Gamecocks Set For AU - Tickets Sold Out For UF/UK

USC will return home tonight, Wednesday 15 January for a 7:30 pm game against the SEC Western Division leading Auburn Tigers. Saturday USC will host SEC Eastern Division leader, Florida, at 8 pm on SEC-TV in front of a sold out crowd and a large class of visiting football prospects ....

Auburn won the last meeting between the two teams, 50-46, in Alabama. No Gamecock scored in double figures last year (three had nine points). It was the only time in 36 games at least one Gamecock didn't scored in double figures in 2001-02.

The Tigers have not treated USC well since the Gamecocks joined the SEC, winning the last five match-ups and 11 of the 13 games the two teams have played in the SEC.

USC is 1-1 in the SEC thus far: opening the SEC season with a 55-49 win over Mississippi and then falling 55-62 at Kentucky. Auburn is 13-2 overall and is coming off two wins against Vanderbilt (62-59) and at Arkansas (52-37) to open its conference slate.

The Auburn game will be carried on the radio airwaves by the Gamecock Sports Network. Charlie McAlexander (play-by-play) and Casey Manning (color) will call the action on more than 25 stations in the Palmetto State and world-wide on the internet at www.uscsports.com.

WELCOME BACK TO CAMPUS!

To help welcome students back to campus, USC Head Coach will do his weekly radio show from USC's Russell House on Thursday, Jan. 16 from 7-8 pm. The call-in show will be held on the second floor. Students are invited as is the general public.

Stay tuned - there will be some special guests and maybe even a contest or two.

The call-in show, hosted by Charlie McAlexander, will take questions from the audience as well.

HOME SWEET HOME

USC is 7-0 at home since opening The Carolina Center Nov. 24 against East Tennessee State. In fact, the Gamecock men's and women's basketball teams are a combined 17-0 since The Carolina Center opened in November.

The SEC is a combined 85-10 at home this season, with five teams tallying wins only at home: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU and South Carolina.

AND STARTING FOR THE GAMECOCKS . . .

USC has used nine different line-ups in 12 games this season. Part of the reason: injuries. It's become an Algebra problem for Coach Odom at times this season. For example on Saturday: with seniors Marius Petravicius and Chris Warren not on the trip due to injuries, and Rolando Howell not practicing full court on Thursday or Friday due to the mild head trauma he suffered against Mississippi, Coach Odom made a game-time decision to start Michael Boynton instead of R. Howell. Howell did play 25 minutes in the game, scoring four points and gathering eight rebounds.

USC has only started the same line-up more than one time in a row, starting the following for a three game stretch against Temple, Georgetown and Wofford: Carlos Powell, Howell, Petravicius, Chuck Edison and Michael Boynton.

With Petravicious (and Warren (started two games) out this week, USC will most likely have a different line-up than the one used against Kentucky in its game against Auburn.

EIDSON LEADS SEC IN 2 CATEGORIES

As of Jan. 13, Chuck Eidson is leading the SEC in two categories in overall statistics: free throw percentage (84%) and steals per game (2.75). Eidson's name shows up in three other categories as well: No. 13 in rebounding (6.4 pg); No. 5 in assists (4.83 pg) and No. 7 in defensive rebounds (4.67 pg).

As of Jan. 7, Eidson was No. 22 on the NCAA list in steals per game and led the Gamecocks to No. 16 nationally as a team in steals per game (10.5).

Tarence Kinsey are also showing up in the overall SEC statistics categories. Powell is seventh in scoring (16.2 ppg) and 10th in field goal percentage (.497). Howell is 13th in the SEC in rebounding (6.4 rpg) and sixth in offensive rebounds with 2.75 pg. Kinsey is No.5 in assist/turnover ratio at 2.50.

As a team, USC is No. 1 in the SEC in steals with 9.92 pg. The Gamecocks are No. 2 in two categories: No. 2 in turnover ratio at +3.00 and No. 2 in 3-pt. field goal % defense at .297.

AFTER WEEK ONE . . . Chuck Eidson also leads the SEC in SEC-only stats with steals with 2.50 per game. Four other USC players show up in the SEC-only stats after week one.

Carlos Powell is ninth in scoring (16.0 pg) and Kerbrell Brown checks in at No. 20 (12.0 pg). Rolando Howell is tied with Powell at No. 15 in rebounding (5.0 pg).

Brown is No. 8 in three point field goals made (2.50 pg) and Michael Boynton is No. 5 in assists at 3.50 pg.

USC is No. 1 in turnover margin (+4.50) and No. 2 in 3 point defense (.267).

USC Home Men's Basketball Games vs. Florida & Kentucky Are Sold Out

South Carolina's home men's basketball games at the Carolina Center against a pair of nationally ranked opponents -- Florida and Kentucky -- are sold out. USC's contest this Saturday (1/18) vs. the sixth-ranked Gators (tipoff is set for 8 p.m.) is a sellout, as is the Feb. 1 matchup against #16 Kentucky (tipoff is 1 p.m.).

Tickets do remain for tonight's home game vs. the Auburn Tigers. Start time for that game is 7:30 p.m. (no TV).


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