Gamecocks bound for Gainesville

Coming into Wednesday night's tussell in Gainesville, USC (13-12, 3-9 SEC) and Florida (24-3, 11-1 SEC) appear on very different paths than they were last week. The Gators were the No. 1 team in the nation and riding a lengthy 17-game win streak. On the other hand, the Gamecocks were wallowing in a 5-game losing streak.

But after a stunning weekend, Carolina knocked off a solid Tennessee team by a sizable margin, while Florida fell at the hands of Vanderbilt.

"Question obviously is you're catching them at a bad time, they just lost their first game in the league. And they're going to be all hot and bothered and take out all their anger on the Gamecocks," Odom said. "And I would say to all that, if they'd won the game the other night at Vanderbilt, everybody would be saying you're catching them at a bad time because they're undefeated, and they want to finish the league undefeated. So, I don't see any difference there."

Momentum isn't a big concern for Odom, who knows that no matter what had happened to Florida last game, it will still take a monumental effort to upset the Gators.

"I don't worry about those things all that much. I think after 5, 8, 10 minutes of the game, the pregame motivation will be lost and then it will be a game," Odom said. "We'll deal with the game as it unfolds at that time."

Mismatches across the board highlight the game, as USC relies heavily on the play of its perimeter players to give them points while Florida counts on points in the paint to win games.

"They've got the three big guys, and they rotate them and they keep them fresh," Odom said. "They handle the ball, they pass, they catch and easily they're the best pass, catch, score, rebound, defend, shot block trio in the league. They're all purpose kind of postmen."

All five of Florida's starters average double figures, with forward Corey Brewer's 13 points per game leading the charge. Not far behind is Final Four MVP Joakim Noah, who averages close to a double-double with just under 13 points and eight rebounds.

"Corey Brewer's always a problem for everybody. He's very fast, quick. He does a lot of things- offensive rebounding, shooting the ball. He's trying to score more now," Odom said. "Tauren Green is still one of the best point guards in the league. He shoots three's from very deep. We've got to make sure we account for him on every possession."

That size could cause post guys like Brandon Wallace and Dominique Archie some trouble, especially with the questionable status of Chad Gray. But it could leave the door wide open for a perimeter trio that has been hot as of late. Senior point guard Tre' Kelley has been over 21 his last four games, while Bryce Sheldon and Brandis Raley-Ross have rekindled their strokes at just the right time, combining for 28 points.

"Our best offensive peformance has come when we've gotten the ball up the court quickly and gotten shots off before the defense settles. I don't think you'll find that we're going to change that," Odom said. "In order to get Bryce, Dwayne, Brandis, those guys shots we better do it in the open court."


Along with a discussion of Wednesday's game against Florida, Odom also talked to the media about Saturday's game against Ole Miss, which will be Senior Day for Gamecocks Tre' Kelley, Brandon Wallace, and Bryce Sheldon. The ceremony, which will be prior to a 7 p.m. tip on Lincoln Financial Sports, will start at 6:45 p.m.

"We've got three really fine seniors, two of which have been with us for four years, and we want to honor all three," Odom said. "With everything I've got, I want to encourage our fans to be in their seats by 6:30 p.m. It would be a wonderful send off to those three guys. It would be a tremendous send off if we could get a really good crowd there and really acknowledge how important their presence here as Gamecocks has been."

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