his career. Wake Forest was 11-0 in both 1996 and 2000, and Wake started the season 10-1 in 1995.

State Champions?

Under Coach Dave Odom, USC is 12-0 against other schools from the state of South Carolina. S.C. State marks the last state school on the Gamecocks schedule this year.

Carlos – getting it done

Junior Carlos Powell has scored in 47 straight games. He has scored in double figures in all 11 games this season and has a string of 12 straight double-digit scoring games.

In games that Powell scores in double digits, the Gamecocks are 27-13. This year, USC is 10-1. In 2002-03 USC was 10-8 and in 2001-02, USC was 7-4 when Powell racked up 10 or more points.

Tops in the SEC, NCAA

Senior Mike Boynton, Jr. is in the top 10 of five categories this week among the SEC leaders. He is seventh in assists (4.3 pg), ninth in steals (1.9 spg), second in three point field goal percentage (46.0%), 10th in three pointer made per game (2.1) and eighth in assist/turnover ratio (2.04). Carlos Powell is in the top 20 of both points per game (15th with 14.5 ppg) and rebounding (No. 8 with 7.3 rpg).

As a team USC is No. 1 in five categories. USC is N. 1 in scoring defense (55.8) No. 1 in turnover margin (1:22:1 pg), No. 1 in field goal defense (35.7 %) and No. 1 in three-point field goal defense (25.8%) and No. 1 in steals (11.5 spg).

Nationally USC is in the top 25 in three categories (from last week): scoring defense (ranked No. 21), field goal percentage defense (ranked No. 10) and steals per game (ranked No. 10).

Top 10

In Carolina’s 10 wins this season, four have been by 21 points or more. USC’s largest win all of last season was 19 points against Temple on December 2, 2002. (66-47). The Gamecocks had nine of their 12 wins last year by 10 points or more.


USC is ranked No. 55 in the latest Sagarin ratings (12-22-03).

On, USC is ranked No. 129. On, USC’s RPI is No. 110 but its strength of schedule is rated at 316.

In both polls last week USC received votes (this week’s polls not released yet).