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Jan. 12, 2007

Columbia, S.C. – USC Head Coach Dave Odom met with the media on Friday. In addition to dicussing the Florida game (Sat., Jan. 13 at 1 pm), he discussed a number of injuries that have occurred in the last 10 days.

USC Head Coach Dave Odom comments
“Chad Gray’s situation is on-going (turf toe). He didn’t injure it more at Georgia; he just tweaked it at Georgia. It just makes you aware that it is still there. He did practice yesterday. I do expect him to practice today and play tomorrow.”

“Tre’ Kelley did practice the entire time yesterday and hopefully he will have another good day today. I think he is gaining in confidence as it relates to his knee. I didn’t want him getting hurt towards the end of Georgia.

“The bad news is we have two more injuries that have surfaced. Dominique Archie turned his ankle in the first half of the Georgia game. He was late getting back to the court during the second half. He came back in and played and seemed to be ok, but his ankle swelled slightly overnight. They did x-ray and give him an MRI yesterday and it isn’t broken. He did not practice yesterday and he will not practice today. Then tomorrow we will make some sort of decision.

“And then there’s Brandon Wallace. His foot was sore yesterday and the doctors x-rayed it and gave it an MRI. Apparently he has a severely bruised foot. He did not practice yesterday and he will not practice today either.

“We are in a situation where we have to make some alternative plans. I would like to tell you who is going to start, but if we played today – the starting line-up would be Tre’ Kelley, Brandis Raley-Ross, Dwayne Day, Bryce Sheldon and Evka Baniulis. Then we’d have Mitchell Carter and Chad Gray coming off the bench.

“We have to guard by committee. We can’t turn the basketball over. We have to play at a pace that is best for us. Florida will have something to say about that. I don’t think Florida will change what they are doing. The decision I have to make, with another game coming in here on Tuesday, if they tell me both Wallace and Archie are cleared to play, but not 100 percent – then the decision is do I risk that with another game a few nights later.

“I am going to deal with it. I will deal with it straight up. We are short on able bodies, but we do have some things we can do and we are going to play to those. We are still 6-7 strong here. Funny things happen in college basketball, they really do and we are going to try to be one of those funny things tomorrow.

“You have to do what you have to do, but you have to have five out there. It is an opportunity to learn. We have gone in a period of 10 days to being a darn good basketball team to, in no fault of our own, to this. Things happen and you can’t control it. The only thing you can affect is what is. There is no reason to moan and groan about it. It’s pure and simple it’s life. We only can do it if we hang together and don’t lose the faith. Only if you continue to believe in each other. If you throw your hands up and say that’s it, regardless of what happens tomorrow or Tuesday. I am not going to do that. The guys that are playing tomorrow deserve our greatest support and best effort.”

Osumane Konate given Personal time
Odom said:
“He is a fine, fine young man. He is a long way from home. He has a number of medical problems that have really held his progress back. He is at a point in his career. He has asked for some time to reflect to whether basketball is important to him. He has just had a long hard road; he’s come a long way. The Senegal is a long way away. He has asked that he be given some time to think about what he wants to do. I guess you would call it personal time. We will see where it is from there. We are not at odds. He is just down that he hasn’t been able to fulfill his goals basketball wise. He may just decide to go to school and finish up. There are some other options, but we will see where it lands.”