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Jan. 27, 2006

Game 20- South Carolina at Tennessee-Jan. 28, 2006 – Thompson-Boling Arena (24,535) -Knoxville, Tenn.

Probable Starters for the Tennessee game (starters from previous game)

South Carolina Gamecocks (11-8, 2-4 SEC) PPG RPG APG
F #21 Tarence Kinsey (6-6, 189, Sr., Tampa, Fla.) 15.4 4.8 2.1
F #33 Brandon Wallace (6-10, 198, Jr., Jackson, S.C.) 7.2 6.3 2.6
C #14 Antoine Tisby (6-8, 237, Sr., Kansas City, Kan.) 6.3 3.3 0.7*
G #01 Tre’ Kelley (6-1, 183, Jr., Washington, D.C.) 11.7 2.8 3.7
G #23 Dwayne Day (6-6, 184, So., Mount Vernon, Ga.) 6.0 2.5 0.4
Tennessee Volunteers (13-3, 4-1) PPG RPG
F #22 Andre Patterson (Sr., 6-7, 217, Sr., Los Angeles, Calif.) 9.6 6.2
F #23 Dane Bradshaw (6-4, 200, Jr., Memphis, Tenn.) 8.2 6.4
C #01 Major Wingate (6-10, 250, Jr., Florence, S.C.) 9.8 3.6
G #05 Chris Lofton (6-2, 197, So., Maysville, Ky.) 14.6 3.0
G #32 C.J. Watson (6-2, 176, Sr., Las Vegas, Nev.) 16.0 4.0
* – Blocks per game

Carolina travels to No. 19/20 Tennessee Jan. 28; Gamecocks off mid-week then travel to Arkansas Feb. 4
Following a brief one-game home stand, South Carolina, 11-8 and 2-4 in SEC play, now hits the road for three more games outside of Palmetto State borders. Its plane rides will take them to three states, starting in the Volunteer State with a 5 pm Sat., Jan. 28 re-match with No. 19/20 Tennessee (13-3, 4-1). The two played each other in both schools first SEC tilt of the year with UT claiming a 69-76 win over the Gamecocks.

The UT game will be televised on Fox Sports South with Ron Thulin and Barry Booker making the call. The game will be carried on the Gamecock Radio Network with Mike Morgan (play-by-play) and Casey Manning (color analyst). In addition, the game can be heard via the internet at and on Sirius radio channel 125.

Both teams are coming off exciting mid-week wins. South Carolina defeated No. 4 Florida 68-62 in the Colonial Center on Wed., Jan. 25 behind the 19 points of senior Tarence Kinsey, a Tampa native. USC turned the ball over just eight times, including just three miscues in the second half, as compared to the Gators 17 times (see chart below for more on the game).

Wednesday was the same night the Vols traveled to Starkville and defeated Mississippi State 88-65. UT shot 52.4% with the Bulldogs shooting just 32.8% (21-64, including 5-27 from beyond the arc). The Vols put four players in double figures including C.J. Watson who scored a game-high 19 points with Andre Patterson pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds picking up a double-double with 13 points.

Back to Back to Back Bye Bye’s

From Jan. 11 to Feb. 11, USC will have played half of its SEC schedule. Of those eight games, six will have been on the road, including the next three straight after a home win over Florida on Jan. 25. USC plays at UT on Jan. 28, at Arkansas on Feb. 4 and at Florida on Feb. 8. The trio combine for a 31-1 home record going into Saturday’s games, including a 6-1 home record in SEC play.

Prior to the Florida game at home on Wednesday, USC had played at Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Kentucky. That trio combines for a 26-6 home record, including a 5-3 SEC home record.

But on the flip side after that stretch USC’s next five of six will be played in Columbia at the Colonial Center In that six game stretch USC will host Mississippi State (Feb. 11, FSNS), Alabama (Feb. 14, ESPN), Kentucky (Feb. 18, CBS), Vanderbilt (Feb. 25, JP) and LSU (Feb. 28, ESPN). During that time USC will travel to Georgia on Feb. 23 for a rematch on ESPN. USC will close out the regular season at Auburn on March 4 prior to traveling to Nashville for the SEC Tournament the next weekend.

New History with UT?

Prior to the Jan. 8th game in Columbia, the home team had won the last seven games between Carolina and Tennessee. But, UT snatched a 76-69 win over the Gamecocks on its home court that day. South Carolina would like nothing more than to continue this trend with a win of its own on the opposition’s floor. USC’s last win in Knoxville: Carolina won 94-60 on Jan. 23, 2002 in Odom’s first season.

After its season opener UT and USC have only two like opponents: Georgia and Florida. UT got both of them, while USC lost to Georgia, but defeated UF. The two have no common non-conference opponents.

UT leads the series 24-21, including a 16-7 mark in Knoxville.


Tennessee’s high flying offense features three players averaging double figures, including two averaging 16 plus points. C.J. Watson leads the Vols with 16.1, followed by Chris Lofton’s 16.0 ppg and then Major Wingate at 11.3 ppg. Dane Bradshaw leads UT’s rebounding efforts with 6.4 to Andre Patterson’s 5.9 rpg.

Looking to guard Lofton – look out literally. Of Lofton’s 89 field goals, 57 of them have been 3 pointers (64%). He leads the SEC with 3.6 3’s a game and hits almost 44 % of his attempts. He has taken a crack at 131 shots beyond the arc, totalling 188 field goal attempts (meaning almost 70 percent of his shots are three-point attempts).

Under first year head coach Bruce Pearl, UT leads the SEC in steals (11.1 spg), turnover margin (+7.69), assists/turnover ratio (1.42), scoring offense (83.6) and 3 point field goals made (8.6 pg).

Someone’s not gonna be happy

Like Florida, UT comes into Saturday’s game against Carolina averaging 83 plus points a game. USC held the Gators to more than 20 points below their seasonal average when they scored 62 points. UC was just about right in the 68-62 win over the Gators as the Gamecocks average 69.5 ppg (No. 9 in the SEC) and opponents average 62.8 ppg (No. 6 in the SEC). Florida came into the Colonial Center No. 1 in the league in scoring defense (62.1), but Tennessee enters its game with Carolina at No. 12 with its opponents scoring 73.4 ppg. Another plus in USC’s favor: USC is allowing opponents to grab 31.7 rpg (tied for second best in the SEC), while UT gives opponents 37.6 rpg – last in the SEC.

Knock on wood

Fairly healthy this season from top to bottom, junior starter Brandon Wallace missed the second half of the Florida game after suffering a scratched left cornea at the end of the first half. He is expected back for the Tennessee game.


Individually Carolina continues to be led by Tampa’s own Tarence Kinsey, who is averaging a team-leading 15.4 ppg. For stats geeks, Kinsey leads the Gamecocks in scoring in just about every way you figure it: wins (16.2 ppg), losses (14.2 ppg), home (15.4 ppg), away (13.9 ppg) and neutral (21.0 ppg).

Kinsey also leads the Gamecocks with 33.3 mpg and is third with 4.8 rpg. Junior Tre’ Kelley is second with 11.7 ppg and leads the team with 3.7 apg and 33.2 mpg. Junior Renaldo Balkman’s third on the team with 10.4 ppg and 2.3 apg and is tied for the team lead with 6.3 rpg. He leads the team with 1.6 spg.

The last time USC had three players finish with double figures at season’s end: Odom’s second season in 2002-03 when Carlos Powell (12.6 ppg), Chuck Edison (11.3 ppg) and Rolando Howell (10.0 ppg) all averaged double digits. In SEC play that year, USC had five players averaging double figures when the final buzzer rang: Chris Warren (11.0 ppg), Powell (10.9 ppg), Edison (10.5 ppg), Tony Kitchings (10.3 ppg) and Kerbrell Brown (10.1 ppg).

Brandon Wallace, who didn’t play the second half of the Florida win due to a scratch on his left cornea, joins Balkman with 6.3 rpg. He leads the team with 1.5 bpg, while he second with 2.6 apg and fourth on the team with 7.2 ppg. His three double-doubles this season top Balkman and Kinsey’s each.


USC is 5-3 this year following a loss. USC was 8-3 last season following a loss. USC was 6-4 in 2003-04 following a loss.

USC will appear on television at 22 times during the regular season, including at least seven games on national television (6 ESPN/ESPN2, 1 CBS) and one tape delay (SUN Sports). The 22 appearances are the most regular-season television appearances ever for the Gamecocks. USC is 6-7 on TV this season with the next televised game is Florida in the Colonial Center on Jan. 23 in an 8 pm contest on JP). See complete schedule on page one.

Gators go down, look out dogs

You can check Florida off the list. Now, circle February 11 on Dave Odom’s list of things to do as a head coach in the SEC. Mississippi State is the last school Dave Odom has yet to defeat since coming to the SEC five years ago. He defeated both schools while at Wake Forest. Prior to leaving Wake Forest, where he headed up the Demon Deacons for 12 years, he defeated every then-ACC team at least eight times each.

Big Timers

With the win over Florida’s Billy Donovan, Odom posted another win over coaches who have led their teams to the Final Four and/or won national championships during their own careers. With 366 careers wins as a head coach in his 20 years at East Carolina, Wake and South Carolina, Odom has wins over a number of legendary coaches including Donovan, Roy Williams (at Kansas), Lon Kruger, Rick Majerus, Dean Smith, Gary Williams, Mike Krzyzewski, Tubby Smith, John Chaney, Nolan Richardson, Bobby Cremins, Denny Crum, Jim Valvano, Jim Boeheim, Terry Holland and Eddie Sutton.

This one says that, the other says this

With its 80-76 win over Florida, Tennessee jumped back into the nation’s top 20 this week: the Vols are No. 20 in the ESPN poll and No. 19 in the AP poll.

UF (No. 4/5) and UT are the only two SEC teams ranked in the top 25 this week.

Don’t bring that in here

The last two top five teams to come into the Colonial Center have left unhappy. Florida came in ranked No. 4 and fell 68-62 on Wed., Jan. 25, 2006. Kentucky came in ranked No. 3 nationally on Feb. 15, 2005 and left with an ‘L’ on its resume after USC defeated the ‘Cats 73-61. It was the first Carolina win over Florida at home since 2001 and its first win over the ‘Cats in Columbia since 1997. On the road last year, USC dropped a nail-bitter to No. 2 Kansas 64-60 on Dec. 18, 2004. UK will return the favor when the Jayhawks visit the Colonial Center next season.

Kentucky was the highest ranked team USC has defeated since it defeated the Wildcats on March 2, 1997, 72-66. UK was ranked No. 3 to USC’s No. 6. The win clinched the SEC?title for USC.

The highest ranked team USC?has ever defeated was No. 2 North Carolina on Feb. 14, 1969, 68-66 (at Charlotte). At the time USC?was ranked No. 19. Later that month, No. 2 UNC defeated No. 8 USC?68-62 in Columbia. They have defeated two No. 3’s (Kentucky in 1997 and Kentucky in 2005).

Hated to jinx the guy

After making 13 straight from the charity stripe Tarence Kinsey missed two free throws in Wednesday’s win against Florida and finished the game with a six of eight showing. The two free throws were just his second and third misses in SEC play for Kinsey. His first: Kinsey’s only miss in SEC play this year was a night when he went 11 of 12 at Ole Miss (missed the back-end at the 16:25 mark in the 2nd half).

He is No. 3 in SEC play, hitting 25 of 28 (89%) and No. 4 in overall play, knocking down 57 of 66 chances (86.4%). Pretty amazing for a guy who came in this season hitting barely 65% of his free throws (114 of 174 prior to this season).

His 11 of 12 performance at Ole Miss tops his 9-9 performance vs. Toledo on Nov. 20, 2005.

We played some ball

Prior to Wednesday, while USC and Florida opponents only scored 62.8 and 62.1 ppg, respectively, the two schools offenses differed quite a bit. The Gators were averaging a league-leading 83.8 ppg (with its lowest high sitting at 69) and the Gamecocks opponents were averaging 62.8 ppg. Well, USC held its end of the bargain on defense, over excelled on offense and Florida flunked both average tests on its offense and defense when the Gamecocks posted a 68-62 win over the Gators.

UF scored just 23 points in the first half – its smallest total since the Gators scored 21 points in the first half in a 50-38 win over Georgia on March 2, 2005. The 62 points were the fewest points for a Gator team since Florida’s 53-52 win over Kentucky on March 6, 2005.

USC played three games in its last four decided on the last possession – Georgia (61-64), Vanderbilt (66-64) and Kentucky (78-80). All three games decided by three or less came down to the game’s final seconds: UGA’s Stukes made game winner with 1 second on the clock in OT; Tre’ Kelley laid up the game winner at Vandy with 5 seconds left in OT and UK’s Rajon Rondo made a three-pointer with 1.4 seconds left on the clock.

Three of the four games that were decided by three points or less went to overtime. Each of USC’s first six SEC games have all been decided by seven points or less.

Games Decided by: No. of times Record
3 or less 4 (1-3)
5 or less 2 (1-1)
10 or less 5 (2-3)
11 or more 8 (7-1)

Both looking at 1,000

Tarence Kinsey has hit 20+ points six times this season, including a 21 point performance at Kentucky where he was a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line. 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). His 293 points this season already surpassed the points he scored in his sophomore (273) and junior years (286). He scored just 43 points his freshman season.

All told Kinsey has wracked 895 career points and needs 105 points to hit the 1,000 mark and become the 38th Gamecock to go over the one thousand mark. Averaging 15.4 ppg this season, he would need to average 9.5 ppg in the last 10 regular season games to hit 1,000 career points.

Tre’ Kelley has 675 career points and is averaging a career-high 10.4 ppg this season after hitting 5.1 ppg his freshman year and 8.9 ppg his sophomore year. Kelley has a real shot, with 10 regular season games left this season and figuring about 30 games next season – Kelley would need to average 8.1 ppg from here on out to hit the magical 1,000 mark.

Edge of their seats

Carolina’s six conference games this season have all been decided by seven points or less, including two over-times (1-1). Interestingly, USC has averaged six games decided by seven points or less since they joined the SEC.