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Nov. 10, 2004

Renaldo Balkman
In spite of the fact he was out for six weeks or more with left hand surgery, he has improved his strength, ball handling and shooting. He is a little bigger and he has worked hard to overcome his inactivity because of injury. He had a great freshman year, but he should be even better as a sophomore.

John Chappell
Workman-like, John Chappell has three years of experience playing Gamecock Basketball so he knows what the coaches expect when he goes into the game. He should be a solid rebounder and defender. He should also be a player that USC can depend upon for short bursts of outstanding play when he goes into the game.

He has as much ability as anybody on the wing but he is going to be one that needs to be pushed hard because it’s not clear he understands or appreciates the rigors of a long basketball season. He will wear down if coaches don’t push him hard from the beginning. From a skills standpoint, he is terrific. He will be an excellent player and he should be a factor for USC this year.

Josh Gonner
Potentially he is USC’s best long-range shooter. Hopefully he will be more consistent. His two areas that need the most improvement are his concept of defense and his ability to stop his man and still help others. He needs to work on his ball handling, play making and decision-making.

Paulius Joneliunas
He has shown some improvement lately. It is amazing the difference from a player’s freshman to sophomore year. Last year when practice was over, he was gone. This year when practice is over, he stays around and asks the coaches to help him with his game. He is serious about it. He is in much better condition this year than last year. He has trimmed his body fat down. His strength is better and his shot has improved. Defensively he had to get better and he has.

He had a great summer. He is primed to have a great sophomore year. He should nail down a starting position for USC at the point. He is bigger, stronger and more confident. He has a better grasp of offense and defense.

Tarence Kinsey
He is one that should have a better year. His first two years were met with mixed reviews as he typically started the season very well only to wear down because he was not able to handle the rigors of six or seven months of basketball. Hopefully the off-season has helped prepare him. It’s certain he is going to have a good November and December and now as a junior, USC looks for his January and February to match that.

Jon Land
He is healthy. This time last year he was not healthy but he is now. He is valuable in that he can get the team ready for game action. He knows his role and he is very good at it. He is a very important member of the team in that regard.

Stephen McDowell
What a pleasant surprise since he arrived for summer school. He is a very hard worker and he always comes back for more. He has established himself in the early workouts to be tireless. He could be put in Tre’ Kelley’s place and play long stretches of time. He is a hard worker period.

Carlos Powell
Carlos Powell has had three very good years, and look for his senior year to be the best as he has worked hard on his shooting. His defense and his rebounding have improved as well. He must continue to step up as a leader.

Antoine Tisby
He is a very important addition to the team. USC will push him along to the point that he understands what is expected of him. He will have to be the best inside defender, the best rebounder and the best inside scorer. He has to do all those things and still compliment everyone else by screening properly and helping out on defense. In general he needs to give USC the inside toughness that they have had but have lost in Rolando Howell and Kerbrell Brown (graduated seniors).

Rocky Trice
He is going to give USC athleticism, quickness and the ability to make plays and shoot the ball on the perimeter. How much he plays will depend on how quickly he grasps USC’s entire system. He has shown the ability to play two positions. He is a great offensive rebounder for his size and plays with great ability on the defensive end.

Brandon Wallace
His physique now has begun to show some definition which means he’s getting stronger and he’s more confident. He can play as many as three positions. The high post is his natural position but he can be a low post player on occasion. He should be USC’s best shot blocker and one of the best shot blockers in the SEC.