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March 6, 2006

Game 30 – Mississippi State vs. South Carolina – March 9, 2006 – Gaylord Center – Nashville, Tenn.

Tipoff: 1 pm (EST), Thurs., March 9
TV: JP (Tom Hammond, Larry Conley)
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
Series Record: MSU leads 10-6
In Columbia: Series record tied 4-4
In Starkville: MSU leads 6-1
Neutral site: USC leads 1-0
Last Meeting: South Carolina defeated 83-61 Mississippi State on Feb. 11, 2006

Probable Starters for the Miss. State game (starters from previous game) South Carolina Gamecocks (15-14, 6-10 SEC)

Pos. No. Player PPG RPG APG
F #14 Antoine Tisby (6-8, 237, Sr., Kansas City, Kan.) 5.4 2.9 0.8*
F #21 Tarence Kinsey (6-6, 189, Sr., Tampa, Fla.) 15.5 4.8 2.0
C #33 Brandon Wallace (6-10, 198, Jr., Jackson, S.C.) 7.5 6.2 2.3
G #01 Tre’ Kelley (6-1, 183, Jr., Washington, D.C.) 11.6 2.7 4.3
G #10 Rocky Trice (6-3, 163, Sr., Swainsboro, Ga.) 7.1 3.1 1.5

Mississippi State (15-14, 5-11 SEC)

Pos. No. Player PPG RPG
F #20 Michael Boler (6-5, 190, Sr., Greenwood, Miss.) 1.2 1.3
f #23 Charles Rhodes (6-8, 240, So., Jackson, Miss.) 13.9 7.3
c #25 Wesley Morgan (7-2, 240, Sr., Gallatin, Tenn.) 4.3 5.3
G #24 Reginald Delk (6-4, 170, Fr., Jackson, Tenn.) 9.0 2.1
G #44 Jamont Gordon (6-4, 225, Fr., Nashville, Tenn.) 13.9 6.6

* – Blocks per game

Gamecocks play Bulldogs in first round of SEC Tournament

USC, 15-14 and finishing 6-10 in the SEC, will travel to Nashville to play Mississippi State, 15-14 and 5-11 in the SEC, in the first round of the SEC Tournament on Thurs., March 9 at 1 pm (EST) in the Gaylord Entertainment Center. Both teams are coming off Saturday wins with USC winning 67-63 in Auburn and Mississippi State defeating Alabama on Senior Day 71-58.

In the last match-up between the two, USC defeated the Bulldogs 83-61 on Feb. 21, 2006 in Columbia in their most lopsided SEC win since a 23-point win at Vanderbilt on Feb. 16, 2002. USC was 2-1 vs. the SEC Western Division at home this season and 1-2 vs. the same side on the road (3-3 overall).

The game will be carried on Jefferson-Pilot television with Tom Hammond and Larry Conley making the call. JP will televise the first, second and semifinal rounds while CBS will broadcast the championship game nationally on Sunday. Dave Neal will serve as the host of JP’s tournament coverage while Dave Baker will serve as the roving reporter.

The Mississippi State game can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network with Mike Morgan (play-by-play) and Casey Manning (color analyst). The MSU game can also be heard via the internet at

SEC Tourney

Carolina is 1-1 in the SEC Tournament in Nashville and 12-14 in the SEC Tournament since joining the league 15 years ago (see chart below for records vs. SEC opponents). In 2001 in Nashville the Gamecocks defeated Mississippi State 69-62 before falling to Kentucky 78-65. USC went on to play in the NIT, losing at Connecticut in the opening round. USC has only faced MSU once in the SEC Tournament (in Nashville in 2001).

If USC wins on Thursday, Carolina will play Tennessee at 1 pm (EST) on Fri., March 10. Tennessee, 21-6 and 12-4 in the SEC, won the Eastern Division this season and as the No. 1 seed from the East it has a bye first round (see page three for full tournament bracket).

Under Coach Odom the Gamecocks are 4-4 in the SEC Tournament and have advanced to the semifinals twice. The other two times under Odom, Carolina dropped opening round losses to Ole Miss.

Record Against Opponents in the SEC Tournament
Mississippi 3-3
LSU 2-0
Alabama 2-2
Mississippi State 1-0
Tennessee 1-1
Florida 1-1
Arkansas 1-1
Kentucky 1-3
Auburn 0-2
Georgia 0-1
Overall 12-14

Carolina is 16-12 under Coach Odom in the month of March. Since joining the league in 1991-92, USC is 32-33 in March.

Their Last time

Jamont Gordon scored 17 points, Charles Rhodes added 16 (8-12) and Reginaldo Delk had 10 as MSU beat Alabama 71-58 March 4. The Bulldogs won their fourth straight home game. They beat ‘Bama for the first time since 2004.

Mississippi State was up 37-29 at halftime and never trailed in the second half.

State, which entered as the SEC’s worst team from behind the arc, made 9-of-20 attempts from 3-point range.

MSU was missing two key guards. Dietric Slater, who tore a knee ligament three days earlier in a loss at Arkansas, didn’t play while senior Jamall Edmondson, who is battling pneumonia and a groin injury, played only the final 27 seconds of his last regular-season game at Humphrey Coliseum.

Besides all that

Mississippi State leads the series record 10-6.

A USC win would make Dave Odom 3-2 in first round SEC Tournament games. A Bulldog win would make up for this season’s 83-61 loss earlier this season and push the team’s record to two games over .500 (16-14).

The two only began play with each other in 1992 – the year USC joined the league. A few things about the rivalry:
First Meeting: Jan. 26, 1992 (57-60 in Columbia)
Last Meeting:Feb. 11, 2006 (83-61 in Columbia)
Last 5 Meetings: 1-4
Last 10 Meetings: 4-6
Since joining the SEC: 6-10