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Oct. 15, 2004

Ottawa, Canada – In what might seem a bit unusual, South Carolina’s basketball team scrimmaged this morning against the same team the Gamecocks will play tonight – the University of Ottawa Gee Gee’s. USC practiced for an hour and half and will play the Gee Gee’s tonight at 8 pm before departing for Montreal immediately following the game.

USC is in its third day of a five-day foreign tour. USC defeated Carleton University last night, will play Ottawa tonight and Concordia University in Montreal on Saturday afternoon.

Once again, during USC’s practice and scrimmage on Friday morning, a number of Ottawa students gathered to watch, critique and applaud their southern neighbors, the Gamecocks.

Prior to the scrimmage, the two head coaches met to talk about the scrimmage and what they specifically wanted to work on. USC asked Ottawa to help them work on their zone offense. In turn, Ottawa asked USC to work with them on their half-court and full-court pressure defense.

During the scrimmage, Ottawa head coach Dave DeAveiro and USC Head Coach Dave Odom and their staffs frequently went on the playing floor to make adjustments and talk through plays. It was very beneficial for both teams to work in a teaching setting against someone other than their own teammates.

Asked if he’s done it before – scrimmage the same team they would play that night – and he couldn’t remember doing it. “If you are doing it for the right reasons and we were – it’s a win, win. Both coaches get together and script something they really want to work on themselves and you have the advantage of playing against someone that has no idea what you will do. It gives you the flavor of a game without a win or a loss,” said Odom. “We worked on zone offense which is something we have worked on very little and defensively we worked on our half-court and full-court traps. It is something that when we get back home we will be able to mix up our defenses a bit more, We were able to use different people in different positions.

Has this trip been a positive for your team thus far? “It has been excellent so far. From the people being warm and accommodating to the atmosphere in the Carleton gym to the willingness on the part of the Ottawa coaching staff to accommodate our needs practice wise and the exchange of ideas. It has also been an educational experience for us to visit Parliament and a foreign country. It’s the kind of experience that the team will back on and say ‘Wow, we did that!”

“The scrimmage this morning was very beneficial,” said DeAverio. “We were able to work on a few things we haven’t worked on before. We played a team Tuesday night and lost because we didn’t do the things we needed to win and to play against a team with this athletic ability and quickness, it is very good . Anytime I can watch Coach Odom in action it’s beneficial for me as well. We don’t get enough USC games up here, but I am a big fan of Coach Odom, My team learned a valuable lesson today – they learned composure, especially with the pressure is on and the quickness is on – to not to panic and lose it – to execute against a very good team.”


USC will start three different line-ups in Canada. USC Head Coach Dave Odom announced his line-up for this evening as:

Tre Kelley (G), Josh Gonner (G), Renaldo Balkman (F), Carlos Powell (F) and Brandon Wallace (C.)

Last night USC started the following in the 40 point win over Carleton: Tre’ Kelley (G), Rocky Trice (G), Tarence Kinsey (F), Antoine Tisby (F) and John Chappell (C).