March 1, 2005
USC travels to the Music City for its last regular season road game against Vanderbilt on Wednes., March 2. The non-televised game will tip-off at 8 pm EST.
USC Head Coach Dave Odom announced Tuesday that forward Tarence Kinsey would not make the trip to Vanderbilt because he will travel to Tampa to be with his family for a cousin’s funeral. Dwayne Day is expected to move up to his spot, but is not expected to start on Wednesday.
In their last meeting, Carolina pulled down a 68-63 win on Jan. 26, 2005. USC has won nine of the last 10 against Vanderbilt including six straight. The Commodores last win against the Gamecocks came on January 19, 2002 in Columbia (60-52). Vanderbilt owns a 9-8 mark against Carolina in Nashville, but the Gamecocks have won the last five meetings in the Music City. The last VU win in Nashville against Carolina was on January 20, 1999 in Nashville (77-66). The last three games have been decided by seven points or less with last year’s game in Nashville being decided by two points.
He Said, He Said
“We have one less day of preparation with a weekend game than normal to get ready for Vanderbilt,” said USC Head Coach Dave Odom. “Playing at Vanderbilt is edge enough. We are faced with a situation where we have to regroup quickly. Certainly it was a disappointing day for us on Sunday. You have to give Florida a lot of credit.”
“I like how our team is playing. Defensively we are playing the best we have all season long. I like the energy level they are bringing to practice. This is a big week for us obviously, and a defining week for us. We will need to be on the top of our game,” said Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings
What about the Gamecocks
The Gamecocks enter the Vanderbilt game with a 14-11 record overall and a 6-8 mark in conference play. Home court advantage had helped out the Gamecocks as they have collected a 12-3 record at the Colonial Center this season, with losses only to Clemson, Auburn and Florida.
The Gamecocks are 5-2 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.
Vandy comes in at 17-11 and 7-7 in the SEC. VU is led by Mario Moore (12.3 ppg) and Corey Smith (12.0 ppg). Julian Terrell leads the `Dores with 4.7 rpg. Vandy is coming off a 65-37 drubbing of Georgia on Saturday.
SC is led by senior All-SEC candidate Carlos Powell. Powell is leading the team with 15.3 ppg and 6.6 rpg. He also led the team in those same categories last year. 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 shot 50% or better in 18 of the 25 games this season and has led the team in scoring 15 times and rebounding 16 times. Powell had scored 10 or more points in 23 of 25 games this season (8 vs. Clemson, 9 vs. Vandy) but he has also been doing a good job of cleaning the boards for USC. The senior forward has totaled five or more rebounds in 19 of 25 games this season – including a 13 rebound performance vs. Florida.
Streak Come Back. Go Away.
USC is 8-2 this season following a loss after its back to back to back losses at No. 16 Alabama, at Tennessee and at home against Florida. 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.
For the first time since the 2002-03 season, Carolina has dropped three straight SEC games (at No. 16 Alabama, at Tennessee and vs. Florida). Two years ago USC dropped its final three games of the season (82-59 at Alabama, 60-55 (OT) vs. Georgia, and 62-56 vs. Ole Miss in the SEC Tournament).
Tied for No. 1
The Vanderbilt game will be Carlos Powell’s 125th game in garnet and black, tying Mike Boynton, Jr.’s school record set just last year for career games played.
Powell has 128 career steals, good enough for ninth on the all-time career steals list.
Powell is No. 13 on the career points scored list with 1,384 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. Finally, he added his ninth double-double against Florida on Sunday when he scored 17 points with 13 rebounds. The 13 rebounds were the most for Powell in an SEC game during his career.
Powell also has his eye on a number of USC top 10 career lists. They include:
Stat Record Place CP Now (Place)
Games Played 125, Boynton 1 124 (2nd)
Points Scored 1439, English 10 1384 (13th)
Rebounds 669, Wallace 10 598
Steals 136, English 8 (next) 129 (9th)
On the Road
The Gamecocks are 1-6 on the road in conference play with the only win coming at Georgia on February 5th (60-53). The game against Georgia was one of only two SEC road games where USC took the lead into the half with the other being at Kentucky. Carolina was tied against Mississippi State but dropped the game by eight points. The other games, at LSU, at UF and at UT, USC trailed by 10 points or more at the break. USC shot better than its opponent in five of the seven games (not at LSU or at Alabama). Opponents have shot more free throws than Carolina in all seven contests and have out-rebounded the Gamecocks in all seven as well.