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Feb. 7, 2007

After four straight SEC Western Division match-ups where it posted a 2-2 record, South Carolina steps back over to the SEC Eastern Division when it travels to No. 20 Kentucky on Wed., Feb. 7 (8 pm, LFS). The Gamecocks then return home to host Georgia on Sat., Feb. 10 at the Colonial Center (7 pm, FSN).

The game will be shown on Lincoln Financial Services TV (LFS) with Larry Conley and Tom Hammond making the call. 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

USC, 12-9 and 2-6 in the SEC, plays a 17-5 Kentucky team that has posted a 6-2 record in the SEC this year. After winning two straight (vs. Arkansas, at MSU), USC lost its last two: falling 80-75 to Auburn on Jan. 31 and then a heartbreaker at No. 19 Alabama, falling 64-61 in the final minute. After losing two prior to last week (vs. Vandy, at UGA in OT), UK then won two straight topping Tennessee 76-57 in Rupp Arena on Jan. 28 and then winning 82-74 at Arkansas on Feb. 3.

The Gamecocks are looking for their first win at Rupp Arena since they won the 1997 SEC title with a 72-66 victory on March 2, 1997. The last four games have been close at Rupp with the ‘Cats winning by an average of 3.5 points per game and 14 points total. UK won by 7 in 2003 (55-62), 1 in 2004 (64-65), 4 in 2005 (75-79) and 2 in 2006 (78-80) after Rajon Rondo hit a prayer with less than a couple ticks on the clock to give UK its ninth straight win over USC at Rupp.

UK has three starters in double figures (Morris, 15.5, Crawford, 14.7 and Bradley, 13.6), while USC has two scoring double digits (Kelley, 16.8 and Wallace, 10.5). Wallace paces USC with 9.6 boards per game, while Morris leads the ‘Cats with 7.3 rpg.

With an 87-49 win on Jan. 16, 2007 in Columbia, Kentucky won the season series in 2006 (78-80 in Lexington 1/21/06 and 66-79 in Columbia on 2/18/06). USC got the best of the Wildcats in the SEC Tournament semi-finals, coming away with a 65-61 victory behind Tarence Kinsey’s 18 points. This marked only the third time since 1992 (when USC joined the SEC) that UK failed to make the Tournament Final. USC went on to face Florida in the SEC Tournament Championship, but were defeated 49-47. It was the only time that Kentucky has been eliminated in the semifinals; the other two times it was eliminated in the quarterfinals.

USC vs. UK

UK leads the series 38-7 – the most lopsided of all SEC series’ Carolina (see series breakdown at the top of the next page). USC has four of the six wins in the series in Columbia (1933, 1994, 1997, 2005). Five of the last nine games have been decided by seven points or less, but UK has come away with 22 wins in the 25 games the two have played since USC won the SEC title in 1997 by sweeping the series.

Kentucky has a 19-1 record in Lexington. Nine of the 45 were played prior to USC joining the SEC in 1991-92 with UK posting an 8-1 record in non-SEC play and a 30-6 record in SEC play. The two first played each other on Feb. 24, 1928 when Kentucky won 56-40 in the Southern Conference Tournament in Atlanta, Ga. Both teams were members of the Southern Conference with USC playing in the SC from 1922-1951 and UK from 1924-32.

USC has 3 of the 7 wins against UK under Odom.

Still 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.


Nationally Brandon Wallace is No. 12 with 2.9 blocked shots per game. He is No. 21 in rebounds with 9.6 per game. He is No. 2 blocked shots and rebounds in the SEC. Nationally Tre’ Kelley is No. 66 with 5.0 apg and No. 99 with 16.9 ppg.

As a team on the national scene USC is No. 5 in fouls with 14.2 per game and No. 11 in turnovers with 11.6 per game.


Carolina’s shot 20 or more 3 pointers in a game 14 times this year. The 31 three-point attempts vs. Auburn were a season-high and tied for fourth-most in USC history in a game. The previous season-high was 29 at SoCal. USC made 13 three-pointers out of 31 3-pt attempts against AU. That mark is tied for sixth-most in USC history in a game.

In the Alabama game USC shot 12 of 26 from beyond the arc with half of its made field goals (24 of 52) coming from three-point land.

Make your plan, work your plan

Make your plan, work your plan. Brandon Wallace set out this year to break the career blocked shots record this season and he’s on track to do it. The record is 235 by Danny Traylor (1971-73). Wallace will need about 1.3 bpg if you figure 10 games at the minimum left on the schedule as he has tallied 223 career blocks prior to the Kentucky game.

To get to Traylor at 235, Wallace will have to pass Jeff Roulston (No. 3, 226, 1989-92) and Alex English (No. 2, 230, 1973-76).

With five blocked shots against Auburn on Jan. 31 and two at Alabama on Feb. 3, Wallace has 60 on the season. The 60 are the ninth most in a season for a Carolina player. Wallace passed his 2005 total of 55, Ryan Stack’s 55 blocks (1998) and Jeff Roulston’s 59 (1992). Wallace’s 73 blocks in 2006 were the fourth most in Carolina history.

With at least 10 games remaining, if he could average two blocks a game he would have two of the top five spots in most blocked shots in a season.

The most blocked shots in a season are Danny Traylor with 122 in 1972 and his 1973 total of 113 is the second most. If Wallace does average two blocks a game over the next 10 games Wallace and Traylor would hold four of the five top spots for most blocked shots in a season and it would also make Wallace the all-time career record holder in blocked shots with Traylor falling to second.

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 at Kentucky, Wallace will have played in 127 career games (No. 2 all-time) Kelley will move to No. 2 with 126 games played, passing former mentor Mike Boynton, Jr. 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.