Make Your Way To The Colonial Center Tonight!

South Carolina, 12-1, has already matched its win total from last season. The Gamecocks' continue their six-game homestand with the fifth straight game at the Colonial Center -- hosting Appalachian State at 7:30 on Friday, Jan. 2. It is just the second meeting between the two schools, with USC holding a 1-0 margin with the 71-56 win last November...

Tickets for the game are $10 (non-conference only) and there are plenty of seats available.

USC's 12-1 start is the best start for the Gamecocks since USC started 18-1 in 1969, losing only the second game of the year to Tennessee (54-55) during that stretch.

The Appalachian State Mountaineers, 6-7 and are 1-0 in the Southern Conference, are coached by fourth-year Head Coach Houston Fancher. ASU was 19-10 in 2003, tying for first for the Southern Conference at 11-5. They return four starters and eight letterwinners.

The two teams only common opponent this season has been The Citadel. ASU disposed of the Bulldogs 72-62 on Dec. 1. USC defeated The Citadel 7-38 two days later on Dec. 3. Both games were played at The Citadel. ASU did lost a 48-63 game to the SEC's Vanderbilt on Dec. 22.

Get pretty fast

USC will play its next five games on television. The ASU game will be shown live on College Sports Southeast (CSS) with Matt Stewart making the call and former College of Charleston Coach John Kreese working as the color analyst.

The Florida-USC game on Jan. 7 will be shown on a tape-delayed basis on the Sunshine Network. The Georgia game (Jan. 10, SEC-TV), the Auburn game (Jan. 14, Jefferson-Pilot) and the Tennessee game (Jan. 17, SEC-TV) will also all be shown live on television.

USC is 3-0 on televised games this season.

Looking for No. 325

Including his tenures at South Carolina, Wake Forest and East Carolina, Odom's career head coaching record is an impressive 324-206. His next win will be his 325th as a head coach and his 520th as a collegiate coach in his 28th season (519-322).

Our past

USC is 1-0 all-time vs. the Mountaineers. The series dates back to just 2002, with USC winning the only match-up in Columbia, 71-56, Nov. 30, 2002. A former member of the Southern Conference, USC is 271-130 vs. the SC. USC has a winning record against every team in the conference. With the exception of the Atlantic Coast Conference (255-375 record), USC has played more games against the Southern Conference than any other conference, including the SEC (270-130 record).

A new longest streak

USC's win over Yale pushed USC's win streak at the Colonial Center to eight straight - the longest streak in the facilities history. USC won seven straight last year in the buildings opening year.

USC is undefeated in non-conference play at The Colonial Center. Since its opening last November, the Gamecocks have a perfect 15-0 record. In fact - USC has only dropped four games at The Colonial Center (known last year as the Carolina Center). The losses last season to: Auburn, No. 6 Florida, No. 6 Kentucky and No. 25 Georgia.

With USC scoring 86 points in the win over SCSU, it also marked the highest point total for the Gamecocks at the new facility. Kentucky holds the facility record with 87 points to USC's 69 Feb. 1, 2003.

Unveiled

Senior Rolando Howell, suspended the first 12 games of the season and then recovering from a broken right foot suffered Nov. 23, saw his first action of the season against Yale. He played just four minutes, putting up one shot and committing one foul.

Afterwards Odom had this to say: "He'll play when he's ready and he's not ready."

21 or more, 10 or more

In Carolina's 12 wins this season, five 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.

Nine of USC's 12 wins this season have been by 10 points or more.

Another 20 points or less

Yale scored 20 points in the first half on Tuesday night, joining quite a crowd this year. This season there have been seven halves where USC's defense has kept opponents to 20 or less points. They are as follows: 1. 18 by Navy in the second half on Nov. 21, 2003; 2. The Citadel scored 18 in the first half and 3. 20 in the second half on Dec. 3, 2003; 4. Charleston Southern scored 18 in the first and 5. 18 in the second on Dec. 17, 2003; 6. South Carolina State scored 18 points in the first half on Dec. 22, 2003; and 7. Yale scored 20 in the first half on Dec. 30, 2003.

Last year, there were only two halves where Carolina held opponents to 20 points or less scoring. (19 by Temple in first half on Dec. 2, 2002 and 15 by Ole Miss in the first half on Jan. 8, 2003).

Rankings

USC is ranked No. 37 in the latest Sagarin ratings (12-31-03).

On collegerpi.com, USC is ranked No. 114. On Sportsline.com, USC's RPI is No. 101 but its strength of schedule is rated at 313.

In both polls this week USC received votes.

No cry-babies here

USC brought in five newcomers this year - four freshmen (Renaldo Balkman, Brandon Wallace, Paulius Joneliunas and Tre Kelley) and one JUCO transfer, Josh Gonner. Thus far in the 2003-04 campaign USC is averaging 71.8 ppg. The Fab Five are averaging almost 37 percent of the Gamecocks points with 26.1 ppg. The five have also scored in double figures 14 times this year (Balkman six times, Gonner four times, and Kelley and Wallace twice).

Balkman leads the team with nine dunks. Wallace has the Fab Fives only double-double of the year, collecting 10 points and 11 rebounds against The Citadel on Dec. 3. Gonner has the highest point total in one game, collecting 19 against N.C. State.

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