Feb. 4, 2005
South Carolina hits the road in search of its second straight series sweep of the Georgia Bulldogs. The non-televised 4 pm game on Saturday, Feb. 5 in Athens features a rebuilding UGA team that is 7-11 and 1-7 in the SEC. USC won both match-ups last season (85-63 in Athens and then 63-47 in Columbia) and won a Jan. 8 game in Columbia 74-54.
South Carolina has three players averaging double figures: Carlos Powell (15.2 ppg), Tre’ Kelley (10.3 ppg) and Tarence Kinsey (10.2 ppg). Powell also leads the Gamecocks in rebounds with 6.5 rpg.
Defeating Arkansas 64-52 on Wednesday in Columbia, the Gamecocks enter the UGA game with a 12-7 record overall and a 4-4 mark in conference play. Home court advantage has helped out the Gamecocks as USC are 11-1 at the Colonial Center this season and 1-0 on a neutral court.
The Gamecocks are 4-0 at the Colonial Center this season in SEC games. Last year Carolina was 5-3 in SEC play at home with the three losses coming against No. 14 Florida, No. 6 Kentucky and No. 6 Mississippi State. USC has won seven in a row at home since their overtime loss to Clemson on Dec. 4th, 2004.
On the road, the Gamecocks have played teams close but have come up short each time as they are 0-6 on the road. Five of the six losses have been by eight points or less, while four of the six have been by four or less. Four of the six teams have been nationally ranked with the four being ranked in the Top 17.
We want another
USC is looking for its second straight sweep against Georgia. USC swept the Bulldogs last season with an 84-63 win in Athens and then a 63-47 win in Columbia. The last time USC swept UGA back-to-back (at least two games played in each season) was the 1943-44, 1945-46 and 1946-47 season. It was part of a nine game winning streak against the Bulldogs.
The last time USC won three in a row against the Dogs was from 1999-00 to 2001-02 when they won four in a row. USC has won 10 of the last 15 and seven of the last 10. USC has swept the Bulldogs three times since being a member of the SEC (1997-98, 2000-01, 2003-04).
About Them and Playing Us
Georgia enters the game 7-11 and 1-7 in the SEC. The Bulldogs lone SEC win came against Vanderbilt (68-59 in Athens 1-22) and are 1-3 at home and 0-4 on the road in the SEC.
UGA is led by sophomore Levi Stukes (15.7 ppg and 3.8 rpg). Sundiata Gaines also averages double figures with 11.9 ppg and 4.2 rpg. Dave Bliss leads the Bulldogs with 5.3 rpg.
On the SEC’s overall statistics list, Georgia is No. 5 in offensive rebounds (11.78 pg) and No. 5 in SEC games in steals (6.6 spg). Individually, Sundiata Gaines is No. 2 in steals with 2.5 spg in overall games and No. 3 in SEC games (2.3 spg).
Their Last Time
LSU’s Antonio Hudson scored a career-high 26 points and Louisiana State took its first win at Georgia in 14 years, beating the Bulldogs 95-79 Wednesday night.
Brandon Bass, last week’s SEC Player of the Week, added 21 points and Darrel Mitchell had 17 for LSU. The Tigers won at Stegeman Coliseum for the first time since 1991.
Georgia, held to 47 points in each of its losses to Florida and Alabama last week, lost despite scoring its most points since a 100-69 win over Savannah State on Dec. 28. LSU (12-6 overall, 5-2 SEC) has won six of its last seven, including three straight. Georgia (7-11 overall, 1-7 SEC) has three straight losses since its only conference win against Vanderbilt on Jan. 22.
USC is 7-0 this season following a loss. Four of the wins after the loss were decided by five points or less (East Carolina 57-53, South Florida 72-70, Tennessee 66-63 and Vanderbilt 68-63) while two others were decided by 20 or more (App. State 91-57, Georgia 74-54). USC was 6-4 last season following a loss.
Overall, SEC Rankings
USC is ranked No. 4 in the following categories on the SEC overall statistics list: field goal percentage (47.4%), 3 point field goal percentage defense (30.7%) and offensive rebounds (12.0 rpg). In SEC rankings, USC is No. 2 in field goal percentage (49.8%) and blocked shots (4.4 bpg).
Individually overall, Carlos Powell is No. 9 in scoring (15.2 ppg) and No. 8 in rebounding (6.5 rpg). Powell is ranked No. 2 in field goal % overall (57.4%) and No. 1 in the same category in SEC games (58.5%).
Don’t put that up near ME
Brandon Wallace blocked four shots against Arkansas on Wednesday night. It is the second time this season he has had 4 blocks in a game (East Carolina, 12-20-04). It is the 10th time this season he has blocked more than one shot in a game. He has 67 career blocks (32 this year, 35 last year). He should easily enter the top 10 in career blocks during his career as he needs nine for the No. 10 career slot (76, Jimmy Graziano, 1977-80). The career leader might be a bit tougher. It’s 235 blocked shots by Danny Traylor (1971-73).
In the latest RPI rankings (Feb.), USC is ranked No. 60 in the new RPI and No. 43 in the old RPI. Its strength of schedule (SOS) on collegerpi.com ranks as the 45th best in the country. In the Feb. 3rd Sagarin rankings, USC is ranked No. 36 and its SOS is ranked No. 78. On the CBS CollegeSportsline poll (Feb. 3) USC is ranked 42nd with an SOS of No. 37.