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March 14, 2005

South Carolina, 15-13 and 7-9 in the SEC, finished fourth in the SEC Eastern Division. The Gamecocks will host the Miami Hurricanes in the first round of the NIT on Tuesday, March 14 at 7:30 pm. The winner will play the winner of the Arizona State-UNLV game next week (date and time TBA).

National Invitational Tournament tickets are on sale.

Tickets can be purchased at the Colonial Center, by calling 1-866-472-8499 or by visiting Tickets are $17.00 for lower level seating and $10.00 for upper level seating. Due to time limitations, we are expecting a large will call pick-up. Using the on-line print at home function will help expedite your entry into the Colonial Center. All reserve seating will be sold on a first come first serve basis.

USC Student Tickets

USC student tickets are $4.00 and can be purchased at the Russell House with a valid USC Id starting at 10:00am on Monday March 14.


This is the third postseason tournament for USC Head Coach Dave Odom in four years at USC. In 2002 he took the team to the NIT Finals where they lost 62-72 to Memphis after defeating Syracuse 66-59 in the semi-finals. In 2004, the Gamecocks made the NCAA Tournament, falling 43-59 to Memphis in the first round in Kansas City.

This will be Carolina’s ninth trip to the NIT (see compete results on page two) and its 17th time in a post-season tournament since 1969 (9 NIT, 8 NCAA). It is USC’s seventh appearance in post-season play since it joined the SEC in 1991-92.

USC last appeared in the NIT in the 2001-02 season where the Gamecocks finished as the runner-up to Memphis in the NIT Championship game. The Gamecocks are 11-8 overall in the NIT and have appeared in the following years: 1969, 1975, 1978, 1983, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2005.

The Match-up The Gamecocks have met the Hurricanes seven times with the seven meetings occurring in Miami. The game on Tuesday will be the first between both schools in Columbia. Miami holds a 5-2 record all-time against the Gamecocks. Three of Miami’s five wins were by one point.

The two teams have not met since December 5, 1987. The Gamecocks defeated Miami 76-63 to be crowned champions of the City of Miami Classic.

The two teams played six times in between 1948 and 1960 with four of the meetings coming in the 1948-49 and 1949-50 seasons. Listed to the left are all meetings between the two schools.

Gamecocks Presently

The Gamecocks enter the Miami game with a 15-13 record overall and finished SEC play with a 7-9 mark in conference play. USC lost a heartbreaker to Ole MIss (52-53) in the first round of the SEC Tournament last Thursday.

Home court advantage had helped out the Gamecocks as they have collected a 13-3 record at the Colonial Center this season, with losses only to Clemson, Auburn and Florida.

The Gamecocks were 6-2 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 one road win to nine losses. Six of the nine losses have been by 8 points or less, while four of the six have been by four or less. Five of the nine teams have been nationally ranked with the five being ranked in the Top 17.

USC has played two neutral site games this season and collected a 1-1 record.

About Them

Miami enters the game with a 16-12 record overall and a 7-9 record in the ACC. They are led by Guillermo Diaz’s 18.5 ppg. Robert Hite and Anthony Harris are also averaging in double figures at 17.1 ppg and 12.3 ppg, respectively. Anthony King has a team-leading 8.1 rpg.

Miami is coming off a first round ACC Tournament loss to Virginia (65-66) last Thursday. Guillermo Diaz scored 20 points (10-12 from the free throw line) and collected five rebounds. Anthony King pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds and Robert Hite added 13 points.

This marks the Hurricanes’ first post season appearance since the 2001-02 season (NCAA). Miami is making its 12th post season appearance overall (5 NCAA, 7 NIT) and its eighth in the last 11 seasons. Miami is 4-11 all-time in post season competition.

UM Head coach Frank Haith, a former Odom assistant at Wake Forest (1997-2001), becomes just the second coach in Miami history, joining Perry Clark in 2001, to take the Hurricanes to the post season in his first season as head coach. He was an assistant coach under Odom at USC for one month in 2001 prior to joining Rick Barnes’ staff at Texas (2001-2004). USC assistant coach Ricky Stokes was also on Barnes’ staff at Texas with Haith.

Haith was named Miami’s 11th head men’s basketball coach on April 12, 2004. In his 15 seasons as an assistant at the D-I level, he has helped lead teams that have won an NIT Championship, advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen three times, reached one Elite Eight and one Final Four. Haith is 16-12 this season with the Hurricanes and needs just one more win to tie the UM record for most wins by a first-year coach. He is just the second coach in school-history to lead Miami to the post season in his first year as head coach.

Miami is making its seventh NIT appearance and its first since the 2000-01 season. Miami is 1-6 all-time in the NIT with the lone win coming against St. Francis (NY) in 1963. Miami last played in the NIT in 2001 dropping a 60-58 decision at Auburn.

Carolina vs. the ACC — NIT Style

Carolina has faced three opponents in the ACC before Tuesday’s meeting against Miami. The Gamecocks are 1-2 against ACC foes in the NIT. Carolina’s last meeting against an ACC school was against Virginia in the 2002 NIT (Won 74-67). The Gamecocks have also faced Wake Forest in 1983 (Lost 61-78) and N.C. State 1978 (Lost 70-82). USC also faced Virginia Tech in 1983 (Won 75-68), but it was not a member of the ACC then.

The meeting against the Hurricanes is the first time for Carolina to meet one of the new members of the ACC since it expanded this season.

Turnovers are good

The last three Carolina wins have seen the Gamecock opponents turning the ball over a lot. USC has forced 57 turnovers in their last three wins. (18 vs. Mississippi, 21 vs. Kentucky and 18 vs. Georgia) They have forced 15+ turnovers in 14 games this season and are 10-4 in those games.

Quickly Moving Up

The Miami game will be Carlos Powell’s 128th game in garnet and black. He broke the career games played school record on Sunday (Mike Boynton, Jr., 125).

Powell has 132 career steals, good enough for ninth on the all-time career steals list.

Powell is No. 9 on the career points scored list with 1,454 points. To move to No. 8 he needs 2 PT (1,456, Grady Wallace, 1955-57) and he is 51 PT from No. 7 (1505, Art Whisnant, 1959-62). BJ McKie holds the record for most points scored at 2,119.

Against Ole Miss on March 6, he scored 30 points – the first he has hit 30 in his career. He followed that up with 21 points against Ole Miss in the first round of the SEC Tournament. It was his 10th time over 20 in his four-year career. 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 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 127, Powell 1 127 (1)

Points Scored 1456, Wallace 8 1454 (9th)

Rebounds 669, Wallace 10 611 (out of top 10)

Steals 136, English 8 (next) 132 (9th)

Minutes Played 3362, Foster 10 (next) 3,337 (11th)

Field Goals Made 595, Slaughter 7 (next) 571 (8)

Field Goals Att. 1213, Davis 7 (next) 1195 (8)

Also Leading in PPG, RPG

SC is led by senior All-SEC forward Carlos Powell (2005 All-SEC Coaches Second Team, 2005 AP Third team and 2004 AP Third team). Powell is leading the team with 16.2 ppg and 6.4 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 21 of the 28 games this season and has led the team in scoring 18 times and rebounding 17 times. Powell had scored 10 or more points in 26 of 28 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 20 of 28 games this season – including a 13 rebound performance vs. Florida.

Almost top 8 for Wallace

Brandon Wallace tied a career high with five blocks in the overtime win over Ole Miss on March 6. Twenty-one times this season he has blocked at least one shot in a game. He has 79 career blocks (44 this year, 35 last year). With the five blocks, he jumped past No. 10 Jimmy Graziano on the career blocked shots list (76, 1977-80). He needs two to match Nate Davis’ 81 blocked shots (1974-77). 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 had 4 blocks in a game (East Carolina, 12-20-04).

19 straight over

Prior to shooting 37.3% against Ole Miss in the first round of the SEC Tournament, SC had shot 40% or better from the field in 19 straight games. The streak included seven straight with USC shooting better than 50% from the floor.

Odom’s Home Record

The Gamecocks are 50-16 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 (18-14).

Year At home Non-conference SEC

2001-02 12-6 9-1 3-5

2002-03 11-4 7-0 4-4

2003-04 14-3 9-0 5-3

2004-05 13-3 7-1 6-2

Total 50-16 32-2 18-14