Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+

Feb. 20, 2007

Columbia, SC – USC Head Coach Dave Odom met with the media on Tuesday to preview the Gamecocks re-match with the Gators, ranked No. 3 nationally, on Wed., Feb. 21 at 8 pm in Gainesville.

Odom also pointed out Senior Night will be Sat., Feb. 24 at 7 pm vs. Ole Miss. Senior Night is being held a game early (last game is vs. Vanderbilt on Wed., Feb. 28) so the senior’s families will be able to travel in from out of town. He asks fans come early as the Senior Night presentation will begin around 6:40 pm.

“Tre’ Kelley and Brandon Wallace have meant so much to our basketball team,” said Odom. “They will both leave with a remarkable resume. They have been equally good men. They have improved greatly as players and I am so proud of them. With everything I got I want to encourage our fans to be in their seats by 6:30 on Saturday. It would be a wonderful send off to those three guys. Bryce has meant a lot to us as well. We really need to acknowledge all three of them and their contributions. So fans – please plan ahead and that can be done – plan to be there early. I really encourage our fans to help us spread that word as well.”

Odom announced Chad Gray did not have a full practice on Monday, but was in basketball shoes and came through his work-out very well. The plan is for him practice today on a pain tolerance check-up. Chad Gray is listed as doubtful at Florida prior to practice today. Tre’ Kelley practiced the full time on Monday and there are no other injuries to report.

Odom made the following comments prior to answering media questions:

“We had a good first day of practice yesterday. Florida is who they are. They are one of the best teams in the country. You say ‘you are catching them at a bad time because they lost their first game in the league and take out their anger on the Gamecocks’. If they would have won everyone would say ‘you are catching them at a bad time because they want to go undefeated in the league’. We have to deal with the situation as it is. After 5-8 minutes of the game, it will be a game.

“When you go back to the game we played here earlier this year, the first half we played reasonably well. The second half they got a lot of uncontested three point shots.

“Lee Humphrey got out of the box early against us. Corey Brewer is trying to score more now. Taureen Green shoots three’s very deep. The 3 big guys – they rotate them well. They are the best defensive trio in the league. They can really do some damage. It will be a difficult challenge for us, but one we all look forward to. We have to play better in the second half than we did here. We have to compete longer.”

Did you learn anything from watching the tape from your first game with the Gators?

ODOM: “They scored a dunk on the last possession of the first half, but it was a four-point game going into the last minute of the first half. The only thing I got out of the second half was how bad you can be when you don’t execute on the offensive and defensive possessions. I will have to remind my team of that constantly.”

Did you learn anything from watching the Vandy tape vs. Florida?

ODOM: “Vanderbilt played them very well in Gainesville and were up 8-10 at the half. Vandy did it in a way that maybe nobody in our league can. They provided bad match-ups for Florida. It was very similar to what we did against Florida last year with the line-up we had.”

Maybe Vanderbilt exposed some problems for Florida that that would help you in this game?

ODOM: “This time of the year everyone knows the other teams style. I doubt Billy Donovan is that worried about that. Tennessee could cause similar problems with their jump shooters, but I think Vanderbilt is the team.”

What did you think about the SEC fine on Vanderbilt?

ODOM: “I am not surprised they were given the fine. The league has agreed to the rule and Vanderbilt is certainly one of the 12 in good standing so apparently they agree with the rule. If the Chancellor did go on the floor with the students he may have said ‘money well spent’.”

They are so good, how do you play with them?

ODOM: “In the last two weeks our best offensive games have occurred when we got the ball up the floor quickly. It will feed the frenzy in Gainesville, but it’s the way we’ve proven to be more effective and in order to get off our shots we better do it in the open court. In the post if you just pair the post men up on a speed basis we can run with them. When it settles in at the half-court level, then you lose that. My instructions are to our team ‘if you have a shot, take it. Don’t grind it down’. The first time we played them Tre’ was only a week into his injury and now he is more confident in what he is doing. We will play a little more daring and with aggression. It still comes down to making basketball plays and they are very adept at that.”

How is the team since they beat UT?

ODOM: “Yesterday we practiced an hour and put our game plan in offensively and defensively. We’ve whittled the play-book down offensively and defensively we are going to try a couple different things than we did before. We can’t have them getting out of the box with a bunch of 3 point shots. Against Florida we started in zone here because we did not want to isolate those guys. We are better able to handle it now. If Lee Humphrey gets five 3s on me in the first half I am going to choke somebody and I might start with myself. We can’t allow them to shoot 3s with liberty. We also can’t allow them to outrun us and shoot lay-ups. If they shoot 3s easy that will get under my skin.

“Teams that are so good like Florida, they get you early. If you look at us this year, teams have done that to us (Florida and Kentucky here). We can’t let them do that and I will let our team know that today.”