All tickets are $10 for remaining non-conference games.
Playing the last three games on the road, USC returned home to the friendly confines of the Colonial Center for a six-game home stand on Wednesday night, defeating Charleston Southern 71-36.
On the road for three games prior to the CSU game, USC defeated The Citadel 70-38 Dec. 3 and Clemson 76-61 Dec. 6, before falling to Temple on Dec. 15, 71-61.
Next up: Saturday a 2 pm match-up with N.C. State. The N.C. State game will be broadcast on SEC-TV (Fox affiliates) with Dave Neal making the call and Barry Booker working as the color analyst.
N.C. State, 5-1, defeated Hartford 78-49 on Dec. 13 in Raleigh. N.C. State's lone loss came in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, with NCSU falling 61-68 at Michigan.
The Wolfpack are led by eight-year coaching veteran Herb Sendek. Sendek's Wolfpack were 18-13 in 2002-03, and finished fourth in the ACC with a 9-7 record.
The Gamecocks are 11-7 at home against NC State and 27-48 overall. This is the Wolfpack's first trip to the Capital City of South Carolina since February 17, 1971. That year was South Carolina's last year in the ACC.
It's the first team from Tobacco Road to come to Columbia since North Carolina State came in 1971. The visit by N.C. State to Columbia is the first by an ACC team other than Clemson since playing Maryland on December 5, 1988. The Gamecocks won that game 57-51.
First start goes off without a hitch
Renaldo Balkman recorded a new career high for minutes played with 29 against Charleston Southern. His previous high was 23 vs. Southwest Missouri State. Balkman also recorded a career high in rebounds with nine. His previous high in boards was eight.
In Carolina's nine wins this season, four have been by 21 points or more. USC's largest win all of last season was 19 points against Temple on December 2, 2002. (66-47). The Gamecocks had nine of their 12 wins last year by 10 points or more.
Who's the man?
Who's the man? Through their first 75 games of coaching at USC and the top four records:
Coach Record Years Conference
* George Felton 46-29 1986-1989 Metro
* Dave Odom 43-32 2001-2003 SEC
* Frank McGuire 36-39 1964-1968 ACC
* Eddie Fogler 32-43 1993-1996 SEC
A few magic numbers
The Carolina defense has held three opponents so far this season to under 41 points. Last year's team lowest points allowed was 47 against Temple and the second lowest total was 49 against Ole Miss. All other USC opponents scored 50 or more points.
Last year the Gamecocks had 10 steals or more 10 times in a game. This year through nine games, South Carolina has had seven games where they have 10 steals or more. In four of those game they have 14 steals or more. Against Navy, USC stole the ball 20 times to tie the school record. (12/30/01 vs. Mercer and 12/2/61 vs. Lenoir-Rhyne).
Last year USC averaged 8.35 spg. This year they are averaging 12.10 spg.
The 12 blocked shots by Carolina against Campbell is tied for fifth most in a game in USC history. (14 vs. South Carolina State on 12/30/99)
The Gamecocks recorded five blocks or more in six games last year. This year the Gamecocks have recorded five blocks or more seven times this year. They have nine blocks or more in a game four times this season. Last year's high in blocks was seven against Tennessee and Arkansas.
Last year, there were two halves where Carolina held opponents to 20 points or less scoring. (19 by Temple in first half on December 2, 2002 and 15 by Mississippi in the first half on January 8, 2003).
This year there have been five halves where USC's defense has kept opponents to 20 or less points. (18 by Navy in the second half on November 21, 2003 - The Citadel scored 18 in the first half and 20 in the second half on December 3, 2003 - Charleston Southern scored 18 in the first and 18 in the second on December 17, 2003).
Non-conference Last year the Gamecocks were 7-4 against non-conference opponents while this year they are 9-1.
On the sidelines
Sophomore Tarence Kinsey did not dress for the game against CSU, after suffering a mild concussion against Temple. Kinsey is day to day and expected back for the N.C. State game.
Still recovering from a broken bone in his right foot, the CSU game represented the last game of Rolando Howell's 12-game suspension. He will be available for the N.C. State but is doubtful. He is not expected to return until early January.
Josh Gonner was suspended for violation of team rules and did not dress for the Charleston Southern game. His situation will be reviewed on Friday.
Tops in the SEC, NCAA
Senior Mike Boynton, Jr. is in the top 10 of five categories this week among the SEC leaders. He is ninth in assists (4.0 pg), seventh in steals (2.1 spg), third in three point field goal percentage (44.2%), eighth in three pointer made per game (2.1) and 10th in assist/turnover ratio (2.0). Carlos Powell is in the top 20 of both points per game (15th with 14.4 ppg) and No. 8 (8.1 rpg).
As a team USC is No. 1 in three categories and No. 2 in three other categories. USC is No. 1 in turnover margin (+7.00 pg), No. 1 in field goal defense (35.4 %) and No. 1 in three-point field goal defense (26.6%) USC is No. 2 in scoring defense (58.1 ppg), three point field goals made (7.3 pg) and steals (11.78 spg).
Nationally USC is in the top 25 in three categories: scoring defense (ranked No. 21), field goal percentage defense (ranked No. 10) and steals per game (ranked No. 10).
Gerald withdraws from university
Sophomore Jarod Gerald has withdrawn from the university. Gerald is not academically eligible per university or NCAA regulations. He has returned to his hometown of Mullins, S.C., and will consult with his family on future plans.
"I am extremely disappointed that Jarod was unable to maintain an academic track that would lead to graduation," said Odom. "To me, this is a sad day for I know that Jarod has the ability to do college work. I truly hope that he will use the time away from school to review his priorities and eventually return to college and resume his education. Our staff remains available to help him in any way he deems appropriate."
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