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Dec. 19, 2006

South Carolina, 6-2, returns to the hardwood after an 11-day layoff for final exams and will host the Princeton Tigers on Wed., Dec. 20 at 7 pm in the Colonial Center. Princeton is 7-3 after a 61-45 win over Marshall at home Sat., Dec. 16.

USC leads the series 1-0 in Columbia, but is 0-3 on neutral courts vs. the Tigers after dropping the two’s last contest 51-50 in Charlotte on Dec. 5, 1992 as part of the Tournament of Champions.

Good seats remain for what could be the Gamecock debut of 6’7 freshman forward Chad Gray (see later in notes).

USC will play seven of its next eight games at home. Its one contest outside of Columbia during that span: the SEC regular season opener at Georgia (Jan. 10). This year USC opened the season with three of the first five on the road and has posted a 3-1 record on the road including its 64-59 win at Baylor Dec. 9. USC is 3-1 at home as well.

The South Carolina-Princeton game will be shown on CSS TV with Mike Morgan and Wimp Sanderson making the call. The contest can be heard over the airwaves in two ways: SIRIUS Satellite Radio channel No. 155 and on the Gamecock Radio Network with Andy Demetra (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 Thurs., Dec. 21 at

Looking forward for a second

USC’s RPI is listed at No. 51 on the Carolina’s strength of schedule is ranked No. 103 in the early going. USC has the fifth-best RPI in the league.

Princeton’s current RPI is No. 175 with a strength of schedule ranked at No. 287.

Carolina Welcomes Gray

USC Head Coach Dave Odom announced Mon. Dec. 18 the USC Admissions Office had reviewed the application of freshman forward Chad Gray (6’7, 205, Fr., F, Kingstree, S.C.) and he has been admitted to the University.

He began practice with the team on Tues., Dec. 19 and is eligible for play against Princeton (Wed., Dec. 20 at 7 pm in the Colonial Center).

“I am very pleased for Chad,” said Odom. “His acceptance to the university rewards him for all his hard work and commitment over a long period of time. Chad never wavered in his desire to become a Gamecock. There is no doubt in my mind, given a proper amount of time, hard work and preparation, he will make a real contribution to our basketball team and to the university. Still, we must all keep in mind that he has much to learn, starting practice at midyear makes it even more difficult, thus his development will truly be a work in progress as we move towards our conference play in January. Our entire team and staff are excited to welcome him to the Gamecock family.”

A little different look

The last team USC played, Baylor on Dec. 9, came into the game averaging 84.1 ppg and finished with 59 points to USC’s game-winning 64 points. Wednesday night’s opponent, Princeton, is averaging 54.2 ppg to its opponents 51.1 ppg. It has won six games by scoring 61 points or less and five games by scoring 57 or less. Its high point total this season: the Tigers scored 73 points in their 73-68 win over VMI. Its low point total in a win happened twice this year: a 44-42 victory at Lafayette on Nov. 28 and a 44-43 win over Lehigh on Dec. 6.

Career Year thus far: Brandon Wallace

How he stays under the radar at almost 6′ 10 is beyond Gamecock fans, but senior forward/center Brandon Wallace is putting together a career year this season. After eight games last year Wallace was averaging 7.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg and 1.8 bpg. This year – at the same point in the season – he is averaging a team leading 9.0 rpg and 3.3 bpg. He is second on the team with 12.3 ppg. He has grabbed at least eight rebounds each game this season, including a season–high 12 at Baylor. Last season he grabbed eight plus rebounds in seven of 38 games.

Hot after the USC career blocked shots record, he has blocked at least two shots in seven of eight games this season. Last year he blocked two plus shots in 18 of 38 games.

On the national scene

Brandon Wallace is No. 10 nationally with 3.3 bpg and No. 35 with 9.0 rpg.

Tre’ Kelley leads the team with 15.9 ppg and is No. 59 nationally with 5.1 apg.

The team is No. 6 nationally with 10.9 topg and No. 15 nationally with 15.3 fouls per game.

He is?

Just in case you are wondering. Dave Odom’s son Ryan is an assistant coach at Virginia Tech. USC assistant coach Barry Sanderson’s brother is Scott Sanderson, the head coach at Lipscomb. They are both the son of Wimp Sanderson, a former Alabama head coach. Graduate Assistant Steve Portland is the son of Penn State women’s head basketball coach Rene Portland.

The Best

Three of South Carolina’s starters average double figures: Tre’ Kelley (15.9 ppg), Brandon Wallace (12.3 ppg) and Brandis Raley-Ross (11.6 ppg) with Kyle Koncz being the Tiger to average double figures: 10.7 ppg.

Kelley leads USC with 5.3 apg while Marcus Schroeder dishes out 2.9 apg.

USC is led in rebounding by Wallace (9.0 rpg) and Dominique Archie (5.8 rpg) with Wallace collecting 3.3 bpg. The Tigers are led by the 3.4 rpg by Justin Conway.

Wallace’s 9.0 rpg is the best since Darryl Martin averaged 9.3 rpg during the 186-87 season.

SEC Leaders

Brandon Wallace moved to No. 2 in mpg with 37.5 mpg to LSU’s Garrett Temple’s 37.8 mpg after playing only 33 minutes against Baylor. Wallace has logged 40 minutes in three games this season already.

Wallace is third with 9.0 rpg and is second with 3.3 bpg.

Tre’ Kelley is fourth with 35.1 mpg and 7th with 15.9 ppg. After leading the SEC in assists last season, he is currently No. 3 with 5.1 apg.

Dominique Archie is tied with LSU’s Glen Davis for the SEC lead in offensive rebounds, grabbing 3.4 orpg. Archie is second on the USC team with 5.8 rpg.

vs. Ivy League

South Carolina is 11-5 vs. the Ivy League. USC has played Princeton (1-3) and Penn (2-2) four times each, collecting 1-0 records vs. Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth; and 2-0 records vs. Harvard and Yale.

Road warriors?

USC has won six of its last seven road games dating back to last season. Those six wins: at Baylor (64-59), 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.

The last time USC laced together six wins in seven games on the road: in 1997 USC won nine of 10 road games on its way to the SEC title, posting a 15-1 SEC record with the only blemish being a 77-64 loss at Georgia.

In addition, USC has won five of its last six games played on neutral courts dating back to last season, dropping only a 49-47 decision to eventual NCAA champion Florida in the SEC Torunament final prior to winning its second straight NIT title in New York City with wins over Louisville and Michigan.

Something gave … to the Gamecocks

Something gave in the point total when Carolina travelled to Baylor and luckily it was to USC’s advantage. USC went in averaging 65.1 ppg to its opponents 64.1 (+1.0). Baylor on the other hand was averaging 84.1 ppg to its opponents 66.7 ppg (+18.1). USC won 64-59, holding the Bears 25.1 points under its average.

The last team USC played a team 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.


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 10.

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

A lot here

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).