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Oct. 15, 2004

USC, in Canada for a five-day in-season foreign tour, will play Ottawa University this evening. USCSPORTS.COM visited with Renaldo Balkman (RB) and Tarence Kinsey (TK) after practice today to get their impressions of the early practices, Canada and what they expect to accomplish.

USC: Do you have any idea what a Gee Gee is?

RB: A bird. Maybe a unicorn.

TK: It’s the lead horse in the race. It really is.

USC: Last night you defeated the two-time defending Canadian champions in Carleton. Was the first game out of the blocks about what you expected?

RB: For the fist time playing together we played very well. We had a few knickknacks that we need to tighten up but for the first time on the court we played well.

TK: I expected to us to come out slow and unorganized but I think all the practices we had helped us. Plus all the conditioning we did helped us too because conditioning was a factor.

USC: Renaldo, last night we saw you shoot inside and outside. Is this something you have been working on in the off-season?

RB: Yes, I have been working hard. During the summer I shot 600-700 jump shots because that was my goal during the off-season to work on that shot. I was very dedicated and I was dreaming about making those shots. Last year I would think too much about missing and this year I am dreaming about making it – you have to let it go and have to let it fly. I am not worrying about the shot after I miss it, I have to get back on defense and have confidence in myself but I think if I didn’t have help from Tarence and my teammates it might be the same thing. Thank you Tarence for helping me this summer.

USC: Tarence, what ripple have you added to your game?

TK: I wanted to work on decision-making. Learning when to play fast and when to slow down. I also wanted to work on not taking bad shots. You can’t really work on those things, but you do get tired of the coaches get on you during the game. But when you are playing in pick-up games you can work on different tempos.

USC: Talk a little about your Canadian experience. Is Canada what you expected? The weather? The people?

TK: I thought Canada was going to be boring, but we have been really busy. I though everyone would be speaking French. People speak English and the women are very pretty. The people are really friendly.

USC: Off the court, yesterday the team went to Parliament. What impressed you most about Canada’s capital?

RB: I was impressed by the gold on the ceiling. The tour guide told us if you scraped it off it would make two rings. I also remember the big pictures of the kings and queens. I am glad we went there. I also liked the eternal flame that was burning outside Parliament. It was very impressive.

USC: Who are a couple of players that have impressed you so far this year?

RB: Tre’ Kelley. Last year he didn’t play a big role, Mike Boynton did. But this year Tre’ will have to play a big role and I think he has taken charge of the team by playing a bigger role. I think that is a role he is excited about. I also think Brandon Wallace is playing a lot more aggressive.

TK: I would say Tre’ Kelley as well. He seems like he has been doing this for a while because he isn’t hesitating. If he makes a mistake, he plays through it. I also think Brandon Wallace is playing well – he has more heart than I thought he had. And of course Renaldo Balkman. Even after surgery on his thumb, he picked up where he left off and is continuing to improve.

USC: Anything you would like to say to Gamecock fans.

RB: We love you! Keep supporting us!

TK: We couldn’t be the Game-cocks without you all. You put the Game into Cocks.