Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Cougars face the Gamecocks tonight @ 7 pm, Bobby Cremins squares off with his old friend and basketball rival, Dave Odom

The College of Charleston (3-5, 0-1 SoCon) travels 110 miles up the road to Columbia tonight to face the 2006 NIT Champions, South Carolina Gamecocks (4-2, 0-0 SEC) at the Colonial Center. Both teams are coming off of a loss: the Gamecocks are coming off of a (53-74) loss to Clemson. The Cougars lost to Appalachian State last Saturday, 57-68. (Photo of Bobby Cremins at USC from SCETV.org)

Game Time:
Tip-off is at 7 pm and will be broadcasted on television by Fox Sports Net South, (Channel 28 in Charleston and Channel 31 in Cola). The radio broadcast will be on ESPN Radio: WTMZ-910 AM and WTMA 1250 AM, our friends, Nate Ross and Everett German will be the courtside analysts and the voice of the Cougars, Tony Ciuffo will handle the play-by-play action-this will be the same broadcast available on-line via SoCon.Tv.

The Series:
Currently, South Carolina leads the Cougars 25-1 (all time), 0-2 (since both joined the NCAA)-USC won in OT against the Cougs in a 65-53 victory (Dec. 22, 1993) and USC beat the Cougs in Charlotte, 55-44 (Dec. 4, 1998). The last time the College of Charleston beat the Gamecocks was Jan. 17, 1930, when the College won 40-32-a major blowout! This series has been played over a span of 89 years now, and with two friends, yet old ACC-rivals (Cremins @ Ga. Tech & Odom @ Wake) at the helms of both great schools, the series will just get better.

I hate to use the phrase the Cougars are due, but I think we had enough time off this week for everyone to get focused and the Cougs are due. Obviously, we need Dontaye to get back into his rhythm and put the kind of points on the board that he had in the first three games. He’s matched up pretty evenly with his 6-foot mirror on the Gamecocks squad, Tre’ Kelley. (Kelley is the only Cock to put up double-digits in every game this year). Hopefully, Draper will have the opportunity to hit his shots as Tony White, Jr. is really coming into his role as point guard and taking off a lot of the pressure. (Tony, do me a favor, don’t stare down your passing targets so hard, I see where the ball is headed, and I think everyone else does too). Finally, we are going to need our big men, David Lawrence and Jermaine Johnson to beat the boards and stop USC’s center Brandon Wallace from getting his 8.5 rebounds per game. Finally, our guys need to hold USC freshman, (small) power-forward, Dominique Archie to similar stats as what he put up in his first 3 starts this year (7-points total).

USC is tough, no doubt about it. Their losses came from UC Irvine by 15-points and Clemson by 21-points. However, USC knocked off the other USC (Southern California) by a 6-point margin in OT this year, but the Gamecocks only beat the Citadel by 15-points (who hasn’t?), narrowly beat SC State by 3-points and beat Lipscomb by 7. Meaning, I think the Cougars will finally get hot and shoot better than the lingering median 30 percentile range that has plagued them for the past two-weeks. Also, enough with the Coach Cremins persona non gratis saga (I am talking to you Post & Courier) the older kids on these teams were in the 4th grade in 1993. Meaning, this will have just about the same effect on the Cougars’ players, as CofC fans chanting “Shannon Faulkner” during a Citadel game has on the Bulldogs’ players today. I think the Cougars have a strong chance to bring home a win from Columbia. The Gamecocks seem to already have their heads turned towards their trip to Waco, TX to face Baylor, so we might just be able to catch them snoozing tonight! Go Cougs!

Btw, for the record, I think the State newspaper’s Seth Emerson did a better job at downplaying the Cremins returning to Columbia issue than the Charleston Post & Courier. Special thanks to the Charleston staff of Charles Bennett and David Caraviello: (843) 937-5588 for putting that one together.

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