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Nov. 30, 2005

Traveling almost 9,000 miles since its last home game, USC returns to its home court at the Colonial Center with a 4-1 record for a 7:30 pm game against UNC Greensboro on Wed., Nov. 30. One of just four games not televised this year in Columbia, the game will be carried on the Gamecock Radio Network with Mike Morgan (play-by-play) and Casey Manning (color analyst) making the call.

Carolina finished as the runner-up to Marquette at the Great Alaska Shootout, posting a 2-1 record with wins over Alaska Anchorage (65-60) and Monmouth (62-56) and the overtime loss to Marquette (89-92). The Marquette game marked the first time a Dave Odom-Gamecock coached team scored more than 80 points in a game and didn’t come away with the victory (20-1). About the Spartans

UNCG, 3-2, will be playing its second game in three tries at an SEC school, falling 53-85 at Vanderbilt on Nov. 22. Sandwiched between the two games was a 75-72 win over Hampton at home on Nov. 26.

Led by fifth-year head coach Mike Dement, the Spartans have three players averaging double figures in Kyle Hines (19.8), Ricky Hickman (17.3) and Kevin Oleksiak (11.0). UNCG was 18-12 last season, including a 12-6 record in the Southern Conference (T-2nd North).

What’s next?

South Carolina travels to in-state rival Clemson on Sat., Dec. 3 for a 4 pm contest to be televised on Fox Sports Network South. 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. USC leads the series 86-69 and has won four of the last five games.

Clemson, who plays at Penn State on Tues., Nov. 29 in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, is 4-0 in 2005-06. The Tigers, led by third-year coach Oliver Purnell, got the best of USC in overtime last year winning 63-62 in overtime on Dec. 4, 2004.


USC placed three players on the Great Alaska Shootout team based on their outstanding performances. The three included Renaldo Balkman, Tre’ Kelley and Tarence Kinsey. Balkman was named Player of the Game after he picked up his first career double-double in the win over Alaska Anchorage. Certainly worthy of all-tournament honors was another junior, Brandon Wallace, was named Player of the Game after picking up his second career double-double in the Monmouth win.

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.

All three of USC’s games at the Shootout were broadcast nationally on ESPN2, including USC’s 89-92 overtime loss to Marquette in the championship.

Not to worry anymore

USC ended last season with a five-game winning streak en-route to the 2005 NIT Championship. Opening the season at 4-0, USC tacked together nine straight prior to the 89-92 overtime loss to Marquette. It was 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.

Not perfect anymore

Prior to the Marquette loss, dating two seasons, USC was 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.

Already one …

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).

The Gamecocks are picking right up from where they got off last season in blocking shots. Carolina blocked 4.3 bpg last season. This season, Carolina is averaging 6 bpg. USC has blocked 25 shots in its last three games including a new school record of 15 in a game against Alaska Anchorage on Thanksgiving Day. Carolina has out blocked their opponents this season 30-6.

Stepping up

Check out this break-down of Renaldo Balkman’s first five games in his first three years in the garnet and black.

• Freshman and sophomore years had a total of 67 points in his first five games combined. This season he has 66 points.

• In the first five games combined of his first two seasons at Carolina he had 51 rebounds in those 10 games. This season he has brought down 40 boards.

• Coming into this season he had 15 games where he scored 10+ points and he has scored 10+ in all five games this season.

• Coming into this season he had 21 games where he grabbed 6+ rebounds and he has 6+ in all five games this season.

• Has 16 assists in the first five games this season including a career high of six against Marquette. A surprising note is that he was second on the team last season in assists with 57. Only point guard Tre’ Kelley had more with 118.


Tarence Kinsey has hit 20+ points three times this season. In his first three seasons at USC, Kinsey played in 85 games and in those 85 games he hit the 20+ mark only twice. (23 vs. South Carolina State, 12-22-04 and 21 vs. Idaho, 11-18-03) He has 94 points in the first five games for an average of 18.8 points per game.

Stop at 15 !

After USC’s loss to Marquette Tre’ Kelley commented good things don’t happen for the Gamecocks during his career when he scores 16 or more (he scored 23 in the OT loss to MU). He was just about right. When scoring 16 or more points, Kelley is 1-6. When scoring 17 or more during his Gamecock career, USC is 0-6.

See the following games:


23 vs. Marquette, 11/27/05 L 89-92 OT

22 at Miss. State, 1/22/05 L 65-73

22 Clemson, 12/4/04 L 62-63 OT

19 at Kentucky, 1/5/05 L 75-79

18 at Arkansas, 2/21/04 L 62-82

17 Florida, 2/27/05 L 65-66

16 Vanderbilt, 2/14/04 W 82-75

Moving up

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.

Blocking Machine

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 Nov. 24.

Wallace is No. 7 in career blocks with 100 total. He needs 23 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. In 2004-05 he blocked at least one shot in 25 of 33 games – including blocking three or more shots in eight games.