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Oct. 11, 2006

Season Preview in PDF Format (Two Pages)
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* South Carolina comes off a 17-12 season in 2005-06 that resulted in a trip to the Women’s NIT. The Gamecocks finished with a 7-7 record in SEC play.

* Head Coach Susan Walvius welcomes back all five starters and 12 letterwinners from last year’s team. All tolled, Carolina returns 97 percent of its scoring, 96 percent of its rebounding, 95 percent of its assists, 94 percent of its blocked shots and 95 percent of its steals from a year ago.

* South Carolina’s returning players have combined to play in 697 games and make 327 starts entering the 2006-07 season. Both figures represent the highest totals of any team in the SEC.

* The Gamecocks set a pair of school records in 2005-06 by limiting the opposition to 56.8 points per game on .347 shooting from the field. Carolina also set a new school record with 193 blocked shots a year ago.

* Forward Melanie Johnson was a second-team All-SEC pick in 2005-06 and forward Demetress Adams was a Freshman All-SEC pick.

* Guard Lauren Simms enters the 2006-07 season just 215 points shy of reaching the 1,000-points mark for her career. Forward Iva Sliskovic enters the season 267 points shy of that same milestone.

* The Gamecocks face a difficult non-conference schedule this year that includes trips to Penn State, NC State and reigning Pac-10 champion and Elite Eight participant Stanford in addition to home contests against reigning Big 12 champion and Sweet 16 participant Oklahoma and Clemson.

* South Carolina’s game against Clemson this year will be played Nov. 20, which is the Monday of the South Carolina-Clemson football game week. The Gamecocks vs. Tigers women’s basketball game is set to tip off at 7 p.m. and will be played at the Colonial Center. The Gamecocks handed Clemson a 77-46 beating in Clemson last year.

* A total of six South Carolina natives dot the Gamecock roster in 2006-07, with Lauren Simms, Brionna Dickerson and Lakesha Tolliver all hailing from Columbia, Melanie Johnson coming from Barnwell, Demetress Adams from Bishopville and Ebony Jones from Aiken.

* A pair of newcomers join the roster in freshmen Lauren Falohun and Kellindra Zackery. Falohun is a physical, aggressive point guard who is at her best when harassing the opposing team’s point guard defensively. Though only 5-11, Zackery plays bigger than her size. She is a banger underneath and will give the Gamecocks an added dimension of toughness. Both Falohun and Zackery were all-state selections in high school and are expected to contribute immediately to this year’s team.

* South Carolina figures to be a stronger team this year, literally. New women’s basketball strength and conditioning coach Pat Moorer has drawn rave reviews from Susan Walvius and her staff for his work with the players during the off-season.