Often overlooked in a division with basketball powers like Kentucky and Florida, the South Carolina Gamecocks have taken care of business to date and are tied for the lead in the SEC East....
Who would of ever thought that the Gamecocks from South Carolina would be where they are in the heat of SEC play?
The Gamecocks (17-2, 4-1), who were projected to finish at the bottom of the SEC this year by many people, are riding the top of the SEC East with the likes of Kentucky. But Dave Odom sure isn’t winning with the talent he has. Two of the most talented Gamecock prospects never even put on a Gamecock uniform. Jason Parker was supposed to transfer to South Carolina from Kentucky and would have been a junior this season but never became eligible. Tim Pickett signed with South Carolina only to find out he couldn’t play in the SEC because of a stern policy on JUCO transfers. The players Odom has signed have rarely been heard of.
The fever of basketball has struck fire in The Palmetto State as well. This past Saturday against LSU, Gamecocks fans broke a state record for most ever to see a basketball game. They filled the two-year-old Colonial Center with 17,927 screaming fans. A state, which previously had only been known for their diehard football fans, has now become avid Gamecock basketball supporters.
The only drawback to the Gamecocks is who they have played. According to cbssportsline.com, South Carolina's RPI ranks 45, but their strength of schedule is ranked 221. Ouch! But that statistic should improve as SEC play continues. The Gamecocks just have to find a way to keep fighting.
Can you believe that the South Carolina / Vanderbilt game was chosen as one of the top games of the week? This time last year, this game would have been selected for a game to avoid watching at all cost. I remember watching the Gamecocks last year, and it made my head hurt they were so awful. This year, though, the team plays with heart and determination, and that alone will win you a lot of ball games…just ask Dave Odom.
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