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Feb. 15, 2007

In a battle of the SEC’s leading scorers and SEC Player of the Year candidates in UT’s Chris Lofton and USC’s Tre’ Kelley, South Carolina will return home on Sat., Feb. 17 to host Tennessee at 3:30 pm. Lofton leads the SEC in overall play with 20.7 ppg, while Kelley leads the SEC in league play with 19.8 ppg. The game will be nationally televised on ABC and good seats remain.

It is Gamecock Club Appreciation Day and Gamecock fans will also have a chance to welcome back one of the all-time Gamecock greats in Dan Traylor. Traylor will be honored in the first half and then be on hand to sign autographs on the concourse at half time. The seven-footer, a USC letterwinner from 1971-73, is the career blocked shots leader (235) and led the team in rebounds twice.

The SC-UT will be broadcast nationally on ABC-TV with Jimmy Dykes and Brad Nessler 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) and broadcast over the airwaves on Sirius channel No. 144. It can also be picked up via the internet at

USC, 12-12 and 2-9 in the SEC, plays an 18-8 Volunteer team that has posted a 6-5 record in the SEC this year. USC lost at Vandy on Wed., Feb. 14 (78-68), while UT defeated Kentucky 89-85 in Knoxville on Tues., Feb. 13 on ESPN. UT is 6-0 at home this season in league play, but unlucky 0-5 in SEC play on the road.

Tennessee has three starters in double figures including Lofton (20.7 ppg), JaJuan Smith (15.2) and Ramar Smith (10.2). USC has two scoring double digits (Kelley, 18.0 and Wallace, 10.4). Wallace paces USC with 9.7 boards per game, which is second in the SEC, while Wayne Chism (5.5 rpg) and Duke Crews (5.2 rpg) bang for the Vols on the boards. Wallace leads USC with 2.7 bpg and is second in the SEC with that tally. Kelley leads the Gamecock charge with 5.0 apg.

In the two’s last meeting in Knoxville on Jan. 20 then-No. 22 UT won 64-61 with Kelley putting up 18 points. UT swept the series last year, but USC got the best of the Vols in the SEC Tournament second round.


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.


* The game features the three top SEC freshmen rebounders in league play in Wayne Chism (5.3 rpg), Dominique Archie (4.8 rpg) and Duke Crews (4.5 rpg). Tennessee and USC also feature the top two steal leaders in the SEC in league play with JaJuan Smith (No. 1 at 1.8 spg) and Brandon Wallace (No. 2, 1.7 spg).

* South Carolina’s senior leadership. Tre Kelley leads the league in scoring (19.8 ppg) and free throw percentage (.889). Brandon Wallace is the league leader in offensive rebounds. He is second in the league in overall rebounds (111), blocked shots (2.8 bpg) and steals (1.7 spg). Kelley and Wallace are 1-2 in minutes played in the league as well.

* Look for a close game as the last seven of 10 games were decided by an average of 5.5 ppg (39 points total).


Tre’ Kelley has scored 78 points in the last three games to bring his season scoring average up to 18.0 ppg. His 19.9 ppg in league play are tops in the SEC.

If he ended the season at 18.0 ppg overall that would be the most for a Gamecock since BJ McKie scored 18.8 ppg in 1997-98 – the same year McKie led the SEC in scoring. If Kelley pushes his average over 20 points per game, he would be the first Gamecock to do so since Zam Fredrick scored 28.9 per game in the 1980-81 campaign.

Kelley has scored 1354 points and dished out 477 assists during his career. He is No. 16 on the career points list and No. 3 on the career assists list. Kelley is looking to become just the third Gamecock to post 1000 points and 500 assists in his career. Jack Gilloon (1975-78) posted 533 assists and scored 1027 points while Melvin Watson (1995-98) was the second player to do so with 1424 points and 543 assists. Kelley needs to average a little less than four assists a game over the next six games to join those two former Gamecocks.

If Kelley would hit 1500 points (he’d need to averaged 24 ppg in the next six games) and finish with 500 assists, he would be the first player in USC history to accomplish that feat in 99 years of Gamecock basketball.

The very most the last 3 years, but not so many this year

USC played in the more games than any other SEC team in the last three years (2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06). USC leads the pack with 105 games played with an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2004 and two NIT Championships in 2005 and 2006. Florida is second at 102 and Kentucky is third with 101 games played.

But, besides Kelley and Wallace, who had started 73 games and 61 games, respectively – the cupboard was pretty bare of other USC starters from those three years. Dwayne Day came into this season with 10 career starts and Bryce Sheldon entered the year with one start. Of the 525 ‘players’ needed to start those 105 games, USC only returned only 145 starts (28%).

In comparison, Florida needed 520 ‘players’ to start those 104 games over the last three years. The Gators returned 267 of those starts this season with over 51% of their starts returning from the last three years.

Be Like Alex?

Entering Saturday’s contest with Tennessee, Brandon Wallace has 726 rebounds and 227 blocked shots in his career. The only other Gamecock to have at least 700 rebounds and 200 blocked shots in his career was Alex English. (1973-76) English grabbed 1064 rebounds and blocked 230 shots.

Starting them all

Dominique Archie and Brandon Wallace have started every game. Last year Tre’ Kelley was the only Gamecock to start all 38 games, setting a school record with games started and games played.

USC used the same line-up it used at the Citadel and vs. Clemson to start the Vanderbilt game. It included Wallace, Archie, Tre’ Kelley, Bryce Sheldon and Brandis Raley-Ross (starting in place of Evka Baniulis).


Make your plan, work your plan. Brandon Wallace had a goal this season – break the career blocked shots record – and he’s on track to do it. The record is 235 by Danny Traylor (1971-73). Wallace will need less than 1.5 bpg, if you figure six games at the minimum left on the schedule, as he has tallied 227 career blocks prior to the UT game. But to get to Traylor at 235, Wallace will have to get past Alex English (No. 2, 230, 1973-76).

Wallace has 64 blocks this year – the seventh most in a season for a Carolina player. Wallace’s 73 blocks in 2006 were the fourth most in Carolina history.

With at least seven 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 seven 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.

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 vs. Tennessee, Wallace will have played in 130 career games (No. 2 all-time) Kelley is No. 2 with 129 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.

Trio • Tre’ Kelley has scored double digits in all but two games this season (4 vs. CofC and 9 at UGA). He leads the team with 18.0 ppg. Against Vandy Kelley scored in double figures for the 21st time this year and the 64th time in his career. His 36 points at UK were the most for a Gamecock in SEC regular season play, only topped by BJ McKie’s 37 in the SEC Tournament semi-finals in 1998. He has 4+ AST in 16 games this year, including a season-high eight assists four times.

• Kelley has attempted 20 or more shots in six games this season. (Southern Cal, Baylor, Princeton, Florida, Kentucky, Georgia) 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 116 assists on the season, averaging 5.0 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 20 games this year, including 11+ in 10 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 64 shots, (2.7 bpg). On track to break the school record set by Danny Traylor (235, 1971-73), he would have to average 1.3 bpg in the next five SEC games + one SEC Tournament game.

• Bryce Sheldon has 2+ 3’s in 10 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. He has started eight straight games, scoring in double figures five times during that span.

20+, 30+

Carolina has had five different players post 20 or more points in a game this season with Tre’ Kelley being the most recent at Vanderbilt when he scored 21 points. He was the first Gamecock since Carlos Powell to put 30+ (Kelley, 36 at UK) on the board when Powell scored 30 against Ole Miss on Senior Day in 2005. Kelley has netted 20 nine times, Brandon Wallace and Bryce Sheldon twice and Dominique Archie and Evka Baniulis both once. Baniulis scored 21 including hitting 5 of 8 from beyond the arc in the 80-75 loss to Auburn.

In 2006 USC only had three different players to score 20+ in a game (Kelley, Tarence Kinsey and Renaldo Balkman).