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Dec. 15, 2006

USC freshman guard Brandis Raley-Ross has been named the SEC Freshman of the Week twice in the early going this season, helping USC to a 6-2 record with 11.6 ppg and 4.6 rpg. Raley-Ross and the Gamecocks take on Princeton Wed., Dec. 20 at 7 pm at the Colonial Center.

Raley-Ross visited with Friday afternoon, after finishing his last final exam.

USC: With a little more than a month of the season over, how would evaluate your play thus far? Any surprises?

BRR: I have played well enough. I have done a lot of the things that the coaches have asked me to do, but I can do a lot more. I am not satisfied yet. I have another half of the season to go.

Surprises? Probably that we lost those two games. I felt like we could win those two games.

Oh, I have gotten taller, too! I am 6′ 3 now. I went in the training room yesterday and our trainer Mark re-measured me. I am 6′ 3!

USC: If you could go back and replay those two losses, what would you do differently?

BRR: Well, those teams played very well those nights. Clemson is talented. But, I hope I would prepare better and take a bigger leadership role on the team. We may have fallen apart some in those two games.

USC: Do see yourself as someone who might be a future leader on this team?

BRR: Yes. I can reach out to the players. I have been a leader all my life on the basketball court and I will probably continue to take on that roll.

USC: Who is your mentor at USC?

BRR: Probably Tre’ Kelley. He has taught me the ins and outs of college basketball and what to expect. He lets me know what to expect as far as players on other teams. He has taught me to take care of my body, to stay in shape and not do anything that might hurt me because we are in season. No fast food (smiles).

USC: Explain your name – Raley-Ross.

BRR: My last name represents both parents. Raley is my mom’s last name and Ross is my Dad’s last name.

USC: Were you pleasantly surprised when you were SEC Freshman of the Week twice?

BRR: I was excited. It’s been a goal of mine since high school. I’ve been preparing for that all my life.

USC: What are your plans for Christmas?

BRR: Relax. Spend time with my family and catch up on all the gossip back home. Maybe go to my little brother Corey’s basketball tournament. He plays at Gaston Day as well.

USC: What do you want for Christmas?

BRR: A win vs. Princeton (big smile). I haven’t really thought about it yet.

USC: Any New Year’s resolutions?

BRR: Get better every day. Get better grades, too.

USC: What was your favorite present growing up?

BRR: When I got my first basketball when I was five. I have pictures of it and everything.

USC: Was basketball always your favorite sport?

BRR: Oh yeah!

USC: Any message for Gamecock fans?

BRR: We are getting better everyday as a team and we are getting ready to take on 2007. Come join at the Colonial Center PLEASE!