The two teams have met three times, all in Columbia, with the Gamecocks holding a 3-0 advantage. The match-up is the first between the two schools since Dec. 5, 1991 when USC won 68-56 in Columbia. USC Coach Dave Odom is 4-0 against the Eagles with his last win over the Eagles coming in 1993 when he was at Wake Forest (75-69; 12-1-93).
Winthrop started the season in the Virgin Islands, playing in the Paradise Jam, where it collected a 2-1 record (see page 2). Last season they finished 10-6 in the Big South (third place) and 16-12 overall.
Carolina is 18-3 against the Big South Conference. USC lost to two Big South members within 10 days in 1996-97 - the same year they went 15-1 in the SEC. The Gamecocks dropped a 74-80 game to UNC Asheville on Dec. 19 and then an 81-85 game to Charleston Southern on Dec. 28. USC then went on a 16-1 run to end the regular season, with the only blemish being a 74-77 loss at Georgia.
State Champions III
Under Coach Dave Odom, USC is 13-0 against other schools from the state of South Carolina. This season USC plays in-state rivals Winthrop, Clemson, SC State and Wofford.
Not in this house
The Gamecocks are 17-0 at the Colonial Center and 26-1 under Coach Odom in non-conference play at home. USC has won 23 non-conference games in a row at home. The last lost for USC at home against a non-conference opponent was on December 6, 2001 against Georgetown when the Hoyas' won 70-68.
What about Winthrop
Winthrop played in the 2005 Paradise Jam this past weekend in the Virgin Islands where they wrapped up a 2-1 record. Winthrop got a shutdown defensive effort Monday night as the Eagles defeated Austin Peay 52-36 in the consolation game of the 2005 Paradise Jam and held the Governors to an all-time tournament low point total.
Winthrop placed five players in double figures and connected on 29 of 32 free throws in the game as the Eagles overcame a slow start to defeat Troy 89-80 Saturday night in the second round of the 2004 Paradise Jam.
For nearly 25 minutes the Winthrop men's basketball team had visions of an upset in its mind against Arkansas in the opening round of the 2005 Paradise Jam, but the Razorbacks torrid outside shooting kept that from becoming a reality as they broke open a close game and coasted to a 72-49 win Friday night.
Glad to meet you again Eagles
Winthrop is one of five teams the Gamecocks have faced in the past, but not recently. The other four are South Florida, East Carolina, Pittsburgh, Western Carolina and Winthrop. The Gamecocks last played USF in 1977, ECU in 2002, Pittsburgh in 1976, WCU in 1995 and Winthrop in 1991. USC will play its first-ever game against Kansas this season in historic Allen Fieldhouse.
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