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March 7, 2006


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). 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 its 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 Jefferson Pilot’s television tournament coverage while Dave Baker will serve as the roving reporter.

The MSU 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

A Few Things
* Carolina is 16-12 under Coach Odom in the month of March. Since joining the league in 1991-92, SC is 32-33 in March.
* USC shot 50% to defeat Auburn on March 4. When the Gamecocks shoot 50% or better this season they are 7-3. When they shoot less than 40% they are 0-6.
* Tarence Kinsey has scored 20+ points nine times this season, including three of the last five games and a career best 24 points three times. Prior to this season, in 85 games he had only scored 20+ points twice.
* In addition to Kinsey, Tre’ Kelley has hit 20+ three times this season and Renaldo Balkman has hit it once.
* USC won three SEC road games this season (at Vandy, Florida, Auburn), matching the same total of 2004 (at Auburn, Vandy, Georgia). The last time USC won four SEC road games: 1998 (at Georgia, Auburn, Vanderbilt and Florida).
* The win at Auburn was Odom’s 370th win as a head coach. He needs eight more wins to hit 100 wins at USC.

Gamecock Leaders
Tarence Kinsey heads up the Gamecock cause with 15.5 ppg. For stats geeks, Kinsey leads USC in scoring in every way you figure it: SEC games (15.4 ppg), wins (16.1 ppg), losses (14.9 ppg), home (15.3 ppg), away (14.8 ppg) and neutral (21.0 ppg). Kinsey also leads the team in mpg (34.2), 3pt % (39.3%) and free throw % (87.3%). He is second in steals (1.3) and third in assists (2.0). Kinsey is 9-15 from 3 pt land in the past two games after going 3-26 in the five previous games. He has hit at least one three in 24 games this season.

Tre’ Kelley is second with 11.6 ppg and leads the team with 4.3 apg. Brandon Wallace leads the team with 6.2 rpg, and 1.6 bpg. He is second with 2.3 apg and fourth with 7.5 ppg. Wallace blocked four shots each in the last two games. Wallace’s four double-doubles top Renaldo Balkman’s three and Kinsey’s two.

Balkman’s third on the team with 9.6 ppg and 2.0 apg. He leads the team with 1.6 spg and his 5.9 rpg are second-best on the Carolina roster.

Career Lists
Tarence Kinsey has tallied 1,052 career points – hitting his 1000th career point with a free throw in the second half vs. Vandy (18:45). He become the 38th Gamecock to go over the 1,000 mark. With his 24 points at Auburn, he passed Darryl Martin, Scotti Ward and Aaron Lucas to move to No. 35. If he can score 27+ he will move to No. 30, passing Brian Winters (1079, 1971-74) and leapfrogging four players (Cedrick Hordges, Chuck Eidson, Larry Davis and Winters).

Kinsey’s 450 points this season have already surpassed the points he scored in his sophomore (273) and junior years (286). He scored just 43 points in an injury riddled freshman season. Kinsey has hit 20+ points nine times this season, including three 21 point performances at Kentucky, vs. UK and vs. No. 21 LSU. In his first three seasons at USC, Kinsey played in 85 games and he had hit the 20+ mark only twice. (23 vs. S.C. State, 12-22-04 and 21 vs. Idaho, 11-18-03).

His 115 career three-pointers put him at No. 8 all-time with Aaron Lucas (115, 1999-2002). Three more and he will pass Brent Price at No. 7 (117, 1988-89). Not bad for a guy who went 1 of 14 from beyond the arc his freshman year, scoring 43 points while he suffered from a number of injuries.

His 318 three-point attempts put him at No. 10 all-time. He needs 15 more attempts to reach Herbert Lee Davis (333, 1997-2000).

Another career list possibility: he needs seven more steals to match Carey Rich at No. 10 with 127 steals (1993-95).

If the season ended today, he would finish at No. 6 on the all-time career three-point % list (36.2%). In addition he would finish at No. 4 on the free throw % list for a single season with a 87.3%, topping Scotti Ward in 1963 (86.8%). Very much within his reach, Ronnie Collins heads up the single season list at 88.4% (84-95) at the charity stripe.

Next to 1000?
Looking down the road, Tre’ Kelley has 802 career points and has a real shot at being the 39th player to hit 1,000 career points his senior year. He is averaging a career-high 11.6 ppg this season after scoring 5.1 ppg his freshman year and 8.9 ppg last year.

He also could make the following single season top 10 lists this year as well:

1. 29 games started needs to start 2 more games
(at 31 he would be tied at No. 9 with six players)
2. 49 3 PT Made needs 9
(at 58 would be tied for No. 10 with Carey Rich)
3. 135 3 PT ATT needs 7
(at 142 would be tied for No. 10 with two players)
4. 125 assists needs 13
(at 138 would be tied at No. 8 with three players)
In addition, he could make the top 10 of the following career lists in the future
1. 96 games played needs 24 games to enter top 10
2. 94 3 PT made needs 15 to enter top 10
3. 289 3 PT ATT needs 25 to enter top 10
4. 312 AST needs 28 to enter top 10

Close Call … Again
USC has had 17 games decided by seven points or less, posting a 6-11 record – including 11 of those being SEC games (USC is 3-7 in those games). USC has had seven games this season decided by three points or less, posting a 1-6 record. Three of the seven games that were decided by three points or less went to OT.

Games Decided by No. of times Record
3 or less 7 (1-6)
5 or less 3 (3-0)
7 or less 7 (2-5)
10 or more 12 (9-3)

Each of USC’s first six SEC games were decided by seven points or less and 11 SEC games were decided by the same tally. USC has averaged six games decided by seven points or less since they joined the SEC.

SEC Season 7 pts. or less
1991-92 6
1992-93 8
1993-94 8
1994-95 6
1995-96 3
1996-97 6
1997-98 7
1998-99 6
1999-2000 7
2000-01 10
2001-02 7
2002-03 6
2003-04 8
2004-05 7
2005-06 11

USC is No. 1 in scoring defense in all games (63.5) and finished No. 2 behind LSU in SEC games (66.4). USC is first in opponents rebounds in overall (31.4 rpg) and SEC games (31.1 rpg). See pages 8 and 10 for full rundowns on SEC and overall stats as a team and individually.

Individually, Tarence Kinsey is among the SEC leaders in scoring, field goal %, free throw %, 3 point FG made, steals and minutes played.

Tre’ Kelley led the league with 5.2 apg.

Let’s get’em
Dave Odom came into the season looking for his first USC wins against Florida and Mississippi State. You can check Florida off the list twice actually. And a win over MSU on Thursday would give Odom two wins this season against the Bulldogs – his first two as the Gamecock head coach. Dave Odom, who came to Carolina five years ago, has now defeated every SEC team at least once (and if he defeated MSU he would have at least two wins against each school).

He defeated both UF and MSU while at WFU. After 12 years at Wake, he defeated every then-ACC team at least eight times a piece.

50 (per) cent
USC shot 50.0% at Auburn, the 10th time its shot 50%+ this season. See the following results for when USC shoots well or not so well.

Shooting % When SC shoots When Opponents shoot@
Under 40% 0-6 7-3
40%-49% 8-5 8-6
50-59% 6-3 0-5
60% and over 1-0 – (@- reflects USC record)

USC is 7-6 following a loss. USC was 8-3 in 2004-05 and 6-4 in 2003-04.
USC appeared on television at 22 times during the regular season, including at seven games on national television (6 ESPN/ESPN2, 1 CBS) and one tape delay (SUN Sports). The 22 appearances were the most regular-season television appearances ever for the Gamecocks. USC is 9-13 on TV this season. See complete schedule on page one.

Beaten some big timers
With the two wins over UF’s Billy Donovan, Odom has posted a number of quality wins over coaches who have led their teams to the Final Four and/or won national championships during their own careers. With 369 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.