Nov. 9, 2005
USC Head Basketball Coach Dave Odom met with media today to talk about Thursday night’s exhibition game vs. USC-Aiken. The free exhibition, played at the Colonial Center, will tip-off at 7:30 pm on Thursday, Nov. 10. Fans are encouraged to bring canned good for the Carolina-Clemson Food Drive competition (see details below on events the Gamecocks will participate in this week).
Coach Odom said the team is healthy and he expects everyone to play on Thursday night.
COACH ODOM COMMENTS ON USC-AIKEN
On his goals for Thursday night:
“The No. 1 goal is win the game and play well. We want to do what we have to do and need to do to win.
“The No. 2 goal – I want to design structure and play certain groups together – apart from the starters so we can see how we play at different sizes. We want to play the big guys in groups and individually. The second objective is to see what the offensive teams look like playing together in a real game.
“The No. 3 objective is for the coaches to begin to develop some chemistry together. To communicate with each other and the players.
“The No. 4 goal is to have fun with the fans. For this team to begin to establish a connection with the fans. Because the game is general admission, like the NIT games, we will have a lot of different people in different seats. We are excited about the USC Aiken team and all the fans USC Aiken will bring.
“Everybody should see extended action from various degrees on Thursday night. Everybody should see double-digit minutes.”
On the starting line-up:
“We will start Renaldo Balkman, Brandon Wallace, Tarence Kinsey, Rocky Trice and Stephen McDowell.
“Tre’ Kelley isn’t in the starting line-up, but it’s not for bad reasons. It’s more of a reward for Stephen McDowell for the fine work he’s been doing. He’s played progressively better throughout fall practice and he deserves a look in a situation other than a mop-up roll. He is going to be an important player at important times for us in important games and the best way to see if he can do it is in a game like USC Aiken.
“First off the bench in the post will be Antoine Tisby. First off the bench in the backcourt will be Tre’ Kelley and Dwyane Day would be first off the bench in the wing. Stephen McDowell first and Dwayne Day second – in terms of returnees – have stuck their head out of the water and said ‘Look at me! Play me!’
Tarence Kinsey COMMENTS
“There is nothing like playing in front of your home crowd. From what I hear the game is going to be free so we can count on some good fans! This will be a real game because we are playing two halves. We want to play well – I know if we don’t Coach Odom won’t give us both days off this weekend. We want to play well. I don’t want to practice on our day off.”
Renaldo Balkman COMMENTS
“I am looking forward to the game tomorrow night. We finally get to beat up on somebody else after beating up on each other enough. We will finally get to play someone else with a different jersey.
“I think the fans will be impressed by the athletic ability of the newcomers. They should watch for Tarence Kinsey’s fine shooting, Brandon Wallace gets up and down the court better, and Tre’ Kelley is handling the ball better than last year. He has had less turnovers this year.”
A FEW THINGS ON TAP FOR THE GAMECOCKS THIS WEEK:
1. Gamecocks receive NIT Championship rings on Wednesday, Nov. 9
The South Carolina basketball team will receive its NIT Championship rings at the first meeting of the Columbia Tip-Off Club on Wednesday, Nov. 9. on the 25th floor of the Capital City Club (corner of Gervais and Assembly St.) when both Coach Odom and Coach Walvius address the crowd. The social will begin at 6 pm with the program set to begin at 7 pm.
The Tip-Off Club has 10 meetings scheduled this year. A Columbia Tip-Off Club membership costs $150 for individuals or $400 for corporations, which receive three tickets per meeting. The public is also always welcome for $20 at the door.
2. Come see a Gamecock basketball game for free and help beat Carolina beat Clemson on the same night!
The University of South Carolina men’s basketball team, returning four starters from the 2005 NIT championship team, will open the season at the Colonial Center with a 7:30 pm exhibition against USC-Aiken on Thursday, Nov. 10. The exhibition will be free of charge and open to all the public. All seating will be general admission and doors at the Colonial Center will open at 6:30 pm.
The South Carolina student-athletes are participating in a food drive competition against the Clemson student-athletes. The Gamecock student-athletes will be on hand at the door that night (Nov. 10) to collect canned food items. The canned food drive, a competition between the two school’s student-athletes, will culminate on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Carolina-Clemson football game when the winner will be announced at half-time. All canned food items collected from both schools will be donated to Harvest Hope Food Bank. Basketball fans are encouraged to bring multiple cans of food to the Colonial Center.
The men’s basketball regular season opens at home with a 1:30 pm game against Toledo on Sunday, Nov. 20.
3, FIVE POINTS + GAMECOCK BASKETBALL = FRIDAY NIGHT FUN
Come down to Five Points in Columbia this Friday night around 10:30 pm and you will see a real first for the Gamecock basketball teams and its fans. With a half-court set-up under the lights in the middle of Five Points, both the men’s and the women’s basketball teams will host a street fest for fans on Friday, Nov. 11. The fan-fest will include both teams showing their skills, a special welcome from Renaldo Balkman and Shannel Harris, a shooting contest for fans with valuable prizes (airline tickets, Gamecock basketball gear, autograph balls, t-shirts, a suite at the Colonial Center) and performances by Cocky, the Gamecock cheerleaders and dance team.
4. GAMECOCKS SIGN AUTOGRAPHS AT GAMECOCK VILLAGE ON SATURDAY PRIOR TO FLORIDA GAME
The Gamecock men’s basketball team will sign autographs at Gamecock Village in the State Fairgrounds on Saturday, Nov. 12 from 10:30 – 11:30 am prior to the Florida football game.
The Gamecock women’s basketball team will sign autographs at Gamecock Village from 11 am – Noon on Saturday as well.