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Sept. 15, 2014



COLUMBIA, S.C. – As the start of the 2014-15 campaign draws closer, takes a look at some notable moments in South Carolina basketball history by the tens, detailing notables every 10 days until the week of the season opener versus North Florida (Nov. 14), when we will have a daily post. We’ll look at certain eras in Gamecock history; we’ll see how the number 20 marks the record book; and we’ll revisit great games, great moments and Gamecock greats throughout the feature. We start 60 days out from the contest versus the Ospreys with a few notes from the 1960s.

The 60s started with back-to-back losing seasons, but head coach Bob Stevens earned ACC Coach of the Year honors after the Gamecocks turned in a 15-12 overall record during the 1961-62 campaign. Following that season, Stevens left Columbia to take the head position at Oklahoma, and the combination of Chuck Noe and Dwane Morrison led the Gamecocks through the next two seasons, before Frank McGuire was named head coach prior to the 1964-65 campaign.

McGuire recruited fervently and in just two years led his Gamecocks to a 16-7 mark during the 1966-67 season, which began a stretch of 15-straight seasons with a winning record. Shortly after came the heralded recruiting class of John Roche, Tom Owens and John Ribock. Roche averaged 23.6 points per game during his freshman season, and the Gamecocks posted their first-ever 20-win season with a 21-7 mark and advanced to the Postseason NIT. That season also marked the first in Carolina Coliseum, the new 12,401-seat arena that would strengthen the Gamecocks’ home-court advantage and be a marquee attraction, not only in the city of Columbia, but also in the Southeast.

The aforementioned Gamecock Greats all individually marked the record book in several categories. Roche led the team in scoring each of his three seasons in the Garnet and Black, and holds the fourth (662), fifth (625) and sixth-most (623) single-season point totals in school history. He ranks as the third-highest scorer in Gamecock history with 1,910 points, and is the highest scorer among those playing only three seasons. Then there is Owens, one of only five in Carolina history to score at least 1,000 points and collected 1,000 rebounds. Owens ranks 20th all-time with 1,325 points, and second all-time with 1,116 rebounds. He averaged double-figure rebounds in each of his three seasons at Carolina, including a 14.0 average during the 1969-70 season, which is fifth all-time in a single season. Ribock was exceptionally tough on defense and a solid rebounder, and an anchor for the teams he played on.

South Carolina was a member of the ACC during the 60s, and, though the team didn’t win a league title during the decade, the squad set groundwork for a 1970 ACC Regular-Season crown and a 1971 ACC Championship.

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Information compiled by Associate Media Relations Director Emily Feeney and student assistant Jackson Filyo