november 4, 2015 • Volume 37 • Issue 21 • $1.50
Texas Shoot Out Postmaster: Time sensitive material. Please expedite
Publication mailed from Columbia on Monday, Nov. 2
Shawn Elliott on 35-28 loss: ‘We were close, but close isn’t enough’
2 • Spurs & Feathers
Spurs & Feathers Published by Aiken Communications, Inc.
Contact Us: 326 Rutland Drive N.W. PO Box 456 Aiken, SC, 29801 To subscribe: Please call 800-559-2311; annual subscription price is $50 Ellen Priest Publisher Aiken Communications, Inc. Tim O’Briant General Manager firstname.lastname@example.org (803) 335-1400 Ext. 500 Brian Hand Executive Editor email@example.com (803) 335-1399 Ext. 506 Ed Girardeau Contributing Editor/ Advertising Account Executive firstname.lastname@example.org (803) 646-9807 Dee Taylor Advertising Director (803) 644-2371 Kathy Boyette Advertising Sales Manager (803) 295-3654 email@example.com Brooks Rogers Advertising Representative (803) 446-4022 firstname.lastname@example.org Reporter Kyle Heck email@example.com Photographers Allen Sharpe, Jenny Dilworth and Juan Blas Cover Design Tim O’Briant (photo by Allen Sharpe) Postal Information: SPURS & FEATHERS (USPS 12779) (ISSN 7454368X) is published 23 times annually. The frequency is monthly from December to February, bi-weekly in March, monthly in April, bi-weekly in May, biweekly in June, monthly in July and August and weekly from September through December 2. SPURS & FEATHERS also publishes two slick-paper magazine issues — one in April and one in August. The annual subscription price is $50 for non Gamecock Club members. Members of the Gamecock Club receive a discounted subscription as a member benefit. Spurs & Feathers is published by Aiken Communications, Inc., 326 Rutland Drive NW, Aiken, SC, 29801-4010. Periodicals postage paid at Columbia, SC Postmaster: Send changes to SPURS & FEATHERS, PO Box 456, Aiken, SC, 29802.
November 4, 2015
Gamecocks to play Garnet & Black World Series game at Lexington County Baseball Stadium south carolina athletics media relations South Carolina baseball, in conjunction with the Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission, will play a Garnet & Black World Series game at Lexington County Baseball Stadium on Thursday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. Admission is $5
with parking $3 with all proceeds going to the Salvation Army’s Flood Relief efforts. “Lexington County loves baseball and we hope they will be able to make it out next week to see us play and help those affected by the terrible floods that struck our community last month,” All Gamecock baseball said South Carolina head coverage sponsored by coach Chad Holbrook. “I DiPrato’s can’t thank Bill Shana-
han, Tommy Frazier and all of Lexington County enough for their time and efforts to help put this together and we hope we will have a great crowd next Thursday and a lot of our fans can get a glimpse of the 2016 team.” Tickets go on sale Friday, Oct. 30 at 1 p.m. Fans can call 803-254-3474 to purchase tickets. Funds will also be collected at the gate entrances with gates set to open at 5:30 p.m. The team will take batting practice before first pitch as well.
Junior Gamecock Club Halloween Party a treat for all ages by brian Hand Executive Editor
this together. And obviously, parents, children, relatives, they all enjoy coming out.” The 2015 edition of the Junior Gamecock Every year the Junior Gamecock Club Hal- Club Halloween Party was held on Monloween Party at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden day, Oct. 26, and as always it presented the is highly anticipated. And every year the unique opportunity to enjoy being a Gameevent does not disappoint. cock while also taking part in “Boo at the This year the weather was not ideal in Zoo” at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. that it was raining off and on and it was a As one would expect among a large grouplittle chilly. But that did not stop the Junior ing of younger Gamecocks some of the most Gamecock Club members and their families popular costumes on display at the event infrom showing up in force. cluded South Carolina football uniforms for “It’s rainy out tonight. But we still have the boys and cheerleader outfits for the girls. over 800 people here,” Gamecock Club exThe special evening garnered those in atecutive director Patrick McFarland said. “I tendance the opportunity to see the animals always say it’s one of our best events of the at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, while also year. Our staff does a great job in putting obtaining candy and other various treats from stations scattered throughout the zoo. In addition, the Gamecock Club hosted a hot dog dinner at the Ndoki Lodge where when walking in you were treated to South Carolina student-athletes and cheerleaders helping to hand out candy and interact with the children. Once inside the children were also given the chance to dance with Cocky along with the dinner. Cocky also took the time to take photos and interact with fans young and old at the Ndoki Lodge. The Junior Gamecock Club Halloween Party also always includes Gamecock coaches and administrators walking around with their families and enjoying the yearly event.
photo by brian hand
McFarland knows that Gamecock studentathletes and coaches taking the time to interact with those in attendance makes it an exclusive event every year. This year was the sixth edition of the Junior Gamecock Halloween Party. “I think our children that come out they enjoy seeing the student-athletes and the coaches,” McFarland said. “Obviously they look up to them and seeing them interact with them it means a lot.” The annual Junior Gamecock Club Halloween Party is just one of the perks available for members. To learn more about joining the Junior Gamecock Club, please visit http://thegamecockclub.com/donate/. Note: The Junior Gamecock Club is only for fans who are 13 years of age and younger.
Gamecock Club information/upcoming events Fairfield County Gamecock Club Business Meeting When: Tuesday, November 03, 7:00 p.m. Location: Italian Garden Restaurant 59 US Hwy. 321, Winnsboro, S.C, All Gamecock Club member and fans are invited. Any questions contact Gene Schofield at 803-337-8850 or Chris Blackwelder 803-718-3276
Darlington County Gamecock Club Business Meeting The Darlington County Gamecock Club will hold a business meeting and election on Monday, November 9, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. at the Heritage Community Bank, 206 South Fifth Street in Hartsville, SC. The meeting is open to all Darlington County Gamecock Club members. Anyone interested in serving as an officer, or becoming a board member is encouraged to attend this meeting. For more information call Jimmy Griffin (843) 332-8761.
Spurs & Feathers • 3
November 4, 2015
Spurrier exclusive interview: ‘Everything is here to be successful’ by brian hand Executive Editor
Steve Spurrier paraphrases former United States Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. to explain the culture change with South Carolina football. “Once a man’s mind is stretched to new horizons it will never return to the original dimensions,” Spurrier told Spurs & Feathers in an exclusive interview in his office at Williams-Brice Stadium on Wednesday, Oct. 28. “If winning seven or eight (games) was our original horizon then when you get to 11 we now know we can win 11.” Spurrier has proven that the possibility is there at South Carolina and is quick to point out that the next head football coach for the Gamecocks has to think in these terms as well. “Come on, next coach. Let’s set our goals up there,” Spurrier said. It’s been just over two weeks since Spurrier decided to resign from South Carolina and move from the Head Ball Coach to the Former Head Ball Coach. Since that time as you can imagine he’s played some golf, but also flirted with the natural progression for many former coaches into moving into television. In fact, on Oct. 17, Spurrier even appeared on ESPN’s College GameDay program at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “It was OK,” Spurrier said of the experience. “I’ve done a lot of sitting and talking with reporters. I enjoyed being at the ‘Big House’ and that’s the reason (wife Jerri and) I went … if it would have been in Knoxville or Tuscaloosa, I would have said, ‘nah, I don’t need to do that. I’ve been there before.’” According to Spurrier whether he moves into a more regular television gig in the future remains to be seen. But he is definitely open to the idea. “This television bit, maybe it will work out, maybe it won’t,” Spurrier said. “Former coaches that I’ve talked to they all love it. One time I was talking with (former college/NFL head coach) Jimmy Johnson and he said, ‘I get to stay around football and I’m home all week. I fly to LA and do the Fox show and we get to keep up with all the football and watch it. And we don’t care who wins or loses. We’re just a guy with a microphone.” Spurrier said all of this as packed boxes filled his office, noting that “packing up 11 years worth of stuff is a lot.”
photo by brian hand
The Former Head Ball Coach shows off one of his signature visors utilized during South Carolina’s third straight 11-2 season in 2013. The “11years worth of stuff” referenced by Spurrier includes team photos, game balls, trophies and his signature visors all along the wall ready to be moved. The visors are of particular note as on each one he wore on gameday on the front bill written inside is which games he wore the visor. “I would sort of retire it after we lost,” Spurrier said. Right now, the Spurriers are planning to split their time between their home in Columbia and their residence in Crescent Beach, Florida.
Jerri finishes up her degree from South Carolina in December with Spurrier relaying “so starting in January, I will not have a lot to do unless something comes up.” He knows many believe that he will have trouble not being in the game of football on a daily basis. But Spurrier disagrees, saying “I’m not a lifer coach. I’ve got a few more things that I enjoy doing in life. I’ve been a head coach for 30 and a half years. I’ve never thought I’d use halves. But 30 and a half years is 25 years longer than most guys.” Spurrier is thankful for his time in charge at South Carolina in general and says that
has so much to do with the Gamecock fans as they are right up there “with the best fans in the country.” “The people here have been wonderful,” Spurrier said. “There’s no question about it. Hopefully we can get our program built back up. We’re not quite as good as we were two years ago. And that’s why I thought it was best for me to step aside so they could start the rebuilding process because I’m not the person to do the rebuilding. We’ve got everything: academics, facilities. Everything is here to be successful. We’re just in a small state.”
4 • Spurs & Feathers
November 4, 2015
Wilds leads impressive rushing attack against Aggies by kyle heck Reporter
practice and improve on those errors and try to be as perfect as we can.” One of those errors Wilds mentioned Senior tailback Brandon Wilds was one was quarterback Perry Orth’s interception of the main reasons that South Carolina returned 60-yards for a touchdown late was able to have its best offensive perforin the third quarter that gave the Aggies mance of the season in the 35-28 loss at a 14-point lead. However, Wilds and the Texas A&M (6-2, 3-2 SEC). Wilds led an rest of his teammates fully believe in the impressive ground attack with 128 yards junior. and two touchdowns on just 17 carries. “We believed in Perry before the season As a team, the Gamecocks (3-5, 1-5 SEC) even started,” Wilds said. “Perry is an ran for 253 yards, which was one-yard excellent quarterback. Heart, he definitely short of the season-high set in the season has heart. Perry did good for the time opener against North Carolina. being, ran blocks, ran well. He had (64) “It felt great,” Wilds said. “My O-line yards, pretty good, so just has to improve loves to run block (and) the receivers are on some things.” willing to help any way that they can. The Wilds’ 43-yard run in the third quarter running game alone was excellent today in was his longest run from scrimmage this my opinion.” season. The 128 yards were also a seasonWhile South Carolina still came up short high and the most rushing yards by any in the end, it was still a step in the right Gamecock this year. direction according to both interim head In addition, Wilds’ three-yard rushing coach Shawn Elliott and the touchdown to give the players, particularly on ofGamecocks a 21-14 lead in fense. the second quarter was the “As an offense it felt like first time he’s found the end we did pretty good today,” zone all season. Brandon Wilds Wilds said. “There were With the 445-yard perforKeenanSuggs a couple errors that we mance by South Carolina’s Player of the Week messed up on, but just go to offense, it marked the
South Carolina Gamecocks
football Schedule Thursday...........September 1.......................... Vanderbilt............... Nashville, Tenn. Saturday............September 10........................ Mississippi State....Starkville, Miss. Saturday............September 17........................ East Carolina............ Columbia, S.C. Saturday............September 24........................ Kentucky.................... Lexington, Ky. Saturday............October 1................................ Texas A&M................ Columbia, S.C. Saturday............October 8................................ Georgia...................... Columbia, S.C. Saturday............October 22.............................. UMass......................... Columbia, S.C.
photo by jenny dilworth
second straight game that the Gamecocks went over 400 yards of offense. Wilds credits the newfound success to a commitment to the run game. “I guess when we run the ball and it works, we run it again,” Wilds said.
The senior will look to make it three straight 100-yard rushing games when the Gamecocks take on Tennessee in Knoxville next weekend. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. and can be seen nationally on the SEC Network.
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Spurs & Feathers • 5
November 4, 2015
‘Crown jewel’ of college baseball now known as Founders Park by kyle heck Reporter
photo by allen sharpe
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the opportunity, Brumfield was excited to talk with Tanner and the South Carolina staff. His credit union is a growing one and FoundThere will be a big difference when fans ers recently opened up a union at the Russell enter South Carolina’s baseball stadium to House on the campus of the University of watch the Gamecocks play this upcoming South Carolina. The CEO is excited to have spring. Founders’ name on the stadium and knows Instead of entering Carolina Stadium, that will play a big role in his company’s conwhich is what the park has been called since tinued presence in the midlands. its inception in 2009, the home of Gamecock “As a fan first, it’s very exciting to have baseball will now be known as Founders your name associated with something as Park. great as Carolina and more specifically, On Thursday, Oct. 22, South Carolina ofCarolina baseball,” Brumfield said afterficially announced a partnership to give nam- ward. “Certainly as a business person, the ing rights to the baseball stadium to Founders opportunity this gives to expose your brand Federal Credit Union. South Carolina Athlet- to a wider audience, you’re talking going ics Director Ray Tanner, head baseball coach from regional to statewide, now you’re going Chad Holbrook and Founders CEO Bruce nationwide with the availability of all the netBrumfield were all on hand to talk about the work TV games and everything. So it’s very naming change. exciting for Founders Federal Credit Union The event began with a short video on the and our members.” scoreboard in the outfield that was taken The agreement between South Carolina and from a broadcast from last year’s South Founders Federal Credit Union will last 10 Carolina-Vanderbilt baseball game. However, years through 2025 and is expected to bring the broadcast was changed so that the “Voice around $7 million to the University. of Gamecock Baseball,” Andy Demetra, was Brumfield and Tanner have been friends introducing fans to Founders Park rather than for a while as the former has been involved Carolina Stadium. with helping the Tanner Foundation. The “This is very special,” Tanner said after friendship between the two made the naming the ceremony. “We had the opportunity to process that much smoother. engage in this conversation and (Brumfield) “This has been a very enjoyable process was very excited about it. That’s why we’re to be honest with you,” Tanner said. “Somehere today. Our facility is one of the best in times you go through situations that are the country and to have a sponsorship like difficult, but this hasn’t been one. Bruce Founders Park at the top of it is very special and I have been friends first and we have a for us.” relationship and eventually we moved into While speaking to the crowd, Holbrook let an opportunity to visit with his board and go everyone know just how special Founders to the home office in Lancaster. It was not a Park is when it compares to other college difficult process. He’s part of our family here baseball stadiums around the country. and not just because of today, but going into “Obviously this ballpark is very special,” today.” Holbrook said. “Since 2009, we have welWith the change, fans can expect changes comed over 1.8 million fans in through these around the stadium, whether it be in the gates. These fans have gotten to see the outfield, around the park, or outside of it. As Gamecocks go 214-50 for a winning percent- Holbrook noted, Founders Park could look a age of .811. That includes a 18-2 record in the lot different a couple years from now, thanks postseason. Our home field advantage is real- to the new partnership. ly special. This park is often called the crown “We’re going to continue to work hard to jewel of college baseball and make this stadium the best when Bruce Brumfield and facility in the country,” HolFounders mentioned to me brook said. “We can’t stand that they were interested in pat. We’ve got to keep tweakthe partnership, obviously ing it, we’re going to keep I couldn’t think of a better adding things, we’re going credit union, but I certainly to keep doing things for our All Gamecock baseball couldn’t think of better peostudent-athletes and to also coverage sponsored by ple to be associated with.” make it more enjoyable for DiPrato’s When first approached with our fans.”
6 • Spurs & Feathers
November 4, 2015
Notice and Kacinas: Frank Martin a ‘father figure, friend for life’ by brian hand Executive Editor Father figure. Great friend. These are just a couple of the ways that Frank Martin’s players describe the fourth-year head men’s basketball coach at the University of South Carolina. These players know him best and they would do anything for him as they know he would anything for them as well. “I would describe Frank as just a father figure and a friend for life,” South Carolina senior forward Mindaugas Kacinas, a native of Klaipeda, Lithuania, said to the media in attendance at the SEC Media Days in Charlotte on Wednesday, Oct. 21. “You’ve been working hard for him and he notices that. Whenever in life you’ll be in trouble or something, you’ll always be able to come back to Frank and ask questions. And ask for help because he will have your back. So that’s exciting. At this point, I just feel like part of the staff. I have been here four years and I’ve been with Frank so much. I don’t view him
as much as a coach as much of a really, really good friend. I’m just trying to do my best to make him happy and do whatever he wants.” Kacinas’ teammate Duane Notice is readily aware that some outside of the program may have a skewed view due to Martin’s passion on the sidelines. But to him that is just because they are outside looking in on the program. “If you’re not really in the circle then you’re
outside looking in and you can kind of specuA native of Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada, late,” Notice said. “At the same time, when Notice chose to attend South Carolina because you’re inside of it, you can see that it’s just all he always wanted to play for Martin and had passion that he’s displaying.” held him in high regard for many years before A junior combo guard for the Gamecocks, becoming a Gamecock. Notice knows that Martin would do anything “I always go around the fact that he’s like a for his student-athletes and really anyone asso- father figure,” Notice said. “I said it before, I’ll ciated with Gamecock athletics. say it again. When I first came here, I kind of “He just cares and that’s what it is,” Notice revered him as a person and who he was. So it said. “If he didn’t care then he wouldn’t be as was kind of hard for me to talk with him when passionate as he is. Everything he says there is I first got here in terms of asking him questions a reason. So it’s good advice. It’s not that he’s or communicating with him. And last year, I yelling at you to belittle you. became more comfortable. And He’s yelling at you to understand now this year that I’m older, his passion and the point he’s it’s even a better relationship. trying to get across. When you Whenever I have a question, I are able to have confrontation can just go into his office or talk with somebody then you’re able with him off or on the court. to be comfortable and have a He’s always giving me advice better relationship with them. about things. Not just how to He’s able to confront us and be a basketball player. But how All Gamecock basketball to be a man. When I describe we’re able to confront him and coverage sponsored by Frank Martin, I say he’s a great that’s what makes for a good Yesterdays relationship.” guy who cares about his kids.”
come off the court, that’s the first thing. The second thing is we push each other. The fact that we have more guys, it just allows us to go at each other more and kind of try to fight for each other. It’s a pride thing, just to be on the court and show what you have.” The six member freshmen recruiting class has helped with that competition a lot. The class includes elite prospects P.J. Dozier and Chris Silva and Notice and the other leaders on the team have done their best to teach the first-timers how it’s done at South Carolina. “The younger guys have came in with a great mindset,” Notice said. “We kind of instilled in them in the summer that this is a hard-working team. If you’re going to be on this team, you have to work hard, whether that is when the coaches are around or not. I think they’ve done a great job of doing that and a phenomenal job of working on their own. Like I said before, we’ve had the hard-
est practices, I think, that we’ve been in since I’ve been here at this school. That’s a testament to how much leadership we have in our seniors and I think it’s also a testament to the depth that we have. We have a lot of guys that can come in and play.” Because the Gamecocks were practicing with as few as seven or eight players last season, they could not do what they wanted to do in practice. They couldn’t go all out because they had to save some of their energy for the games, when they would likely be asked to play 35 minutes or more. The new depth for this year changes things in that regard because the players no longer have to worry about conserving energy. “You had to go to the game and win with seven guys; that’s very hard,” senior Mindaugas Kacinas said. “But right now, since we have the depth, you can just play hard and don’t worry about anything. If you need
photo by juan blas
SEC Tipoff: ‘We have a lot of guys that can come in and play’ by kyle heck Reporter
At his opening press conference, South Carolina men’s basketball head coach Frank Martin said one of the best things about this year so far was the fact that the Gamecocks could actually have an intense practice. Last season due to injuries and other circumstances, South Carolina usually didn’t have enough players to practice five-on-five, which is something a lot of teams take for granted. However, with a highly-touted freshmen class coming to campus in addition to the majority of last year’s team returning, Martin isn’t the only one excited about the prospect of improved practices. “Way more competitive,” junior guard Duane Notice said when asked how practices have changed. “Certain guys don’t want to
a break, someone else will come in as competitive as you and they’ll try to do the right thing.” Despite the adversity that the Gamecocks had to fight through last season, they still finished with a 17-16 record and had four wins against teams in the top-50 of the NCAA RPI. South Carolina ended the season strong, winning four of its last six games, including two in the SEC tournament. Because they were still able to have success last season, the Gamecocks are looking forward to trying to reach their ultimate goal, which is to make the NCAA Tournament and make as much noise as possible. “Obviously, it’s our goal to achieve that,” Kacinas said of the NCAA Tournament. “No matter what happens, we’ll continue to work really hard. We’ll push each other every day. Once you work really hard, they hard work pays off.”
November 4, 2015
Spurs & Feathers â€˘ 7
8 • Spurs & Feathers
November 4, 2015
South Carolina Gamecocks
football Schedule 09/03/15...........vs. North Carolina ............... Charlotte, N.C......................W, 17-13 09/12/15...........vs. Kentucky # ....................... Columbia, S.C....................... L, 26-22
4-0 2-1 248 124 W1
CONF OVERALL HOME ROAD
09/19/15...........at Georgia # ........................... Athens, Ga............................. L, 52-20
4-1 1-1 235 163 L1
2-2 1-2 289 194 W1
09/26/15...........vs. UCF...................................... Columbia, S.C......................W, 31-14
3-3 1-1 194 233 L3
2-2 1-3 126 148 L1
1-4 4-4 3-1 1-3 119 100 L3
10/03/15...........at Missouri #........................... Columbia, Mo....................... L, 24-10 10/10/15...........vs. LSU #................................... Baton Rouge, La.................. L, 45-24 10/17/15...........vs. Vanderbilt #...................... Columbia, S.C......................W, 19-10 10/31/15...........at Texas A&M #...................... College Station, Texas....... L, 35-28
2-1 0-5 171 219 L1
6-0 2-0 272 158 W7
CONF OVERALL HOME ROAD
11/07/15...........at Tennessee #....................... Knoxville, Tenn.........................4 p.m.
5-0 2-2 355 177 W2
4-1 2-0 268 131 W5
11/14/15...........vs. Florida #............................. Columbia, S.C...............................TBA
4-1 0-1 257 197 W1
3-2 1-1 260 213 W2
4-1 2-1 281 142 W3
2-2 1-2 218 235 L2
11/21/15...........vs. The Citadel....................... Columbia, S.C...............................TBA 11/28/15...........vs. Clemson............................ Columbia, S.C...............................TBA
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Spurs & Feathers • 9
November 4, 2015
Staley praises Gamecock Nation at ‘Dinner with Dawn’ event by kyle heck Reporter
moment to thank the hosting club as well as other Gamecock fans. “Let me first thank the Lexington Gamecock South Carolina women’s basketball coach Club for all you do,” said Staley, who was also Dawn Staley knew what it would take to build a joined by all of her assistant coaches. “Each and winning program. She knew what type of play- every year, you make our athletes feel really ers to get and how to get them to play how she special and it’s a big movement to the studentwanted. However, she didn’t take a lot of time to athlete experience. I definitely know on the think about what it would look like off the court court, no other program in the nation feels what when she got the Gamecocks to start having our team feels when they’re out there in Colosuccess. nial Life Arena playing their hearts out because Over the last few years, Staley has seen firstof what you do and the atmosphere that you hand how much Gamecock Nation has rallied give them.” around she and The event was a celebration of the start of her team and basketball season, especially as Staley and the that was her Gamecocks were at the SEC Tipoff in Charmajor theme lotte, North Carolina earlier in the day. The at the “Dinner night started with a silent auction for basketballs with Dawn” autographed by Staley and featured WIS News event hosted by anchor Judi Gatson as the emcee. the Lexington Lexington County Gamecock Club President County GameSteve Gunter also presented a $7,500 check on cock Club on All Gamecock basketball behalf of the club to the University to go toward Thursday, Oct. coverage sponsored by several of the athletic programs on campus, 22. She took a Yesterdays continuing the great tradition of Gamecock
shy about talking about the need for the Gamecocks to play a lot faster and that was evident again on Thursday. Staley also talked about each player on her team and shared little stories about some of them. An example of that came when she talked about incoming transfer Sarah Imovbioh and her unusual words to Staley after practice. “She is by far one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet,” Staley said of Imovbioh. “She says, ‘thank you coach’ after practice. I’ve never heard that. And she says that every single day. I don’t take that for granted because she’s someone that is very appreciative of all the things photo by kyle heck we’re trying to do for her.” Gunter was excited to have the entire Gamecock women’s basketball coaching staff on Club chapters giving back to South Carolina. hand. It’s not often that people get to listen to Staley then came up and talked about her team and it was evident that she was happy with such a legendary coach like Staley and close to how her team has performed so far in practice. 200 people showed up to take advantage of it. “You’re going to see our players play a lot fast- “Obviously having Dawn and her whole staff here made this a success,” Gunter said. “Once er than they have ever played in a Gamecock uniform,” said Staley, who credited that change again, our committee and our group did a great to new sports performance coach Katie Fowler. job planning the event. We’re looking forward Over the past few weeks, Staley has not been to an exciting season.”
Mitchell looking forward to being more vocal by brian hand Executive Editor
Tiffany Mitchell loves basketball. She always wants to be in the gym playing or putting up shots. This drive is what makes Mitchell elite and it’s why she is the reigning two-time SEC Player of the Year and is also picked to win her third league Player of the Year honor in the 2015-16 season. Mitchell had a minor setback this summer that required her to have foot surgery, which meant she could not do all of the things that she loved so much. Mitchell is not shy about pointing out it was tough. “It was hard for me to sit there and watch for a long time because I haven’t done that in a while,” Mitchell said at the annual SEC Media Days on Thursday, Oct. 22. “It was an adjustment for sure. But my teammates, coach (Dawn) Staley and (other South Carolina) coaches kind of kept my spirits high and just told me to be patient and trust the process.” That process is nearing its end as the Allsurgery - and just in time for the upcoming American is almost completely back from the season.
photo by allen sharpe
The senior guard averaged 14.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game last year
en route to winning the Dawn Staley Award named after her head coach that is given to the top guard in the country. Mitchell has always come up big for the South Carolina women’s basketball program when they needed a big bucket. But at the same time she has also kind of in her own words “taken a back seat” in leadership on the team with former Gamecock Aleighsa Welch leading the way in that regard. With Welch graduated and now playing professionally, Mitchell knows she will have to be more involved in the team leadership this year. And she is looking forward to the opportunity to be more vocal. “It’s definitely been something I was uncomfortable with when I first got here,” Mitchell said about being vocal. “As a freshman, I didn’t talk (any). So the team hated it because every time I didn’t talk we had to run. That kind of changed over the years. I would talk more and more and I feel like this year is where I have no choice but to talk. And I think that is definitely going to help me because if I had someone else here to do it for me, I might have taken a back seat again. But it’s now or never.”
10 • Spurs & Feathers
November 4, 2015
Texas A&M holds off the Gamecocks by kyle heck Reporter Coming into the game at Texas A&M as 16-point underdogs, South Carolina made it a lot closer than that. The Gamecocks put on their best offensive performance of the year, but they were unable to score on their final possession as the Aggies held on for a 35-28 victory. Texas A&M freshman quarterback Kyler Murray completed 20-of-28 passes for 223 yards and a touchdown while adding 156 yards and another touchdown on the ground to lead the Aggies. “Tough loss to a good Texas A&M team,” noted interim head coach Shawn Elliott. Obviously no one on the team is happy with a defeat, but Elliott likes the direction his team is headed in. “When you reflect back on the game just walking out of the locker room, I think our team made improvements,” Elliott said. “They played with great effort. I don’t question any of the effort.” Texas A&M (6-2, 3-2 SEC) started the game with the ball on offense and proceeded to drive down into the South Carolina red zone. However, the Gamecock defense tightened up and stopped Murray short on a quarterback keeper, forcing a field goal attempt. Taylor Bertolet missed the 25-yard chip shot for Texas A&M, though, and the game remained scoreless. The Aggies would make up for that missed field goal on the next drive after forcing the Gamecocks (3-5, 1-5 SEC) to go three-and-out. A big 25-yard completion from Murray to Ricky Seals-Jones would put the Aggies near the red zone once again. A few plays after that, Murray would find Josh Reynolds for a 10-yard touchdown pass that put the Aggies up 7-0 a little over halfway through the first quarter. The touchdown capped a nine-play, 74-yard drive for the Aggies. South Carolina would put together a beautiful drive to answer Texas A&M’s score, however. Quarterback Perry Orth would complete all four passes on the drive, including a 19-yard hookup with tailback David Williams on a screen. Williams picked up 13 more on the ground to give the Gamecocks a first and goal at the nine and two plays later, freshman quarterback Lorenzo Nuñez would take a reverse from senior tailback Brandon Wilds and run it into the end zone from seven-yards out to tie the game at seven shortly before the end of the first quarter. The nice trick play capped an 11-play, 75-yard drive that took 4:50 off the clock. After forcing the Aggies to punt, the
photo by allen sharpe
Gamecocks put together another impressive drive, thanks to the feet of Orth. On a third and nine from near his goal line, Orth kept the ball and raced 66-yards down the sideline to set South Carolina up with another scoring opportunity. The run by Orth was the Gamecocks’ longest this year, passing Shon Carson’s 48-yard touchdown run against North Carolina in the season opener. “I was running and I was like, ‘so where’s everyone on defense at?’” Orth said. Wilds then picked up 14-yards to set up a first and goal and two plays later, Orth kept the ball again on an option play and walked into the end zone from six-yards out to give South Carolina a 14-7 lead. The six-play drive went for 88-yards and took 1:47 off the clock. After punting on two consecutive drives, the Aggies were able to put something together later in the second quarter. Murray connected with Reynolds for a 22-yard gain and then Seals-Jones for a 25-yard pickup that put Texas A&M at the South Carolina 13-yard line. After picking up a first and goal, the Gamecocks stuffed the Aggies on two straight run plays. But on third and goal from the one, Texas A&M tailback Tra Carson plunged into the end zone to tie the game at 14. The game-tying drive took sev-
en-plays, 67-yards and 2:33 off the clock. It only took the Gamecocks a little over three minutes to respond. Orth rushed for another first down and found walk-on tight end Hayden Hurst in stride for a 47-yard pickup to the Aggies’ 14-yard line. After a five-yard run by Orth picked up a first and goal, Wilds finished the drive with a threeyard touchdown run, putting the Gamecocks back on top, 21-14, with 3:04 left in the first half. His run capped an eight-play, 81-yard drive. The Aggies were then able to strike quickly themselves just before halftime. A nine-play, 75-yard drive was capped off by a two-yard touchdown run by tailback James White. The drive took just over two minutes and the game was tied at 21 at halftime. With the Gamecocks unable to get any points on their opening drive of the second half, the Aggies took the lead back on their first drive. Murray found Seals-Jones for a 17-yard gain and on the next play, he scampered 21-yards to set up a first and goal at the six. The South Carolina defense made another late stand and stopped wide receiver Christian Kirk short of the goal line on third down, but Murray scored on a keeper on fourth down to give the Aggies a 28-21 lead with just under six minutes to play in the third quarter. The scoring drive
consisted of 11-plays and went for 81-yards while taking 3:48 off the clock. After playing extremely well in the first half, Orth made a critical mistake on the Gamecocks’ ensuing possession. On a third and five from the Texas A&M 43-yard line, Aggies defensive back Donovan Wilson stepped in front of Orth’s pass and returned it 60 yards the other way for a touchdown that put Texas A&M up 35-21. Instead of throwing in the towel, South Carolina kept fighting on. David Williams picked up 21 yards on a screen play to get the ball inside Texas A&M territory and Wilds took over from there. Runs of eight yards and three yards was followed by a 33-yard touchdown burst that trimmed the deficit down to 35-28 just before the end of the third quarter. Wilds’ long touchdown run capped an eight-play, 75-yard drive that took 3:26 off the clock. “It’s what we’ve been doing all year really, just keep fighting,” said junior linebacker Skai Moore, who led South Carolina with 14 tackles. “Just keep fighting and we showed it today that we didn’t stop believing. We kept going and fighting for one another and that’s just what we need. If we have that, that can take us far.” Both teams played good defense in the fourth quarter and neither team scored. After allowing 383 total yards in the first half, the South Carolina defense held the Aggies to 161 yards in the final two periods. The defense gave the offense a chance to at least tie the game late in the contest, but Orth was intercepted on a fourth down throw. Elliott said that if the Gamecocks would have scored on their final possession, he would’ve went for the two-point conversion and the win. While that opportunity never presented itself, South Carolina hopes things will turn out different next week against Tennessee. Orth completed 15-of-24 passes for 192 yards and two interceptions while also adding 64 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. Four different Gamecocks caught at least two passes led by Williams’ three grabs for 43 yards. Wilds was the leader of an impressive ground attack for South Carolina, tallying 128 yards and two touchdowns on just 17 attempts. As a team, the Gamecocks rushed for 253 yards. The 445 total offensive yards were a season-high. Elliott was pleased with the improvement, but he is hoping for different final results the rest of the season. “A loss is a loss, we understand that and we are very disappointed in what we didn’t accomplish,” Elliott said.
Spurs & Feathers • 11
November 4, 2015
photo by brian hand
‘The Home Run’ steps up to plate for recovery efforts by brian hand Executive Editor
awards. Despite it being fall break, a number of studentathletes at the University of South Carolina were The excitement among the young and old was also in attendance on the day and were more than very evident at the 10th edition of the Ray Tanner happy to give of their own time to help the cause. Foundation “The Home Run” at the newly chris“The Home Run” is unique in that participants tened Founders Park on the morning of Saturday, who ran the 5K or the 12K had the opportunity to Oct. 24. run the third base line and cross home plate. While waiting on the awards to be passed out The 10th Anniversary Celebration of “The one young child was even heard telling anyone Home Run” meant that after this year’s edition that would listen, “I got to run and meet Ray Tan- that over 11,000 finishers would have crossed ner.” home plate with the participants walking or runAnd in the end that is what it was all about as ning for well over 55,000 miles. the event that featured a 12K, 5K, Youth One“The Home Run” is just a part of the continued Mile and a Kids Fun Run was held to not only be efforts of the Ray Tanner Foundation to impact fun, but more importantly use 100 percent of the the midlands, the state of South Carolina and net proceeds raised at the event to go to the flood beyond. As athletics director at the University of recovery efforts, particularly in the areas that chil- South Carolina, Tanner knows his position gives dren had been impacted. him the opportunity to help others and he is willEarlier this year at the “Slam Dunk Back to ing to utilize his platform to help those in need. School Bash,” Ray Tanner Foundation co-founder “We’re at the University of South Carolina,” and Ray Tanner’s wife, Karen, noted that “we’re Tanner told Spurs & Feathers recently. “Our all about team at the Ray Tanner Foundation.” clientele on a daily basis is the student-athletes. This thought process was more than evident at We have coaches, we have student-athletes and the 10th Annual “The Home Run” as numerous our professors, but there is also the community volunteers could be seen helping the thousands in which we live. They embrace us so much and in attendance at the special event that featured it’s only right that we embrace the community as different stations, areas for water and much more. well and I can’t say enough good things about all Gamecock football great Langston Moore was of our University people who give back of their even in attendance in centerfield at Founders time, their money and their efforts.” Park to interact with fans and children and talk To learn more about the Ray Tanner Foundation about his book, “#JustaChicken.” WIS-TV’s Rick “The Home Run,” please visit the official website Henry served as the emcee and helped hand out at http://www.raytannerhomerun.org/.
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12 • Spurs & Feathers
November 4, 2015
USC Flood Relief sticking around for as long as it takes by kyle heck Reporter
This time a month ago, Cory Alpert was just a junior at South Carolina trying to get his degree. However, his decision to take action and help out victims of the devastating floods that ripped through South Carolina changed his life forever. He created a google document for people to sign up to help others on Sunday, Oct. 3 and expected to get a few friends to come along. It’s gotten a little bigger than that. Alpert and his group, USC Flood Relief, have now partnered with several groups, including United Way and the City of Columbia, and they help organize volunteers to send to various areas throughout the city. In the first week alone, USC Flood Relief had 1,369 volunteers at 41 different sites for a total of 5,015 service hours. While the total numbers have been difficult to track since then, Alpert estimates that the volunteers are nearing 7,500 hours of service. “It’s not something that I’ve ever seen or heard of,” Alpert said. “It’s been a fantastic outpouring of support.” Things were a blur for Alpert during the first week, but he says things have slowed down a bit since then, especially when classes started back again. However, that created another dilemma because with virtually all of the volunteers being students, it was hard to meet as a group like they had before. Nevertheless, USC Flood Relief has started the transition from crisis management to disaster recovery. Their main mission now is to help the community clean up and get things back as close to normal as possible. It will be a long process that doesn’t have an end in sight as of now. “We’re working a little more closely with relief organizations that are coming in and trying to set up longterm efforts,” Alpert said. “The goal for the first week was to handle as much of the crisis as possible and get as much property and get as many people safe as possible. Now we have to go back and make sure that everything that was damaged is now repaired and is now cleaned up. That’s going to take a year, two years, who knows. I can’t imagine at least this academic year there not being a time where we’re sending out volunteers. That’s something that we’re going to have to be doing.” Alpert has also been incredibly thankful not
only for the volunteers that go out and help people, but also the ones that have stayed with him to help organize everything. “I was very lucky, I had about 15 people who were extremely capable and extremely able to handle everything that was happening, which is not something that you see very often and something that I was very happy to have,” Alpert said. “They’ve worked incredibly hard and they’ve committed everything they have to making sure that the city and the University and the entire community recovers as fast as they can.” When Alpert started USC Flood Relief, little did he know that he would soon be coordinating relief efforts with University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides and Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin.
In another unexpected surprise, Alpert was honored on the field at South Carolina’s football game against Vanderbilt on Saturday, Oct. 17. It was something that he’ll never forget and also something that couldn’t have happened without the efforts of those who helped him get USC Flood Relief to where it is now. “It’s nearing surrealism,” Alpert said. “It’s been a fantastic outpouring of support from the entire community and getting to be a part of that means so much. One thing that we’re really trying to do is get as much recognition for our volunteers as possible and talk about the movement as much as possible because this is something that we’re proud of.” “But on a personal level, the stadium thing was probably the coolest moment of my life
getting recognized for something like that at Williams-Brice, a stadium I grew up going to. That was just amazing.” As the relief efforts turn to recovery mode, Alpert knows that USC Flood Relief will be in a unique position. While many disaster relief teams were in the Columbia area, those teams will soon be leaving with the immediate danger now over. That doesn’t mean that Alpert and his team will let up, though. They plan on working as long as people continue to need help to recover and get their lives together. “It’s going to be students at USC and it’s going to be largely our partnerships with the city and our partnerships with local organizations that are going to make the difference over the next year and a half,” Alpert concluded.
Spurs & Feathers • 13
November 4, 2015
Gamecock Radio/Television Information 2015-16 RADIO AFFILIATES*
The Gamecock Sports Network from IMG College counts 24 affiliate stations for the 2015-16 football season. For Sirius/XM subscribers, follow the @GamecockRadio Twitter page for weekly updates on channel information for Gamecock broadcasts. The weekly Carolina Calls show will air from 7-8 p.m. on the flagship station of the Gamecocks, WNKT-FM (107.5 FM), and over the Internet at www.GamecocksOnline.com. The show takes place each week at Wild Wing Café, located at 729 Lady Street in the Vista. Wild Wing Café, which is South Carolina’s home for the best wings south of Buffalo, has 12 locations in the Palmetto State. Visit www.wildwingcafe.com for more information. Inside the Roost South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner and Derek Scott from the Gamecock Sports Network from IMG College host an hour long radio show every Monday night at 7 p.m. from Hilton Columbia Center in the Vista. The show is broadcast on 107.5 FM and features discussions on current issues with Ray Tanner and interviews with coaches and athletics department staff. South Carolina-Tennessee In-Game frequency The South Carolina-Tennessee in-game frequency for the Gamecock Radio Network for inside the stadium is 98.1 (primary ) and 98.3 (secondary). South Carolina-Tennessee Television The South Carolina-Tennessee game will be on the SEC Network. Please check local listings.
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14 • Spurs & Feathers
November 4, 2015
Looking ahead and back with Spurrier The South Carolina football program is way beyond the days of moral victories, but you have to be proud of the way the Gamecocks competed against Texas A&M. To go from the worst red zone scoring team in the nation to a perfect threefor-three and 21 points in the first half against the Aggies was execution at its best. A crucial throwing error and the inability of the USC defense to contain an excellent true Glenn Snyder freshman quarInside terback were the Look difference in the 35-28 loss. Interim Head Coach, Shawn Elliott, and his staff had a good plan, the players looked confident and played every snap enthusiastically, but in the end the Aggies had more players who made big plays. Which leads me to a conversation Brian Hand and I had last week with Coach Spurrier (I haven’t yet wrapped my head around the “ex” part), which included his take on recruiting.
When Coach was asked which, among his many accomplishments at Carolina, was his favorite, he picked the three-straight 11-2 years that ended with bowl victories of Big 10 opponents. During our conversation he conceded that the key players in those seasons were South Carolina natives, who over a three-year period were the most talented in state prep football history. “You look at all of those players when we were going 11-2, we certainly had a bunch of guys that went to the NFL,” he said. No in-state prospect in recent years has been mentioned in the same breath as a Jadeveon Clowney or a Marcus Lattimore. “South Carolina football is really good, there’s just not as many players. We have to continue to do well in Georgia, North Carolina, a little bit in Florida. I think moving forward we need to get into the surrounding states, Alabama, Mississippi and more in the Northeast.” Coach Spurrier admits that the recruiting effort has slipped well behind the competition, especially in regard to social media. “We basically have three people – Robbie Liles, Patrick Shine and Jamie Speronis – handling our recruiting. Alabama has 30, I’m told Clemson has 20-25. We definitely have to start doing the way they do. You have to keep up with the Joneses. It’s recruiting.
“You have to give those (Upstate) guys credit, they have done an excellent job on a lot of that social media, saturating the prospects with information about their school. We’ve got to get to that, I think we all know that.” Coach added that Carolina will not be starting from square one. “We can get it back. Our facilities now are as good as anybody in the country. The reputation of the university has grown by leaps and bounds. Columbia is a great city. Jerri and I plan to split our time between here and our home at Crescent Beach. The fans here have been wonderful. It’s because of their support that this has all been possible.” While he would not speculate on who should replace him, he is pulling for Elliott. “We need an energetic coach that is fired up and ready to outwork Dabo, Richt and all those other guys. That is the guy we need here. Hopefully it’s Shawn. He’s got the energy and the passion, He’s an excellent recruiter. We’ll have to wait and see.” I asked Coach if his family, his memories and golf were going to sustain him in this transitional period in his life. While he did not answer definitively, he didn’t sound ready to walk away from the game that has been his passion. “Maybe the television thing works out.
photo by brian hand
Maybe I volunteer with a high school team,” he said. “I’m not a lifer coach. I’ve got a few more things that I enjoy doing in life. I’ve been a head coach for 30 and a half years. I’ve never thought I’d use halves. But 30 and a half years is 25 years longer than most guys.” Maybe the first order of business for Athletics Director Ray Tanner is not hiring the new coach, but taking the steps to ramp up recruiting and the budget needed to take those steps. The challenge only gets tougher with Tennessee in Knoxville but the Gamecocks should believe now that they can be an “on any given day” team. It’s a great time to be a Gamecock!
Previewing the Tennessee football team by kyle heck Reporter
Coming into this season, Tennessee was picked by the media to finish second in the SEC east behind Georgia. While the Volunteers have not lived up to expectations so far, the preseason poll gives an indication of the amount of talent that Tennessee has on its roster. The Vols returned most of their playmakers from a year ago, when they finished with a 7-6 record. However, an inability to win close games has doomed the team for much of this year. Nevertheless, three of Tennessee’s wins have come at famed Neyland Stadium and that’s where South Carolina will play the Vols on Saturday, Nov. 7. Tennessee is led by junior quarterback Joshua Dobbs, who is a legitimate dual threat. Going into the Kentucky game, Dobbs had thrown just two interceptions in 191 pass attempts while adding nine passing touchdowns and five more scores on the ground. The Gamecocks have done a good job of forcing opposing quarterbacks to commit turnovers thus far this season so it will be interesting to see how they do against Dobbs. The Vols have not had one specific receiver step up so far this year, but several have contributed. Going into its game against photo by allen sharpe Kentucky, Tennessee’s leading receiver, Josh Malone, had just 212 yards, but four different wideouts had two receiving touch- Hurd. The sophomore has been a workhorse for his team and downs. is averaging nearly 100 rushing yards per game and had eight It is a different story in the backfield with stud tailback Jalen rushing touchdowns heading into the Vols’ game against the
Wildcats. While Tennessee’s defense has been inconsistent this year, the Vols do have a lot of playmakers on that side of the ball. Junior linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin has been all over the field thus far and leads the team in tackles, tackles for loss and sacks. Sophomore defensive end Derek Barnett is following an AllAmerican freshman season with a solid year in 2015. Barnett had a career-high 15 tackles in the loss to Oklahoma, which is unheard of for a defensive lineman. Junior Cameron Sutton is one of the best defensive backs in the SEC and broke Tennessee’s single-season record last year with 16 passes defended. The Vols have been hurt by the loss of senior linebacker Curt Maggitt, who went down with a hip injury in the second game of the season and is out indefinitely. Maggitt was one of the leaders of the defense and had a team-high 11 sacks last season. Tennessee has won the last two games of its series against the Gamecocks by a combined five points. The last meeting at Neyland Stadium between the two teams featured a game-winning field goal by Tennessee to defeat South Carolina 23-21. The Vols sneaked away with a 45-42 win in overtime last year in Columbia. However, the Gamecocks have still won four of the last seven meetings. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. and the game can be seen nationally on the SEC Network.
Spurs & Feathers • 15
November 4, 2015
Frye trying to get Gamecocks ready as another season looms by kyle heck Reporter
“Last year was a great year,” Frye said. “Dondre Echols went off to the World University Games. He was injured, but he South Carolina track and field coach Curtis competed there and he’s our top athlete. Frye has been a busy man over the last few Jussi Kanervo got second in the European months. In between preparing to help coach U-23. Then we have Markus (Leemet), he the U.S. Olympic team in the 2016 games and got eighth in the European U-23 Decathlon. getting his incoming freshmen accustomed to We have experience, there are guys that have college life, there hasn’t been much time for been to NCAA’s. Hurdles are a strong point anything that doesn’t involve track and field. for us.” “Both of those are big things,” Frye said. Frye also mentioned Jermaine Collier as an“Everything is a process before you get the other hurdler that could have a big season. running done. We’ve been administering the “We’re real excited about our men,” Frye process and we’re happy with it.” said. “We think our men have a shot at imAs for his Gamecock men’s and women’s proving in the SEC. If you’re in the top half, teams, Frye is optimistic that the squads can you can be top-15 in the country. That’s what have a big year. we’re looking for.” South Carolina returns a lot of leadership On the women’s side, there are several taland experience on both sides as well as some ented upperclassmen that Frye said can make extremely talented athletes. a big impact on the team. On the men’s side, Frye has been impressed Sprinter Erika Rucker has already graduwith the maturity of the team and said hurated and is entering her final season as a dles could be a strong point of the group. six-time All-American. Frye also had high
photo by allen sharpe
praise for incoming freshman sprinter Aliyah Abrams, who he compared to a former Gamecock who is an Olympic star. “Aliyah Abrams is having a tremendous fall,” Frye said. “Running times in the same
area that Natasha Hastings did. It’s enlightening to have a leader and a group of freshmen that are outstanding.” Several other of the leaders on the women’s side include long-distance runner Anna Todd, who is taking the fall semester off to focus on academics, jumper Sarah Graham, hurdler Chalese Davis and thrower Olivia Hassler, all of whom are captains for the upcoming year. The Gamecocks have the team members vote for their captains and Frye is pleased with who the finalists were. “I think they did an outstanding job,” Frye said. “They elected people that do well in the classroom, do well in the community and then perform at a high level.” Between now and when the season starts in a couple months, Frye is looking for his team to continue to improve, stay healthy and stay in shape over the holiday break. “Our trainer Scott Gardner has done an incredible job,” Frye said. “They’re in good shape.”
‘The Pre-Show Party’ gets Gamecock fans ready for the real show to start by brian hand Executive Editor
photo by brian hand
the crowd and talking about each player on the team as well as every staff member. After Staley talked about the 2015-16 Gamecocks, renowned performance painter Jared Emerson then put on an exhibition that finished with a world-class painting of a well-known photograph from last year of Staley holding the net in Greensboro, North Carolina after South Carolina’s regional victory that sent them to their first-ever Final Four. With thousands in attendance at “The PreShow Party,” Staley remarked about the continued enthusiasm for South Carolina women’s basketball by Gamecock Nation after the event that concluded with the Gamecocks signing autographs for season-ticket holders. “This crowd never ceases to amaze me in anything that we do that we try to show our appreciation and they in turn come in thousands no matter where we are,” Staley said. “I was glad we were able to do this.”
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Dawn Staley knows South Carolina women’s basketball could not be where it is right now without Gamecock fans, which is why the first thing she said to the thousands of fans in attendance at the “The Pre-Show Party presented by All South Federal Credit Union” on Wednesday, Oct. 28, was simply “thank you.” Staley continued by relaying, ‘the atmosphere you provide for our team is nothing short of amazing.” This year’s South Carolina women’s basketball theme is “The Show” and “The Pre-Show Party” was designed to allow Staley and the Gamecocks to show appreciation to the fans for what they do for their program by allowing them the chance to get introduced to the team, while also having a chance to see them scrimmage on the Colonial Life Arena floor. Recently, South Carolina women’s basketball unveiled that they have already sold over 10,000 season tickets for the 2015-16 season and at “The Pre-Show Party” those that were a part of that over 10,000 were given their season tickets. All of those in attendance at “The Pre-Show Party” were also treated to Staley addressing
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16 • Spurs & Feathers
November 4, 2015
Calipari on Gamecocks: ‘Nobody wants to play South Carolina’ by brian hand Executive Editor
of depleted,” Calipari said. “He won’t budge on who he is and what he stands for. He knows what he’s looking for. He has a great Frank Martin’s Gamecocks are not a team vision. You saw what he did at Kansas State. that anyone in the SEC wants to play. It’s (South Carolina) one of those jobs that it In fact, even Kentucky head coach John takes time. And now if you’re doing it right Calipari is not shy about pointing this out. which he is - if you’re doing it in a way where “In this SEC, no one wants to play South you are going to have discipline and all the Carolina,” Calipari said to a media gathering stuff you need to have to really make it, it at the SEC Basketball Tipoff on Wednesday, does not happen in two or three years. It’s a Oct 21. “I don’t want to play them, no one you see it, you see it and then it’s there.” else in here does because you know it’s going Many agree with Calipari as the media to be a hard game, you know you’re going to tabbed South Carolina to finish seventh in the have to fight. If you don’t fight, you will lose.” SEC preseason poll and most are prognostiCalipari also knows that these comments cating that the Gamecocks will compete for a come as South Carolina is just now getting postseason spot in the upcoming season. to a point of expectations to compete in the Martin appreciates Calipari’s thoughts bealways tough SEC. cause he knows that the Gamecocks are tak“Frank came into a situation that was kind ing the right steps and others are noticing.
“That’s kind of who I am and I think our players have taken to that,” Martin said. “We care and we’ve got pride. To hear Cal say something like that as a coach for me personally it means our guys get it.” Not one to focus too much on what others think about his team in the preseason nevertheless, Martin still notes it’s nice to be thought about in this regard. “You’d rather be spoken about in preseason than not,” Martin said. “That creates excitement. In our locker room that doesn’t mean a thing. But it creates an atmosphere with your fan base, your community, on your campus where people say ‘you know what, they’re going to be good.’ So then they come and they show up. And then when they show up, they’re invested in your team and that’s what you want.”
photo by allen sharpe
Overall, Martin and the Gamecocks are just focused on the same thing they always are, which is competing to win an SEC championship, saying “the day I walked in the locker room for the first time, that’s what I said and that’s where I keep it at.”
SEC planning to ‘make some noise’ this year by kyle heck Reporter
indication. The league added three of the top-10 recruits in the country as Skal Labissiere joined Kentucky, When the SEC is mentioned, there are a lot of Malik Newman joined Mississippi State and Ben people that immediately think football. However, Simmons, the No. 1 player in the country and the don’t tell that to any of the basketball coaches that assumed likely No. 1 pick in next year’s NBA currently coach at schools in the SEC. Draft, decided to go to LSU. They are intent on proving that the SEC beThe SEC didn’t just add elite players as several longs among the elite conferences in college well-known coaches decided to take their talents basketball and disproving the notion that there to the conference. is Kentucky and Florida and then everyone else. Ben Howland, who took UCLA to three Players and coaches faced that question a lot at straight Final Fours, took over the head job at the SEC Tipoff in Charlotte on Wednesday, Oct. Mississippi State while former Texas coach 21. Rick Barnes, who took the Longhorns to the “This league has probably more returning play- Final Four, is now the head coach at Tennessee. ers since I’ve been in the league when you look at In addition, Avery Johnson, who won the NBA South Carolina, Vanderbilt, us (and) Georgia has Finals as a player and led the Dallas Mavericks got three starters back,” Texas A&M head coach to another one as a coach, decided to take on the Billy Kennedy said. “Florida, to me, they’re as Alabama job. good as anybody in our league with the guys “I think the league has got a bunch of good they return and the two kids they had sitting out. coaches in it,” Howland said. “I think when you I can go on and on. This is the add coaches like Rick Barnes, deepest the league has been since (Florida head coach) Mike I’ve been in it.” White, Avery, (Auburn head The SEC showed last year that coach) Bruce Pearl the year multiple teams can make some before that, the ability of the noise. Five teams from the league coaches that are accomplished to made the NCAA Tournament, recruit kids is better. At the end which was the most in five years. of the day it’s all about players. Things could be even better this All Gamecock basketball Who can attract really talented season, if the recent influx of top- coverage sponsored by players, do a good job developYesterdays notch players and coaches is any ing them, coaching them and
putting them together to develop good teams. I think with the addition of a lot of accomplished coaches to the league, I think it’s really a positive for the SEC.” The players in the conference have also noticed the big changes and are looking forward to the new season, where they hope to make a statement to the rest of the country. “I think the SEC is going to make some noise this year,” Mississippi State senior Craig Sword said. “A lot of teams are going to make it to the tournament, so I’ve got full confidence that the conference is going to rise and shine.” Some of the coaches at the SEC Tipoff credited current SEC commissioner Greg Sankey and previous commissioner Mike Slive with bringing SEC basketball to where it is now. “Our commissioner is committed to really helping to bring this thing to a higher level,” Barnes said. “There’s a lot of things that are happening in college basketball right now and we’ve got a chance to capitalize.” The first-year Tennessee coach is hoping all of these changes will continue to raise the expectations of the SEC. “We have to get our league to a point where we’re disappointed with six teams in the NCAA Tournament,” Barnes continued. South Carolina is one of those up and coming teams as the Gamecocks bring in a highly-touted recruiting class as well as the core group of players from last year’s team that won 17 games and
barely missed out on postseason play. Like the other players in the conference, the Gamecocks are excited for the challenge of playing against so many other talented teams. “This is one of the toughest leagues that I think is in college basketball,” junior Duane Notice said. “Not even from a physical standpoint or athletic standpoint, but from a mental standpoint. With all of the scouting reports and the different strategies that these coaches put in, it’s like a mind game. Every day, just playing a different team in the SEC is a great experience. It’s a very hard thing to do, but it’s exhilarating at the same time.” Simmons came to Florida from Australia three years ago and said he was immediately hooked by the way teams in the SEC played, which likely played a large role in his decision to go to LSU. “I can’t wait,” Simmons said. “I watched it when I was younger on TV so I’m excited to just be a part of it.” With the season starting up in less than a month, everyone present at the SEC Tipoff had one thing in common. They want you to start thinking about basketball when the SEC is brought up. “I think most people definitely see it as more of a football conference, but especially this year it’s going to be a lot deeper with a lot of new head coaches and a lot of new players,” Vanderbilt sophomore Riley LaChance said. “I think it’s really going to surprise some people this year.”
Spurs & Feathers • 17
November 4, 2015
Basketball fans ready to pack CLA and adjust game day routine
for football and baseball as well. It’s a really great idea. It’s worth every nickel not have to deal with traffic and not to have to worry about The Colonial Life Arena used to be a lonely whether I have a place to park. I don’t want to place for women’s basketball. Now, it’s the place have to worry about whether I will have to miss to be. South Carolina led the nation in women’s the first quarter, so, yes, I would absolutely use basketball attendance last year as the Gamethe shuttles.” cocks won their second-straight SEC title on the “I do have a parking pass, but I would absoway to the program’s first NCAA Final Four. lutely be willing to park further away to make There are already similar expectations for this sure I made it inside on time,” said season ticket year’s team, and the fans are keeping up their holder Nona Kerr, who was also one of the `First end as a school-record 10,000 season tickets 18’ scholarship recipients in South Carolina athhave already been sold. letics history as a softball student-athlete. “This “What you’ve been able to do, the atmosphere is my first year as a season ticket holder, but I’ve you provide for our basketball team, is nothing been to many games over the years. I love the short of amazing,” Head Coach Dawn Staley direction that this program is going, and I just said to season ticket holders Wednesday night wanted to be a part of it.” at the `Pre-Show Party’ inside the Colonial Life You can also try the city garage at WashingArena. “You paint a picture that is so beautiful. ton Street and Lincoln Street. There is also the Our players will never, ever, forget the experiDiscovery garage across from the CLA, and ence that they had as student-athletes at the some surface parking next to the Convention University of South Carolina. It’s all because of Center, but that option may not be available for you.” every game due to events inside the Convention With the success on the court along with the Center. growing fan base, there will be the occasional Let’s back track. It wasn’t that long ago that bump in the road. Sometimes that is the cost some thought the cavernous 18,000-seat Coloof progress, and the Athletics Department at nial Life Arena was too big for women’s basketSouth Carolina is sensitive to that. It is harder to ball, and that maybe the Gamecocks should play get tickets, and the parking demands will cause in a smaller venue. I started broadcasting Gamesome congestion. The loss of a couple of surcock women’s basketball games on the radio face lots in recent years as our campus and city during the 2007-2008 season. It wasn’t uncomcontinue to grow and expand creates some chal- mon to have less than 1,500 listed as the paid lenges to your routine in getting into the arena. attendance for a home game. With that many Long gone are the days of pulling into a front empty seats, it felt like even less. It was so quiet row parking spot five minutes before tipoff. at times, I can remember actually having to keep Parking is not only more challenging, but it my voice down while a player was shooting free is also no longer free for anyone. This allows throws so as not to be the one distracting her. the Athletics Department to provide traffic During Dawn Staley’s first season as South and parking attendants to ease the flow of cars Carolina’s head coach in 2008-2009, the Gamearound the arena and ensure fan safety. Gamecocks averaged less than 3,000 fans per home cock Club members can purchase season park- game. As Coach Staley’s program grew, so did ing passes, but if you do not have one and are the fan base as people saw what she was buildarriving at the arena less than one hour before ing with each passing year. tipoff, I highly recommend avoiding the surface Just three years ago, Staley pushed the “Drive lots adjacent to the arena to ensure you don’t for Five” in the hopes of averaging 5,000 fans miss the game while sitting in traffic. Fans are per home game. The supporters in Gamecock encouraged to utilize the shuttles at the PendCountry delivered by averaging 6,371 fans in the leton Street and Pickens Street CLA for the 2013-2014 season as garages where parking is free South Carolina won its first ever for game and a round-trip shuttle SEC regular-season championfare is $3 per person. Similar set ship. South Carolina doubled ups have worked well for fans that number last year with a attending other South Carolina nation-leading average of 12,540 venues. fans per home game, including “I would absolutely use the an average of 14,516 garnet and All Gamecock basketball black faithful for home SEC conshuttles,” said women’s basketcoverage sponsored by tests. Now that we’ve hit 10K in ball season ticket-holder Rick Yesterdays Ackerman. “It works really well season ticket sales alone, what’s
ticket holders,” said Kendra Matheny, who has been a season ticket holder for more than a decade along with her husband, Richard. “The downside is you can’t always get as close to everything like before, but it’s just fantastic for this team and the school to have so much support.” Going to a women’s basketball game at South Carolina is an event, which I feel comfortable in photo by Travis Bell/SIDELINE CAROLINA comparing to a football game day atmosphere. If you’re going to the game; go early. Perhaps take in an early meal in the Vista before tipoff. As next on the checklist? How about sellouts? noted earlier, I strongly recommend reviewing My wife and young son used to be able to get all of the parking options available before you General Admission tickets and sit down in the make your way to the arena. That may actually front row behind where I broadcast on press row. Now, they’re season ticket holders midway get you inside quicker than trying to circle the streets around the arena. up in the lower level. Don’t get me wrong, they I know we’re going to pack the CLA again enjoy their “neighbors” in the seats, but it tells this year. The product on the court is at an allyou how the culture has changed. time high, as is the excitement of our fans. As Does winning help put people in seats? Of we navigate through any growing pains outside course it does. There’s more to it than that. Colonial Life Arena, I can’t wait to have you Through various community service and outreach efforts by the basketball program, fans feel inside to help me tell the story of South Carolina like they have some ownership in the program. basketball. At least I won’t have to be quiet when someone is shooting free throws anymore. “It’s fantastic that we have 10,000 season
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18 • Spurs & Feathers
November 4, 2015
What is it like to play for Dawn Staley? by brian hand Executive Editor
your full potential.” Two-time SEC Player of the Year Tiffany Mitchell grew up idolizing Staley on the Even posing the question of what is it like court. But she also grew up wanting to be a to play for Dawn Staley made the head coach professional basketball player just like her of the South Carolina women’s basketball idol one day, which is why she came to South program laugh when told that others on her Carolina. squad had been asked the same question. “I knew coming into her school and being “Crazy has come up, I’m sure,” Staley under her (as a player), I knew I would be in a joked. position that I wanted to be in later on in life,” But truthfully, Staley hoped her players said Mitchell said. “that I’m disciplined, that I give each moment Senior guard Khadijah Sessions knows that the emotion that it deserves, that I coach from Staley is fully behind whatever her players a love of the game. I think it’s fun. I’m very want to accomplish in life. demanding though. I hope they said I was “It’s just fun to see how much someone has demanding because I am.” your back and she really has our back,” SesIndeed Staley’s Gamecocks in their own sions said. way said all of the above and more. Gamecock newcomer Sarah Imovbioh “It’s amazing,” reigning SEC Freshman of chose to come to South Carolina for her final the Year A’ja Wilson said of playing for Stal- season from Virginia to play for Staley and ey. “It’s a blessing and it is an honor to play she has a unique perspective in that regard. for coach Staley. She is everything I’ve ever Imovbioh is thrilled she made the choice to wanted in a coach. She has a great balance become a Gamecock. on and off the court. She’s real chill, relaxed “She’s just a person that has been through and fun (off the court). On the court she rethe process before,” Imovbioh said. “She ally wants what’s best for you, so she’s really understands you. She knows how to bring going to go after you. She’s really going to go out the best in you. She knows how to coach hard and just make sure that you can play to you.”
photo by jenny dilworth
Staley, Gamecocks planning to pick up the pace by Brian Hand Executive Editor
Khadijah Sessions has run the point guard position for Dawn Staley for some time now. But even she was taken aback a little recently. “The first day (of practice) she (Staley) was like ‘don’t run any plays, just go fast,’” the senior said. This fastpaced offense is a little bit of a departure from what South Carolina All Gamecock basketball has done in the coverage sponsored by Yesterdays past. “When I first got here, she was more make sure everything was organized and people were on the same page and make sure we have the right play call,” Sessions said. According to Staley this is obviously all by design as she wants her team to play much faster in general in the upcoming season. “Our pace is a lot different than it has been,” Staley said. “I’ll have to credit our
photo by allen sharpe
new performance-enhancing coach, Katie Fowler, for increasing that speed (with) how she’s handled our team. Everything is quicker. The weight room is a quicker pace, conditioning is a lot quicker. We don’t give them time to think.” The Gamecocks averaged a healthy 75.9 points per game last year, which was tops in the SEC. But the two-time defending SEC regular-season champions know they could even do more this year with their depth. “They have to think on the run and because of that I think we can steal some baskets here and there and keep our opponents on their toes at all times and not be a team that just walks the ball up the floor and sets up at half court,” Staley said. “We’ll do that some. But for the most part we want to utilize the depth that we have on our roster.” Sophomore point guard Bianca Cuevas is a big fan of the Gamecocks playing even a little bit faster in the upcoming season. “That’s my style of game,” Cuevas said. “I like to push the tempo and I like to score.” It may have taken her a bit of time to get used to the idea. But Sessions knows upping the pace can only be a good thing for the Gamecocks. “We have a different team, so I think the fast pace is going to fit really great with the squad that we have this year,” Sessions said.
Spurs & Feathers • 19
November 4, 2015
Tanner, Holbrook highlight Florence Gamecock Club fall rally by brian hand Executive Editor
tremely excited about his baseball team. “They’ve really, really played well this fall,” Holbrook said. “Without question, Wearing a garnet blazer, South CaroI think it’s going to be a team that makes lina baseball head coach Chad Holbrook you proud. They play hard and they work focused his time talking to the Florence hard … this is a team that when I get in the County Gamecock Club on Thursday, dugout with them, I’m proud to be in the Oct. 29, by simply telling all of those in dugout with them.” attendance at their annual fall rally, “I can In addition to Holbrook talking to the promise you it’s a great time to be a Game- group, the annual fall rally featured South cock.” Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner Holbrook’s words to the Florence County joining Holbrook at the event to discuss Gamecock Club at the Floyd Center on the all of the things happening presently in grounds of the Carolinas Hospital System Gamecock Country. were part of a special evening that inDuring his time talking with the Florence cluded a meal from Roger’s County Gamecock Club, BBQ House, a silent auction Tanner relayed just how and a raffle. important their efforts were The thought of it being a for the continued success of great time to be a GameGamecock athletics. cock was more of a general“While we have revenues ized note on how special now that exceed $100 milAll Gamecock baseball it is to be a part of South lion, we have expenses coverage sponsored by Carolina. But that does not that exceed $100 million as DiPrato’s mean Holbrook is not exwell,” Tanner said. “And
cocks everywhere.” Before Holbrook and Tanner took the stage, the Florence County Gamecock Club presented Nicole Echols of the American Red Cross with a $500 gift certificate to help provide supplies for those in need as part of the flood recovery efforts. The Florence County Gamecock Club then also presented Echols with a $500 check from the proceeds from their annual photo by brian hand William Rhea Memorial Golf Tournament to help with the recovery efforts. Over the Pictured is Chad Holbrook with Rod Jernicourse of the evening, the Florence County gan of the Florence County Gamecock Club. Gamecock Club also collected donations for the recovery efforts. University of South Carolina board of everything that you do is important for us … and we’re very grateful for your contin- trustees member Dr. Eddie Floyd made a presentation to Reamer King to honor ued commitment over the years.” him as the Florence County Gamecock of Gamecock Club executive director Patrick McFarland echoed Tanner’s comments the Year over the course of the evening as well. after the conclusion of the event. “It’s well-deserved and he certainly is a “We can’t thank the Florence County Gamecock Club enough for their support,” good friend of all of us,” Floyd said to his fellow members of the Florence County McFarland said. “We really sincerely appreciate everything that they do for Game- Gamecock Club.
The view from the Texas A&M locker room by brian hand Executive Editor
photo byy jenny dilworth
effectively.” In general, Sumlin was pleased with the highly-touted freshman. “The biggest thing that I thought he did was not force the game, but let the game come to him,” Sumlin said. Texas A&M finished its win over South Carolina with 544 yards of offense in total to go along with 29 first downs. Still, the Aggies gave up 445 yards of offense to the Gamecocks and Sumlin knows for Texas A&M to be successful going forward they are going to have to shore things up really on both sides of the ball. “The message today is the same message as the loss (to Ole Miss) a week ago: you win and lose as a team and we made enough plays offensively today to get that done,” Sumlin said.
Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin knew his team was going to be in for a fight against South Carolina, particularly since the Gamecocks had basically two weeks to prepare for the Aggies. “South Carolina utilized their bye week well,” Sumlin said after Texas A&M’s narrow 35-28 win over the Gamecocks. “They had some different things in there and they were well-coached.” Texas A&M (6-2, 3-2 SEC) had welcomed South Carolina (3-5, 1-5 SEC) to Kyle Field coming off two straight losses to top-20 teams in Alabama and Ole Miss. Feeling they needed to make a change offensively particularly, Texas A&M made the switch to true freshman Kyler Murray at quarterback. It proved to be the right call for Sumlin and the Aggies. Murray finished the Aggie win over the Gamecocks with 156 yards rushing and 223 yards passing. He had one touchdown passing and one touchdown rushing. Overall, he was 20-for-28. “I think it was pretty obvious that our guys were more comfortable with what we were doing today,” Sumlin said of Murray as the signal caller. “Our tempo was a lot higher and in order to do that, you need to change some things and we were able to do that and do that
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20 • Spurs & Feathers
November 4, 2015
Injury-free Thornwell ready to get back to old self by kyle heck Reporter
wishing he stays healthy so he can play well,” Martin said. “He’s a fighter, he’s a battler. For him to get through last year and South Carolina men’s basketball head to help us be a good team with the circumcoach Frank Martin usually doesn’t root stances, he kept battling.” for specific players. He has a team that With those knee issues, Thornwell still consists of more than a dozen players and managed to score 11.1 points per game to has to make sure all of them are doing their go along with 4.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and job. a team-high 1.3 steals per game. However, there is a special exception with Now that he’s healthy, Thornwell is in a junior Sindarius Thornwell. Despite strug- great position to have an outstanding junior gling with knee tendinitis all of last year, season. the Lancaster, South Carolina native fought “Everything is better because he’s got through the pain and managed to start all legs underneath him,” Martin said. “He’s 33 games, which is an amazing feat. got a great mental disposition right now Martin knows how difficult that was to for what we’re doing. I’m really rooting do and havfor him to have a real good year. Our team ing Thornwell needs him, but he needs it even more. He fully healthy deserves it.” entering the Thornwell said the pain in his knees 2015-16 season started before the season even began last is great to see. year. However, it really didn’t start to af“I don’t fect him until the Charleston Classic tourthink I’ve ever nament a few games into the season. wanted to see However, there was no question about somebody have All Gamecock basketball whether he would sit out. coverage sponsored by a great year as “If we had a lot of guys, I still wouldn’t Yesterdays much as I’m sit out now,” Thornwell said, referring to
photos by allen sharpe
the team’s added depth this year. “I never try to use it as an excuse or any reason of holding me back or anything.” Regardless, Thornwell wasn’t the same player last year. Because he felt pain whenever he moved, he became more of a jump shooter, and he said that isn’t his game. He likes to slash to the paint to score.
This season, he is looking forward to getting back to the player he used to be. Throw in the fact that he has a lot more talent surrounding him and the season can’t get here fast enough. “I’m definitely moving better, playing better. Everything is just going good for me right now,” Thornwell said. That added depth has provided more competition which makes everyone on the team better. “It helps us (having) more bodies,” Thornwell said. “Whereas the last two years, me and the other guys had to practice the whole time. We get little breaks here and there and see different types of players.” After getting better as a team the last couple of years, the Gamecocks are poised to continue that trend and Thornwell is going to do everything he can to help South Carolina improve. “We are just focused on helping each other get better and working together trying to win,” Thornwell said. “That’s the biggest thing, just trying to put everything together so by the time game time comes we’ll be ready.”
Justin McKie on being a Gamecock: ‘It’s been a dream come true’ It was never a question of where Justin McKie was going to play college basketball. Obviously he like every talented basketball player should do considered all options when deciding where to go to school. But in the back of his head, South Carolina was always there. “When I was a little kid all I could dream about was playing in a Gamecock uniform,” McKie said at South Carolina’s annual oncampus media day on Wednesday, Oct. 28. “The next goal is to make it to the (NCAA) Tournament. But so far it’s been a dream come true.” The son of the all-time leading scorer at South Carolina in BJ McKie, Justin McKie entered the Gamecock basketball program as South Carolina Mr. Basketball in 2013 after a senior season where he averaged 18 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game in leading Irmo High School to the state championship. McKie saw action in 17 contests as a freshman in 2013-14. He followed up his first
season by averaging 3.2 points and 1.8 rebounds per game in his sophomore campaign in the 2014-15 season. In the early portion of the non-conference season particularly as a sophomore he shined and even set a career high with 12 points and four rebounds in South Carolina’s road win at Marshall on Dec. 1, 2014. McKie commences his junior season feeling fairly strong about his game and confident he
will make an impact for the Gamecocks in the upcoming year. “I think I’m at a pretty good place,” the 6-foot-4 junior guard said. “I did a lot of work on different areas of my game during the offseason and really tried to improve on the areas that I needed to improve on.” South Carolina men’s basketball head coach Frank Martin is excited about the prospects for a strong season from McKie. “He’s grown up a lot,” Martin said. “I think he’ll tell you that he’s not one of the greatest defenders ever put on the planet earth. But he’s become a heck of a teammate that’s really bought in to our system. And he’s gotten better. He can score, but he’s learning how to score within our concept and not just go out there and score.” Martin also knows on a team with a very strong chemistry entering the season one of the main reasons the team is pulling together so much is players like McKie. “Players kind of flock to him,” Martin said. “He’s got a personality. He’s got a charisma.” McKie like Martin knows he has had his high points while also having some low points
with the Gamecocks. But he is looking forward to showing his abilities this year and beyond. “I’ve had my ups and downs. Hopefully from this point, I just have ups,” McKie said.
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Spurs & Feathers • 21
November 4, 2015
Elliott Fry, returning to the Lone Star State 40 yards or longer. Fry was a rare spectator in against Texas A&M, has shown he’s clutch. his return to his home state Saturday, kicking He’d just rather not show it this much. four extra points and attempting no field goals in a 35-28 Gamecocks loss to Texas A&M. A lliott Fry first showed he could handle strong finish could still land him on the Allthe pressure as a true freshman. It SEC First Team; South Carolina hasn’t had was before he ever took a snap, and a first-team all-conference kicker since Billy it involved a Rubik’s Cube and Jadeveon DuPre made All-ACC in 1969. Clowney. “He does an amazing job for us,” said quarFry, the Gamecocks’ junior placekicker and terback Perry Orth. “Just knowing that it’s a nation’s leader in field goal attempts, was a guaranteed three points, it takes some of the reedy, 150-pound walk-on who had just been pressure off of you as an offense.” called up to perform at the Gamecocks’ an“To be without Elliott Fry would be, whew,” nual freshman talent show at preseason camp. added USC interim head coach Shawn Elliott. Fry pulled out a Rubik’s Cube for a trick he “He’s a heck of a kicker. We’d be far worse off first learned as a 12 year-old at another camp, than not having him, I can tell you that.” for children with diabetes (he’s had Type 1 But here’s the kicker (figuratively speakdiabetes since he was seven). He cued up ing): Fry would like to see the field less. En“Sandstorm,” the Gamecocks’ electro stadium tering its game against Texas A&M, South anthem. Carolina ranks last in the nation in red zone Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, contouchdowns, crossing the goal line on only vinced the fix was in, marched to the front of 6 of 21 trips (28.6%). Fry’s numbers are acthe room and demanded to mix up the colors curate, but they’re also inflated because of his even more. team’s struggles finishing drives. He says he’d “I didn’t really know him yet, gladly trade some of those statso I was like, ‘Oh damn. That’s padding chip shots for extra Jadeveon Clowney,’” said Fry, points. who happily tossed the cube to “We’ve been joking about Clowney. that, the specialists, a lot lately. With “Sandstorm” thumping When we get down on the one-, and a roomful of new teamtwo-, or three-yard line, I’m mates looking on, Fry solved going in to kick a 20-yard field the Rubik’s Cube in less than goal. I’d prefer we get a touchtwo minutes. down in most cases unless “They went crazy even we’re up by 30. In these close more,” Fry recalled of his own games that we’ve had, it’s defipersonal two-minute drill. nitely more beneficial to have a Higher stakes have only foltouchdown,” Fry said. lowed Fry since he won the It’s been an interesting year starting placekicking job at the for kickers, who have already end of that preseason camp. figured into some seismic The Frisco, Tex., native has finishes in college football this Andy Demetra converted 15 of 21 field goals season. Last week, Georgia Contributing in 2015, with four coming from Tech blocked a 56-yard field Writer
photo by allen sharpe
goal attempt from Florida State kicker Roberto Aguayo as time expired, returning it for a touchdown to stun the #9 Seminoles. The week before, a bobbled snap by Michigan punter Blake O’Neill with 10 seconds remaining led to a game-winning fumble recovery for a touchdown by rival Michigan State. Fry knows those types of plays come with the territory, but he’s careful not to let them faze him. “I think people have to realize we’re all human and we all make mistakes. It’s tough watching that stuff, especially being a kicker, knowing that could possibly happen to me. But you’ve got to stay focused and try to perform in those situations,” Fry explained. It’d be easy to assume that Fry’s background playing Texas high school football
prepared him for the high-stress, high-stakes world of the SEC. His upbringing, though, doesn’t exactly conjure images of Friday Night Lights. His graduating class at Prince of Peace Christian School in Carrollton, Tex., had 47 students. Fry was a soccer player who didn’t play football until his sophomore year, when the team needed a kicker. It may seem jarring going from kicking at tiny parochial schools to SEC stadiums with 80,000 delirious, distraction-mad fans, but Fry insists the experiences aren’t that different. “It goes by so fast. You run out onto the field. Your thought process isn’t, ‘Oh, what if I miss this?’ You literally get out there, you look up, take your steps back, look at your target, and then it’s ‘go’ time. There’s no time to sit there and think about, ‘Oh, what if I make this? What if I miss this?’ It’s a lot different than you think,” he said. His numbers suggest the approach is working. Against Vanderbilt, Fry surpassed Marcus Lattimore and fellow kicker Ryan Succop for second place on the USC’s career points list. He only needs 66 points to overtake Collin Mackie for the all-time lead. As much as he tries to keep his routine the same, that may have been difficult this weekend. Fry rooted for the Texas Longhorns growing up, an allegiance passed down from his father, a UT graduate. His stepmom and stepsister, though, both graduated from Texas A&M, and his stepbrother, Grant Torres, is a sophomore at A&M. They had been joking since the summer about which team they’d root for. Next Saturday, in another cavernous SEC stadium, Fry will have another chance to drill a big field goal for a team fighting for bowl eligibility, all while burnishing his reputation as one of the SEC’s best kickers. It may seem like a lot to manage. Then again, Fry handled a roomful of new teammates and a skeptical #1 NFL Draft pick. How nerve-racking can a field goal be?
November 4, 2015
22 â€˘ Spurs & Feathers
Spurs & Feathers • 23
November 4, 2015
This will be an exciting season to be a basketball fan Next Sunday Frank Martin and his 2015-16 basketball team will take the floor for their first exhibition game against Allen. I have to admit that it has been a while since I have seen the level of excitement in men’s basketball that I am currently seeing and I join in the excitement having seen what Martin has put together. I have written about expectations and the potential for this year’s ball club before and believe that this group of players is capable of Bill Gunter something special. Contributing There is a fantastic Writer combination of veteran leadership and talent that should translate into a very solid team. Earlier this year I did a predictions column for football and while I do not want to look back and get the actual figures, I would estimate that the Gunter family dog “Butters” could have come closer if she had wrote them. With that in mind, I will spare Martin and his ball club a predictions article that would be sure to doom them. Instead, I will offer a couple
thoughts on the team as I see before the season begins. The first thing that I have noticed regarding this year’s team is the confidence they seem to be carrying into every media session. There is no doubt this group of seniors and juniors have seen the darker days of South Carolina basketball. Laimonas Chatkevicius, Mindaugas Kacinas and Michael Carrera bought into a hope when Martin arrived and have had to battle through the first three seasons as the roster constantly changed while the program looked for the right mix of players to give them a chance against the SEC competition. In listening to their interviews recently along with juniors Sindarius Thornwell and Duane Notice, I cannot help but recognize the confidence they have developed both in themselves but also in their teammates. Confidence is a vital part of a long basketball season, as the team needs to keep faith in their abilities and the goal at hand. Last season, even when the Gamecocks opened non-conference play with impressive victories over Oklahoma State and Iowa State, there still seemed to be questions around the team regarding if they were really that good or just on a hot streak. At least in listening to the interviews to this point, I have noticed a difference type of talk that leads me to believe the confidence is something real and they believe in what they can accomplish.
The next thing that I believe is pretty clear for everybody is that this could be the most talented team the Gamecocks will bring tot the table each night in 20 years. Thornwell and Notice are potential All-Conference type of players while young players Marcus Stroman, Perry Dozier Jr. and Chris Silva are the type of talented prospects the Gamecocks have been missing. The bench depth is as good as I have seen in the program in a while with players like Justin McKie, TeMarcus Blanton and Carrera all capable of giving solid contributions off the bench this season. The combination of elite level players with solid blue collar role guys should give Martin the ability to make the necessary adjustments throughout a game while keeping players fresh for the final few minutes. Just having confidence and talent is not always enough if a team does not have the understanding of the system the coach is trying to run. With so many players now in their third or fourth year in Martin’s system this Gamecock team is also as experienced a ball club as we have seen in several years. Martin’s basketball principles are built around his defensive system and it is not something that is easy for young players to pick up upon first arriving on campus. Last season we started to see the problems that Martin’s defensive gameplan can cause for opponents as they limited six teams in December to 30 percent shooting or less. Now with veterans back and fully understand-
ing what Martin would like for them to do, they are likely to be more efficient making this team tougher. Just as importantly, the older players have been working with the younger players in practice. Martin has remarked about this in his pre-season interviews and shows the level of chemistry the this team should have. All in all, the more I have looked at this team and listened to them speak in recent weeks, the more I have become excited about what Gamecock fans are likely to see in the upcoming months. There are many Gamecocks that are diehard basketball fans and have been waiting for the program to be competitive and challenge for the league. I am not predicting that will happen this year, but I believe because of the confidence, the talented depth and the experienced leadership, this will be a very exciting season to be a basketball fan.
If you would’ve told me in the beginning of October that we would’ve come into Kyle Field and lose by a touchdown to Texas A&M, I probably would’ve laughed in your face. If you would have told me we would’ve lost another game at the hands of an underclassmen at quarterback, I would’ve said “no way.” Saturday seemed more like the movie “Groundhog Day” than “Halloween.” With another team trying to right there season woes by giving their young signal caller a chance against our team it seemed we could scare this 5’9 190lb true freshman. Like previous contests against UGA, Mizzou, Texas A&M used our deficiencies on defense to bolster their team’s confidence. Texas A&M had doubts swirling around their program after starting 5-0 losing the last two games in unfamiliar fashion, due to lack of offense. Coach Sumlin calling for a midseason QB battle with a true freshman ending up the play caller would seem ideal for the newly energizedShawn Elliott Gamecocks. This was a great opportunity for the Gamecocks to take advantage of the dissension that had been rumored. Unlike the previous games against Lock from Mizzou and Lambert from UGA where these QBs had standout days and look to be on their way to stardom, only to find a few weeks later that
those same QBs aren’t even starting after “career days” versus the Gamecocks. We can even go back to last year against this same A&M team, we put Kenny “Trill” on the Heisman short list, but if you look at the Aggies roster now he isn’t even there anymore... The Gamecocks have encountered a lot of young signal callers in the league, most of them supremely talented in high school. When we cross paths with these teams and their young QBs it should be a great Langston Moore sign for us, but Contributing history has proven Writer over the last couple of seasons that: “if you want to give your quarterback confidence, put him in against the Gamecocks.” Don’t get me wrong, there are some good future hurlers in the SEC that we’ve come across, but we allow most of them to feel like the next Peyton Manning. Kyler Murray (excuse the grammar) ain’t no
joke! As much as I just complained about young QB talent taking advantage of the Gamecocks, this kid is legit and deserves our respect unlike the other QBs we’ve allowed to thrive against us. Murray comes from an athletic family, his father was a standout at A&M and currently coaches QBs in the Dallas Texas area. Kyler came from a high school program that won state championship after state championship and he ended up leaving high school undefeated in all his contests. Watching Murray from the sideline at College Station seemed like watching a suspense/thriller film that keeps you anxious as heck the entire 60 minutes. While the Gamecocks did an OK job ofkeeping this polished Johnny Manziel clone at bay, it seemed like it’s only a matter of time before he would make a dynamic play. Murray executed the offense that seems born for him to a “T.” Making the necessary reads, keeping a calm command of the defense and a Russell Wilson-like ability to not take hits showed me we all better watch out for this kid. I can tell you there’s nothing more frustrating than seeing a nice soft supple freshman QB prance around the field all day and to never get a good “lick” on him. Murray understand the intricacies of the QB position and the more reps he takes the more lethal this kid will be for seasons to come.
Shawn Elliott and the Gamecocks coaching staff were well aware of his potential and his ability to affect the game. Unlike the Georgia game where we allowed a transfer in Lambert to feel like Aaron Murray for a Saturday, Kyler Murray will “feel” like a Heisman candidate himself as long as he stays healthy. We ran the ball and put up great numbers, executed in the red zone and did a good job of limiting possessions against the Aggies. But in the end unlike the other games against UGA, Mizzou, and Tennessee last year, the talented true freshman Kyler Murray was too much. We can look back at the other games I mentioned and be upset we allowed that quality of player beat us. With Murray we have to feel lucky we only see him once a season (hopefully he doesn’t play baseball! Murray is ranked in the top 50 baseball prospects coming out of high school and turned down the MLB draft). Texas A&M may not have settled all the turmoil in the program after one game, but Kyler Murray’s talent and play will make them forget about the dysfunction. As long as he stays healthy, we won’t hear about him being swapped out unlike Lambert, Lock or Kenny Hill. But don’t worry Gamecocks we have “one” on the way and hopefully that northeast prep star can do the same for us in the future!
photo by allen sharpe
Moore: Talent trumped turmoil this past weekend
24 • Spurs & Feathers
November 4, 2015
Depth Charts for November 7, 4 p.m. South Carolina OFFENSE WR: WR: WR: -OR- -OR- LT: LG: OC: RG:
3 D.J. Neal 15 Matrick Belton 11 Pharoh Cooper 9 Carlton Heard 5 Terry Googer 81 Hayden Hurst 8 Shamier Jeffery 71 Brandon Shell 55 Christian Pellage 76 Mike Matulis 69 D.J. Park 70 Alan Knott 78 Zack Bailey 75 Will Sport 72 Donell Stanley RT: 74 Mason Zandi 63 Blake Camper TE: 89 Jerell Adams 40 Jacob August 84 Kyle Markway QB: 10 Perry Orth 6 Connor Mitch 12 Michael Scarnecchia 19 Lorenzo Nunez FB: 39 Rivers Bedenbaugh TB: 22 Brandon Wilds
6-3, 193, Fr. 6-4, 209, Jr. 5-11, 207, Jr. 6-0, 182, Sr. 6-4, 226, RFr. 6-5 252, Fr. 6-1, 198, Jr. 6-6, 328, Sr. 6-6, 314, Fr. 6-5, 293, Sr. 6-4, 325, So. 6-4, 270, So. 6-6, 320, Fr. 6-5, 295, Sr. 6-4, 320, RFr. 6-9, 314, Jr. 6-8, 295, Fr. 6-6, 231, Sr. 6-6, 258, RFr. 6-4, 243, Fr. 6-1, 203, Jr. 6-3, 211, So. 6-4, 210, RFr. 6-3, 210, Fr. 6-2, 245, So. 6-2, 220, Sr.
Stone Mountain, Ga. Columbia, S.C. Havelock, N.C. Athens, Ga. Atlanta, Ga. Jacksonville, Fla. St. Matthews, S.C. Goose Creek, S.C. Brooksville, Fla. Boynton Beach, Fla. Dillon, S.C. Tyrone, Ga. Summerville, S.C. Milton, Fla. Floydale, S.C. Chapin, S.C. Virginia Beach, Va. Pinewood, S.C. Columbia, S.C. St. Louis, Mo. Ponte Vedra, Fla. Raleigh, N.C. Fleming Island, Fla. Kennesaw, Ga. Leesville, S.C. Blythewood, S.C.
33 David Williams 7 Shon Carson
6-1, 222, So. 5-8, 206, Sr.
Philadelphia, Pa. Scranton, S.C.
DEFENSE DE: DT: NT: DE: WLB: MLB: SLB: SPR: LCB:
55 David Johnson 49 Boosie Whitlow 5 Darius English 95 Dante Sawyer 90 Taylor Stallworth 94 Kelsey Griffin 52 Phillip Dukes 92 Gerald Dixon, Jr. 99 Abu Lamin 8 Marquavius Lewis 44 Gerald Dixon 18 Cedrick Cooper 10 Skai Moore 28 Jonathan Walton 11 T.J. Holloman 4 Bryson Allen-Williams 23 Larenz Bryant 12 Ernest Hawkins 20 T.J. Gurley 26 Jasper Sasser 7 Al Harris Jr. 3 Chris Lammons
6-1, 240, So. 6-3, 240, Fr. 6-6, 225, Jr. 6-3, 291, So. 6-2, 308, So. 6-2, 316, Jr. 6-3, 319, Sr. 6-3, 327, Sr. 6-4, 326, Jr. 6-3, 264, Jr. 6-2, 269, Sr. 6-2, 248, Sr. 6-2, 218, Jr. 6-0, 235, Jr. 6-2, 231, Jr. 6-1, 233, So. 6-0, 220, Jr. 6-1, 224, So. 5-10, 193, Sr. 6-0, 210, So. 5-11, 163, So. 5-10, 183, So.
Lithonia, Ga. Opelika, Ala. Powder Springs, Ga. Suwanee, Ga. Mobile, Ala. Buford, Ga. Manning, S.C. Rock Hill, S.C. Fayetteville, N.C. Greenwood, S.C. Rock Hill, S.C. Lithonia, Ga. Cooper City, Fla. Daphne, Ala. Stone Mountain, Ga. Ellenwood, Ga. Charlotte, N.C. Baltimore, Md. Cairo, Ga. Jacksonville, Fla. Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Lauderhill, Fla.
FS: 21 Isaiah Johnson 6 Chris Moody SS: 42 Jordan Diggs 24 D.J. Smith RCB: 1 Rico McWilliams 16 Rashad Fenton 22 Jamari Smith
6-0, 206, Sr. 6-1, 215, Jr. 6-0, 209, Jr. 5-11, 195, So. 5-11, 186, Jr. 5-10, 180, Fr. 5-10, 200, So.
Cary, N.C. McDonough, Ga. Fort Myers, Fla. Marietta, Ga. Hampton, Ga. Miami, Fla. Jacksonville, Fla.
SPECIAL TEAMS KO: PK: P: KR: PR: SN: H:
19 Landon Ard 29 Elliott Fry 29 Elliott Fry 19 Landon Ard 13 Sean Kelly 85 Michael Almond 16 Rashad Fenton 32 Rod Talley 11 Pharoh Cooper 47 Drew Williams 48 Nick McGriff 13 Sean Kelly 19 Landon Ard
5-9, 182, Sr. 6-0, 164, Jr. 6-0, 164, Jr. 5-9, 182, Sr. 5-10, 189, Jr. 6-3, 200, Fr. 5-10, 180, Fr. 5-10, 201, So. 5-11, 207, Jr. 6-2, 213, Jr. 6-0, 224, RFr. 5-10, 189, Jr. 5-9, 182, Sr.
Rock Hill, S.C. Frisco, Texas Frisco, Texas Rock Hill, S.C. Oakland, Fla. North Augusta, S.C. Miami, Fla. Laurens, S.C. Havelock, N.C. Irmo, S.C. Gainesville, Fla. Oakland, Fla. Rock Hill, S.C.
Tennessee OFFENSE QB: TB: WR: WR: WR: TE: LT: LG: C:
11 Joshua Dobbs 6-3, 216, Jr. Alpharetta, Ga. 12 Quinten Dormady 6-4, 216, Fr. Boerne, Texas 1 Jalen Hurd 6-4, 240, So. Hendersonville, Tenn. 6 Alvin Kamara 5-10, 215, So. Norcross, Ga. 25 Josh Smith 6-1, 216, So. Knoxville, Tenn. 8 Marquez North 6-3, 229, Jr. Charlotte, N.C. 9 Von Pearson 6-0, 183, Sr. Newport News, Va. 15 Jauan Jennings 6-3, 201, Fr. Murfreesboro, Tenn. 3 Josh Malone 6-3, 197, So. Gallatin, Tenn. 81 Johnathon Johnson 5-8, 184, Sr. Friendswood, Texas 82 Ethan Wolf 6-6, 245, So. Minster, Ohio 48 Alex Ellis 6-5, 240, Sr. Delmar, Del. 77 Kyler Kerbyson 6-4, 318, Sr. Knoxville, Tenn. 76 Chance Hall 6-4, 318, Fr. Roanoke, Va. 71 Dylan Wiesman 6-4, 304, Jr. Cincinnati, Ohio 75 Jashon Robertson 6-3, 315, So. Nashville, Tenn. 55 Coleman Thomas 6-5, 301, So. Max Meadows, Va. 57 Mack Crowder 6-2, 295, Sr. Knoxville, Tenn. 66 Jack Jones 6-4, 307, Fr. Murfreesboro, Tenn. 71 Dylan Wiesman 6-4, 304, Jr. Cincinnati, Ohio 76 Chance Hall 6-4, 318, Fr. Roanoke, Va. 63 Brett Kendrick 6-6, 318, So. Knoxville, Tenn.
DEFENSE LE: -OR- DT: DT: RE: WLB: MLB: SLB: LCB: SS: FS: RCB: NK:
4 LaTroy Lewis 6-4, 256, Jr. Akron, Ohio 50 Corey Vereen 6-2, 249, Jr. Winter Garden, Fla. 39 Kendal Vickers 6-3, 286, Jr. Havelock, N.C. 95 Danny O’Brien 6-2, 301, Jr. Flint, Mich. 58 Owen Williams 6-0, 297, Sr. Macon, Ga. 1 Kahlil McKenzie 6-3, 344, Fr. Walnut Creek, Calif. 9 Derek Barnett 6-3, 257, So. Nashville, Tenn. 40 Dimarya Mixon 6-4, 259, So. Compton, Calif. 21 Jalen Reeves-Maybin 6-0, 225, Jr. Clarksville, Tenn. 20 Cortez McDowell 6-0, 240, So. Locust Grove, Ga. 34 Darrin Kirkland Jr. 6-1, 224, Fr. Indianapolis, Ind. 53 Colton Jumper 6-2, 224, So. Lookout Mountain, Tenn. 51 Kenny Bynum 6-1, 227, Jr. Jacksonville, Fla. 11 Austin Smith 6-2, 236, Fr. Buford, Ga. 7 Cameron Sutton 5-11, 186, Jr. Jonesboro, Ga. 24 Darrell Miller 5-10, 178, Fr. Cedar Hill, Texas 33 LaDarrell McNeil 6-1, 209, Sr. Dallas, Texas 6 Todd Kelly Jr. 5-11, 208, So. Knoxville, Tenn. 37 Brian Randolph 6-0, 200, Sr. Marietta, Ga. 29 Evan Berry 5-11, 207, So. Fairburn, Ga. 12 Emmanuel Moseley 5-11, 179, So. Greensboro, N.C. 8 Justin Martin 6-2, 173, So. Antioch, Tenn. 13 Malik Foreman 5-10, 178, Jr. Kingsport, Tenn.
SPECIAL TEAMS PK: P: -OR- KO: LS: H: KR: PR:
25 Aaron Medley 97 George Bullock 93 Trevor Daniel 31 Nate Renfro 27 Tommy Townsend 25 Aaron Medley 97 George Bullock 59 Matt Giampapa 46 Riley Lovingood 10 Patrick Ashford 29 Evan Berry 13 Malik Foreman 7 Cameron Sutton 6 Alvin Kamara
6-2, 189, So. Lewisburg, Tenn. 6-1, 213, Jr. Knoxville, Tenn. 6-1, 248, So. Dickson, Tenn. 6-1, 205, Sr. Brentwood, Tenn. 6-1, 195, Fr. Orlando, Fla. 6-2, 189, So. Lewisburg, Tenn. 6-1, 213, Jr. Knoxville, Tenn. 6-1, 217, Sr. Jackson, Tenn. 6-0, 209, Fr. Hendersonville, Tenn. 6-0, 208, Sr. Morristown, Tenn. 5-11, 207, So. Fairburn, Ga. 5-10, 178, Jr. Kingsport, Tenn. 5-11, 186, Jr. Jonesboro, Ga. 5-10, 215, So. Norcross, Ga.
*These depth charts are taken from the listings from each team’s previous game. Spurs & Feathers goes to print shortly after the conclusion of each game. Please visit www.spursandfeathers.com over the course of the week for updated depth charts.
Spurs & Feathers • 25
November 4, 2015
South Carolina Gamecocks
Recruiting Round-up By Phil Kornblut
USC commitment WR Bryan Edwards of Conway suffered a season ending knee injury last Friday night according to his coach Chuck Jordan. Edwards injured his knee on a non-contact play. He was having a big night for the Tigers including a punt return for a touchdown. He finished the season with 53 catches for 969 yards and 9 touchdowns. For his career Edwards totaled 188 catches for 2562 yards and 32 touchdowns. The injury also will cost Edwards the Shrine Bowl and the Phil Kornblut US Army All AmeriContributing can game. Writer USC DB commitment JJ Givens of Mechanicsville, VA met last week with Gamecock recruiter Deke Adams to discuss the future in the wake of Steve Spurrier’s departure. Like a number of other Gamecock commitments, Givens has plenty of questions about the future of the program and Adams did his best to answer to what he could. “Basically all we talked about pretty much, he kind of let me know the whole run down of what’s happening within the staff, within the football program,” Givens said of the thirty minute conversation. “So, you know, I feel confident. He said he knows of a few potential head coach candidates. He’s really pushing for Coach Elliott to be the head coach which I would definitely love because I love the energy that Coach Elliott brings. He’s just a powerhouse on and off the field. If Coach Elliott became the head coach that would be a huge plus.” Givens said he’s still committed to the Gamecocks and things with him are still the same. “I feel as though a commitment, you’re committed to a university,” Givens said. “Don’t get me wrong, having a coach there is a huge part. Like I said I’m still going to go through the process. I’m still waiting it out but as of now I’m still committed.” Givens has an official visit with USC set for November 28th. He hopes to set other visits by the end of this week and is looking at Clemson, Ole Miss and Arizona State for his other official visits. He also picked up an offer from Wisconsin this week. Former Mauldin star athlete Dre Massey is having a big season at Holmes
JC, MS and as a result has landed an offer from USC. The offer from Steve Spurrier Jr. actually came early last week but Massey couldn’t confirm it until Monday as his coach asked him to put recruiting aside last week to concentrate on their game. “I was expecting it,” Massey said. “I’m excited about it. I had to wait a week to make it official. He (Spurrier Jr.) talked to my coach more about it but told me I have it and they’re really excited about me. They are going to try and bring me back home.” Massey has set an official visit with the Gamecocks for November 14th. He’s also looking at Illinois, Mississippi State, Memphis, Cincinnati, Cal and Florida. But with the offer, he has moved the Gamecocks to the top of his list though he’s not going to be ready to close in on a decision until after his visits. “I’m open to everyone for now,” Massey said. “I plan to drop my top five around Thanksgiving.” This season Massey has 21 catches for 548 yards (26.1 average) and 6 touchdowns and has rushed for 452 yards and 3 touchdowns. Richland Northeast Shrine Bowl LB TJ Brunson was at USC for the Vanderbilt game and talked with co-defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward. “Telling me how much they wanted me to be there and I was by Bryan Edwards and CJ Freeman and they were telling me how it would be good for us to be there in the 2016 class and stuff,” Brunson said. And like all USC recruiting targets, Brunson is having to weigh the impact of Steve Spurrier’s departure on his decision. “It depends on who comes in and what happens but if the staff leaves it would change a lot of things because they’ve been coming after me since the offer.” Brunson has been committed to Louisville and he might take an unofficial visit there this coming weekend. He has not yet scheduled any official visits. Though he’s firmly committed to Louisville, Brunson still wants to see who else comes after him following the season. USC remains in touch with DE Jordan Giberti of Gainesville, FL and he’s planning to be in Columbia for the Florida game. Giberti said he talked with Gamecock recruiter Steve Spurrier Jr. last week and there continues to be solid interest from the Gamecocks at this point. “Definitely we’re staying in contact and I plan on going up for the Florida game (for
unofficial visit.) For him (Steve Spurrier Jr.) to keep in contact with me as much as he has over the past couple of months, and when I went up there for the junior day, they really wanted me to commit then. They definitely still want me. I want to wait until after me season to do that. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do that but I’m just taking my time.” Giberti has not scheduled any official visits at this point and he’s looking at December and January for those trips. Among the other schools he’s looking at are Western Kentucky, Army, South Alabama, Florida International and others. LB Michael Pinckney of Jacksonville has been committed to Miami since the summer but he will take official visits to other schools and USC is down for one of those in January. He’s also considering Louisville, Tennessee and possibly Georgia Tech for official visits along with Miami. Pinckney was supposed to visit USC unofficially for the LSU game in Columbia but of course that got nixed by the flood. He said he last talked with Gamecock recruiter Steve Spurrier Jr. shortly before the LSU weekend. “I’m still very interested (despite coaching change). I like the program, love it.” Pinckney camped at USC last summer and has kept the Gamecocks high up on his list, but it won’t be easy for them or anyone else to pry him away from the Hurricanes. “I’m very solid with Miami but I’m still going to take all of my official visits,” he said. “I’m still 100% with Miami.” In fact, Pinckney has already signed his financial aid agreement with the Hurricanes. OL Ashton Julious of Lackawanna JC, PA and Florence made an official visit to Oklahoma over the weekend and committed to the Sooners Monday. He visited USC over the summer and had been in recent contact with the Gamecocks. DE Javon Kinlaw of Goose Creek had a good bit of ground to make up this year to have a chance to be eligible. He said he’s done that regarding his core courses and now he’s working to get that qualifying ACT score. Last year and earlier this year several major programs indicated offers to Kinlaw but they’ve had to slow play him because of his academic situation. He was in touch with USC recruiter Steve Spurrier Jr. recently about coming in for a game but he hasn’t been able to make one. He said USC and Louisville are the only schools he’s been talking
with and those would be his top two. USC last week offered DE Griffin Gentry (6-1 250) of Homewood, AL. Gentry has been committed to Troy. LB Plevon Pryor of Baltimore Dunbar visited USC for the Vanderbilt game. OL Branton Autry of Coffeyville JC, KS decommitted from Florida last week. USC was one of his offers at the time of his commitment. One time USC target DE Tony Clayton of Vienna, GA committed to Florida. Former Georgia DB and WR Tramel Terry has been in touch with USC and Georgia Tech as he begins the process of finding a new school. The former Mr. Football winner from Goose Creek is working to graduate this June and that will allow him to play right away with two years of eligibility. Basketball News: 6-1 Seventh Woods of Hammond visited North Carolina Friday night for the “Late Night with Roy” presentation. He’s down to USC, UNC and Georgetown and will announce on November 11th, the first day of the early signing period. 6-10 Dewan Huell of Miami made his official visit to USC weekend before last and that was the last of three official visits. The others were to Miami and Florida State. “It was a cool, had a lot of fun with the coaches and spent a lot of time with them talking one-on-one,” Huell said. He got a good look at the campus and the basketball facilities. He also watched the Gamecocks work out and saw things he like there, too. “They play fast and have a lot of possessions,” he said. “He (Frank Martin) handles it just like my high school coach.” Huell said he’ll make a decision when he’s “100 percent comfortable then I’ll make the decision,” he said adding that all three schools are still in it. He said he talks with USC recruiter Lamont Evans every day and he doesn’t have a favorite. Huell also is uncertain if he will sign in November or wait until the spring. According to Adam Finkelstein of ESPN.com, 6-9 Sedee Keita is transferring back to 22 Feet Academy in Greenville from Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut according to what he is hearing. He’s a USC target and is also considering Penn State, Temple and Providence. He’s a native of Philadelphia.
26 • Spurs & Feathers
November 4, 2015
South Carolina Gamecocks # Name Pos. 1 Rico McWilliams CB 1 Deebo Samuel WR 3 Chris Lammons CB 3 D.J. Neal WR 4 Bryson Allen-Williams LB 4 Jalen Christian WR 5 Darius English DE 5 Terry Googer WR 6 Chris Moody FS 6 Connor Mitch QB 7 Al Harris Jr. CB 7 Shon Carson TB 8 Shamier Jeffery WR 8 Marquavius Lewis DE 9 Carlton Heard WR 9 Sherrod Pittman LB 10 Skai Moore LB 10 Perry Orth QB 11 T.J. Holloman LB 11 Pharoh Cooper WR 12 Ernest Hawkins LB 12 Michael Scarnecchia QB 13 Sean Kelly P 13 Jalen Henry LB 14 Shaq Davidson WR 14 Ali Groves FS 15 Matrick Belton WR 15 Antoine Wilder SS 16 Rashad Fenton CB 16 Gage Pucci QB 17 Chaz Elder SS 18 Cedrick Cooper DE 18 Danny Gordon QB 19 Landon Ard PK 19 Lorenzo Nunez QB 20 Joseph Charlton K/P 20 T.J. Gurley SPR 21 Isaiah Johnson FS 22 Brandon Wilds TB 23 Christian Owens WR 23 Larenz Bryant LB 24 D.J. Smith FS 25 Darin Smalls CB 25 A.J. Turner TB 26 Jasper Sasser SPR 27 Toure Boyd FS 28 Jonathan Walton LB 29 Elliott Fry PK 30 Daniel Fennell LB 30 Darius Paulk TB 32 Rod Talley TB 33 David Williams TB 34 Mon Denson TB 34 Scott Grant SS
Hgt. 5-11 6-0 5-10 6-3 6-1 5-9 6-6 6-4 6-1 6-3 5-11 5-8 6-1 6-3 6-0 6-0 6-2 6-1 6-2 5-11 6-1 6-4 5-10 5-10 5-11 5-10 6-4 5-10 5-10 6-0 6-2 6-2 6-0 5-9 6-3 6-5 5-10 6-0 6-2 6-5 6-0 5-11 5-11 5-10 6-0 5-11 6-0 6-0 6-3 5-8 5-10 6-1 5-10 5-10
Wgt. 186 202 183 193 233 177 225 226 215 211 163 206 189 264 182 225 218 203 231 207 224 210 189 207 175 183 209 185 180 195 209 248 203 182 210 180 199 206 220 204 220 195 190 185 207 180 235 164 220 198 201 222 222 178
Cl. RS JR RS FR SO FR SO FR RS JR RS FR RS JR RS SO SO RS SR RS SR JR RS SR FR JR RS JR RS JR JR SO RS FR RS JR FR RS FR RS SO RS JR FR FR FR RS JR RS SR RS FR RS SR FR FR SR RS SR RS SR FR JR SO FR FR RS SO JR JR JR FR RS JR RS SO RS SO FR RS FR
Hometown/High School/Last College Hampton, Ga./Lovejoy Inman, S.C./Chapman Lauderhill, Fla./Plantation Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson Ellenwood, Ga./Ceder Grove Damascus, Md./Damascus Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern Atlanta, Ga./Woodward Academy McDonough, Ga./Henry County Raleigh, N.C./Wakefield Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas Scranton, S.C./Lake City St. Matthews, S.C./Calhoun County Greenwood, S.C./Greenwood/Hutchinson Athens, Ga./Clarke Central/Gardner-Webb Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast Cooper City, Fla./University Ponte Vedra, Fla/Florida State College Stone Mountain, Ga./St. Pius X Havelock, NC./Havelock Baltimore, Md./Dunbar/Hartnell College Fleming Island, Fla./Fleming Island Oakland, Fla./West Orange/FAU/Tallahassee JC Foley, Ala./Foley Gaffney, S.C./Gaffney Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson Columbia, S.C./Keenan/Hampton Riverdale, Ga./Hapeville Charter Miami, Fla./Miami Carol City Glendora, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga Union City, Ga./Banneker Lithonia, Ga./Lithonia Worthington, Ohio/Worthington/Miami (Ohio) Rock Hill, S.C./South Pointe Kennesaw, Ga./Harrison Columbia, S.C./A.C. Flora Cairo, Ga./Cairo Cary, N.C./Panther Creek/Kansas Blythewood, S.C./Blythewood Griffin, Ga./Griffin Charlotte, NC./Vance Marietta, Ga./Walton Summerville, S.C./Summerville Clifton, Va./Centreville Jacksonville, Fla./Wolfson Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Chaffey College Daphne, Ala./Bayside Academy Frisco, Texas/Prince of Peace Christian Loganville, Ga./Grayson Columbia, S.C./North Greenville Laurens, S.C./Laurens/Gardner-Webb Philadelphia, Pa./Imhotep Charter LaGrange, Ga./LaGrange Laurens, S.C./Laurens
Coaches Shawn Elliott - Interim Head Coach Deke Adams - Defensive Line Kirk Botkin - Linebackers Jon Hoke - Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs G.A. Mangus - Quarterbacks/Tight Ends Joe Robinson - Special Teams Coordinator Everette Sands - Running Backs Steve Spurrier Jr. - Co-Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers/Recruiting Coordinator Lorenzo Ward - Co-Defensive Coordinator Travelle Wharton - Offensive Line Jamie Speronis - Associate AD/Football Operations Joey Blake - Director of Football Nutrition Joe Connolly - Director-Football Strength & Conditioning Robbie Liles - Director - Recruiting Operations Patrick Shine - Administrative Coordinator - Recruiting Scott Spurrier - Quality Control Coordinator (Offense) Grady Brown - Quality Control Coordinator (Defense) Shaq Wilson - Quality Control Coordinator (Defense) Brian Turk - Quality Control Coordinator (Special Teams)
# Name Pos. 35 Shannon James CB 39 Demetrius Smalls CB 39 Rivers Bedenbaugh FB 40 Jacob August TE 40 Jason Senn FS 41 Tyler Ragsdale LB 42 Jordan Diggs SS 43 Garrison Gist FB 43 Benji Russell SS 44 Gerald Dixon DE 44 Max Moorman FB 45 Reubyn Walker LB 45 Clayton Stadnik TE 46 Cedrick Malone LB 46 Jakob Huechtker LS 47 Drew Williams LS 48 Nick McGriff LS 48 Dexter Wideman DE 49 Devin Potter TB 49 Boosie Whitlow DE 51 Cody Waldrop OG 52 Phillip Dukes DT 55 David Johnson DE 55 Christian Pellage OT 57 Cory Helms OC 59 Logan Crane LS 63 Blake Camper OT 69 D.J. Park OT 70 Alan Knott OC 71 Brandon Shell OT 72 Donell Stanley OG 74 Mason Zandi OT 75 Will Sport OG 76 Mike Matulis OT 77 Malik Young OT 78 Zack Bailey OG 79 Trey Derouen OG 80 John Dixon WR 81 Hayden Hurst TE 82 Sean Odom WR 83 Jamari Smith CB 84 Kyle Markway TE 85 Michael Almond K/P 85 Devin Dingle WR 86 Kevin Crosby TE 87 Connor Redmond TE 88 Javon Charleston WR 89 Jerell Adams TE 90 Taylor Stallworth DT 91 Shameik Blackshear DE 92 Gerald Dixon, Jr. DT 93 Ulric Jones DT 94 Kelsey Griffin DT 95 Dante Sawyer DE 99 Abu Lamin DT
Hgt. 5-7 5-9 6-2 6-6 5-8 6-0 6-0 5-10 6-0 6-2 5-10 5-10 6-3 6-0 5-6 6-2 6-0 6-4 5-10 6-3 6-2 6-3 6-1 6-6 6-4 6-3 6-8 6-4 6-4 6-6 6-4 6-9 6-5 6-5 6-3 6-6 6-3 5-11 6-5 6-0 5-10 6-4 6-3 5-10 6-1 6-4 6-0 6-6 6-2 6-4 6-3 6-5 6-2 6-3 6-4
Wgt. 154 170 245 258 181 210 209 251 188 269 234 220 240 200 188 213 224 293 203 240 300 319 240 314 301 212 295 325 270 328 320 314 295 293 308 320 314 185 252 194 200 243 200 160 238 225 185 231 308 250 327 300 316 291 326
Cl. RS JR RS SO RS SO RS FR FR FR RS JR RS SR RS SO RS SR FR RS JR RS JR RS JR RS SO JR RS FR FR RS JR FR RS JR RS SR RS SO FR JR FR FR RS SO RS SO RS SR RS FR RS JR RS SR RS SR RS FR FR FR FR FR JR RS SO FR FR FR RS FR FR FR SR SO FR RS SR JR JR SO RS JR
Hometown/High School/Last College Florence, S.C./South Florence Bluffton, S.C./Bluffton Leesville, S.C./Lexington/Georgia Southern Columbia, S.C./Fork Union Military Beaufort, S.C./Beaufort Mt. Pleasant, S.C./Wando Fort Myers, Fla./Island Coast Rock Hill, S.C./Northwesterm Atlanta, Ga./Woodward Academy Rock Hill, S.C./South Pointe Alpharetta, Ga./Milton Rock Hill, S.C./Florida A&M Greensboro, N.C./Western Guilford Camden, S.C./Camden/Coastal Carolina Rock Hill, S.C./South Pointe Irmo, S.C./Dutch Fork Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville Saluda, S.C./Saluda/Camden Military Granite Falls, N.C./South Caldwell Opelika, Ala./Opelika Seffner, Fla./Armwood Manning, S.C./Manning Lithonia, Ga./Lithonia Brooksville, Fla./Nature Coast Tech Alpharetta, Ga./Milton/Wake Forest Dartmouth, Mass./Dartmouth Virginia Beach, Va./Frank W. Cox Dillon, S.C./Dillon Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek Goose Creek, S.C./Goose Creek Floydale, S.C./Latta Chapin, S.C./Chapin Milton, Fla./Pace Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista Pelzer, S.C./Woodmont Summerville, S.C./Summerville, S.C. Lilburn, Ga./Parkview Alexandria, Va./Episcopal Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School Orangeburg, S.C./Orangeburg Prep Jacksonville, Fla./Fletcher St. Louis, Mo./St. John Vianney North Augusta, S.C./Westminster Summerville, S.C./Cane Bay Bamberg, S.C./Bamberg-Ehrhardt Lawrenceville, Ga./Archer Gurnee, Ill./Warren Pinewood, S.C./Scott’s Branch Mobile, Ala./Murphy Bluffton, S.C./Bluffton Rock Hill, S.C./Northwestern Oxford, Ala./Butler (Kan.) Community College Buford, Ga./Mill Creek Suwanee, Ga./East Mississippi C.C. Fayetteville, N.C./Fort Scott C.C.
Spurs & Feathers • 27
November 4, 2015
Tennessee Volunteers # Name Pos. 1 Jalen Hurd RB 1 Kahlil McKenzie DL 2 Shy Tuttle DL 3 Micah Abernathy DB 3 Josh Malone WR 4 John Kelly RB 4 LaTroy Lewis DL 5 RalphDavidAbernathyIV RB 5 Kyle Phillips DL 6 Alvin Kamara RB 6 Todd Kelly Jr. DB 7 Rashaan Gaulden DB 7 Cameron Sutton DB 7 Preston Williams WR 8 Justin Martin DB 8 Marquez North WR 9 Derek Barnett DE 9 Von Pearson WR 10 Patrick Ashford H 10 Vincent Perry WR 11 Joshua Dobbs QB 11 Austin Smith LB 12 Quinten Dormady QB 12 Emmanuel Moseley DB 13 Malik Foreman DB 13 Sheriron Jones QB 14 Zac Jancek QB 14 Quart’e Sapp LB 15 Jauan Jennings WR 17 Dillon Bates LB 18 Jason Croom WR 19 Darrell Taylor DL 20 Cortez McDowell LB 21 Jalen Reeves-Maybin LB 21 Joe Young RB 24 Michael Lacey WR 24 Darrell Miller DB 25 Aaron Medley PK 25 JoshSmith WR 26 Stephen Griffin DB 27 Tommy Townsend P 28 Will Martinez WR 28 David Priddy DB 29 Evan Berry DB 30 Holden Foster K 30 Devin Williams DB 31 Nate Renfro P 33 LaDarrell McNeil DB 34 Darrin Kirkland Jr. LB 35 MaLeik Gatewood DB 36 Gavin Bryant LB 37 Brian Randolph DB 37 Jayson Sparks RB 38 Jaye Rochell WR 39 Alex Jones PK
Ht. 6-4 6-3 6-2 6-0 6-3 5-9 6-4 5-6 6-4 5-10 5-11 6-1 5-11 6-4 6-1 6-3 6-3 6-0 6-0 5-10 6-3 6-3 6-4 5-11 5-10 6-2 6-4 6-2 6-3 6-3 6-5 6-4 6-0 6-0 5-11 5-7 5-10 6-2 6-1 6-2 6-1 5-8 5-10 5-11 6-0 5-8 6-1 6-1 6-1 5-10 6-0 6-0 5-7 6-2 5-5
Wt. 240 344 311 193 197 212 256 185 259 215 208 178 186 209 183 229 257 183 208 175 207 236 216 179 178 208 214 214 201 228 246 230 240 225 200 173 178 189 216 200 195 184 170 207 180 184 205 209 224 189 238 200 187 210 139
Yr. SO FR FR FR SO FR RS JR RS SR FR RS SO SO SO JR FR SO JR SO SR RS SR FR JR FR FR SO JR FR FR FR FR RS FR RS JR FR SO JR FR FR FR SO RSSO FR FR SO RS JR SO JR RS JR RS SR SR FR FR RS FR RS SR RS SO RS JR FR
Hometown (Previous School) Hendersonville, Tenn./Beech Senior Walnut Creek, Calif./Clayton Valley Charter Midway, N.C./North Davidson Atlanta, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian Gallatin, Tenn./Station Camp Detroit, Mich./Oak Park Akron, Ohio/Archbishop Hoban Atlanta, Ga./Cincinnati Nashville, Tenn./Hillsboro Norcross, Ga./Alabama/Hutchinson C.C. Knoxville, Tenn./Webb School Spring Hill, Tenn./Independence Jonesboro, Ga./Jonesboro Hampton, Ga./Lovejoy Antioch, Tenn./Northeast Oklahoma A&M Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek Nashville, Tenn./Brentwood Academy Newport News, Va./Feather River College Morristown, Tenn./Carson-Newman Nashville, Tenn./Hillsboro Alpharetta, Ga./Alpharetta Buford, Ga./Buford Boerne, Texas/Boerne Greensboro, N.C./Dudley Kingsport, Tenn./Dobyns-Bennett Perris, Calif./Rancho Verde Knoxville, Tenn./Knoxville Catholic Alpharetta, Ga./Milton Murfreesboro, Tenn./Blackman Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla./Ponte Vedra Norcross, Ga./Norcross Waverly, Va./Hopewell Locust Grove, Ga./Locust Grove Clarksville, Tenn./Northeast Winnsboro, S.C./Fairfield Central Nashville, Tenn./Montgomery Bell Academy Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill Lewisburg, Tenn./Marshall County Knoxville,Tenn./ChristianAcademyofKnoxville Charlotte, N.C./South Mecklenburg Orlando, Fla./Boone Knoxville, Tenn./Knoxville Catholic Hendersonville, Tenn./Hendersonville Fairburn, Ga./Creekside Dickson, Tenn./Dickson County/Sewanne Knoxville, Tenn./Austin-East Brentwood, Tenn./Maryland Dallas, Texas/Wilmer-Hutchins Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central Memphis, Tenn./Memphis University School Jackson, Ala./Jackson Marietta, Ga./Kell Loganville, Ga./Grayson Norcross, Ga./Wesleyan School Knoxville, Tenn./Knoxville Catholic
Coaches Butch Jones - Head Coach Steve Stripling - Associate Head Coach / Defensive Line Coach Mike DeBord - Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks Coach John Jancek - Defensive Coordinator Willie Martinez - Assistant Head Coach / Defensive Backs Coach Zach Azzanni - Wide Receivers / Passing Game Coordinator Robert Gillespie - Running Backs Coach / Recruiting Coordinator Mark Elder - Tight Ends Coach / Special Teams Coordinator Don Mahoney - Offensive Line Coach Tommy Thigpen - Linebackers Coach Dave Lawson - Director of Strength and Conditioning Mike Vollmar - Sr. Associate AD, Football Administration Chris Spognardi - Director of Football Operations Bob Welton - Director of Player Personnel Patrick Abernathy - Director of High School Relations Ike Brown - Director of Player Development Antone Davis - VFL Coordinator
# Name Pos. 39 Kendal Vickers DL 40 Dimarya Mixon DL 41 Elliott Berry LB 42 Chris Weatherd DL/LB 43 Laszlo Toser PK 44 Jakob Johnson TE 46 Max Arnold DB 46 Riley Lovingood LS 47 Landon Knoll LB 47 Joe Stocstill TE 48 Alex Ellis TE 48 DaJour Maddox LB 50 Venzell Boulware OL 50 Corey Vereen DL 51 Kenny Bynum LB 51 Drew Richmond OL 52 Andrew Butcher DL 53 Will Bradshaw LS 53 Colton Jumper LB 55 Quay Picou DL 55 Coleman Thomas OL 56 Curt Maggitt LB/DL 57 Mack Crowder OL 58 Aaron Adams OL 58 Owen Williams DL 59 Matt Giampapa LS 60 Austin Sanders OL 63 BrettKendrick OL 64 Ray Raulerson OL 65 Clay Keaton OL 66 Jack Jones OL 67 Joe Keeler OL 69 Jonathan Reynolds OL 71 Dylan Wiesman OL 74 Dontavius Blair OL 75 Marcus Jackson OL 75 Jashon Robertson OL 76 Chance Hall OL 77 Kyler Kerbyson OL 78 Charles Mosley OL 79 Thomas Edwards OL 80 Eli Wolf TE 81 Johnathon Johnson WR 82 Ethan Wolf TE 83 Cody Blanc WR 84 Adrian Gamble WR 87 Logan Fetzner WR 88 NeikoCreamer TE 89 Will Jumper TE 90 Charles Folger DL 93 Trevor Daniel P 94 Tyler Stokes DL 95 Danny O’Brien DL 96 Trevarris Saulsberry DL 97 Paul Bain DL 97 George Bullock PK
Ht. 6-3 6-4 5-11 6-2 5-8 6-3 5-11 6-0 6-3 6-2 6-5 5-11 6-3 6-2 6-1 6-5 6-2 6-4 6-2 6-1 6-5 6-4 6-2 6-4 6-0 6-1 6-5 6-6 6-4 6-6 6-4 6-6 6-3 6-4 6-7 6-2 6-3 6-4 6-4 6-4 6-4 6-4 5-8 6-6 6-2 6-1 5-9 6-3 6-2 6-4 6-1 6-1 6-2 6-4 6-3 6-1
Wt. 286 259 222 226 181 240 193 209 217 234 240 210 306 249 227 301 257 219 224 266 301 252 293 290 297 217 318 318 287 297 307 275 270 304 294 316 315 318 318 348 315 216 184 245 206 166 182 233 206 249 248 274 301 308 260 213
Yr. RS SO SO SO SR FR SO RS SR FR FR RS JR RS SR FR FR JR RS JR FR FR RS SO SO FR SO RS SR RS SR RS SO RS SR RS SR RS SO RSSO RS FR FR FR FR RS SO JR RS JR RS SR SO FR RS SR RS FR RS SO FR SR SO RS JR RS JR RS SO RSFR FR RS JR RS SO RS FR RS JR RS SR RS FR RS JR
Hometown (Previous School) Havelock, N.C./Havelock Compton, Calif./West Mesquite (Texas) Fairburn, Ga./Creekside Carrollton, Texas/Trinity Valley C.C. Ooltewah, Tenn./Ooltewah Stuttgart, Germany/Jean Ribault (Fla.) McKenzie, Tenn./McKenzie Hendersonville, Tenn./Beech Senior Nashville, Tenn./Father Ryan Lewisburg, Tenn./Cornersville Delmar, Del./Delmar Stone Mountain, Ga./Druid Hills Union City, Ga./Creekside Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange Jacksonville, Fla./Raines Memphis, Tenn./Memphis University School Alpharetta, Ga./Alpharetta Dyersburg, Tenn./Dyersburg Lookout Mountain, Tenn./The Hun School (NJ) Sugar Hill, Ga./Buford Max Meadows, Va./Fort Chiswell West Palm Beach, Fla./Dwyer Bristol, Tenn./Tennessee HS Gray, Tenn./Daniel Boone Macon, Ga./Westside/Butler C.C. (Kan.) Jackson, Tenn./Michigan State Cleveland, Tenn./Bradley Central Knoxville,Tenn./ChristianAcademyofKnoxville Tampa, Fla./Plant Senior Knoxville, Tenn./Grace Christian Academy Murfreesboro, Tenn./Oakland Arden, N.C./Christ School Smyrna, Tenn./Smyrna Cincinnati, Ohio/Colerain Anniston, Ala./Garden City C.C. (Kan.) Vero Beach, Fla./Vero Beach Nashville, Tenn./Montgomery Bell Academy Roanoke, Va./Northside Knoxville, Tenn./Knoxville Catholic Brighton, Tenn./Brighton Kingsport, Tenn./Dobyns-Bennett Minster, Ohio/Minster Friendswood, Texas/Blinn College Minster, Ohio/Minster Knoxville, Tenn./Knoxville Central Charlotte, N.C./Virginia Cleveland, Tenn./Bradley Central Wilmington,Del./EasternChristianAcademy(Md.) Lookout Mountain, Tenn./Baylor School Augusta, Ga./Lincoln County Dickson, Tenn./Dickson County Knoxville, Tenn./Fulton Flint, Mich./Powers Catholic Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville Powder Springs, Ga./Hillgrove/Tusculum Knoxville, Tenn./West
28 • Spurs & Feathers
November 4, 2015
Welcome to ‘The Show’: New theme integrates stakeholders by brian hand Executive Editor
“When I first took the job at South Carolina, I knew we would win at some point,” Staley said. “I just didn’t really see what It’s no secret that South Carolina women’s outside of winning would look like. And basketball led the nation in attendance last our fans painted a great picture of a sold-out year. arena, season ticket holders that at some That may not be a secret, but in turn schools they can go 10 years that they won’t people all over the country are trying to find have what we have this particular season. out what South Carolina’s secret is in turnOur fans have been an integral of what ing Columbia, South Carolina into one of we’ve been able to build.” the top spots for women’s basketball in the To this end, the back-to-back SEC regularnation. season champion Gamecocks have chosen South Carolina women’s basketball head “The Show” as their theme for the upcomphoto by brian hand coach Dawn Staley is quick to point out the ing season. secret is really no secret at all in that it is as “Our theme for this year is ‘The Show,’” much to do with the culture at the University Staley has gone on record many times Staley said. “I don’t want people to think of South Carolina. pointing out that she did not know what the we’re being braggadocios or anything like “I think we have the type of fans that apstands would look like at the Colonial Life that. But it is showcasing our state, it’s preciate good play, that appreciate winning,” Arena when the Gamecocks started winning showcasing our fans, it’s showcasing the Staley said at the annual SEC Media Days the way she had envisioned. But she knows band, the cheerleaders, the program, our on Thursday, Oct. 22. “When you have that, her program could not do it without those University, our governor and how we have they’re going to come.” fans. come together as a state to support. In terms
of women’s basketball we have eyes on us because of the success we’ve had.” South Carolina is well on its way to leading the nation in attendance once again in the upcoming year as they just recently announced that they have already sold well over 10,000 season tickets. Does that mean that Columbia, South Carolina is one of the centers of the basketball universe? Depends on how you look at it in the end. South Carolina internally does not think in those terms. But they do know that they can compete with anyone in the country in the stands and on the hardwood. “I don’t think we take it that far,” South Carolina sophomore forward A’ja Wilson said. “Of course you’re going to have that ‘we’re the best team’ (mentality) because that’s us. That’s our team. That’s who we know.”
Wilson working hard to have even better sophomore season by brian hand Executive Editor
America honors as a freshman. What does Wilson expect to do for an encore in her sophomore season? Become SEC A’ja Wilson is obviously more concerned Defensive Player of the Year of course. with helping her team win games. But she Well, maybe. did have one goal last year individually: she “Yes and no,” Wilson said of the goal of wanted to be the SEC Freshman of the Year. winning SEC Defensive Player of the Year That was the goal that she along with the honors in the 2015-16 season. “Last year was South Carolina coaching staff set for the her- kind of a big one in (becoming) SEC Freshalded hoopster from Hopkins, man of the Year, so that was South Carolina, who entered one I kind of really went after. the program as the national But this year, I’m just trying to high school Player of the Year. win a national championship Wilson’s goal was actualized just like my teammates. And during a freshman season for I think that’s the main goal South Carolina in which she this year. I kind of joke around averaged 13.1 points and 6.6 and just say SEC Defensive rebounds per game. Player of the Year because I’m In addition to being the SEC All Gamecock basketball just trying to get a defensive coverage sponsored by mindset because I know that is Freshman of the Year, Wilson Yesterdays also garnered All-SEC and Allsomething that I lack.”
The scary thing for those in the SEC when Wilson says this is she was not too bad in the area last year. Maybe not up to her standards, but solid to say the least as she finished her freshman year leading the Gamecocks with 65 blocks, which just happens to be thirdbest in women’s basketball history at South Carolina. Once again this year though whatever the case may be, Wilson will lean on her teammates and coaches to have a stellar sophomore season. That’s what worked last year and for a player as highly regarded as Wilson having that support system is important. “People expect a lot out of me, but I think I give it all to my teammates and my coaching staff because they really helped me tackle that (last year),” Wilson said. “And when things weren’t going as well as people expected or I expected they kept my head on strong and pushed me through it.”
photo by jenny dilworth
November 4, 2015
Spurs & Feathers â€˘ 29
30 • Spurs & Feathers
November 4, 2015
South Carolina/Texas A&M postgame notes and quotes south carolina athletics media relations GENERAL NOTES • Texas A&M defeated South Carolina, 35-28, in front of 102,154 fans at Kyle Field. The Gamecocks are now 3-5 and 1-4 in SEC play with the Aggies 6-2 and 3-2 in the league. • South Carolina’s 21 points in the first half were the most points by the Gamecocks in the first half this season. OFFENSIVE NOTES • South Carolina finished with a season-high 445 total yards of offense this afternoon, besting the previous high of 424 set vs.Vanderbilt on Oct. 17. The Gamecocks gained 253 yards on the ground, just 1 yard short of the season-high 254 set vs. North Carolina on Sept. 3. • Senior offensive tackle Brandon Shell made his 44th career start in a Gamecock uniform, surpassing Todd Ellis (1986-89) for seventh-highest by a Gamecock player in school history. • Freshman Lorenzo Nunez’ 7-yard reverse for a touchdown in the first quarter marked his second touchdown of the season. • Junior quarterback Perry Orth’s 66-yard run in the second quarter was the longest run from scrimmage this year by a Gamecock player, besting the previous long run of 48 yards by Shon Carson vs. North Carolina on Sept. 3. Orth would score on a 6-yard run in the second quarter for his second rushing touchdown of the season. It also marked the longest run by a Gamecock quarterback since Steve Satterfield went for 73 yards vs. Virginia on Nov. 7, 1959. • Senior tailback Brandon Wilds rushed 17 times for a season-high 128 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Wilds 43-yard run in the third quarter was his longest run from scrimmage this season. It was the most yards rushing by a Gamecock player in a game this season. DEFENSIVE NOTES • Junior linebacker Skai Moore finished with a career-high 14 tackles besting the previous high of 12 that he has tallied three times in his career. SPECIAL TEAM NOTES • Junior placekicker Elliott Fry is now the school record holder for the Gamecocks in PATs made and attempted. He is currently 121-for-122 in his career. Fry surpassed Scott Hagler in both marks. Hagler was 117-for-118 in his career from 1983-86. South Carolina interim head football coach Shawn Elliott Thoughts on the game… “This was a tough loss to a good Texas A&M team. When you reflect on that game from just walking out of the locker room I think the team made improvements. They played with great effort. We need to make a few more plays offensively. Our defense gave us an opportunity to take it down the field. I told the team that if we did get it down there and score the touchdown, we were going to go for two and go for the win. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for us. We just didn’t get the job done. I saw improvements from our football team. A loss is a loss, we understand that and we are very disappointed in what we didn’t accomplish. But we improved as a group, as a team, and as a staff. It’s a process but, I thought we could have taken it today, we close but close just isn’t good enough sometimes.” The interception returned for the touchdown… “I think if you could take that one throw back he played really
photo by allen sharpe
well. We had a wide-open receiver right behind him; if he had hit him we’d be talking about him differently. It was just one of those misreads, he took it back for a touchdown and that was a real momentum killer. I don’t think that was the difference. It was a critical play no doubt, there were a lot of other plays that you could have looked at that effected the game” Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin On the defense… “South Carolina utilized their bye-week well. They brought some things to the table, they’re well coached. The message today was the same as last week: you win and lose as a team. At different times we struggled on defense today. Donovan Wilson continues to make plays. Our three safeties are all over the field and have been since Arizona State. Those guys play well; if they don’t, we give up big plays. That’s a lot of pressure, but they accept that challenge. We’ve got some things we need to clean up, but you win and lose as a team. We made enough plays offensively to get that done today.” Category 1st Downs Total Yards Passing Rushing
SC TAMU 19 29 445 544 192 223 253 321
Penalties-Yards 3rd Down Conversions 4th Down Conversions Turnovers Time of Possession Passing Leaders South Carolina COM Orth 15 Texas A&M COM Murray 20 Rushing Leaders South Carolina CAR Wilds 17 Orth 11 Texas A&M CAR Murray 20 Carson 21 Receiving Leaders South Carolina REC Cooper 4 Williams 3 Texas A&M REC Seals-Jones 6 Kirk 6
5-26 5-13 0-1 2 29:01
3-35 6-13 1-1 0 30:59
ATT 24 ATT 28
YDS 192 YDS 223
TD 0 TD 1
INT 2 INT 0
YDS 128 64 YDS 156 122
AVG 7.5 5.8 AVG 7.8 5.8
TD 2 1 TD 1 1
LG 43 66 LG 34 26
YDS 22 43 YDS 88 37
AVG 5.5 14.3 AVG 14.7 6.2
TD 0 0 TD 0 0
LG 11 21 LG 25 11
Spurs & Feathers • 31
November 4, 2015
A season where strange things seem to be the norm
Over the last two weeks, there have been two questions that I have been asked continually. One we got the answer to this weekend, the other will continue for weeks to come. As to whether the Gamecocks could win at Texas A&M, I figure I was as optimistic as just about anybody. Based on the way that we had played over the first seven weeks of the season, I doubted very seriously that USC had much of a chance. The only way it was going to happen was if the off week provided an injection of enthusiasm, much less a better performance on the field. Only the most delusional fan would really think that Carolina really had a chance to go out to College Station, Texas and win. What we got was at least the best performance by the offense this season. Coach Elliott along with the staff put in some new wrinkles and the result was a respectable showing, losing by a touchdown,35-28. Don’t get me wrong. Moral victories are for losers and this is another loss. However, the general tone in the postgame press conference, from both players and coaches, was that this was a game to build on and try to salvage something from the season. Offensively, this may be true. There were signs of progress and the effort was certainly there. At the very least, the team is not standing around waiting for a play to be called while the play clock runs down to zero. That happens to all teams in the course of a game, but certainly not to the degree that it was occurring with USC in the first half of the season. Aside from that the plays seem to be working better and the execution, though not perfect, is better. The defense is another story. The first half while Drew Lock did his best Peyton Manwas difficult to sit through as 21 points were ning imitation. In the three games since, the scored but the only time Texas A&M was Tigers have scored 12 points combined with stopped was on a chip shot missed field goal no touchdowns and that includes a 10-3 loss to along with a drive that was stopped by a 15 Vanderbilt. yard personal foul. The only thing that stopped If USC is going to win any games the rest the Aggies was themselves and the fact that the of the season, the defense has got to show up clock ran out at halftime. in the first half. Despite Texas A&M rolling Texas A&M was just short of 400 yards of Carolina for the first two quarters, it was the offense in the first half alone and once again, first time this season in any game that South South Carolina made a first time starting Carolina did not trail, being tied at 21. quarterback look like the next great thing and On the bright side, the defense did play betmaybe he will be, but if the past ter in the second half, stopping is any indication, he won’t. Texas A&M several times and Georgia’s QB, Greyson Lamgiving the Gamecocks at least bert, while setting records, led a chance. South Carolina had the Dogs to seven touchdowns the ball in the fourth quarter against the Gamecocks. Since, three times trailing by seven but the quarterback has been couldn’t get the game evened up. benched and Georgia has scored Carolina held Texas A&M to only five touchdowns against no points in the fourth quarter. four SEC teams since the blowUnfortunately, the Gamecocks out of USC in September. didn’t score any points either. Missouri, who just like Texas Ironically, the difference in Ed Girardeau A&M, had an 18-year-old freshthe game was a pick 6 in the Contributing man quarterback make his first third quarter that provided the Editor start against USC, won 24-10, winning margin for the Aggies,
photo by allen sharpe
so it is not fair to place the blame on just one aspect. It’s a team game and as Coach Elliott said afterwards, we just have to get better ... at everything. It won’t be easy. Everybody left is beatable. However, all are pretty good and maybe even a little better than just pretty good and in order to win three more games and become bowl eligible, Carolina will have to get a whole lot better. The second question I have been asked constantly is who do I think the new head coach will be? I started out saying I have no idea and my answer is still the same: I have no idea. And guess who else doesn’t know? That would be anybody in the media. If anyone says that they know who it is or that it is between this guy or that guy, they are just speculating. It is a guess. They do not know. You know why I can say that? It’s because nobody knows. Even Coach Tanner doesn’t know yet, much less anybody who has been named to the advisory committee. The idea that a head coach, in the middle of his season, is going to stop what he’s doing and interview for a job in South Carolina is a little ridiculous. Yes, that has happened before, but I
doubt it will happen in this case. Quite frankly, we do not want somebody who would rather than concentrate on the job at hand, get distracted and talk about coaching somewhere else. I know they all have agents and obviously there is work going on behind the scenes, but the tracking of the University airplane this week really gets over the top. For the record, I hope Coach Elliott leads this team to three more wins and a bowl appearance. At this point, that would be remarkable and if it does happen, he deserves the opportunity to be seriously considered, and we won’t know if that happens for another month. So in the meantime, I suggest we all relax and let Coach Tanner and Coach Elliott do their jobs. People are going to speculate and rumors of coaches shopping for houses and playing golf at the Augusta National will continue to pop up. I’ll continue to hope that the defense figures it out, the offense gets a little better and we find a way to beat Tennessee, Florida, The Citadel and, most of all, Clemson. Now maybe I’m the one who is delusional, but stranger things have happened in a season where strange things seem to be the norm.
32 • Spurs & Feathers
November 4, 2015
Men’s and Women’s Diabetic Shoes
•Diabetic Supplies •Diabetic Shoes (Neuropathy) •Erectile Dysfunction Products •Seat Lifts •Body Braces
is to provide diabetic supplies, medical equipment and other health related products and services for convenient and timely delivery to the homes or offices of our customers by working closely with physicians, nurses and other health care professionals to ensure that the medical needs of our customers are met.
Carolina Diabetic Family Pharmacy Services Diabetic Shoes at Little or No Cost with Insurance Veteran and Gamecock Club Member Owned
124 Doctors Circle Columbia, SC 29203 803-931-0953 • 866-931-0953 We Make House Calls! Free Delivery!
University of South Carolina, Class of 1971