Dec. 16, 2004
Playing its first six games at home, South Carolina’s schedule gets tougher real fast. After a 72-70 win over South Florida on Tuesday, the Gamecocks (5-1) will depart Thursday evening for Lawrence, Kansas where they will play No. 2 Kansas (6-0) in famed Allen Fieldhouse on Sat., Dec. 18 at 8:00 pm (est). The game will be featured on FOX SportsSouth with Dave Neal (play by play) and Barry Booker (color analyst) making the call.
It will be a return home and a dream come true for junior Antoine Tisby, who came to USC from nearby Kansas City, Kan.
The Gamecocks have never faced Kansas. Kansas will return the favor during the 2006-07 season when the Jayhawks visit the Colonial Center. Coach Odom is 1-1 against the Jayhawks. His win came at Wake Forest on Dec. 7, 2000 when the then-Wake Forest head coach led his team to a 84-53 pasting of KU. The loss occurred during the 1994 NCAA Tournament Second Round, when Kansas handed Wake a 69-58 loss in Lexington, Ky.
Kansas head coach Bill Self and Odom have never faced each other. Self has been the head coach at Kansas (2003-), Illinois (2000-03), Tulsa (1997-000) and Oral Roberts (1993-97).
Last year the Jayhawks were 12-4 in Big 12 (tied for second) and 24-9 overall. The Jayhawks return 11 letterwinners and four starters for second year head coach Bill Self. KU lost to Georgia Tech in the 2004 NCAA Tournament Round of 8 in overtime, 79-71. Tech played and lost to UCONN in the National Championship game.
What They’ve Been Doing …
Kansas improved to 6-0 on the season after defeating Louisiana-Lafayette 96-51, Dec. 11 at Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks put 11 players in the scoring column for the win.
In the first half, senior Keith Langford and sophomore J.R. Giddens stole the show. The duo combined for 33 points, with Langford scoring 19 and Giddens adding 14, on 12-of-16 shooting in the half. At the break the Jayhawks led 54-22.
Langford led all scorers with 24 points, while Giddens ended with 16 points. Senior Wayne Simien added his fifth double-double of the season with 11 points and 12 rebounds. The KU bench also had a good effort with extended play, outscoring the Ragin Cajun bench 36-15. Freshman Alex Galindo hit three-of-three from behind the arc for nine points, while junior Jeff Hawkins and freshman Darnell Jackson added six points each.
Kansas is Carolina’s first contest this season against a ranked opponent. Kansas is ranked second in the Coaches poll and AP poll. Carolina will face a total of five teams that are ranked in either the AP or Coaches poll this season: Kansas, Pittsburgh, Kentucky (twice), Mississippi State and Alabama.
Ranked, non-conference style
The last time USC played against a ranked opponent that wasn’t a member of the SEC was on Dec. 6, 2001 when the Gamecocks faced 15th ranked Georgetown at the Carolina Coliseum. The Gamecocks dropped a 70-68 game that was won on a Kevin Braswell 17-foot jumper with 2.2 seconds left. That loss and the one to Clemson Dec. 4 (63-62, OT) are the only two non-conference losses for the Gamecocks under Odom at home.
To go even further back, the last time Carolina played a non-conference ranked opponent on their home court was Jan. 24, 1999 (at Syracuse). The then-coach Eddie Fogler team was defeated 84-37 at the Carrier Dome. The Gamecocks played two non-conference opponents on a neutral court at the 2001 Maui Invitational. Carolina lost to No. 1 Duke 81-56 and No. 3 UCLA 89-77 back to back.
The last win against a non-conference opponent came on Feb. 1, 1998 against No. 20 Cincinnati in Columbia. Carolina won that day, 67-65. The previous year, Carolina defeated No. 15 Cincinnati in Cincinnati 97-83 for the last victory against a non-conference ranked opponent on their home court.
Not coming back so quick
South Carolina will fly to Mobile, Ala., on Saturday after the Kansas game. USC will play East Carolina at 6:30 pm (est) on Monday, Dec. 20 as part of the GMAC Bowl/Coors Classic. The game will be shown on CSS throughout the Southeast with Matt Stewart (play by play) and former Gamecock great Bobby Cremins (color analyst) making the call.
USC is 5-5 against the Pirates. Their last meeting: USC dropped a 34-56 game in Columbia under then-Gamecock head coach Eddie Fogler on Dec. 19, 1998.
Dave Odom has a history with East Carolina. He was the school’s head coach from 1979-1982, tallying a 38-42 record in his three years. He has never faced the school as a head coach.
East Carolina – CUSA Again
The game with East Carolina will be the second non-conference regular season game against a Conference USA opponent in three games, after not facing a CUSA team during the regular season since Dec. 2, 2000. USC defeated South Florida on Tuesday (72-70) prior to departing for Kansas.
The last two games played against a Conference USA opponent, prior to playing South Florida, were both against Memphis in tournament play. The Gamecocks lost the 2002 NIT Championship to Memphis and lost the 2004 NCAA Tournament 1st Round game to the Tigers. USC had lost three straight games to Conference USA opponents and holds a 59-80 mark against teams in that conference.
The Gamecocks have outscored their opponents in the paint in all six games. The Gamecocks have scored 45% of their points in the paint this year and the opponents have scored 42% of their points in the paint. In two of the six games, Carolina has scored 40 or more points in the paint (USF, Appalachian State).
Big 12 Country
The game with Kansas is Carolina’s first-ever with the Jayhawks and 15th ever against a team in the Big 12. Carolina has played Big 12 opponents: Kansas State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Texas Tech. USC is 7-7 against teams from the Big 12, with five of the seven coming in Columbia.
The last game Carolina played against a Big 12 school was on Dec. 10, 1992 in Norman, Okla. against the Oklahoma Sooners (L 92-76).
Sophomore point guard Tre’ Kelley scored a career high 22 points against Clemson and followed up with 14 against South Florida. He is second on the team, averaging 11.7 ppg. He leads the team with 3.2 apg.
This season, he has scored in all six games. In those six games he has totaled 70 points. Last year it took him until the SC State game to get to that mark (59 points in 12 games played in).