Feb. 16, 2005
A day after South Carolina’s 73-61 win over No. 3 Kentucky, senior forward Carlos Powell sat down with USCSPORTS.COM to talk about the win over UK and how a reading from the bible might have predicted it all.
Powell leads the team with 15.1 ppg and 6.5 rpg this season. He had 14 points and led the team with six rebounds against Kentucky.
USC: Prior to leaving for each home game, what is your routine as you leave your apartment?
CP: I do the same thing before every game. Before I leave the house, I go in the living room and sit down. I pick up the bible and read a verse or two or a chapter. After that, then I close the bible and leave the house. Yesterday I flipped it open – I said ‘whatever I open to – I am going to read it’ and yesterday it happened to be ‘David and Goliath’. I started thinking that could be USC vs. Kentucky.
I thought about it on the way to the Colonial Center. It scared me a little bit. You just don’t turn the page to something random like that and you have a big game the same night. So I started thinking about it, but I kept it to myself. I didn’t talk to my teammates about it or anything.
USC: You enter each game thinking you have a chance to win. During the Kentucky game, was there a point when you thought ‘We might just win this?’
CP: I think I thought we were going to win at the beginning of the second half. We started to play really aggressive at the beginning f the half. Usually we come out the beginning of the second half a bit sluggish, but we came out fired up and ready to win the game. I thought we had a good chance to win the game.
USC: Does the Auburn loss come into your mind at all when you think about the win over Kentucky?
CP: Yes, the Auburn game hurts a lot. I thought if we beat Auburn and we beat Kentucky we have a good shot of going to the (NCAA) tournament, but we lost to Auburn and we can’t get that game back. They are a good team. We have to keep going forward.
USC: What was the fan support like last night?
CP: It was great. The students on campus were talking about it all day yesterday. They all said they were going to come out and support us. It was so loud in there a couple times I couldn’t even hear the plays being called.
USC: What did you do after the game? Did you stay on the floor and celebrate?
CP: I was so emotional. I went up in the stands and hugged my mom (Donna McCall of Florence, S.C.). She was so emotional. She started crying and it made me cry. She told me she knew we could do it. She is like my backbone, without her I couldn’t do anything.
USC: What did you say to your teammates after the game?
CP: I told them ‘Way to keep fighting. We proved tonight we can play with some of the top notch teams.’
USC: What will you take from this win to Alabama?
CP: It helps motivate us. It helps us be more confident. Alabama is a great team, just like Kentucky. We knocked down one, maybe can knock down two if we have a lot of confidence. But Alabama is very good at home.
USC: The last home two games are Florida (Feb. 27) and Mississippi (March 6) – anything special you’d like to say to the Gamecock fans?
CP: I just ask them to come out and support us! They help us more than they know. They are great. They were so loud last night. They really represented! I was happy for them.