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Jan. 30, 2007

South Carolina plays its third straight SEC Western Division team on Wed., Jan. 31 when the Auburn Tigers come to town to visit the Colonial Center. USC plays four straight SEC Western Division teams (66-60 winner vs. Arkansas, 66-63 winner at MSU, vs. Auburn and at ‘Bama) before traveling to Kentucky Feb. 7. USC was 3-3 vs. the SEC Western Division in 2006 and is 2-0 this season.

The away team has won the last four times the two tangled. USC posted a 67-63 at Auburn March 4, 2006 in the two team’s last meeting. USC, 12-7 and 2-4 in the SEC, plays a 13-9 Auburn team that has posted a 3-4 record in the SEC this year. USC has won its last two games. It defeated Arkansas 66-60 last Wed. in Columbia and won for the first time since 1997 in Starkville with a 66-63 victory over Mississippi State. Tre’ Kelley led the charge against the Bulldogs with 23 points. Dominique Archie (11) and Dwayne Day (15) posted double figures and Brandon Wallace picked up a career-high 16 rebounds.

Auburn defeated Alabama 81-57 on Wed. Jan. 23 before dropping a 91-66 game to No. 1 Florida on Sat. Jan. 27. Auburn is 0-6 out of Auburn, Ala., this season including 0-4 on the road and 0-3 on the SEC road.

Auburn features a balanced offensive effort with five players in double figures (Prowell, 12.6; Barrett, 12.4; Barber, 11.8; Tolbert, 11.7; and Dollard, 11.6). USC has two (Kelley, 17.2 and Wallace, 10.5). Wallace paces USC with 9.7 boards per game and 2.8 bpg, while Josh Dollard leads the Tigers on the boards (7.4 rpg) and Jorvotney Barber has knocked down 2.0 bpg.

The game will be broadcast on Siruis Channel No. 118. The match-up can be heard 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

Carolina’s Pajama Slam ’07 vs. Tigers Wed., Jan. 31

Help USC make it two straight vs. Auburn! USC will be host Pajama Slam ’07 during the Auburn game. Students are encouraged purchase a pair of official Pajama Slam ’07 pajama pants at the Russell House Bookstore and wear them to the basketball game at the Colonial Center vs. the Tigers. The first 250 USC students through the door wearing the Pajama Slam ’07 pants will receive a free pair of Gamecock Crocs. The pajama pants are available for purchase at the Russell House bookstore and on the web at the Online Store.

On the verge

Joining the SEC in 1991-92, USC is on the verge of its 100th SEC win in the league – sitting at 99 ‘career’ wins in the SEC.

Odom Said

USC Head Coach Dave Odom spoke about the Auburn match-up on Monday’s SEC teleconference.

“Looking at the Auburn game and the Auburn team, I’m really impressed with what Jeff Lebo has done. He’s taken the program very far in a short period of time, and now they can compete with the cream of the crop in this league. They’re coming off a tough loss to Florida, but pretty much anyone that plays Florida at this time of year is most likely going to have a tough loss. I think they’re going to come to Columbia looking to bounce back. We’ve gotten better and more confident, but we’re going to be hard-pressed to match them. They can play inside and they can beat you outside. It’s going to be a tough game, but we’re looking forward to it.”

Auburn history

Auburn leads the series record with USC 16-11. USC and Auburn have traded wins on the opponents floor the past four years with USC winning 67-63 in Auburn on March 4, 2006. The Tigers bested USC 74-71 in Columbia Feb. 12, 2005. The last eight AU-USC games have been decided by a combined 32 points (4.0 ppg).

A USC win on Saturday would give Dave Odom 391 career wins. An Auburn win would give Jeff Lebo a 2-1 record vs. Carolina in his tenure with the Tigers. Lebo is 2-1 vs. USC as his Tennessee Tech team defeated Carolina 73-67 in Columbia in the 2000-01 season opener. Overall, Lebo is 5-1 against USC, including a 3-0 mark as a Vanderbilt assistant coach in 1992-93.

Small World

Auburn head coach Jeff Lebo trolled the Gamecock sidelines under then-head coach Eddie Fogler from 1994-98. Lebo’s assistant, John Cooper, was also an assistant beside Lebo, working the Gamecock sidelines from 1996-2001. Both coaches also starred in college as Lebo graduated from North Carolina in 1989 and Cooper finished at Wichita State in 1991.

Cooper played with the Shockers and was coached by current Gamecock assistant coach Rick Duckett, who was in Wichita from 1987-92. Drawing the six degrees of separation out a bit further, USC head coach Dave Odom was an assistant coach at Virginia when Lebo played at UNC. The next year, 1989-90, Odom took over as the head coach of Wake Forest.

Where we rank

On Tues., Jan. 30, USC’s RPI was No. 64 on the USC’s strength of schedule was ranked No. 40. Auburn’s RPI was No. 98 and its SOS was No. 31.

In the latest Sagarin NCAA basketball ratings USC was ranked No. 104 with a SOS of 48. The Tigers were at No. 84 with a SOS of No. 91.

Better shooting

After shooting below 40% four games straight, including a season-low 27% vs. Kentucky, USC has been shooting the ball a bit better in the last three games. USC shot over 40% in its last three games, including a three-game high of 46% in the win over Arkansas.

In addition to field goal shooting, USC’s free throw shooting was on the upswing in USC’s 66-63 win at Mississippi State. The Gamecocks were 6 of 6 in the first half and finished at 16-19 (84%) – its best mark since the Gamecocks hit 18-21 (86%) in its win over Lipscomb.

Kelley SEC Player of the Week

Tre’ Kelley was named the SEC Player of the Week (Jan. 29) after leading the Gamecocks to two SEC wins last week, averaging 22.5 ppg. It is his first time as Player of the Week.

Wallace was pretty good too! Senior Brandon Wallace had equally as good a week as Tre’ Kelley in USC’s two wins last week.

Wallace grabbed a career-best 10 offensive rebounds on the way to 13 total rebounds in the Arkansas win. He also collected five blocks vs. the Razorbacks.

At Mississippi State he collected a career-high 16 rebounds and scored 10 points on the way to his second double-double this season and his seventh double-double all-time.

The last three games Wallace has collected double digit numbers in rebounds, including a then-career best 15 rebounds at Tennessee. The last Gamecock to collect double-digit rebounds in three straight games actually did it four games straight. Tony Kitchings collected double digit rebounds in four straight games from March 8, 2002 to March 19, 2002. He had 13 vs. Kentucky, 11 vs. Alabama, 13 vs. Virginia and 11 vs. UNLV.

Keep Starting

Freshman redshirt Dominique Archie has started every game this season. The last Gamecock freshman to start every game in a season was Marius Petravicius in 1999 when he started each of the 32 games that season.

In addition to Archie, Brandon Wallace has also started every game this season. Last year Tre’ Kelley was the only Gamecock to start all 38 games.

SEC, National

Brandon Wallace is No. 2 in the SEC with 9.7 rpg and also No. 2 with 2.8 bpg. Nationally, Wallace is No. 16 with his rpg and No. 14 nationally with his bpg.

Wallace is No. 3 in offensive rebounds (3.2) and defensive rebounds (6.6).

Tre’ Kelley is No. 3 in the SEC with 17.2 ppg and is No. 83 nationally. Kelley is No. 77 nationally with 4.7 apg.

Wallace and Kelley are 1-2 in minutes per game with Wallace tallying 37.2 mpg and Kelley posting 35.3 mpg.

In SEC games only, Kelley is No. 2 in scoring with 19.2 ppg. Kelley is also No. 2 in free throw % (86%) and No. 7 with 35.7 mpg.

In SEC games only, Wallace is No. 2 in rebounding at 10.5 rpg, No. 2 with 2.8 bpg, No. 2 in minutes played (37.2 mpg), No. 2 in offensive rebounds (4.3 orpg). Wallace is also No. 5 in 6.2 drpg.

Kelley and Wallace Moving On Up

Tre’ Kelley and Brandon Wallace continue to climb the career record paths as both are working on a number of career milestones this year. With their play in the Auburn game, Wallace will move up to No. 2 in career games played (125) and be tied with Mike Boynton, Jr. Kelley will move to No. 4 with 124 games played. Carlos Powell has the school record with 132 games played (2001-05). Both Wallace and Kelley could top Powell’s record before the end of the year.

The following are some of the categories the two are working on:

Tre’ Kelley

• He has 445 career assists and is No. 4 on the career list.

Assists More Will Pass (#) Yrs. Played

17 Aaron Lucas (3) 1999-2002 – he had 451

89 Jack Gilloon (2) 1975-78 – he had 533

The school record is 543 set by Melvin Watson from 1995-98.

• He is No. 4 with 142 career 3s. He needs 11 to move to No. 3 (Larry Davis, 152, 1996-97). The school record is 264 set by Jamel Bradley fro 1999-2002.

• He is No. 3 with 437 career three-point attempts with No. 2 quite a ways away (556, BJ McKie, 1996-99). Bradley is the record holder and attempted 686 during his career (1999-2002).

• He is No. 8 in career minutes played at 3,527. No. 7 is a minute away with Aaron Lucas at 3,528 career minutes played from 1999-02.

• With a successful season, he could enter the top 10 career lists for most games started (91 games started; No. 10 is 101 by 2)

Brandon Wallace

• He is currently No. 4 in career blocks with 216. He needs 11 blocks to move past No. 3 (Jeff Roulston, 226, 1989-92) and 15 blocks to move past No. 2 (Alex English, 230, 1973-76). The record is 235 blocks by Danny Traylor (71-73).

• With 678 career rebounds, he is tied with Joe Rhett (1989-92) and Gary Gregor (1965; 67-68) at No. 9. He needs 3 rebounds to move past Tony Kitchings at No. 8 (680). No. 7 is Mike Callahan (1958-60) with 744 career rebounds.

• With a successful season, he could move up the ranks in highest block average as he is averaging 1.75 bpg during his career — which would put him at No. 5 if the season ended today.

Diaper Dandies

While Tre’ Kelley and Brandon Wallace get a lot of ink and rightly so, the freshmen duo of Dominique Archie and Evka Baniulis are beginning to make a formable set of starting forwards for USC. As a redshirt-freshman Archie has started every game for the Gamecocks this season, while Baniulis has started the past three games and four total in his career.

Archie has one double-double (career-highs with 20 points, 10 rebounds vs. Lipscomb) in his first year. Archie was the first USC freshman to score 20+ points since Rolando Howell scored 20 points in a 78-65 loss to Kentucky in the SEC Tournament on March 9, 2001. He was also the first freshman to have a double-double since Brandon Wallace collected a double-double at The Citadel on Dec. 3, 2003 (10 PT, 11 REB).

Baniulis has a career-high 10 points twice and career-high 6 rebounds twice as well this season.

The two are making noise among SEC freshmen as well. Of SEC freshmen in overall games, Archie is No. 5 with 8.7 PPG, No. 4 with 4.8 RPG and No. 5 with .70 BPG.

In SEC play, Archie is No. 4 with 9.0 ppg and Baniulis is No. 7 at 7.0 ppg. Baniulis is No. 2 with 5.0 rpg to Archie’s 4.0 rpg at No. 6.

The duo are in the top 10 of the following SEC-only categories: 3 PT % (Baniulis, No. 5; Archie, No. 9); Free Throw % (both at No. 9); Blocked Shot (Baniulis, No. 7); Blocked Shots (Archie, No. 9) and Assists (Baniulis, No. 8; Wallace, No. 9).

High Notes

• Tre’ Kelley can score and dish it. He has scored double digits in all but two games this season (4 vs. CofC and 9 at Georgia). He leads the team with 17.2 ppg. In the MSU win Kelley scored in double figures for the 16th time this year and the 59th time in his career. He has 4+ AST in 12 games this year.

• Kelley has attempted 20 or more shots in four games this season. (Southern Cal, Baylor, Princeton, Florida) Entering this season, Kelley took 20 or more shots in only one game. (March 21, 2006 NIT Game vs. Florida State).

• Kelley also leads the team with 84 assists on the season, averaging 4.7 apg. He is looking to become the fourth Gamecock to ever lead the team in assists in three consecutive seasons (Jack Gilloon, Michael Foster, Melvin Watson). He led the SEC in assists last season.

• Brandon Wallace is averaging 9.7 rebounds per game, snaring 8+ REB in 16 games this year, including 11+ in 7 games. He pulled down a career-best 16 rebounds at Mississippi State and a career-high 10 offensive rebounds vs. Arkansas.

• Wallace is looking to lead the team in blocks for the third consecutive season. He would become the fifth Gamecock to accomplish that. (Alex English, Mike Brittain, Jeff Roulston, Tony Kitchings). He has blocked 54 shots, (2.8 bpg). On track to break the school record set by Danny Traylor (235, 1971-73), he would have to average about 1.7 bpg in the next 10 SEC games + one SEC Tournament game.

• Bryce Sheldon has 2+ 3’s in six games this year, including a career-high six 3’s in the Gamecocks win at Southern California on Nov. 16. He has scored 20+ points twice this season.

• Evka Baniulis. He has scored 3+ PT in 10 of the last 13 games, including a career-high 10 points in two straight games now (at UT, vs. UA). He yanked down a career-high 6 REB vs. UK and in the Arkansas win.


Carolina has had four different players post 20 or more points in a game this season. Tre’ Kelley has netted 20 seven times, Brandon Wallace and Bryce Sheldon twice, and Dominique Archie once.

Last season, Carolina only had three different players to score 20+ in a game (Kelley, Tarence Kinsey and Renaldo Balkman).


USC has already had two players play 40+ minutes 12 times in seven games this season, including USC’s overtime win at SoCal. Playing 40+: Tre Kelley (Tennessee, Princeton, Baylor, Lipscomb, USC) and Brandon Wallace (Mississippi State, Georgia, Kansas, Princeton, Clemson, Lipscomb, USC).

He is?

Just in case you are wondering if its in the blood. Dave Odom’s son Ryan is an assistant coach at Virginia Tech – recent winners over Duke (at Duke) and then-No. 1 North Carolina. 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.