Feb. 14, 2005
ODOM COMMENTS ON KENTUCKY GAME
The South Carolina basketball team plays No. 3 Kentucky at 9 pm on Tuesday, Feb. 15 in the Colonial Center. On Monday afternoon, USC Head Coach Dave Odom met with the media to talk about the game. The following are a few of his comments.
Tickets are available for the Kentucky game.
Coach Odom, what will it take to beat Kentucky?
Transition baskets are key and being able to rebound is second. We have to keep the offensive rebounds for Kentucky to a minimum and we have to get some too. The third thing: we have to score the ball. We have to get some shots and make some shots. We can’t score 60 points and beat Kentucky. They don’t do anything tricky, but they do do things very well. They are very well coached and they execute their game plan.
When I look at my team I know they are ready to play. They are in tune with what I am saying. Yesterday I could not have been more pleased with practice and the they performed when you put everything into relation to what we are trying to accomplish. Yesterday we wanted to get the team back and we did that with our practice.
Who will start tomorrow?
Most likely we will start John Chappell (in place of Brandon Wallace)and try to match size with size. Perhaps we will get Antoine Tisby in the game early. If things go well today I think we will do that tomorrow. We want to get Antoine’s strength and quickness back into the fold.
Comment on playing Kentucky. What is the mystique?
All great programs have great tradition, great history, great fan following and great home courts. They have a high level of expectations and the ability to achieve at that level. The big thing is history and Kentucky has that history. When you look at the great programs in the country, Kentucky is the No. 1 program in the nation. They may have had fewer years out of the top 1-2-3 in their league than any other team in the country. I would like to know when they finished fourth or lower in the league (maybe 1990?). We know that Duke finished last one year in the ACC, UNC two years running didn’t do so well and Indiana and UCLA are rebuilding. Kansas might be the only other program that hasn’t experienced that dip. When you look at it year in and year out, I challenge anyone to match that.
But I don’t talk to my team about that. I rarely use the name Kentucky. I understand those things, but I also understand that nothing stays the same. When Tarence Kinsey was born, Kentucky was good. Twenty years later they are still good, but there’s no reason to tell him that the team you are playing has been good for 20 years plus. I won’t pour salt on the wound.
My job is to be upbeat and believe we are going to win the game because I believe we can win. I am going to give them a game plan I am confident will work and make sure I sell that with all of my heart and make sure they are as assured of that with all my heart.
We have the best of all worlds in a difficult situation. It’s difficult because we lost to Auburn, but it’s the best because we play Kentucky. It’s best if we can get the job done.