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Feb. 7, 2006

Tipoff: 7 pm (EST)

TV: Sun Sports Tape Delay (Bill Koss, Larry Vettel)

Radio: Gamecock Radio Network

Sirius radio: Channel No. 159

Series Record: UF leads 29-19

In Columbia: UF leads 14-12

In Gainesville: UF leads 14-5

Neutral site: USC leads 2-1

Last Meeting: Carolina won 68-62 on Jan. 25, 2006 in Columbia, S.C.

Probable Starters for the Florida game (starters from previous game)
POS NO South Carolina Gamecocks (11-10, 2-6) PPG RPG APG
F #23 Dwayne Day (6-6, 184, So., Mount Vernon, Ga.) 6.5 2.8 0.5
F #33 Brandon Wallace (6-10, 198, Jr., Jackson, S.C.) 7.0 6.0 2.5
C #14 Antoine Tisby (6-8, 237, Sr., Kansas City, Kan.) 6.3 3.2 0.9*
G #01 Tre’ Kelley (6-1, 183, Jr., Washington, D.C.) 11.3 2.7 3.8
G #21 Tarence Kinsey (6-6, 189, Sr., Tampa, Fla.) 15.2 4.8 2.2
Florida Gators (20-2, 6-2 SEC)
F #02 Corey Brewer (6-8, 185, So., Portland, Tenn.) 12.3 5.0
F #13 Joakim Noah (6-11, 227, So., New York, N.Y.) 12.7 6.0
C #42 Al Horford (6-9, 242, So., Puerto Plata, D.R.) 11.9 7.6
G #11 Taurean Green (6-0, 177, So., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) 14.8 5.3&
G #15 Walter Hodge (5-10, 170, Fr., Guaynabo, P.R.) 5.0 1.5&
* – Blocks per game & – Assists per game

Playing its last of three straight games outside the Palmetto State borders, South Carolina, 11-10 and 2-6 in SEC play, travels to Gainesville for a rematch with the Florida Gators on Wed., Feb. 8 at 7 pm. The Gators, ranked No. 6 (ESPN) and No. 7 (AP), could be searching for revenge as USC won the first game of the series this year with a 68-62 romp in Columbia. The last time USC won the season series was in 1998 when USC won 74-72 in Columbia, 79-74 at Gainesville and put icing on top of it all with a 71-60 win in the SEC Tournament in Atlanta, Ga.

South Carolina has broken Gator fans hearts twice this year with its win in football (30-22) and its win in basketball (68-62). But, the Gators enter the game looking for their 21st consecutive win at home, currently the nation’s second longest home winning streak and are looking to tie the school record with 11 straight SEC home wins.

The UF game will be televised (tape delayed) on Sun Sports with Bill Koss and Larry Vettel 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 159.

Donovan Said, Then Odom Said
“This will be our second time to face South Carolina this season,” said UF’s Billy Donovan.. “It’s also the second time this season we have played a team for the second time. They played with great emotion the last time we played each other. We got off to a good start early, but they were the better team that night. It was a six-point win for them, but they had us down 15 points at one point. This game will be a challenge for us. They have competitive kids and they totally out performed us. They beat us in every facet of the game. The challenge to our team is to take it one game to the next. Our last time against them is over. Our last home game is over.”

“In playing Florida, it’s obviously going to be a challenge for us,” said USC’s Dave Odom. “They are playing real well right now and real well at home, as most teams do in this conference. They seemed to have found their offense, what to do and who will score. They respond to their home crowd really well. It is possible to win at Florida, but we are playing a team with good depth and good inside talent. When Moss is your fourth post guy, you have a very good inside game.”

“We are coming off a disappointing performance, especially in the 1st half. Several turnovers and blocked shots and we couldn’t get back in the transition game. We made a run at them in the 2nd half. We will hopefully take that effort into practice this week.”

Offenses differ
While USC and Florida opponents only score 64.1 and 62.8 ppg, respectively, the two schools offenses differ quite a bit. Florida scores an average of 82.5 ppg – hitting 80+ points in 13 games this year. The Gamecocks on the other hand have hit 80+ three times this season and score an average of 68.8 ppg.

USC really does play at home, too
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 three straight after the home win over UF on Jan. 25. USC’s 17 days between home games (Jan. 25 – Feb. 11) is the longest home lapse since USC joined the SEC 15 years ago. In fact in conference play it’s the longest home lapse since 1990 when USC was still playing in the then-Metro Conference. USC went Jan. 27 (Memphis State) to Feb. 17 (Southern Miss) without a home conference game, playing four conference road games (at Tulane, Southern Miss, Louisville and Cincinnati) and two non-conference games (at Clemson and The Citadel). USC did play Augusta College on Jan. 29 at home that year.

USC played at UT on Jan. 28, will play at Arkansas on Feb. 4 and at Florida on Feb. 8. The trio combines for a 37-1 home record going into Wednesday’s games, including a 12-1 record in SEC play. The only loss in the trio was a 58-63 loss by Arkansas to first place LSU.

But we do come back soon
After traveling to Gainesville, 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). The five teams who will march into the Colonial Center in February, entering Wednesday’s game, are 14-17 on the road this season, including 9-11 in SEC play. The five also combine for a 3-6 record in the Colonial Center with Alabama, Vanderbilt and LSU still searching for its first win in the Colonial Center.

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. On the same theme, those two are 17-5 at home, including 3-5 in the SEC.

Back on target?
Rocky Trice played seven minutes in the OT win at Vandy, scoring no points (0-0) with 1 REB, 1 BLK and 1 STL. It was the first time in 34 straight games he failed to score a point. After missing next game at Kentucky to due his grandmother’s death in Georgia, Trice has rebounded nicely. He is shooting 63% from the field, including making 12 of his last 19 shots. It’s his best three-game performance this season.

Starting the first 15 of 16 games, Trice has not started the last four, but is averaging 18 mpg in the last three contests.

At the free throw line, Trice is connecting on 70% of his freebies (19-27) after hitting 81% to lead the team last year (34-42).

Close calls, Not so close calls
Of the last six games between Florida and USC in Columbia five have been decided by six points or less, including three by three points or less.

The last six meetings in Columbia against Florida
2000-01 W 69-68
2001-02 L 72-63
2002-03 L 77-75
2003-04 L 65-62
2004-05 L 66-65
2005-06 W 68-62

The O’Connell Center has not rolled out the red carpet for the Gamecocks since they won two straight in 1997 and 98. The last seven games in Gainesville USC has lost by an average of 17.1 points. Carolina has lost by no less than eight (72-80 last season) and no more than 33 (63-96 in 2003). But, the last four of five meetings in Gainesville, USC lost by 12 or less (12, 9, 11, 8) (see series record on page 2).

The last two games USC played were viewed by 20,068 (UT) and 18,286 (UA). Playing on the road the last four of five games, USC’s opponents have averaged 18,552 fans for the Carolina match-up. The largest crowd was the 23,420 Wildcats fans in Lexington.

Prior to that four-game away schedule, USC played in front of an average of 5,555 fans on the road (five games). The largest crowd was the 8,400 fans at Clemson.

Under 40 no good
USC shot 38.5% from the floor on Saturday against the Razorbacks. It was only the third game this season that the Gamecock shot below 40% as a team – all resulting in losses. USC shot 29.6% from the field in the first half in Fayetteville. It was its lowest first half field goal percentage since it shot 23.1% vs. Clemson on Dec. 4, 2004, but the Gamecocks followed up in the second half with a 50% performance vs. the Tigers and hit 48% in the second half vs. Arkansas.

Shooting % for game Record this year
Under 40% 0-3
40%-49% 7-4
50% and over 4-3

3 Pointers
USC is stepping up a bit more beyond the arch this season. Carolina has hit at least six 3-pointers in 15 of its 21 games this season as compared to hitting six+ in just 13 of 33 games last year. The Gamecocks are 3-3 in those six games this season.

USC leading scoring Tarence Kinsey is averaging 43 % beyond the arc this season (41-95) as compared to last year’s leading scorer Carlos Powell who knocked down just six threes in 33 games, attempted 32 (19%). In fact Kinsey, Tre’ Kelley, Brandon Wallace, Stephen McDowell and Dwayne Day have already either topped or tied last year’s totals and Rocky Trice is one off his 14 of last year. Wallace has improved quite a bit, hitting 11 of 37 attempts (30%) this season after hitting 9-51 (18%) last season in 33 games.

Category USC Opponents USC Opponents
3’s per game 7.2 7.5 5.0 6.9
3 point % 37% 38% 33% 34%
Single game
3’s made 14 (vs. Wofford) 9 (at Alabama)
3’s ATT. 30 (at Tennessee) 24 (vs. Ole Miss OT)

Our Guard
Tre’ Kelley is averaging a team-high 3.8 apg, including 4.8 apg in SEC play. Last year Kelley averaged 3.6 apg in overall play, but just 3.3 apg in SEC play. He averaged 2 APG his freshman campaign, including 2.2 apg in SEC contests. That season he played behind captain Mike Boynton, Jr. who averaged 3.4 apg, including 3.6 apg in SEC play.

This season he has 12 of 21 games with 4+ assists per game. In fact, in the last nine games he has only gone under four assists once and that was when he scored 29 points in the OT win at Vandy. He has hit his season high of eight twice this year: a 68-54 win over Winthrop and a 68-62 win over then-No. 4 Florida. His career high is nine in the win over UNLV in the second round of last year’s NIT run to the title.

Still scoring, but no tator tots?
Tarence Kinsey (15.4) and Renaldo Balkman (10.9) both average double figures at home. On the road Kinsey (136), Tre’ Kelley (12.1) and Dwayne Day (11.1) average double figures. Oddly enough, Day averages just 4.0 ppg when playing in front of the home crowd. He averages 13.6 mpg at home and a whopping 21.9 mpg on the road.

USC has four in double figures in neutral site games: Kinsey (21.0), Balkman (15.0), Kelley (15.0) and Brandon Wallace (10.0).

His best day, not our’s
In the 73-59 win over South Carolina last Saturday, Arkansas’ Jonathon Modica scored a career-high 37 points on 11-of-17 shooting, including a career-high 6-of-9 from behind the arc. It was the most points scored against the Gamecocks since they joined the SEC 15 years ago (non-conference and SEC).

The 37 points is the high in the SEC this year, and it is the most for a Razorback since Al Dillard scored 39 against Delaware State on Dec. 11, 1993.

You may have read this before
South Carolina is 11-10 and 2-6 in the SEC. Individually Carolina continues to be led by Tampa’s own Tarence Kinsey, who is averaging a team-leading 15.2 ppg. For stats geeks, Kinsey leads the Gamecocks in scoring in just about every way you can figure it: SEC games (14.5 ppg), wins (16.2 ppg), losses (14.1 ppg), home (15.4 ppg), away (13.7 ppg) and neutral (21.0 ppg).

Kinsey also leads the Gamecocks with 33.8 mpg and is third with 4.8 rpg. Junior Tre’ Kelley is second with 11.3 ppg and 33.4 mpg. He leads the team with 3.8 apg. Junior Renaldo Balkman’s third on the team with 9.9 ppg and 2.4 apg. He leads the team with 1.5 spg and is tied for the team lead with 6.0 rpg.

Brandon Wallace is second on the team with 6.0 rpg, 1.3 bpg, and 2.5 apg. He is tied for fourth on the team with 7.0 ppg. He leads the team with 14 dunks. His three double-doubles this season top Balkman and Kinsey’s each.

Looking forward to it all
USC will honor Zam Frederick at the LSU game (Feb. 28), this year’s SEC legend, Larry Davis, at the Mississippi State (Feb. 11 at 6 pm) and the 2006 Senior class of Tarence Kinsey, Rocky Trice and Antoine Tisby at the Vanderbilt game (Feb. 25 at 1 pm). Both Frederick and Davis will sign autograph photos provided at half time in the Colonial Center atrium of their respective games.

In addition, USC fans will be able to welcome back former Gamecock basketball players in town for the USC Basketball Reunion Weekend on Sat., Feb. 18 prior to the Kentucky game. The gathering will take place on the atrium (open area above the ticket office) at the Colonial Center from 12:45 – 1:15 pm. A number of players from several decades are expected back for the reunion with one of the highlights being a special halftime recognition ceremony.

It is the 25th anniversary of Frederick winning the NCAA Division I scoring title when he scored 28.9 ppg during the 1980-81 season. A co-captain of the 1981 team that finished 17-10, Frederick was named to the Citizens Savings All-America team. The native of St. Matthews, S.C., Frederick scored 1,383 points in his career and his is currently No. 14th on the all-time points scored list. His 781 points his senior year are second only to Grady Wallace’s 906 points he scored in 1957.

The 2006 South Carolina SEC Legend, who will be honored at the SEC Tournament in Nashville March 9-12, Davis helped lead the Gamecocks’ to their first SEC title in basketball in 1997. Davis was a two-time All-SEC guard and named to the 1997 third team Basketball Times All-America team. The Denmark, S.C. native, who transferred from North Carolina and played for USC for two years, finished his career with 1,068 points – good for 31st best on the all-time list. He scored in double figures in 52 of 63 games while at Carolina. The 1997 team finished the year with a 24-8 record – the second-most wins ever by a Gamecock squad – and was No. 6 in the final AP poll.

USC is 5-4 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 6-9 on TV this season with the next televised game being a 7 pm tape-delayed contest at Florida on Wed., Feb. 8. 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 coach in 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.

Looking down at 1,000
Tarence Kinsey’s 319 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. 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). Kinsey has racked up 921 career points and needs 79 points to hit the 1,000 mark and become the 38th Gamecock to go over the 1,000 mark. Averaging 15.2 ppg this season, he would need to average 9.9 ppg in the last eight regular season games to hit 1,000 career points.

Tre’ Kelley has 693 career points and is averaging a career-high 11.3 ppg this season after hitting 5.1 ppg his freshman year and 8.9 ppg his sophomore year. Kelley has a real shot, with eight 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.

Keepin’ it going
Hitting six 3’s at Arkansas – USC extended its steak to 155 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. MSU in 2001.