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Nov. 18, 2006

After posting a 1-1 record in California, South Carolina (2-1) returns home to host Lipscomb (2-1) on Sun., Nov. 19 at 3 pm at the Colonial Center. It is the first meeting for the two teams, but the coaches are VERY familiar with each other as the Bisons are coached by USC graduate Scott Sanderson. He is the older brother of USC assistant coach Barry Sanderson.

Scott Sanderson, 1984 graduate of USC, was a graduate assistant at USC from 1984-85. He was the 2006 Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year. As a senior at USC, Sanderson helped the team to the NIT, served as team captain and led the team in free throw percentage.

The Lipscomb game can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network with Mike Morgan (play-by-play) and Casey Manning (color analyst). It 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.

After this one

USC will have a few days off, eight to exact, after it hosts Lipscomb. USC will play its next game at The Citadel on Mon., Nov. 27 at 7:05 pm. It will be USC’s third road game in four tries.

Something about Lipscomb

Lipscomb is 2-1 this season, with wins Tusculum (70-67) and Evansville (67-64) and a loss at Missouri (89-69). The Bisons are looking for their first win over an SEC team and if they win, it would be Sanderson’s 200th career victory as a head coach.

They have three players scoring double figures: senior Trey Williams (18.0 ppg), junior Eddie Ard (14.3 ppg) and Brian Fisk (11.3 ppg). USC is 34-13 vs. the Atlantic Sun Conference, but has not played Lipscomb in the past.

West Coast

South Carolina features a lone player from the West Coast: 6-5 guard/forward Bryce Sheldon, who hails from Anaheim. He attended Loara High School and went to Fullerton College for two years before coming east to Carolina last season.

Sheldon played a career-high 36 MIN at UCI, scoring 12 PT with 2 REB, 1 AST and 1 BLK.

But it was his return to Los Angeles and Southern California that caused quite a stir. Not recruited by the Trojans and carrying small chip on his shoulder because of that, Sheldon quickly got out of the gates in USC’s new Galen Center, scalding the nets for a career-high 22 points in a career-high 38 minutes, helping USC post an 80-74 overtime win. Sheldon was 7-9 on the day, including a career-best 6-7 from beyond the arc.

Turned that luck around

Coming into this season, USC had won three straight road games (at Auburn (67-63) , at Florida State (69-68 OT) and at Cincinnati (65-62), but dropped the road opener 67-52 game at UC-Irvine. History was on the Gamecocks side against Southern California as they notched their second straight OT win over the Trojans and turned the tide on their luck. USC is now 1-0 following a loss this season. The Gamecocks were 8-6 following a loss last season, they were 8-3 in 2004-05 and 6-4 in 2003-04.

Not your average road trip

USC visited the state of California this week, playing twice in three days. The Gamecocks left with a 1-1 record, giving USC a 6-2 record in the Golden State. USC is 2-0 in San Diego, 2-0 in San Francisco, 1-1 in Santa Clara., 1-0 in Los Angeles and 0-1 in Irvine.

USC is now 2–0 vs. Southern California and both wins have been in overtime. The only other 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.

Furthermore, South Carolina is 3-3 vs. the Pacific Ten, including a 2-0 record vs. Southern California. USC is 0-1 at Arizona State, 1-0 vs. California and 0-1 vs. Stanford and UCLA – both at neutral sites.

OT … again

South Carolina is 1-0 in overtime games this season with its OT win at Southern California. Last year USC was involved in four overtime games, winning its last one on the road as well defeating Florida State 69-68 in the NIT Second Round behind Tre’ Kelley’s 17 points and Renaldo Balkman’s 13 rebounds.

USC also had two players score 20+ in the win over the Trojans with Kelley collecting 26 and Sheldon 22. The last time USC had two players score 20+: Renaldo Balkman (23) and Tarence Kinsey (21) had 20+ in the 78-63 win over Louisville in the NIT semi-finals with Brandon Wallace right behind them with 19 points.

Kelley: just about 1,000, 3,000; Wallace keeps blockin’

Tre’ Kelley and Brandon Wallace are working on some career milestones this year. Tre’ Kelley needs eight points to be the 39th player to score 1,000 career points. On Sunday, if all goes right, Kelley will also hit 3,000 career minutes (he has 2997 career minutes).

In his shoes

Freshman Brandis Raley-Ross had to bounce off the bench to aid the Gamecock cause Nov. 14 vs. UC-Irvine when senior Tre’ Kelley got into foul trouble with three fouls early and played only seven minutes in the first half. Kelley had to sit at the 13 minute mark until the end of the half.

Raley-Ross poured in a career-high and team-high 14 points (5-11), hitting 4-5 free throws in 28 MIN.

Raley-Ross followed up that performance with an even better one at Southern California, just one rebound off his first career double-double. He scored 17 PT with 9 REB, including a 4-4 performance from the charity stripe.

Scoring is not foreign to Raley-Ross, who remarked earlier in the week that the seven points he scored vs. SCSU last week were ‘an all-time low for me’. He averaged 29 ppg his senior year at Gaston Day School in Gastonia, N.C. last season and 28 ppg his junior year.

The 24 minutes played in the UCI game were the fewest amount played for Kelley since he played 21 in the 87-62 win at Western Carolina on Nov. 15, 2005.

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. USC leads the TO War this season, averaging 9.3 topg while the competition has averaged 14.7 topg.