Nov. 26, 2005
Carolina’s travels to Anchorage took it almost 4,500 miles from coast to coast and over parts of Canada, but fans of the good ole days will be tuned in tonight half way across the world in South Carolina for a match-up that includes many memories of the McGuire years.
South Carolina, with its 62-56 victory over Monmouth on Friday night, advanced to the Great Alaska Shootout Championship on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 10:30 pm (EST). The Golden Eagles advanced after beating Oral Roberts 73-70 on Friday evening. The USC-MU game will be televised nationally on ESPN2 with Eric Collins and Jimmy Dyke making the call. It is the third of at least 21 games USC will play on television during the regular season this year and the third of at least seven on national television.
The game will also be a carried on the Gamecock Radio Network with Mike Morgan (play-by-play) and Casey Manning (color analyst) making the call.
It will be the first time the two head coaches have met, but the Carolina-Marquette series goes back decades (first meeting 1965-66), including the hey days of both programs with Frank McGuire prowling the Carolina sidelines and brother Al McGuire on the Marquette sidelines in the early 70s. Marquette holds the advantage in the series record 4-11, but the two haven’t played since the 1983-84 season when Carolina fell at Marquette 69-74 on Jan. 4, 1984.
During the McGuire years at Carolina, Frank’s team was 2-10 vs. Marquette.
About the Midwesterners
Marquette is 3-1 with wins over Eastern Washington (83-73) and Oral Roberts (73-70) at the Great Alaska Shootout. On Nov. 18 MU defeated Rice at home, 82-65, but fell to South Carolina’s own Winthrop College 64-71 the next day. Marquette, who won the 2001 Great Alaska Shootout behind MVP and future NBA player Dwyane Wade, is playing in the Big East Conference for the first time this year. The Golden Eagles were 15-14 last season, including 8-8 in Conference USA. MU is two years removed from winning the C-USA regular season crown and a trip to the 2004 NCAA Final Four.
Crean is familiar with the SEC as he has played Kentucky (1-0) and Tennessee (1-0).
While Renaldo Balkman was named the Player of the Game in USC’s 65-60 win over Alaska Anchorage, teammate Brandon Wallace wouldn’t be outdone in the 62-56 win over Monmouth when he was named the Player of the Game. Both collected double-doubles in the two wins, with Balkman’s stats including 14 PT and 12 REB and Wallace’s stats including 14 REB (career high) and 10 PT.
It was Balkman’s first double-double and Wallace’s second as he picked up a double-double in his first career start against The Citadel in USC’s 70-38 victory on Dec. 3, 2003. That night Wallace had 10 PT and 11 REB, collecting 3 BLK, 1 STL and 1 AST in the cause.
NOTE: If superstitious, don’t mention it . . .
USC ended last season with a five-game winning streak en-route to the 2005 NIT Championship. Opening the season at 4-0, USC has tacked together nine straight. It’s a program-high winning streak for Odom. His last winning streak longer than nine games: he started the season 12-0 at Wake Forest in 2000.
The last time USC tacked together at least eight straight wins (in season or to end, begin another season): USC started the 2003-04 season 8-0, winning the Guardians Classic Tournament in the process. The Gamecocks ended up 23-11 on the year and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
At least nine straight?: USC won 12 straight games from Jan. 4, 1997 to Feb. 8, 1997 en-route to winning its only SEC title with a 15-1 record in the league.
Face (book) time, ESPN Does us RIGHT!
Carolina will appear on television at least 21 times this season during the regular season, including at least seven games on national television (6 ESPN/ESPN2, 1 CBS) and one tape delay (SUN Sports). The 21 appearances will be the most regular-season television appearances ever for the Gamecocks. Most ever appearances on ESPN/ESPN2 for the Gamecocks? The year they advanced to the NIT finals they were on the network nine times, including four straight NIT games on ESPN/ESPN2.
USC is already 3-0 on TV this season.
Dating two seasons, USC is a perfect 6-0 on ESPN/ESPN2 the last two years, including a 73-61 win over No. 3 Kentucky (2/15/05) and a 60-57 win over St. Joe’s to win the 2005 NIT title.
South Carolina flies back to Columbia on Sunday, Nov. 27. USC will host UNC Greensboro on Wednes., Nov. 30 at 7:30 pm before traveling to in-state rival Clemson Sat., Dec. 3 for a 4 pm contest on Fox Sports South. USC will then break for final exams before returning to the hard court on Dec. 14 against Winthrop at 7:30 pm.
A bit of knowledge …
South Carolina’s 15 blocked shots against UAA broke the school record set six years ago (14 vs. SC State, 12/30/99). It was the most for a Gamecock team under Odom since USC blocked 12 vs. Campbell (11/29/03).
Behind Renaldo Balkman’s first career double-double (14 PT, 12 REB), USC held Alaska Anchorage off 65-60 in the opening round of the Great Alaska Shootout on Thursday night. It was USC’s first double-double since then-senior Carlos Powell scored 17 PT and pulled down 12 REB in a 75-67 NIT semi-final win over Maryland on March 29, 2005.
Wallace followed up Balkman’s double-double with one of his own against Monmouth on Friday night in USC’s 62-56 come-from-behind win.
Both Thursday and Friday night were nights for career moments, including the following:
THURSDAY VS. ALASKA ANCHORAGE
SCHOOL RECORD: 15 BLOCKED SHOTS (BROKE RECORD OF 14 SET 12/30/99 VS. SC STATE)
FIRST CAREER DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Renaldo Balkman: 14 PT, 12 REB
CAREER-HIGH IN BLOCKS: Brandon Wallace: 7 BLK; Tarence Kinsey: 3 BLK
CAREER-HIGH IN STEALS: Tre’ Kelley: 4 STL
CAREER-HIGH IN REBOUNDS: Dwayne Day: 4 REB
FIRST CAREER POINTS, REBOUNDS, MINUTES: Ousmane Konate: 2 PT, 4 REB, 3 MIN
TIED CAREER-HIGH IN BLOCKS: Renaldo Balkman: 4 BLK (5 times: last time, Toledo 11/20/05)
TIED CAREER-HIGH IN ASSISTS: Rocky Trice: 3 AST (vs. SCSU 12/22/04; at Georgia 2/5/05)
FRIDAY VS. MONMOTUH
SECOND CAREER DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Brandon Wallace: 14 REB, 10 PT
CAREER-HIGH IN REBOUNDS: Brandon Wallace: 14 REB
CAREER-HIGH IN ASSISTS: Brandon Wallace: 5 AST
Super 7 for Wallace
Brandon Wallace blocked a career-best seven shots against Alaska Anchorage. Including Wallace’s seven, the Gamecock team combined for a school record 15 vs. UAA on Thursday night.
Wallace is No. 7 in career blocks with 99 total. He needs 24 blocks to reach No. 6 — Tony Kitchings (123, 1999-2003) and then one more to hit the top five (Ryan Stack, 124, 1995-96). The career leader might be a bit tougher. It’s 235 blocked shots by Danny Traylor (1971-73).
Wallace blocked 55 shots last season. The 55 tied Ryan Stack who also blocked 55 in the 1997-98 season.
Last year, Wallace tied a then-career high with five blocks in the OT win over Ole Miss on 3-6-06. In 2004-05 he blocked at least one shot in 25 of 33 games – including blocking three or more shots in eight games.
Here’s a Streak
South Carolina has a current streak of 139 consecutive games with a three-point basket. Not bad, but the streak had reached 216 straight games with USC_having a trey in every game since Jan. 7, 1995 vs. Kentucky. _The streak ended as Carolina went 0-19 from long range in the regular season finale vs. Mississippi State in 2001.