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Feb. 27, 2005

South Carolina returns home Sunday, Feb. 27 for a 2 pm match-up with the Florida Gators on CBS. Bob Wenzel (play-by-play) and Craig Bolerjack (analyst) will make the call in the nationally televised contest.

In their last meeting, Florida withstood a late surge by the Gamecocks to take an 80-72 win on Jan. 29, 2005. USC has dropped 11 of its last 12 meetings with the Gators. The Gamecocks have lost eight in a row to the Gators including three in a row in Columbia. USC last win in Columbia against the Gators was a 69-68 victory on January 7, 2001. That game Travis Kraft hit the game-winning three pointer to defeat the fifth ranked Gators. Mississippi State and Florida are the only teams he hasn’t defeated as the Gamecock head coach coach.

USC fell 80-72 at Tennessee on Wednesday. With it, fell three Gamecocks’ consecutive games-scoring streaks: Tre Kelley (37 straight), Tarence Kinsey (17 straight) and John Chappell (5 straight). UF defeated Vandy 69-61 at home on Wednesday, with David Lee (13), Anthony Roberson (23) and Matt Walsh (16) a;l scoring in double digits.


The Gamecocks enter the Florida game with a 14-10 record overall and a 6-7 mark in conference play. Home court advantage had helped out the Gamecocks prior to the Auburn loss, but USC has lost just two at home this year (Clemson and Auburn), collecting an 12-2 record at the Colonial Center this season.

The Gamecocks are 5-1 at the Colonial Center this season in SEC games, including its 73-61 win over No. 3 Kentucky. 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.

On the road, the Gamecocks have played teams close (until the UA game, where they fell by 19), but have one road win to eight losses. Six of the eight losses have been by 8 points or less, while four of the six have been by four or less. Five of the seven teams have been nationally ranked with the five being ranked in the Top 17.

SC is led by senior All-SEC candidate Carlos Powell, who will playing in his 124th career game for the garnet and black on Sunday – taking over sole possession of the No. 2 spot on the career games played list. Powell is leading the team with 15.2 ppg and 6.3 rpg. He also led the team in those same categories last year.

About Them

Florida looks to make it two in a row as they travel to South Carolina to face the Gamecocks. For the Gators Anthony Roberson is averaging 16.0 ppg in his career against the Gamecocks while David Lee is averaging 17.0 ppg and 9.7 rpg per game over his last three meetings with South Carolina.

Roberson has had 15+ points in 15 consecutive games and in all 13 SEC games. Roberson is averaging 20.9 ppg in SEC play. Lee is averaging just under a double-double in SEC play with 13.9 ppg and 9.8 rpg. He has double-doubles in six of his last 11 games.

The Gators are averaging 11.7 offensive rebounds per game in SEC and have grabbed 38.1 percent of their missed shots. In league play the Gators lead the SEC in rebounds per game, rebound margin and defensive rebounds per game. Florida is hitting 41.8 percent from three-point range in SEC play and 39.9 percent on the year overall. UF has scored 80+ points on 15 occasions this season, all wins.

Streak Come Back …

USC is 8-1 this season following a loss after its back to back loss at No. 16 Alabama and Tennessee. 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.

Taking over No. 2

Carlos Powell is leading the team in points (15.2) and rebounds (6.4) per game. He led the team in both categories last year as well. The last player to lead in these two categories in consecutive years was Jimmy Foster when he led the team three years in a row 1981-82, 1982-83 and 1983-84. He is the only player to do it three consecutive years. Art Whisnant (1960-61 and 1961-62) and Joe Smith (1952-53 and 1953-54) are the only other players to accomplish that feat two straight years.

Powell has 128 career steals, good enough for ninth on the all-time career steals list.

The Western Carolina game was senior Carlos Powell’s 100th of his career as he has now played in 123 career games – tied for No. 4 on the USC career list. The Florida game would be his 124th in a Gamecock uniform, taking over the No. 2 on the career list from BJ McKie and Aaron Lucas. The record for career games played in at USC is 125 by Mike Boynton, Jr.

Powell is No. 15 on the career points scored list with 1,351 points. To move to No. 10 he needs 1,439 points (Jo Jo English). BJ McKie holds the record for most points scored at 2,119.

Against UT on Jan. 15, he scored at least 20 points (20) for the eighth time in his career (career high: 23 points at Clemson last season). He had the sixth double-double of his career when he collected 13 points and 10 rebounds at No. 2 Kansas, the seventh vs. SCSU two games later when he collected 10 points and 11 rebounds against the Bulldogs and then his eighth career double-double vs. Auburn.

Big Crowds

In the Colonial Center, USC has played in front of 20 SEC opponents out of 22 contests to crowds larger than 10,000. Of the SEC games played in the Colonial Center its first three years, only Arkansas (2-15-03 – 9,065) and Vandy (3-1-03, 9,925) had a crowd less than 10,000. Odom’s Home Record

The Gamecocks are 49-15 at home under USC Head Coach Dave Odom. They are 33-2 on their home court under Coach Odom against non-conference opponents and has a better than .500 record against the SEC (17-13).

Shooting 40% or better

USC has shot 40% or better from the field in 16 straight games which include seven straight for USC shooting better than 50% from the floor.

Kinsey then Gonner

Tarence Kinsey hit a career-best five three pointers in the UK win. It’s the most threes a Gamecock has had since then-senior captain Mike Boynton, Jr. hit six for USC in the 86-64 win over LSU in the SEC Tournament (March 12, 2004). Josh Gonner followed up Kinsey’s five three pointers vs. UK by hitting five of his own (5-8) at No. 16 Alabama. It was a career high for Gonner, who tallied 15 points vs. the Tide.

Against USC, UT freshman Chris Lofton leads all shooters after he hit seven three-pointers against the Gamecocks on Feb. 23.

Those arms

Brandon Wallace blocked one Tennessee shot. It is the 15th time this season he has blocked at least one shot in a game. He has 72 career blocks (37 this year, 35 last year). He should easily enter the top 10 in career blocks during his career as he needs four 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).

He had four blocks against Arkansas; it was the second time this season he has had 4 blocks in a game (East Carolina, 12-20-04).