Odom Heated Up By Kelley's Snub

FAYETTEVILLE -- South Carolina coach Dave Odom wants to defend his players, especially when he feels they've been slighted.

Odom had some harsh words Thursday morning when he was asked for his reaction to South Carolina guard Tre Kelley not being named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches' All-District 5 team.

"Quite frankly, I think it's despicable. I'm ashamed of the coaching profession for that kind of vote," Odom said. "I've called the NABC, which they had nothing to do with it other than they sponsored it; they certainly didn't vote.

"But if that's the way they are going to treat the voting, then we ought to do away with coaches' votes."

The NABC all-district teams, which recognize the nation's best college basketball players, are voted on by the organization's members.

Seventeen Southeastern Conference players were named to one of the NABC's all-district teams, but surprisingly Kelley was left off. He ranks second in the league in scoring (19.1 points per game) despite playing through much of the season with a severely injured knee.

For that reason, Kelley is considered a candidate for SEC player of the year. But Odom was upset by the guard being snubbed by the NABC.

"I wouldn't have been pleased if he was on the (all-district) second-team," Odom said. "I just know what he's done."



On the Defensive

If Florida hopes to defend its national championship, coach Billy Donovan believes his players need to do a better job of defending.

The Gators, at one time the nation's consensus top-ranked team, have lost three of their past four games in large part because of their inability to slow down opposing shooters.

"Whether it's home, on the road or on a neutral site, if you do not do a better job defensively both from the 3-point line and inside the 3-point line, I don't care who you are, it's really hard to win," Donovan said.

The defensive problems began when Florida allowed Vanderbilt to drain 10 3-pointers and shoot 57.1 percent from the floor in an 83-70 loss on Feb. 17 in Nashville.

A week later, LSU shot 55.6 percent to jump out to a 13-point halftime lead and hold on for a 66-56 upset in Baton Rouge.

Florida's recent defensive woes were perhaps most noticeable Tuesday when Tennessee hit seven 3-pointers and made 20-of-30 shots in the first half to cruise to an 86-76 win that was not as close as the score indicated.

"I think our guys have got to get more defensive stops," Donovan said.



Getting On Board

Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy didn't like what he saw. Unfortunately, he had to watch it more than he would have liked.

Alabama grabbed an oustanding 16 offensive rebounds in the first half of Wednesday's 69-58 win over Ole Miss. In total, the Rebels gave up 20 offensive boards, which frustrated Kennedy and put a damper on his team's chances of making the NCAA Tournament.

"It was devastating," Kennedy told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger of his team's rebounding effort. "I feel helpless over there watching them time and time and time again come up with the ball. Our guys were really, really passive and not attacking and as a result, you get what you deserve."

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