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March 23, 2005

USC Head Coach Dave Odom talked about the Georgetown game on Thursday night with the media on Wednesday night. Here are a few of his comments.

About the Fans

The fans are divided into three different departments. Gamecock Club members, our student body and then there is a segment of fans that do not belong to the Gamecock Club. But they are still Gamecock fans. When I look at that group as being a team, they all contribute to the various teams in ways that are different yet valuable. Obviously, Gamecock club members for the most part contribute financially, but also in spirit by coming to the games and supporting all of our teams. They have done that in ways that are unreal for years and years and years and it is greatly appreciated.

Students pass through in four years and support like crazy when they are here and then pass on and hopefully become Gamecock Club members. Then you have got this third segment of fans that either cannot or choose not to be Gamecock Club members due to whatever their situation may be. Financially maybe they cannot do that, but they still come to games and they buy tickets and they are important. What I was trying to say (at Tuesday’s press conference) and probably did a poor job of saying was that we in the Athletic Department, as coaches, appreciate all of them. We appreciate what each segment of our fans give us and it is not my job to say that this group is more important than that group. They are all important to me.

When you look at our basketball team, our basketball team is made up of individuals who contribute different abilities. Carlos Powell for instance gives us about 17 points a game, about 7 rebounds a game and a heck of a lot of emotion and leadership every game. Stephen McDowell on the other hand gives us leadership in practice, a work ethic and he spells Tre’ Kelley two minutes in the first half and two minutes in the second half, but those are important and I appreciate those as well. And so what I do is on occasion is a guy like Stephan McDowell will show up at a press conference when he has not really played or John Chappell may come up here and it is my way of saying to him thank you. We appreciate what you do, John and Stephen, just as much as we appreciate what Carlos Powell does. It is all important that we all do something important for the Gamecock cause. I would never ever elevate one at the expense of the other and I would never ever portray that one group is unappreciated while the other group is greatly appreciated. They are all appreciated. The NIT offered an opportunity to show appreciation to those that typically do not sit downstairs for whatever reason. And in that particular series of games, we have three of those games and those fans will have a chance to feel what it is like (to sit lower). I think that is good because they may get the feel for what it’s like and do whatever it takes to get down there from now on i.e. become a Gamecock Club member and that is good, but I would not in anyway have any of our faithful Gamecock Club members feel like they were unappreciated.

About Last Night’s Game (vs. UNLV)

I was really very happy for 33 minutes. I thought our team played with unusual energy and unusual enthusiasm and I though we executed extremely well. I thought we played as a team about as good as we have in a long, long while. In the last seven minutes, we kind of reverted back to some of the habits that got us into the NIT, and that is we were unable to impressively close out a basketball game. As I look back at our team, Brandon Wallace had an excellent night with eight points in the first seven minutes on the first half alone before getting two fouls and then we took him out. I think that the longer Rocky Trice played, the better he played. Carlos Powell fought through a difficult beginning to a strong finish. He gave us a good time and Antoine (Tisby) continued to play well. He gave us a spark inside, so overall I thought our crowd was really responsive. It was a really good night for us and I was surprised with how we were able to take UNLV out of their offense as well as we were because the defenses are pretty much mirror image of each other. I thought they would have been more ready for the double-teams but they were not and you never know. We showed it to them and it worked out really well for us so that gives us something to look forward to tomorrow night.

About Georgetown

The first thing that strikes me when I look at Georgetown is what a great job of coaching John Thompson III has done. I say that with all sincerity because he has put in what is commonly known today as the Princeton offense. Of course he just came from Princeton and so he knows it well, but typically when you put that (type of offense) in, it takes two to three years to get your team feeling comfortable with it and he has really done a good job of getting them into that offense in a short period of time. One year is a short period of time, it really is. That is the first thing that jumps out at me is how quickly he has gotten them to jump under his thumb.

He has got good talent in the Co-Freshman of the Year in the Big East in Jeff Green, who is a local kid right out of Hyattsville, Maryland. Everybody knew about him as a high school player and he has turned out really good averaging 13 points a game, a lot of rebounds, and is an inside-outside kind of player. He is going to be a load over the course of his four years at Georgetown.

You have Brandon Bowman who plays along Green as the 4-5 man and both of those guys can shoot three’s. We have to push him out. I was surprised how (Cal State) Fullerton stayed back on Green. He hit 2-of-3 three’s last night and he looks comfortable shooting them, so you can bet that I am going to encourage our team to be out there on him and make him put the ball on the deck and not give him the opportunity to shoot three’s. They have a young point guard but a good one in Wallace. Cook and Owens, at the two wings, can basically play man to man and some zone. They play hard like all Georgetown Hoya teams of past and present, and I think they play reasonably well on the road.