SEC BASKETBALL PREVIEW: South Carolina Gamecocks

This is the next in our continuing preview of the 2002-03 SEC Men's basketball season. Today, hoops expert VeeMan gives us a preview of the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Returning Players

                     MIN   PPG  %FG  %3P   %FT REB  AST

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Chuck Eidson Sr      1110  8.8  39.4 30.8  76.3 139 129

Rolando Howell Jr     944  8.9  49.8 ---   56.9 217  36

Tony Kitchings Sr     696  7.0  45.8 ---   54.4 212  31

Marius Petravicius Sr 626  5.9  50.7 ---   75.7 137  11

Carlos Powell So      580  6.3  45.8 25.0  67.2 101  21

Chris Warren So       484  4.1  34.3 32.3  77.5  79  34

Michael Boynton Jr    354  1.9  36.5 43.2  55.6  32  50

Ivan Howell Sr         85  2.7  40.5 33.3 100.0  17   7

John Chappell So       74  0.4  25.0 ---   50.0  14   0 

Players Lost

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Jamel Bradley        1211  13.1 42.4 39.8 68.3   70  88

Aaron Lucas          1147  10.4 41.2 30.6 66.4   87 145

Issa Konare            54   1.0 30.0 26.7 50.0   13   2

Greg Taylor            37   0.7 33.3 20.0 28.6    5   3 

New Players and Rank in PrepStars

Marcus Morrison 6'6" Freshman (#121)

Jarod Gerald 6'1" Freshman (#209)

Terance Kinsey 6'7" Freshman (#132) 

Strengths

1. Everyone returns in the frontcourt, so there will be plenty of experience and size there. The frontline consists of Kitchings (6'10", 260 lbs); Petravicius (6'10", 250 lbs); Rolando Howell (6'9", 220 lbs); Powell (6'7", 220 lbs); and Chappell (6'10", 235 lbs).

2. Rebounding should be a positive factor, thanks to the strong and experienced front court.

3. Coach Dave Odom is a real asset. He is spirited, intelligent, hard-working. and has had a lot of success coaching at East Carolina and Wake Forest before coming to South Carolina last year.

4. Wing player Chuck Eidson (6'7") is one of the best floor generals in the SEC. He will have to be the team leader, a role that he is fully capable of assuming successfully. 

Weaknesses

1. When Aaron Lucas and Jamel Bradley completed their eligibility, they took with them a ton of experience and most of the outside shooting. Finding replacements won't be easy.

2. The outside shooting is questionable. Eidson is an erratic outside shooter at best.

3. The newcomers aren't as strong a group as Odom would have wanted. One of his recruits (6'7" Kerbrell Brown, a JUCO) will have to sit out the season for academic reasons, and another junior college recruit was denied admission. 

Keys

1. How well will Boynton (6'2") and freshman Jarod Gerald play the point? The presence of Eidson should take some of the pressure off of them.

2. Will Boynton, Chris Warren (6'5"), and freshman Terance Kinsey be able to supply the needed outside shooting? 

Near Certainties

1. Odom will find a way to get the most out of his players.

2. Rolando Howell will have a big year. He has the talent, and this figures to be his breakout season. 

Prospects for 2002-2003

Coming off of a remarkable 22-15 season and a run that took them all the way to the final game of the NIT, the Gamecocks will have considerable confidence. However, replacing Lucas and Bradley won't be easy. South Carolina will fight it out with Vanderbilt and Tennessee for fourth place in the SEC East and should go to the NIT once again. 


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