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Dec. 7, 2006

South Carolina, 5-2, travels to Waco, Texas to play Baylor, 6-1, on Sat., Dec. 9 at 6 pm. It’s a first-time meeting between the two schools with Baylor returning the favor next season in Columbia.

Baylor is off to its best start in three years and has won seven straight home games and nine of its last 10 (dating back to last season). The Bears are 58-19 during the last seven years of non-conference play and have made a three-pointer in 430 straight games. Led by fourth-year head coach Scott Drew, a 1993 Butler alum, the Bears look to improve on their 4-13 record from last season with 10 letterwinners returning. They only played the Big 12 schedule as NCAA sanctions did not allow them to play a non-conference schedule last season. In each game this season at least three Bears have scored in double figures and they are besting opponents by an average of 18+ ppg.

Baylor defeated Texas State of the Southland Conference 89-64 in its last game (Sat., Dec. 2). The Bears have scored at least 87 points in five of its seven games this year, with its lone blemish coming at Gonzaga (78-69, Nov. 15, 2006). USC is coming off a 67-66 win over College of Charleston on Tues., Dec. 5, starting its third line-up of the season (Kelley, Day, Raley-Ross, Wallace and Archie). It ruined the homecoming and Columbia coaching debut of former Gamecock Bobby Cremins, who is in his first season with the Cougars.

The South Carolina-Baylor game will be shown on Fox Sports Southwest with Kevin Eschenfelder and former Baylor coach Jim Haller making the call. The contest can be heard over the airwaves in two ways: SIRIUS Satellite Radio channel No. 161 and on the Gamecock Radio Network with Mike Morgan (play-by-play) and Casey Manning (color analyst). It can also be picked up via the internet at and finally the game can also be seen on Gamecock All Access Sun., Dec. 10 at

Looking forward for a second

USC’s RPI is listed at No. 76 on the – fifth best in the SEC behind Arkansas (6), Alabama (25) and Tennessee (36) and LSU (40). Carolina’s strength of schedule is ranked No. 140 in the early going.

Baylor’s current RPI is No. 170 with a strength of schedule ranked at No. 320 of the 336 Division I teams.

Think twice alums

Carolina is 2-0 vs. former Gamecock basketball players this season. USC defeated Scott Sanderson’s Lipscomb club 75-68 on Nov. 19. Sanderson played for USC in the mid-’80s. The Gamecocks followed that up with a 67-55 win over Bobby Cremin’s College of Charleston team. He played for Frank McGuire from 1968-70.

SEC Leaders

As of Thursday, Brandon Wallace leads the SEC in minutes played — staying on the floor 38.1 mpg. Wallace is second with 3.4 bpg to Alabama’s Jermareo Davidson’s 4.7 bpg. He sits at No. 4 with 8.6 rpg.

Tre’ Kelley is fourth with 35.1 mpg and 14th with 14.4 ppg. After leading the SEC in assists last season, he is currently No. 3 with 5.4 apg.

Dominique Archie continues to lead the SEC in offensive rebounds, grabbing 3.4 orpg.

USC is second in free throw percentage (73%).

vs. Big 12

South Carolina is 7-8 vs. current Big 12 Conference teams, but is meeting Baylor for the first time. The last time USC played a Big 12 team: South Carolina lost a heartbreaker at No. 2 Kansas, 64-60, on Dec. 18, 2004. Kansas returns the favor on Jan. 7, 2007 when it plays in Columbia on CBS at 4:30 pm.


USC is 2-0 after a loss this season after defeating CofC on Tuesday. The Gamecocks were 8-6 following a loss last season, they were 8-3 in 2004-05 and 6-4 in 2003-04.

USC has won five of its last six road games dating back to last season. Those five wins: at The Citadel (74-59), at Southern California (80-74 OT), at Cincinnati (65-62), at Florida State (69-68 OT) and at Auburn (67-63), but Carolina dropped this season’s road opener 67-52 game at UC-Irvine.

Something’s gotta give

Something’s gotta give in the point total when Carolina travels to Baylor. USC is averaging 65.1 ppg to its opponents 64.1 (+1.0). Baylor on the other hand is averaging 84.1 ppg to its opponents 66.7 ppg (+18.1). USC hasn’t given up more than 74 points this season (twice: win over Southern California and loss to Clemson).

The last team USC played that averaged about 84 ppg: the 2006 NCAA Champion Florida Gators. The Gators were ranked No. 4 and averaging 83.8 ppg when they came to town Jan. 25, 2006. They crawled back to Gainesville with a 68-62 ‘L’. USC won the season series a few weeks later in Gainesville, defeating the then-No. 6 Gators 71-67.

USC hasn’t given up 85 points in a non-overtime game since it lost 87-68 at Alabama on Feb. 19, 2005. USC did fall 92-89 to Marquette last year in the Alaska Shootout Championship, but the game went to OT (Nov. 26, 2005).

Cry Wolof?

The last two out of three games freshman Evaldas Baniulis has seen city-mates from Vilnius, Lithuania. The Citadel had a sophomore, Vytautas Valiulis (G, 6-1, 180, So.), from Vilnuis and the College of Charleston featured freshman Tauras Skripkauskas (G, 6-5, 200, Fr.), also from Vilnius.

It’s Ousmane Konate’s turn now. Coming to Carolina from Pikine, Senegal Konate may have a chance to speak his native language of Wolof as Baylor’s starting center, Mamadou Diene (C, 7-0, 255, So.), comes from Yeumbeul, Senegal.

Remember those Guys?

Brandon Wallace had a career night in the win over the College of Charleston. He picked up a career-high 22 points, a career-high eight blocks and nine rebounds. He was as close to a triple-double as any Gamecock has been since Chuck Eidson picked up the school’s only triple-double in 2002. In the 82-65 win over SCSU (Nov. 29, 2002), Eidson recorded 25 PT, 10 REB and 10 AST. Oddly enough, the game before, USC’s historical opening of the Colonial Center, Eidson was just one assist off a triple-double when he collected 19 PT, 10 REB and 9 AST in USC’s 71-66 win over ETSU (Nov. 24, 2002).

Back to Wallace. The last coach to have a player get eight blocks against the Cougars? Dave Odom. The player? Two-time NBA MVP Tim Duncan. Three-hundred and sixty-one CofC games ago, Duncan had eight blocks in Wake Forest’s 68-58 win over CofC in the 1994 NCAA Tournament at Rupp Arena on March 17, 1994.

The last Gamecock to collect eight blocks in a game (No. 4 on the career list): Danny Traylor. He did it three times in his career (Marshall, 1/31/73; Niagara (2/12/73); and Lafayette (1/3/73). He recorded nine blocks in two games during his career as well.


Brandon Wallace leads the Gamecocks with 12 dunks this season, including four dunks vs. Clemson. USC has 20 dunks on the season to the opponents nine.

Dominique Archie leads the team with six charges taken with the team tallying 12 to the opponents five.

A lot here

After playing at Baylor on Sat., Dec. 9, USC will play its next seven of eight games at home. Its one contest outside the Colonial Center during that span: the SEC regular season at Georgia (Jan. 10). USC opened the season with three of the first five on the road, posting a 3-1 record on the road.

Carolina is 54-17 all-time at the Colonial Center and has compiled a 36-3 record against non-conference opponents. The first and last non-conference losses were to Clemson (Dec. 4, 2004, 62-62 OT; Dec. 2, 2006, 53-74). The first loss snapped a 20-game home-winning streak against non-conference foes. Carolina’s other non-conference loss in the CC was to No. 23 Pittsburgh (Dec. 28, 2005, 58-51).

A little more on them

Tre’ Kelley and Brandon Wallace are working on a number of career milestones this year. The following are some of the categories the two are working on:

Tre’ Kelley

• He has 399 career assists and is No. 7 on the career list. He needs 30 assists to move past No. 6 (Chuck Eidson; 428 assists from 2000-2003). The school record is 543 set by Melvin Watson from 1995-98.

• He is tied at No. 8 with 117 career three-pointers. He needs 9 to move past Melvin Watson at No. 7 (125, 1995-98). The school record is 264 set by Jamel Bradley fro 1999-2002.

• He is No. 6 with 374 career three-point attempts. He needs 30 to move up to No. 4 (403, Aaron Lucas, 1999-2002). Bradley is the record holder and attempted 686 during his career (1999-2002).

• With a successful season, he could enter the top 10 career lists for most games played (played in 112 games played; No. 10 is 121 by 3), most games started (80 games started; No. 10 is 101 by 2) and most minutes played (3138 minutes played; No. 10 is 3476 by 1).

Brandon Wallace

• He is currently No. 4 in career blocks with 184 He needs 43 blocks to move past No. 3 (Jeff Roulston, 226, 1989-92). The school record is 235 blocks by Danny Traylor (1971-73).

• With a successful season, he could enter the top 10 career lists for most games played (112 games played; No. 10 is 121 by 3).