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Nov. 12, 2006

South Carolina travels to California this week for two games on the West Coast. First up: UC-Irvine (1-2) on Tues., Nov. 14 at 10 pm (EST). The game will be available across the nation as part of a special on-line pay-per-view event. This special presentation will be available live and on-demand via the Big West TV Internet video streaming (see later in notes for information).

After the game vs. the Anteaters, the Gamecocks will travel to Los Angeles to play Southern California to open its $150 million Galen Center on Thurs., Nov. 16 at 10:30 pm (EST). The game will be shown on the Fox Sports Network.

USC is playing its 99th season of Gamecock Basketball.

The USC-USC game will be broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio channel No. 181. Both games can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network with Mike Morgan (play-by-play) and Casey Manning (color analyst). They can also be heard via the internet at

South Carolina, 23-15 and 6-10 SEC last year, won its second straight post-season NIT title last season with a 76-64 win over Michigan. The two straight titles was a feat only matched by St. John’s in 1943 and 1944. The 23 wins tied Odom’s highest win total at Carolina (23 wins when they advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2004). It was Carolina’s fourth 20-win season in five years under Odom.

USC-UCI Game on Pay-Per-View online

The USC-UCI game has been selected by the Big West as an exclusive online pay-per-view event offering live, streaming game video from tipoff to post-game. It is fast and easy to sign up. The game is available, via CSTV and the Big West Conference, for $5.95 ( This pay-per-view event is a one-time special video presentation. Purchase price of an event entitles viewer to that game only. Any current and active Big West TV All-Access subscribers will gain access to this special presentation as a part of their package.

The Anteaters

UC-Irvine is 1-2 this season, falling 67-63 in its season opener vs. South Alabama on Nov. 10, then defeating Winston-Salem State 53-41 Nov. 11 and falling to host-Fresno State 82-51 on Sunday evening. All three games were played at Fresno State’s tournament.

The Anteaters were 16-13 last season, finishing second in the Big West with a 10-4 mark and fell on a last-second three-pointer in the Big West Tournament semi-finals to Long Beach State (75-73). UCI finished second in the nation in three-point field goal percentage last season (.420) and was 20th in three-point field goals made per game (8.6). They are led by Pat Douglass who is in his 10th season at UCI and his 26th overall. They were picked fourth in the Big West pre-season poll.

The Trojans

Southern California’s game vs. Carolina will be its season opener on Thur., Nov. 16. The Trojans, led by second-year head coach Tim Floyd, were 17-13 last year. They were sixth in the Pac-10 with an 8-10 record and fell 82-67 in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament to Cal.

They return three starters who averaged more than 12 ppg: Nick Young (17.3 ppg), Gabe Pruitt (16.9 ppg) and Lodrick Stewart (12.3 ppg).

Not your average road trip

USC will play in the state of California twice in three days this week, bringing a 5-1 record to the Golden State. USC has never played in Los Angeles, but is 2-0 in San Diego, 2-0 in San Francisco and 1-1 in Santa Clara.

The last time USC played in California: in 1991 a Steve Newton Gamecock-led team defeated San Diego State in double overtime, 71-69 (Dec. 21, 1991). The Gamecocks had defeated George Washington 69-58 the day before at San Diego.

USC meets UC-Irvine for the first time on Tues., Nov. 14 at 10 pm (EST). USC has a home and home with the Anteaters which will feature UC-Irvine traveling to Columbia next year. The coaches have not faced each other in the past nor have the schools.

USC is 1–0 vs. Southern California. USC will open Southern California’s new $150 million Galen Center (10,258) with its game on Nov. 16 on FSN at 10:30 pm (EST).

The only time the two USC’s met was in 1977 when South Carolina hosted the Trojans and won in overtime 65-58 on Dec. 22 in its opening game of the Carolina Classic. The next day USC was defeated by Oklahoma 65-48 (Dec. 23).

On the road

USC has won its last three games on the road, beginning with its 67-63 win at Auburn on March 4. USC later won at Florida State (69-68 in OT, March 21) and at Cincinnati (65-62, March 23) to advance to the NIT Final Four. The Gamecocks were 13-9 combined on the road and at a neutral site last season. It was the most wins posted on the road since the 1996-97 squad claimed 13 as well.

vs. those 2 conferences

The Gamecocks have not played a current Big West team.

USC is 2-3 vs. the Pacific Ten, including a 1-0 record vs. Southern California (65-58 OT win on Dec. 22, 1977 in Columbia). USC is 0-1 at Arizona State, 1-0 vs. California and 0-1 vs. Stanford and UCLA – both at neutral sites.

The Firsts

The first point of the 2006-07 season came against South Carolina State: a free throw by Brandon Wallace (1st 17:46) and the first basket of the season: Tre’ Kelley (2-pointer. – 17:22).

All four freshmen on scholarship played the first minutes of their career vs. SCSU. Brandis Raley-Ross led the four-some with seven points, including two key free throws with 21.6 ticks left on the clock to ice the game. Also scoring: Evaldus Baniulis scored four and Dominique Archie hit one free throw.

Also snatching a career moment: Dwayne Day had four steals – a career high. He also shot a career-high 15 field goal attempts. Bryce Sheldon added a career high as well, grabbing five rebounds.

Holding onto the Rock

To end the 2006 season USC turned the ball over 64 times in its last seven games (9.1 topg) while its opponents turned it over almost twice as many times at 105 times (15 topg) during that span.

USC has picked up right where it left off last year, turning the ball over just seven times vs. SCSU, compared to the Bulldogs 22 turnovers. Playing 39 minutes, Tre’ Kelley posted no turnovers.

USC turned the ball over 10 or fewer times 13 times last year, posting an 11-2 record. All told under Odom USC has turned the ball over 10 or fewer times 45 times, posting a 33-12 record.

Not so much of that again

USC shot just 33.9 percent vs. South Carolina, including a lowly 5.6 percent (1-18) from the three point line. The last time USC shot that poorly: the 49-47 loss to Florida in the SEC Tournament Championship (30.0 %). The last time USC made just one three-pointer in a game: the Gamecocks shot 1-14 (7 %) vs. East Carolina on Dec., 20, 2004, but got away with the 57-53 win in Mobile.

With the one three vs. SCSU, USC extended its streak to 174 consecutive games with a three-point basket Not bad, but the streak had reached 221 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.

Early birds

While Nov. 10 might have sounded early to most Gamecock basketball fans, USC has opened it season sooner. In 1998 USC lost to Valpariso in the NABC Classic on Nov. 7 (61-67). USC fell the next day (Nov. 8) to Indiana 55-76.

USC did not play an exhibition this season, instead choosing to play two closed-door scrimmages vs. Division I teams. It is the first time USC hasn’t played an exhibition since the 1979 season. USC is 35-6 in exhibitions, having won 14 consecutive games.

Gamecock Tour

USC will step way out of South Carolina on Tuesday for its road game, playing more than 2,400 miles from home at UC-Irvine. This season USC will play in eight states, including the seventh time in California.