september 30, 2015 • Volume 37 • Issue 17 • $1.50
GAMECOCKS WIN! Next Up: ‘Battle of the Columbias’
Postmaster: Time sensitive material. Please expedite
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 email@example.com (803) 335-1400 Ext. 500 Brian Hand Executive Editor firstname.lastname@example.org (803) 335-1399 Ext. 506 Ed Girardeau Contributing Editor/ Advertising Account Executive email@example.com (803) 646-9807 Dee Taylor Advertising Director (803) 644-2371 Kathy Boyette Advertising Sales Manager (803) 295-3654 firstname.lastname@example.org Brooks Rogers Advertising Representative (803) 446-4022 email@example.com Reporter Kyle Heck firstname.lastname@example.org Photographers Juan Blas, Allen Sharpe and Jenny Dilworth Mary Watson Graphic Designer Cover Design Brian Hand (photo by Juan Blas) 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.
September 30, 2015
Gamecock Club information/upcoming events Lexington County Gamecock Club Frank Martin Banquet WHEN: Tuesday, September 29 WHERE: Country Club of Lexington START TIME: 5:30 p.m. BUFFET OPENS: 6:15 p.m. INTRO OF SPEAKERS: 7:00 p.m. Table and Ticket prices: Head Coach Table (Frank Martin) $500 (Sold) (1 Drink Ticket per Person) Asst. Coaches Tables (4 tables) $350 (These Tables are located on Front Row) Reserved Tables (8 tables) $300 (These tables located behind Front Row) Individual Tickets $30 Eventbrite (Tickets online) www.eventbrite.com Any questions, please call 803-608-2538
Edgefield County Golf Tournament WHERE: Pine Ridge Club, 425 Pine Ridge Road, Edgefield, S.C. WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 24 DETAILS: Four-man captain’s choice with shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. ENTRY FEE: $50 per person, $200 per team (includes lunch) Field is limited to the first 20 paid teams Prizes awarded for first and second place teams There will also be door prizes Mulligans may be purchased at registration
Contact Frank Davis at 803-275-7056 or Don Smoak at 803275-4605 Email Frank at email@example.com The deadline is Oct. 21.
SAVE THE DATE: The Florence County Gamecock Club will hold their Fall Gamecock Rally on Thursday, October 29 at the Floyd Conference Center at Carolina’s Hospital. As soon as the coaches coming and information is finalized, they will let everyone know the program plans. Vanderbilt game parking information from Gamecock Club Please be reminded that Gamecock Club members who park in the Garnet, Black, White, Blue and Green sections of the Fairgrounds parking lots have reserved parking spaces for six of the seven home football games in 2015. Parking for the Vanderbilt game on October 17 will be handled on first-come, first-serve basis, with no reserved parking that day for either those attending the game or the State Fair. The South Carolina State Fair has implemented a parking fee of $5 per day while the fair is in progress. This fee is cash only and will be enforced for the Vanderbilt football game. Gamecock Club members are reminded that season parking in Carolina Fair Park continues to be based on six home football games. Fans are encouraged to come early for the Vanderbilt game to get your vehicle parked and avoid the heavy traffic congestion around the stadium and fairgrounds that exists when the Fair is in town.
Missouri parking information Parking: http://mutigers.com/index. aspx?path=mg Shuttle: http://mutigers.com/sports/2015/5/26/ shuttles.aspx?path=mg Directions to Stadium: From the East (St. Louis): Take Interstate 70 West to Exit 128A (Moberly/Jefferson City/U.S. 63) Turn left onto the Business U.S. 63 access road, and take the ramp onto U.S. 63 south toward Jefferson City Take the MO-740/Stadium Blvd. exit Turn right onto Stadium Blvd. and follow approx. 2 miles to the MU Sports Park From the West (Kansas City): Take Interstate 70 East to Exit 124 (MO-740/ Stadium Blvd.) Turn right onto Stadium Blvd.and follow approx. 4 miles to the MU Sports Park From the South (Jefferson City): Take U.S. 63 North to the MO-740/Stadium Blvd. exit Turn left onto Stadium Blvd. and follow approx. 2 miles to the MU Sports Park From the North (Moberly): Take U.S. 63 South to the MO-740/Stadium Blvd. exit Turn left onto Stadium Blvd. and follow approx. 2 miles to the MU Sports Park
Parking for those with disabilities: Individuals wishing to seek parking on a single game basis in Lot M-ADA Parking will be able to purchase a pass on the day of the game at the lot opening time of 8:00 AM for a cost of $25. No passes will be sold in advance for parking in this lot. In addition to the criteria above, all individuals seeking parking in one of our accessible parking lots must meet the following criteria: 1. The individual seeking parking must have a disabled placard or license plate. 2. The individual to whom the placard or license plate was issued must be in the vehicle. 3. The individual seeking to park must show the parking attendant a validated application receipt for the placard or license plate. Individuals failing to provide all three of the above stated requirements will not be permitted to park in either Lot B - Disability Friendly Parking or Lot M-ADA Parking. Accessible parking pass holders will be required to park in the spots reserved for accessible parking only. If you require accessible parking that provides space to enter and exit a vehicle with a mobility aid, please let us know upon entry so we accommodate you in a stall with access aisles. In addition, please indicate if your vehicle is equipped with a lift system that requires the provision of a “van accessible” 8-foot access aisle. This information helps pro-
vide the highest level of access to the greatest number of our fans with accessible needs as possible. General Parking: There are several options for those wishing to park in close proximity to Memorial Stadium on a single-game basis. There are seven oncampus garages available for game day parking. Most of these garages are free with the exception of the Tiger Ave. Parking Structure Garage located at the corner of Tiger Ave. and Hospital Dr. and Parking Structure #7, located at the corner of Monk Dr. and Virginia Ave. The fee for these two garages is $25 per game. RV Parking: Please direct all single-game RV/Bus Parking questions to Tony Wirkus at (573) 882-8718. Single-game RV/Bus parking is available on a first come, first served basis in Truman’s Landing for $200 per game. Friday: Truman’s Landing will be open from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM on the evening prior to a home football game. Saturday: The lot will re-open at 7:00 AM on the day of the game. Sunday: All vehicles must vacate the lot no later than 12:00 PM on the Sunday following the game. **Special thanks to Mike McManus and the Gamecock Cruisers for compiling this information**
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September 30, 2015
Spurs & Feathers working with postal officials to eliminate delays A large number of Spurs & Feathers subscribers have reported delayed delivery of the newspaper in the mail over the last several weeks. Spurs & Feathers general manager Tim O’Briant has reported these increasing delivery issues to the U.S. Postal Service. Tom Ouellette, a Washington, D.C., spokesman for the USPS, said the issues are being taken seriously. “The issue was recently brought to our attention and the U.S. Postal Service is already investigating the matter,” Ouellette said Thursday, Sept. 24. “Rest assured we remain totally committed to identifying and correcting errant processes in our operations as early as possible. Customers with service or delivery concerns are encouraged to contact USPS either by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS or visiting our website at usps.com/help. We will continue to strive to provide the best service to our customers.” O’Briant said he is glad there is an investigation ongoing, but he and other Gamecock fans are losing patience with the Post Office. “We’re dealing with thousands of newspa-
pers going all over the country in the mail, so there have always been some issues,” O’Briant said. “This summer, we’ve seen far more delays and missed deliveries and had more customer complaints. That’s a real concern.” O’Briant said recent USPS staffing cuts and the shuttering of bulk mail processing centers has caused delivery slow downs across the board, according to a recent report from the USPS Inspector General. “We want nothing more than to have Gamecock Nation get Spurs & Feathers on time, every time,” O’Briant said. “At this point I’m working with postal officials and trying to find out how the delays can be eliminated.” Spurs & Feathers is delivered in bulk and mailed each Monday morning from Columbia. “The only thing that’s changed is the amount of time it’s taking the Post Office to get it to my house and everybody else,” O’Briant said. “Last year I was getting it in Aiken on Tuesday or Wednesday and now I’m lucky to get it on Saturday.”
4 • Spurs & Feathers
September 30, 2015
HBC on Nunez: ‘He’s a gamer’
photo by juan blas
by brian hand Executive Editor
teammates by laying out for a block that tering his first start. And he felt for the most said. “I did play better in the second half. I eventually led to a 29-yard Pharoh Cooper part he accomplished what he set out to do think the first half was a little shaky.” touchdown run. in the game. As for if he is a gamer like the HBC said? South Carolina head football coach Steve “The play that stood out to me the most “I think I did a pretty good job,” Nunez “I just play,” Nunez said. Spurrier knew that Lorenzo Nunez was was when Pharoh got the ball and reversed ready for his first career start at quarterback it, he laid out the block,” South Carolina juAt KeenanSuggs, we entering the UCF game. But even he was nior linebacker T.J. Holloman said after the take insurance impressed with his efforts in the win over Gamecock win. “That’s just what stood out the Knights. to me the most with Lorenzo. As a quarterseriously with an “He’s a gamer,” Spurrier said of Nunez af- back to do that, that’s awesome.” everyday commitment ter the Gamecocks’ 31-14 win over UCF. “I The do-it-all freshman said he was just to the success of our think we learned that.” trying to do whatever it took for his team to clients. The Head Ball Coach knows that Nunez win when laying out the block. provides the Gamecocks with a unique skill “I was trying to pancake him, honestly,” set, but he was very impressed with what Nunez said. “He looked like he was kind Insurance is the freshman brought to the fold in the UCF of scared, so I went at him full speed. He complicated. That win. tripped up a bit, like stumbled backward a is why our goal is to “I think he played a little better than we all bit, so I tried to pancake him to the ground, know what you need anticipated,” Spurrier relayed. “We knew he but he stayed up. But, yeah, it was a good could run, but he hit a bunch of passes.” block.” to know about In total, Nunez finished his first start havCooper like Spurrier was impressed with insurance and ing thrown for 184 yards and ran for another the efforts of Nunez. benefits needs. 123 yards in 18 attempts. “He gives us a great start,” the junior wide Nunez was 12-of-22 overall in the game receiver said. “He’s not just a pocket passer. with two touchdown passes. He’s a dual threat quarterback and that’s Call KeenanSuggs “I think he threw the ball a lot better than what we expect from him … he’s a great today at: we anticipated,” Spurrier said. athlete back there and he’ll continue to get 800.532.1674 Nunez’s 123 yards rushing in the game led better.” the Gamecocks, marking the first time since Cooper also knows that Nunez will be South Carolina quarterback legend Conready for the next game, which is a tough nor Shaw finished with 107 road league test at Missouri. yards in a win over Clemson “He’s young and he’s going in 2011 that a Gamecock to continue to grow and be INSURANCE. IT’S A SERIOUS DECISION. quarterback had been the a good player,” Cooper said. team’s leading rusher. “He’ll be ready for the next Lorenzo Nunez In addition to running and week for sure.” KEENANSUGGS.COM KeenanSuggs throwing the ball, Nunez Nunez obviously set some COLUMBIA | GREENVILLE | RALEIGH Player of the Week endeared himself to his expectations for himself enAS20-1367751
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September 30, 2015
South Carolina controls things in second half to pick up win over UCF lasted 4:19 with a 27-yard field goal. The Gamecocks would take back the lead for good with 7:41 left in the third quarter South Carolina outscored UCF in the secwhen Cooper turned a play that looked to ond half, 23-0, and the Gamecocks emerged be a non-starter and turned it into a 29-yard with a 31-14 victory over the Knights before a touchdown run. The play commenced when crowd of 78,411 at Williams-Brice Stadium. Gamecock quarterback Lorenzo Nunez Many expected the Gamecocks to run away threw a lateral to the right side to Cooper, with the game, which they eventually ended who looked to throw. Wisely, Cooper elected up doing, but with South Carolina (2-2) trail- not to throw and instead changed directions ing at halftime in the contest, the Head Ball and broke out left and towards the end zone Coach noted after the contest that he knew for the miraculous touchdown run. Coogetting the victory was not going to be easy. per’s touchdown run concluded a four-play, “I knew it was going to be tough,” Steve 74-yard drive that took just 1:24 off the clock, Spurrier said. “I told our guys it’s going to be but most importantly garnered South Caroa tough game.” lina the lead at 15-14 after Fry’s extra point. The win over UCF (0-4) was South CaroThe momentum would continue in the lina’s 22nd victory in 23 outings against non- Gamecocks’ favor from there as the Gameconference foes dating back to 2010. cocks would take a 22-14 lead a short time South Carolina received the opening kicklater after a Nunez touchdown pass to Jacob off and promptly placed three points on the August. The touchdown was made possible scoreboard to take an early 3-0 lead. Elliott through an interception by T.J. Holloman that Fry capped off a 12-play, 40-yard drive that gave the Gamecocks opportune field position took 5:13 off the clock by connecting on a ca- at UCF’s 40-yard line. Four plays and 1:36 reer-long 52-yard field goal. Fry would have later, South Carolina captured the eight-point another chance on South Carolina’s next oflead on the 13-yard touchdown pass from fensive possession, but his 49-yard field goal Nunez to August. attempt hit off the right upright to keep the The touchdown pass from Nunez to August score 3-0 with 4:20 left in the first quarter. was the first of the year for the freshman. He The Gamecocks would take a 5-0 lead with did not have to wait long for his second as 14:42 left in the second quarter when Boosie with 1:47 left in the third quarter, Nunez conWhitlow took advantage of a spectacular nected with Cooper for a 35-yard touchdown Sean Kelly punt that left UCF with the ball at pass that closed out a four-play, 54-yard drive their own 2-yard line. On the Knights’ first that happened after Holloman’s second interplay after the punt, Whitlow brought down ception of the quarter that once again gave UCF running back Taj McGowan in the end South Carolina ideal field position at UCF’s zone to capture South Carolina’s first safety 46-yard line. The scoring drive that gave the since Sept. 12, 2009, at Georgia. Gamecocks a 28-14 lead encompassed 1:25. UCF would take the lead shortly thereafter The Gamecocks would control possession at 7-5 when Nick Patti scored on a 1-yard for almost the entire fourth quarter with Fry touchdown run with 11:04 remaining in the putting in a 33-yard field goal to give the first half. The UCF touchdown was made Gamecocks a 31-14 lead with 2:53 to play in possible after South Carolina’s Pharoh Coothe contest. The scoring drive capped off by per muffed a punt and gave the Knights ideal the field goal by the Gamecocks took 8:37 field position. It took just one play for the off the game clock and finished off a 13-play, Knights to score and take their first lead of 49-yard drive. the game. South Carolina finished out the game havThe Knights would add to their lead later ing gained 400 yards on 68 plays. The Gamein the quarter when UCF quarterback Bo cock defense limited UCF to just 230 yards Schneider connected with Tre’Quan Smith on 61 plays. for a 30-yard touchdown pass. The touchGamecock co-defensive coordinator Lodown garnered UCF a 14-5 lead with 5:18 renzo Ward knows just how big the defenleft in the second quarter and capped off a sive showing in the game and the victory seven-play, 93-yard drive that lasted 3:42 for in general can be for their confidence going the Knights. forward. South Carolina would get within six at 14-8 “Anytime you can win after losing two with 1:04 to play in the opening half when ballgames, it’s big,” Ward said. “It’s huge. It Fry finished off a 10-play, 62-yard drive that plays mentally on the coaches and on the kids
Nunez ended his first career start with 123 yards rushing on 18 attempts and 184 yards passing. Nunez was 12-of-22 overall with two touchdown passes. Cooper finished with four catches for 69 yards with a touchdown reception and a rushing touchdown, while Jerell Adams had three catches for 47 yards. UCF quarterback Bo Schneider was 20-for35 overall with one touchdown pass and two interceptions. He threw for 189 yards in the photo by juan blas game. Holloman put together an impressive per(when you are losing). You have to play with formance defensively with the two intercepconfidence. It’s definitely big after you’ve lost tions to go along with six tackles (five solo) and one tackle for loss. T.J. Gurley led South two games in a row.” Carolina with 10 tackles (eight solo) in total. The HBC just like Ward hopes the victory Skai Moore was just behind with nine tackles over UCF will help the Gamecocks going (seven solo). forward. South Carolina will next hit the road once “We hope,” Spurrier said. “Time will tell. Missouri is the (SEC) eastern division champ again to face off against SEC foe Missouri at noon on Saturday, Oct. 3 in Columbia, Misfor the last two years. It will be a big test for souri. The game will be nationally televised us. But we’re capable. I really believe we’re on the SEC Network. capable.”
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by brian hand Executive Editor
6 • Spurs & Feathers
September 30, 2015
photo by allen sharpe
Previewing the Missouri football team by kyle heck Reporter
If the past two meetings between South Carolina and Missouri are any indication, we could be in for a very close game when the two teams meet once again in Columbia, Missouri in the battle for the “Mayor’s Cup” trophy. Two years ago when the teams last met in Missouri, the Tigers held a 17-0 halftime lead over the Gamecocks. However, an injured Connor Shaw entered the game and led South Carolina to an amazing comeback that forced overtime. The Gamecocks prevailed by a score of 27-24 in double overtime after Missouri kicker Andrew Baggett missed a game-tying field goal. Last season in Columbia, South Carolina,
it was the Gamecocks who let up the late lead. They were up 20-7 midway through the fourth quarter before the Tigers scored two late touchdowns to escape with a 21-20 win. Missouri has won back-to-back SEC East titles, but will be a different team this time around. The Tigers lost four of their top five receivers from a year ago and 24 of their 25 receiving touchdowns. Missouri did bring back star tailback Russell Hansbrough after a 1,000 yard season a year ago, but he has struggled to return from an ankle injury suffered in the season opener against Southeast Missouri. Junior quarterback Maty Mauk also returns and brings a wealth of experience with him, although he and the rest of the Tiger offense has struggled at times to
replace their playmakers from last year. However, he is a threat with both his arm and his feet and the Gamecocks will have their hands full with the Ohio native. Sophomore wide receiver Nate Brown is one of the players to watch out for as he has stepped up and provided a spark to the Missouri offense. Junior tight end Sean Culkin has also been a nice security blanket for Mauk and freshman Drew Lock, who has also gotten some time at quarterback. As always, the Tigers remain tough on defense and they have one of the best pass defenses in the country. Linebacker Kentrell Brothers is Missouri’s leading tackler and also had a team-high two interceptions going into the Kentucky game. It always helps your secondary when you’re able to get consistent pressure on
the opposing quarterback and the Tigers remain one of the best in the country at doing that, despite losing SEC Defensive Player of the Year Shane Ray from last year’s team as well as Markus Golden. Sophomore defensive end Charles Harris has stepped in and played very well so far for the Tigers. The experienced South Carolina offensive line will have their hands full protecting the Gamecock quarterbacks. On special teams, Baggett is back for his senior season while junior punt returner Aarion Penton already has a return touchdown, although that came off of a blocked pooch punt in the season opener. This year’s game in Columbia, Missouri will kick off at noon eastern time and can be seen nationally on the SEC Network.
Spurs & Feathers • 7
September 30, 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 09/19/15...........at Georgia # ........................... Athens, Ga............................. L, 52-20 09/26/15...........vs. UCF...................................... Columbia, S.C......................W, 31-14 10/03/15...........at Missouri #........................... Columbia, Mo.....................12:00 PM 10/10/15...........vs. LSU #................................... Columbia, S.C...............................TBA 10/17/15...........vs. Vanderbilt #...................... Columbia, S.C...............................TBA 10/31/15...........at Texas A&M #...................... College Station, Texas...............TBA 11/07/15...........at Tennessee #....................... Knoxville, Tenn.............................TBA 11/14/15...........vs. Florida #............................. Columbia, S.C...............................TBA 11/21/15...........vs. The Citadel....................... Columbia, S.C...............................TBA 11/28/15...........vs. Clemson............................ Columbia, S.C...............................TBA
PA W-L PF PA STRK
36 4-0 134 73 W4
34 4-0 182 54 W4
49 3-1 96 82 W1
21 3-1 83 50 L1
28 2-2 165 99 L1
78 2-2 90 105 W1
58 1-3 89 79 L1
PA W-L PF PA STRK
40 3-0 100 64 W3
53 4-0 219 77 W4
21 4-0 166 88 W4
30 3-1 132 59 W2
43 3-1 143 70 W1
28 1-3 105 92
62 2-2 88 106 L2
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8 • Spurs & Feathers
September 30, 2015
Former Gamecocks come together for alumni weekend by kyle heck Reporter The rain may have stopped the South Carolina baseball alumni game from happening, but it didn’t stop many former players from still coming out to Carolina Stadium on Friday, Sept. 25, to eat food and relive old memories with former teammates and other Gamecocks. Players that were part of the storied program 40 to 50 years ago mingled with players that just finished up at South Carolina within the last couple of years. It was a great mix of people and there were obviously a lot of stories shared. “There were a lot of lies probably,” joked legendary head coach June Raines. “We get better as time goes All Gamecock baseball by. It is coverage sponsored by good to DiPrato’s see them and their families now. A couple of them are retired that I coached and I can’t believe that. It’s great to see all of them.” For some former players, the chance to come back to South Carolina for the weekend was one they don’t get often. For others, like local Adam Matthews, they are around the campus and stadium a lot. However, that still doesn’t take away from the joy of seeing former teammates and Gamecock greats. “It’s a time where we can all come back and kind of meet a bunch of the guys that we grew up watching,” Matthews said. “Especially with me being a local guy, this might be the only time of the year you get to introduce yourself or talk to them. Unfortunately, the baseball game didn’t happen, but at least we get to come over here and enjoy some food and hear some of their stories and share some of ours as well.” It’s said often that once you are a Gamecock, you are always a Gamecock and that was evident at the gathering. For those in attendance, there is a bond that can’t be broken when you become a part of the University, especially the baseball team. “I think the baseball fraternity here is a very, very strong one,” head coach Chad Holbrook said. “They always want their team to do well and they’re in close contact with us on a regular basis once we start the season. It’s their school and they’re very proud of that, as they should be. That’s why some of our current players are here to see how important this base-
photo by allen sharpe
ball program is to so many people. There’s a lot of people they have to represent when they put on the garnet and black uniform and this weekend makes them realize that.” “Baseball at South Carolina has been good for a long time,” Raines added. “Bobby Richardson started it and what a great guy he is. I think the players just kept coming because of the good feeling about Carolina baseball and it just mushroomed.” What’s particularly special about the event is that some people get to see old friends they haven’t seen in years. That was one of the special things for former Gamecock Mike Werner, who played baseball from 1982-83 and marveled at what some of his former teammates have gone on to do in life.
“It’s unbelievable,” Werner said. “The bond that we all had here playing baseball and then seeing what we’ve all done after baseball. It’s pretty rewarding knowing you were teammates with guys that have really been successful throughout their careers both on and off the field.” As part of the alumni weekend, the former players had a golf outing on Friday morning. As one can imagine, those competitive juices are still going strong. “It was a lot of fun,” Matthews said. “It brings the competitiveness back out and it gives us something to do. It’s different going and playing around on the weekend versus coming out here with these guys who all have that desire to win. Even if we’re terrible at golf, we still get really upset when we hit a bad shot. But it’s a lot of fun.”
The weekend wrapped up with the former players attending the UCF-South Carolina football game on Saturday, Sept. 26. For Holbrook, the two days are a chance to see some of his former players like Matthews as well as players and coaches who made the South Carolina program what it is, like Raines. “I talked to Robert Beary and he’s all suited up in his police uniform,” Holbrook said. “There were a lot of others as well. I saw Kyle Enders and DeAngelo Mack playing golf. It’s a neat deal. This baseball program is very important to the former players who played here. When they get a chance to come back and get around their teammates and tell stories, it makes for a special weekend for not only them, but the coaches that are here now and our current team.”
September 30, 2015
As a video assistant, Caldwell’s main duties include charting South Carolina’s practices, games, and upcoming opponents’ games. Along with several other assistants, he enters the formation, down and distance, hash mark, lineup, and outcome of every play onto a spreadsheet, which then gets forwarded to the Gamecock coaching staff for use in its game plans. He also shoots video of the field goal and punt teams during practice, and relays defensive signals during drills. He admits that playing four years of college baseball (one at Winthrop, one at Spartanburg Methodist College, and two at USC) has put him behind his peers when it comes to building his knowledge base for coaching. To compensate, Caldwell has tried to soak up every experience possible. “I have had to catch up on learning, so even though I’m in the linebackers room every day, I’m constantly in the quarterbacks room, constantly in the offensive team room, the video team room, and the defensive team room,” he said. That attitude has caught the attention of the Gamecock coaches. “He’s trying to help a lot. He’s doing whatever we ask him to do. But he is a young coach and he’s going to be a good one,” said USC linebackers coach Kirk Botkin. His weeks aren’t just filled with football. On top of the approximately 50 hours he spends in the football office each week, Caldwell is taking 15 credit hours toward his Master’s degree in teaching (he graduated from USC in May with a degree in history). left photo by juan blas/right photo by allen sharpe On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, he student-teaches a ninth-grade world Undrafted but undaunted, Gamecock The 6’2,” 220-pound Caldwell had a solid geography class at River Bluff High School baseball’s Elliott Caldwell has found his two years for the Gamecocks, batting .328 as in Lexington, S.C. next pursuit: Aspiring football coach a senior while breaking the school record for “I didn’t drink a lot of coffee before. I triples in a season. Coaching baseball would pretty much need it every day now,” he Elliott Caldwell is too busy to miss it. have been a natural fit. But football, he says, joked. After going undrafted following a standout was always his first love. Caldwell played In truth, Caldwell didn’t expect his career senior season with the South Carolina base- three seasons of wide receiver at Wren High path to start so soon. He believed his numball team, the former Gamecocks outfielder School in Piedmont, S.C., catching 58 passes bers as a senior at South Carolina (.328/3 has since moved to a new goal. Instead for 13 touchdowns as a senior. HR/41 RBI/13 SB) were strong enough to of dugouts, Caldwell is now roaming the The cerebral side of football, he said, apwarrant a draft pick. Yet after 40 rounds and sidelines at Williams-Brice pealed to him in a way that 1,215 picks, Caldwell’s name wasn’t called Stadium, where he’s in his first baseball couldn’t. in the MLB First Year Amateur Draft. season as a Gamecock football “I was average speed, aver“I was surprised, because he was certainly video assistant. It’s the first age hands, average route run- physical, strong enough, talented enough to step in a journey that he hopes ning, average everything else, play professional baseball for a long period will lead him to his ultimate but above average mentally. of time. But it just didn’t work out for him. goal of becoming a college ofAnd that’s where I wanted to Sometimes professional baseball is very unfensive coordinator. get involved: the X’s and O’s, predictable,” Holbrook said. “I’m just enjoying it, learnbecause I always loved the Caldwell said the Los Angeles Dodgers ing as much as I can, working X’s and O’s of football,” he offered him a free agent contract for $1,000 as hard as I can with the hours explained. in late June, but by then he was taking two I’m putting in. Trying to show “He always had a love for graduate school courses at South Carolina, I’m a hard worker, and that the sport. I know that he enwith two more scheduled for July. He had I’m not just a baseball player,” joyed playing it when he was also been contemplating a football career for said Caldwell, whose tastes in high school. I knew once a while: he first approached Holbrook a year may lean more toward Steve he got over to that program ago, asking if he could set him up with the Sarkisian than Steve Spurrier and around those coaches, that USC staff if a pro career didn’t work out. (the current Southern Cal head Andy Demetra passion would show,” added “I was already halfway done with [my coach also played baseball in Contributing USC head baseball coach classes], and so I was like, ‘I might as well college). Writer Chad Holbrook. just stay in grad school and get my Master’s
Spurs & Feathers • 9
and head over to football, and maybe that will lead to something else,’” he said. The decision, though practical, was still tinged with disappointment. His parents were so invested in his baseball career, they built a batting cage in their backyard. “It stinks, especially with the blood, the sweat, the tears that I put into baseball for, what? 15, 16 years?” Caldwell said. His voice betrays no bitterness. “It’s a good memory I’ll cherish,” he added. He’s now applying that same diligence in the batting cages to the film rooms at Williams-Brice Stadium. In two months, Caldwell has filled two-and-a-half legal pads with notes, play designs, and observations from meetings, the raw material for a future playbook. He devours the NFL games that are available on South Carolina’s video system (he admires the play-calling of New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels). He’s on track to earn his teaching certification for social studies in May, with his Master’s coming soon after. After a pair of high-profile seasons with the Gamecocks, Caldwell has eagerly embraced the anonymous drudgery of a low-level video assistant. Word of his former life, though, has slowly started to leak out. He’s had conversations about baseball with freshman tight end Hayden Hurst, who played four seasons in the minors before walking on at South Carolina. Freshman wide receiver D.J. Neal, who plans on joining the Gamecocks in the Spring, has peppered him with questions about what to expect. The Head Ball Coach also keeps up. Caldwell remembers when Joe Lisle, South Carolina’s assistant athletic director for video operations, first introduced him to Steve Spurrier. “He was like, ‘Oh, you hit behind Kyle Martin?’” Caldwell recalled. “I said, ‘Yep, that’s who I was.’” He admits he might miss baseball again in the Spring when his schedule lightens up, but for now he hasn’t had much time to sulk. Besides, Caldwell is far more interested in using the lessons he learned from baseball and applying them to his own coaching career. He says the game taught him how to fail. It also taught him how to relate to players, a skill he hopes to use soon in a football locker room. And on game days, eagle-eyed Gamecock fans can still spot Elliott Caldwell on the field, albeit with a headset instead of a hat, a polo shirt instead of pinstripes. Along with graduate assistants Kyle Hoke and Mike Orphey, Caldwell receives the play calls from co-defensive coordinator Jon Hoke, which they then signal to the Gamecock players. The concentration, the execution – it’s not all that different from his days on the diamond, except for one crucial difference. “It’s so much louder,” Caldwell said. He should get used to it. It’s a place he hopes to be for a long time.
10 • Spurs & Feathers
September 30, 2015
South Carolina celebrates 25th anniversary of joining the SEC by brad muller South Carolina Director of Content
It’s been 25 years since the University of South Carolina accepted the invitation to join the Southeastern Conference. The opportunity to join the premiere conference not only transformed Gamecock athletics, but the university as a whole. “There have been so many wonderful things that have happened in athletics in the history of the university, but certainly joining the SEC has to be on the list as a very special time in our history,” said Athletics Director Ray Tanner. “It’s been so instrumental for our student-athletes and our university to move forward over the last 25 years.” “I was very proud,” said former Columbia Mayor Bob Coble, whose time in office began in 1990. “You just immediately knew this was going to be big economically for the university, the city and the state. I remember emailing the rest of the SEC mayors to encourage the visiting teams to bring a lot of folks to Columbia when they played here. We had events in the Vista to welcome folks from the other teams.” The invitation was accepted on September 25, 1990, and South Carolina would begin competing in the league the following year, with football beginning conference play in 1992. The SEC had not expanded since it was created 58 years earlier. South Carolina had been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference from its inception in 1953 until it withdrew on June 30, 1971. South Carolina eventually joined the Metro Conference on April 14, 1983, but that league did not include football. “It was not only a good geographic fit, but a good personality fit,” said former Athletics Director King Dixon. “Our folks get along in the Southeastern Conference. In any sport, it’s about who is standing last, but when it comes taking up for other teams in the conference and sharing things, there is no other conference like the Southeastern Conference. It’s a family conference run by people who are very interested in the life of the studentathlete and giving them the finest opportunities to compete.” The Dominos Begin to Fall The foundation of SEC expansion was actually laid a few years earlier after a series of lawsuits over television rights for college football, and it was determined that it would be up to the conferences to maximize their television exposure and revenues. In addition to South Carolina, there were many other eastern schools that were still independent in football including Notre Dame, Penn State, Boston College, Cincinnati, Florida State, Louisville, Memphis, Miami, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
King Dixon had been on the job as Athletics Director since the fall of 1988. As he looked at the priorities and needs of the athletics department at the time, he understood that conference affiliation would become extremely important to the future of South Carolina once the dominos began to fall after Penn State was among the first major independents in football to make a move. “To become a member of a family conference like the SEC is one of the greatest things that could have happened for South Carolina,” Dixon said. “When Penn State joined the Big 10, that’s when a lot of other college and universities started looking around to see what the others were going to do. With (coach) Jim Carlen, (Heisman winning running back) George Rogers and later coach Joe Morrison, football was growing and growing, and Gamecock fever had taken over. My job was to seek conference affiliation to provide a revenue stream at that time to help protect all of the other sports.” On May 31, 1990, the SEC presidents voted to authorize expansion, and identified South Carolina, Texas, Texas A&M, Florida State, Miami, and Arkansas, which would become the 11th member of the league in July of that year, as potential members. The geographic footprint for television advertisers would play role, and South Carolina was one that could fill a void in the SEC. “Our university presidents at that time were very interested in institutions that were very similar to our institutions that were in the SEC,” said Roy Kramer, SEC Commissioner from 1990-2002. “That means they had a full complement of men and women’s athletics programs, and that their facilities matched favorably with the facilities the other institutions had at that time, and also that they had the same kind of a fan base. Certainly South Carolina fit that in every respect. “Geographically, South Carolina made a lot of sense because it was strategically located and would fit in the eastern division and the scheduling issues with divisional play. As a result, South Carolina was a very logical choice and it proved to be an extremely positive choice for the conference, both athletically and academically.” Having 12 schools was vital as the SEC planned to take advantage of a NCAA rule that allowed conferences with a dozen members to organize as two divisions and play a separate conference championship game. Kramer and the SEC presidents understood that a championship game would create a package far more attractive to television networks. “It turned about to be a very positive thing for the conference,” Kramer said. “The championship game had been utilized in the lower divisions, but not in what we now call the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. I had a little concern that people wouldn’t ac-
cept divisional play in the conference, but as it turned out, that proved to be one of the strong positives because it kept a lot of people in the mix for that conference championship game late in the season. It certainly increased the excitement as well as the exposure for the Southeastern Conference television audience. It proved to be an enormous success from a television standpoint and a fan standpoint.”
the schools, so it was a good thing to do. We were accepted with open arms.” That jubilation was not only felt by the university and its fans, but by the business community as well. “It was a source of great pride, and the source of a lot of opportunity that people saw,” Coble said. “Since then it’s expanded beyond football. Look at what’s happening with women’s basketball. Whether or not that would have occurred if the university was not in the SEC, it’s hard to say. It had a great economic impact on Columbia. We did a lot of work over the years to take advantage of visiting teams and their fans coming to Columbia. The SEC has been a big boost on that.” Prior to the announcement, some wondered what would happen if the SEC didn’t offer an invitation and if South Carolina would look at joining another conference, but Dixon said South Carolina had one mission. “I don’t go into a fight expecting to lose,” Dixon said. “We would have continued to have looked for conference affiliation and very possibly something else, but it was not going to be the ACC. We didn’t have a fallback plan. We went after it with everything we had and made sure it worked. We really didn’t have to do a hard sell. They were looking to expand, and they thought South Carolina would be a great fit.” “We were and still are the flagship (university) for South Carolina,” Gregory said. “We were the largest school in the state and had more alumni than anyone else around. We have been blessed with good people running the athletics department, and we were blessed with the tenure of Paul Dietzel, who came in here and taught us how to think big. I tell everybody, Coach Dietzel made us a Gamecock nation, and before he got here, we were a Gamecock village. He made us think big, and I think it improved our standing not only in the southeast, but across the country as well.”
The Call is Made Kramer met with officials in Columbia on September 20, 1990. On September 25, the Gamecocks received their official invitation. “We had an extensive visit for a day or two on their campus,” Kramer said. “I reported back to our presidents, and they felt very positive about South Carolina and we extended that invitation.” Johnny Gregory was working as a special assistant for governmental relations to (then) university president, Dr. Art Smith. He was in the president’s office when the call came with the invitation to join the SEC. “I think it was around 11 o’clock in the morning,” Gregory recalled. “The commissioner asked ‘if we called you at five o’clock today and offered you membership into the Southeastern Conference, would you accept?’ Dr. Smith said ‘yes.’ I apologized to Dr. Smith for being there and so rudely listening to the conversation, and he told me it was fine and that he wanted me to listen to it.” “We called them and told them we would not make any announcement until they talked to their people,” Kramer said. “South Carolina’s president called back within a half hour and said ‘we’d like to make the announcement tonight at 7:30 in the football stadium. Can you be here?’ This was at 3:30 or 4 in the afternoon, so we had to quickly arrange for a charter to get our people from the conference out there in time for the announcement. So it did not take them long to respond. They were interested from day one, and I never thought Life in the League they would not accept it.” Since joining the SEC, South Carolina “We jumped at it,” Dixon said. “The SEC shares the wealth and splits revenues between has won 19 regular season or conference
Spurs & Feathers • 11
September 30, 2015
tournament championships in team sports sponsored by the league, and all six of South Carolina’s national championships have also been won since joining the SEC. While some sports were ready for competing at the SEC level right away, Dixon knew that most people would be looking first at how the football program would fare. “I was speaking to our football coach at the time, Sparky Woods,” Dixon recalled. “I knew this would be a great opportunity to make a name for the University of South Carolina, and I asked him what he saw when looked down the tunnel for the future. I’ll never forget, he said ‘Coach, the tunnel just got a lot longer.’ Sparky came in with a young staff and they accepted the challenge. They knew it would take a while to compete.” South Carolina’s first home contest as a member of the league against an SEC school was October 4, 1991 as the Gamecocks hosted Alabama. Gamecock football began play as a member of the conference in the fall of 1992. The football program got off to a slow start, dropping its first four SEC contests that year before knocking off Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Tennessee in consecutive weeks. With the competitiveness in every sport in the Southeastern Conference, recruiting was one of the early challenges along with facilities. However, being in the SEC made it possible to not only attract top level student-athletes, but also invest money into
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those facilities. “That’s part of being in a conference like the SEC,” Tanner said. “You’re going to make progress to compete and put your student athletes in a position to be successful at a high level. The commitment was made at the time, and we continue to make strides today. We’re not finished in trying to improve the opportunities and resources for our student-athletes.” “We’re very competitive down here,” Dixon said. “We knew we’d hold our own. We knew it would take some time to be able to recruit student-athletes across the board that we needed for each of our sports to be competitive in the Southeastern Conference.” “I felt they would be competitive from the beginning,” Kramer said. “They proved that they were, and they are a very competitive member of the conference now across the board in all of their programs. That was something our university presidents were very much interested in. They had that kind of commitment and they certainly demonstrated that and proved that with their success.” The opportunities for student-athletes at South Carolina continue to soar, including the increased exposure provided by the SEC Network. Those involved back in 1990 knew that moving into the SEC would have a great impact on the University of South Carolina, and that impact continues to be felt today. “Unquestionably,” Dixon said. “When I
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the leaders in the Southeastern Conference for facilities. Had it not been for the SEC, I don’t know where we’d be across the board. Athletics has to work with the University to chart the course for the future.”
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12 • Spurs & Feathers
September 30, 2015
25 years later, South Carolina can’t imagine life without the SEC by brian hand Executive Editor Ray Tanner knows he is biased. But he also knows that he is being truthful when talking about the SEC. “I think if you ask people across the country, which conference would you like to be in … the SEC is going to be answered quite often,” Tanner said. Tanner’s words could not be more true and he spoke these words at the Darla Moore School of Business to Spurs & Feathers just minutes after current SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, former SEC commissioners Mike Slive and Roy Kramer and University of South Carolina president Dr. Harris Pastides had spoken with the media on Friday, Sept. 25, 2015. Tanner could not have been more thankful for all four taking the time. “I got to know commissioner Kramer a little bit during his tenure and then commissioner Slive, who was a total commissioner,” Tanner said. “A lot of people always think the SEC is just about football. It’s never been just about football in the leadership role. It’s been about women’s sports, it’s been about the other sports that we compete in. Greg Sankey was a part of Commissioner Slive’s tenure and now he has taken over and Dr. Pastides is the president of the Division I Board of Directors. It’s a very special day for us to be celebrating our 25th anniversary, but to have the icons here with us this weekend is extremely special.” The special media session was held to mark the anniversary of South Carolina’s 25 years in the Southeastern Conference as the institution was officially offered an invitation to join the SEC on Sept. 25, 1990. The current SEC commissioner, the two former commissioners and Pastides also participated in a panel discussion just after the media session as part of the Thomas H. Regan Executive Lecture Series at the W.W. “Hootie” Johnson Performance Hall in the Darla Moore School of Business. The commissioner in charge when South Carolina was extended the invitation to the SEC, Kramer detailed what made the institution so attractive to the league. “There were several things,” Kramer said. “First of all, they were interested. Our presidents were very interested in looking at institutions that were somewhat similar in nature. They were very concerned that the institu-
photo by brian hand
Pictured left-to-right at the special media session on Friday, Sept. 25 are Dr. Harris Pastides, Greg Sankey, Mike Slive and Roy Kramer. tion had a full complement of an athletic program with women’s sports and all of the other things that go along with it. They were interested in our evaluation of the facilities and that’s why we came to campus to look at those kinds of things and compare them with the schools we had. And the presidents were of course well read of the academic status of that institution and they discussed those kinds of things. They also fit geographically extremely well. At that time we were looking at if we did this expansion - because we were eventually going to go to divisional play - that we had to have some consideration geographically and work that into the process. And certainly they fit that criteria.”
Slive followed Kramer’s tenure as commissioner and he fully believes the SEC chose wisely in selecting the University of South Carolina. “The characteristics that Roy outlined are the characteristics that he anticipated South Carolina would bring to the table and they have,” Slive stated. “And that is, a readily passionate fan base like most of our other institutions, a strong academic emphasis and background, a flagship institution and a commitment to a broad-based program. That’s one of the things that we don’t hear about in the SEC and we try to explain. We’ve got over 5,000-6,000 student-athletes and our women recently win more national
championships than our men. I think that was something that South Carolina would bring to the table. For example, what (South Carolina women’s basketball head coach) Dawn (Staley) has accomplished is just phenomenal. So the things that Roy and those presidents were looking at have turned out to be exactly true.” Pastides has only known being a member of the SEC in his time as president, but he could not imagine it any other way as the two are “intertwined.” “It has been a magnet for advancing, it has been a magnet for student applications, for competing, for keeping up and it’s who we are,” Pastides noted. “It’s in our DNA now.”
Spurs & Feathers • 13
September 30, 2015
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14 • Spurs & Feathers
September 30, 2015
Gamecocks come into new year with ‘eyes wide open’ by kyle heck Reporter
he can be a SEC player. Alex Fennell brings a lot of experience in as a transfer and he’s a heck of a player. Gabriel Head coach Josh Goffi is ready to get is right now our best player out there. A back out onto the courts and start a new very experienced player and formerly No. season. After a disappointing campaign 26 in the world in juniors. He’s going to last year full of injuries and illnesses, the bring that level of experience we need Gamecocks enter the first tournament of without this team having any seniors.” the fall in good spirits. Those players join a young, but talented, South Carolina stumbled to a 15-15 recore that includes the sophomore duo of cord last season and missed the NCAA Thomas Mayronne and Harrison O’Keefe Tournament for the first time since 2011. and juniors Sam Swank and Andrew A new year started with a trip to Atlanta, Schafer. Georgia for the Georgia Tech Invitational Mayronne and O’Keefe have already this past weekend. been nationally recognized before the “I’m really excited,” Goffi said. “(Asseason. The Intercollegiate Tennis Assosistant) Coach (Ryan) Young and I have ciation ranked the doubles tandem No. 32 been talking about it nonstop. We’ve in the nation entering the 2015 season. got to get on the road and we have to get “They are two good tennis players,” these guys in a competitive environment Goffi said. “O’Keefe is a good all-around to really see what comes out. That’s the player and he’s more of the setter. Mayreal test. We’re really looking forward to ronne is a very good east-west guy that it.” moves very explosively and understands What is particularly interesting is the the doubles court very well. They’re a fact that Goffi has a young team. The great combination. They complement Gamecocks lost seniors Thiago Pinheiro, each other very well.” Kyle Koch and Andrew Adams from last With the Gamecocks scheduled to paryear’s team and while that is a lot of pro- ticipate in eight events this fall, Goffi duction gone, Goffi is excited about the hopes to get all of his players in on four future. to five events apiece. He’ll mix and match There are no seniors on this season’s the players and try and figure out the team and the Gamecocks welcome in a best combination before the all-important transfer, two redshirt freshmen and one spring season arrives in January. true freshman to the roster. All are highly “This is the developmental period and regarded and Goffi expects them to make we’re working hard,” Goffi said. “There an immediate impact. are a couple of technical issues that we Wood Benton and Gabriel Friedrich are have to straighten out, refresher situations the two redshirt freshmen. Benton was in the spring and there are a few other labeled as a five-star prospect coming out things we need to focus on. The ship, so of high school while Friedrich, a Brazil to speak, has to be built by January. Right native, was one of the top junior playnow, we’re still building it.” ers in the world before coming to South With all of the adversity faced last year, Carolina. Goffi says his guys shouldn’t be surprised Yancy Dennis is the one true freshman by anything thrown their way this year. and was also a highly-regarded prospect “I think this team is coming into the out of high school. Alex Fennell transseason with their eyes wide open,” Goffi ferred from Penn State, where he won 13 said. “Regardless, I think it’s much more singles matches and 14 doubles matches of a mature outlook on the season. Things for the Nittany Lions last year. now in the fall actually matter for the “They’re really good,” Goffi said of the SEC season and NCAA’s. I think that’s newcomers. “I think they’re all going something with the team last year that to be contributors this year. I think that was part of the maturation process. They (redshirt) year for Wood Benton was exdidn’t quite get that. It was a learning tremely important to get him up to speed. process and we’re getting better. Even He did a really good job last year of though they’re young, this is a very maworking hard to get his body up to where ture team.”
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Spurs & Feathers • 15
September 30, 2015
South Carolina has come a long way since joining the SEC by kyle heck Reporter
25 years ago, then-SEC Commissioner Roy Kramer and the league were looking to expand from 10 to 12 teams so the SEC could have a conference championship in football. Arkansas was the first team to jump in, joining in July of 1990. Three months later, the SEC extended an invitation to the University of South Carolina to join the league, an offer it officially accepted on Sept. 25, 1990. During the search process, Kramer said they wanted a school that was already similar to the other institutions in the SEC. They also wanted a school that had successful programs in a multitude of both men’s and women’s sports and Kramer and company felt like South Carolina fit that description. Fast forward to the present, when the University is celebrating 25 years in the SEC, and it appears Kramer and the league made a great choice in choosing the University of South Carolina. The Gamecocks have endured success in a variety of sports, winning 19 regular-season or conference tournament championships in sports sponsored by the league since joining the SEC. In addition, South Carolina has contributed six national championships to the cause. The last decade has been especially fruitful for South Carolina in the SEC. Since 2005, South Carolina has won three equestrian national championships and two baseball national championships. “(The SEC) has been a magnet for advancing and a magnet for student applications for competing and keeping up,” University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides said. “It’s who we are and it’s in our DNA now.” Prior to the Thomas H. Regan Executive Lecture Series on Sept. 25, 2015, celebrating the 25-year anniversary, Pastides, Kramer, former SEC Commissioner Mike Slive and current Commissioner Greg Sankey gathered to answer questions from the media. It has been a long, but prosperous, journey for South Carolina in the SEC and Pastides made sure to thank the three commissioners for their role in it. “I’m honored to be with these three gentlemen who have meant so much to our country, to intercollegiate athletics and of
photo by brian hand
course to USC,” Pastides said. “Commissioner Slive and now commissioner Sankey are two of the most honorable men I know. I don’t think of them only as athletic commissioners, but as true colleagues who care about the well-roundedness of the University.” South Carolina has enjoyed a lot of success on the field during its 25-year run with the SEC, but the development of the SEC Network in 2014 has taken things to a different level. While football was normally always nationally televised, the network gives South Carolina a chance to broadcast many other sports that previously did not get a lot of attention. That has been a big selling point to recruits since they’ll get exposure that other schools don’t enjoy. “We almost couldn’t believe that it was going to happen,” Pastides said. “Now to be casually flipping through (channels) and be able to see the Carolina women’s soccer
team competing against Texas A&M or volleyball, we almost couldn’t believe it and now here we are.” South Carolina has especially brought a lot to the SEC in women’s sports. Women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley has transformed her program into a national powerhouse and the Gamecocks were able to represent the SEC in the Final Four a season ago. Head coach Boo Major and the equestrian team brought home their third National Championship last year as well and the Shelley Smith-led women’s soccer team that Pastides mentioned is currently first in the SEC standings and is coming off of a year in which they made it to the NCAA Elite Eight. That success is something that Sankey has taken notice of and is looking forward to it continuing as he continues his reign as commissioner. “It’s been a great asset,” Sankey said.
“In fact, last night I watched on the SEC Network the South Carolina women’s soccer victory over No. 4 Texas A&M. I think that’s a testament to the commitment of the University and the athletics department to women’s athletics. I was hired Thursday, March 12, and the next Friday I was here for the first round (women’s basketball NCAA Tournament) game at South Carolina. There was a magnificent crowd. It was great to see the turnout. I took off my shoes and stood in the sand of the sand volleyball pit with the team for a photo, again a representation of the real commitment to women’s athletics. Then we could get into facilities with the softball stadium that’s been built and I walked by a women’s tennis match when I was here in the spring. All around women’s athletics, they speak highly not only of the commitment to competitive success, but the commitment to providing quality opportunities.”
16 • Spurs & Feathers
September 30, 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
Steve Spurrier - Head Coach Deke Adams - Defensive Line Kirk Botkin - Linebackers Shawn Elliott - Co-Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line 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 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) Travelle Wharton - 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 • 17
September 30, 2015
# Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown Previous School 1 Anthony Hines CB 6-1 190 So. San Francisco, Calif. El Camino 1 Marvin Zanders QB 6-1 185 R-Fr. Jacksonville, Fla. Raines 2 Nate Brown WR 6-3 205 So. Suwanee, Ga. North Gwinnett 3 Cortland Browning S 6-1 205 R-Sr. Tyler, Texas Lee 3 Luke Jackson PK 6-1 185 So. Pensacola, Fla. Pensacola West 3 Drew Lock QB 6-4 205 Fr. Lee’s Summit, Mo. Lee’s Summit 4 Brandon Lee LB 6-2 220 R-Fr. Indianapolis, Ind. Lawrence Central 4 Ryan Williams TB 6-0 180 Fr. Lee’s Summit, Mo. Lee’s Summit West 5 Marquise Doherty TB 6-1 205 Fr. Kansas City, Mo. Winnetonka 5 John Gibson CB 6-0 190 R-Jr. Missouri City, Texas Marshall 6 J’Mon Moore WR 6-3 190 R-So. Missouri City, Texas Elkins 6 Tavon Ross DB 6-0 200 R-Fr. Cochran, Ga. Bleckley County 7 Kenya Dennis DB 6-0 200 Sr. Leland, Miss. Leland 7 Maty Mauk QB 6-0 200 R-Jr. Kenton, Ohio Kenton 8 Justin Smith WR 6-7 200 Fr. Dublin, Ga. West Laurens 8 Thomas Wilson S 5-10 190 So. Suwanee, Ga. Buford 9 Eddie Printz QB 6-3 205 R-So. Marietta, Ga. Lassiter 9 TJ Warren DB 5-11 190 Fr. Conyers, Ga. Rockdale County 10 Kentrell Brothers LB 6-1 235 R-Sr. Guthrie, Okla. Guthrie 10 Jason Reese TE 6-5 250 R-So. Euless, Texas Trinity 11 Kendall Blanton TE 6-6 250 R-Fr. Blue Springs, Mo. Blue Springs South 11 Aarion Penton CB 5-10 190 Jr. St. Louis, Mo. Christian Brothers 12 Zane Jacoby QB 6-4 205 Fr. Huntsville, Mo. Westran 12 Johnathon Johnson WR 5-10 175 Fr. Memphis, Tenn. Melrose 12 Dominic Nelson S 6-0 185 Jr. Florissant, Mo. Florissant 13 Corbin Berkstresser QB 6-3 220 R-Sr. Lee’s Summit, Mo. Lee’s Summit 13 Spencer Williams DL 6-3 245 R-Fr. Jacksonville, Fla. First Coast 14 Ray Wingo WR 5-11 175 R-Fr. St. Louis, Mo. St. Louis U. High 15 Keyon Dilosa WR 6-3 200 R-Fr. Round Rock, Texas Round Rock 15 Grant Jones LB 6-3 225 R-Fr. Columbia, Mo. Hickman 16 Brock Bondurant S 6-2 215 R-Jr. Memphis, Mo. Scotland County 16 Marcell Frazier DL 6-5 265 Jr. Portland, Ore. Douglas 16 Thomas Richard WR 6-1 190 R-Fr. Nashville, Tenn. Christ Presbyterian 17 DeSean Blair WR 6-3 190 R-Fr. Jacksonville, Fla. Sandalwood 18 Wesley Leftwich WR 6-1 205 R-Sr. Columbia, Mo. Hickman 18 Josh Moore DL 6-5 260 Fr. Olathe, Kan. Olathe North 19 Oke Akushe WR 5-10 185 So. St. Louis, Mo. McCluer North 19 Ronnell Perkins WR 6-0 185 Fr. St. Louis, Mo. University City 20 Trevon Walters TB 5-10 200 R-Fr. Bradenton, Fla. Manatee 21 Ian Simon S 6-0 195 R-Sr. Mansfield, Texas Legacy 21 Ish Witter TB 5-10 190 So. Tampa, Fla. Alonso 22 Anthony Sherrils DB 6-0 190 R-So. Kansas City, Mo. Hogan Prep 24 Terez Hall LB 6-2 215 Fr. Lithonia, Ga. King 25 Donavin Newsom LB 6-2 230 R-Jr. St. Louis, Mo. Parkway North 26 Jake Brents WW 6-3 205 R-Jr. Springfield, Mo. Kickapoo 26 Corey Fatony P 5-11 185 Fr. Franklin, Tenn. Franklin 28 Logan Cheadle DB 5-10 180 So. Lee’s Summit, Mo. Lee’s Summit West 28 Steven Spadarotto WR 6-2 185 Fr. Santa Maria, Calif. Righetti 29 DeAndre McKenzie DB 6-1 185 Sr. Lee’s Summit, Mo. Lee’s Summit North 30 Michael Scherer LB 6-3 235 R-Jr. St. Louis, Mo. Country Day 31 Finis Stribling IV DB 5-11 175 R-Fr. Thompson’sStation,Tenn. Independence 32 Russell Hansbrough TB 5-9 195 Sr. Arlington, Texas Bowie 32 Tanner Hull WR 6-0 215 R-So. Kansas City, Mo. O’Hara 33 Cam Hilton DB 6-0 180 Fr. St. Louis, Mo. Webster Groves 34 Joey Burkett LB 6-2 210 R-So. Jefferson City, Mo. Jefferson City 35 Tyler Hunt TB 5-11 210 Sr. Huntsville, Mo. Westran 36 Isiah Pierre S 5-9 165 R-Fr. Hollywood, Fla. Hollywood Hills 36 Morgan Steward TB 6-0 210 R-Jr. Kansas City, Mo. Staley 38 Eric Beisel LB 6-3 225 R-So. Fenton, Mo. Rockwood Summit 39 Chase Abbington TB 6-2 215 Jr. St. Louis, Mo. Fort Zumwalt South 39 Justin Piazza LB 6-0 205 Jr. St. Petersburg, Fla. Catholic 40 Clarence Green LB 6-0 220 R-Sr. Clute, Texas Brazoswood 40 Andrew Stevens TB 5-9 195 R-Jr. St. Louis, Mo. Eureka
Coaches Gary Pinkel Head Coach Andy Hill Associate Head Coach/QB Josh Henson OC/TE/OL Barry Odom DC/LB Cornell Ford CB Brian Jones RB Craig Kuligowski DL A.J. Ricker OL Ryan Walters S Pat Washington WR Dan Hopkins Director of Football Operations Nick Otterbacher Director of Recruiting Austin Alewel Special Teams Analyst
# Name Pos. 41 Eric Laurent WR 41 Faheem Williams S 43 Christian Geen TE 45 Franklin Agbasimere LB 45 Nick Rhone WR 46 Trei Walton DB 48 Roderick Winters LB 49 Ferrod Gardner LB 50 Jacob Trump LB 51 Ed Cruz DL 52 Jordan Hill OL 52 Eddie Serrano DL 53 Christian Williams LB 54 Nick Monaghan TE 55 Nate Crawford OL 56 Sam Bailey OL 56 Walter Brady DL 57 Alec Abeln OL 58 Nick Skalak OL 59 Jeffrey Cathey WR 60 Connor McGovern OL 61 Adam Roland OL 62 Taylor Chappell OL 63 Brad McNulty OL 64 Paul Adams OL 65 Tanner Owen OL 66 Adam Ploudre OL 67 Jonah Dubinski OL 68 Mike Fairchild OL 69 AJ Harris OL 70 Malik Cuellar OL 71 Kevin Pendleton OL 72 Clay Rhodes OL 73 Mitch Hall OL 74 Blake Wilbers OL 75 Max Kavy OL 76 Thomas Grossman OL 77 Evan Boehm OL 78 Andy Bauer OL 79 Terry Beckner, Jr. DL 80 Sean Culkin TE 81 Harley Whitehouse OL 82 Clayton Echard TE 84 Emanuel Hall WR 85 Richaud Floyd WR 86 Jake Hurrell LS 87 Jordan Harold DL 88 Nate Howard DL 89 Tyler Hanneke DL 89 Brian Kurz TE 90 Harold Brantley DL 90 Nick Coffman PK 91 Turner Adams PK 91 Charles Harris DE 93 Andrew Carr PK 94 Tyrell Jacobs DL 95 Rickey Hatley DL 96 A.J. Logan DL 97 Josh Augusta DL 98 Dayton Balvanz P 98 Rocel McWilliams DL 99 Andrew Baggett PK
Ht. 6-3 5-11 6-1 6-2 5-10 5-10 5-11 6-2 6-3 6-2 6-2 6-3 6-0 6-2 6-5 6-4 6-3 6-3 6-5 6-2 6-4 6-3 6-5 6-4 6-6 6-5 6-4 6-2 6-5 6-4 6-5 6-4 6-5 6-5 6-2 6-3 6-3 6-3 6-3 6-4 6-6 6-0 6-5 6-3 5-11 6-3 6-2 6-4 6-4 6-4 6-3 5-11 6-0 6-3 6-1 6-4 6-4 6-2 6-4 6-5 6-2 6-1
Wt. Yr. Hometown Previous School 215 R-Jr. Ballwin, Mo. Parkway South 190 R-Fr. Overbrook, Pa. Prep Charter 220 So. Columbia, Mo. Hickman 215 Fr. Lagos, Nigeria Montverde Academy 200 So. Beaumont, Texas Central 190 Sr. Northville, Mich. Northville 225 R-Fr. Arlington, Texas Bowie 200 Fr. Dayton, Ohio Trotwood-Madison 225 Fr. Kahoka, Mo. Clark County 230 So. Park Hills, Mo. Central 270 R-So. Lee’s Summit, Mo. Lee’s Summit North 225 R-So. Niles, Ill. Notre Dame Prep 235 R-Jr. Lake Ozark, Mo. School of the Osage 245 R-Sr. Darien, Ill. Downer’s Grove South 290 R-So. Pensacola, Fla. West 265 R-Fr. Lamar, Mo. Lamar 255 R-Fr. Florence, Ala. Florence 290 R-So. St. Louis, Mo. University 290 Fr. Irving, Texas Cistercian 185 So. Little Rock, Ark. Catholic 300 R-Sr. Fargo, N.D. Shanley 315 R-Fr. St. Louis, Mo. Oakville 305 R-Sr. Canadian, Texas Canadian 305 R-Sr. Allen, Texas Allen 290 R-Fr. Nashville, Tenn. Christ Presbyterian 275 Fr. Kearney, Mo. Kearney 295 R-So. Ballwin, Mo. Marquette 275 Fr. Columbia, Mo. Rock Bridge 295 R-Fr. Overland Park, Kan. Blue Valley West 285 Fr. Stilwell, Kan. Blue Valley 300 Jr. Fortuna, Calif. College of San Francisco 315 R-Fr. Lee’s Summit, Mo. Lee’s Summit West 280 R-So. Stilwell, Kan. Blue Valley 310 R-Sr. Russellville, Ark. Russellville 270 Fr. Wardsville, Mo. Helias 285 Fr. St. Louis, Mo. St. Louis U. High 260 Fr. St. Louis, Mo. Chaminade 310 Sr. Lee’s Summit, Mo. Lee’s Summit West 310 R-Fr. St. Louis, Mo. De Smet 300 Fr. East St. Louis, Ill. East St. Louis 245 R-Jr. Indian Rocks Beach, Fla. Christian 210 Fr. St. Louis, Mo. Parkway Central 260 R-Sr. Eureka, Mo. Eureka 200 Fr. Franklin, Tenn. Centennial 165 Fr. Gulfport, Miss. Gulfport 235 R-Jr. St. Peters, Mo. Francis Howell North 245 So. St. Louis, Mo. McCluer North 230 Fr. St. Louis, Mo. Ladue Horton Watkins 235 R-Jr. St. Charles, Mo. St. Charles West 230 So. Vandalia, Mo. Van-Far 280 R-Jr. Hershey, Pa. Hershey 170 R-Jr. Missouri City, Texas Elkins 195 So. Springfield, Mo. Kickapoo 255 R-So. Kansas City, Mo. Lincoln Prep 175 Fr. Cameron, Mo. Cameron 260 Fr. Kenner, La. Rummel 285 R-Jr. Atlanta, Texas Atlanta 300 R-So. Columbia, Mo. Rock Bridge 335 Jr. Peoria, Ill. Peoria 200 Jr. Eldora, Iowa South Hardin 240 R-Fr. Pensacola, Fla. West 215 R-Sr. Lee’s Summit, Mo. Lee’s Summit North
18 • Spurs & Feathers
September 30, 2015
Depth Charts for October 3, 12 p.m. South Carolina OFFENSE WR: WR: WR: -OR- LT: LG: C: RG:
1 Deebo Samuel 3 D.J. Neal 8 Shamier Jeffery 11 Pharoh Cooper 15 Matrick Belton 83 Jamari Smith 5 Terry Googer 9 Carlton Heard 4 Jalen Christian 71 Brandon Shell 55 Christian Pellage 76 Mike Matulis 78 Zack Bailey 78 Zack Bailey 54 Clayton Stadnik 75 Will Sport 72 Donell Stanley RT: 74 Mason Zandi 63 Blake Camper TE: 89 Jerell Adams 81 Hayden Hurst -OR- 40 Jacob August 84 Kyle Markway QB: 10 Perry Orth 19 Lorenzo Nunez 12 Michael Scarnecchia
6-0, 202, RFr. Inman, S.C. 6-3, 193, Fr. Stone Mountain, Ga. 6-1, 198, Jr. St. Matthews, S.C. 5-11, 207, Jr. Havelock, N.C. 6-4, 209, Jr. Columbia, S.C. 5-10, 200, So. Jacksonville, Fla. 6-4, 226, RFr. Atlanta, Ga. 6-0, 182, Sr. Athens, Ga. 5-9, 177, Fr. Damascus, Md. 6-6, 328, Sr. Goose Creek, S.C. 6-6, 314, Fr. Brooksville, Fla. 6-5, 293, Sr. Boynton Beach, Fla. 6-6, 320, Fr. Summerville, S.C. 6-6, 320, Fr. Summerville, S.C. 6-3, 240, Jr. Greensboro, N.C. 6-5, 295, Sr. Milton, Fla. 6-4, 320, RFr. Floydale, S.C. 6-9, 314, Jr. Chapin, S.C. 6-8, 295, Fr. Virginia Beach, Va. 6-6, 231, Sr. Pinewood, S.C. 6-5, 252, Fr. Jacksonville, Fla. 6-6, 258, RFr. Columbia, S.C. 6-4, 243, Fr. St. Louis, Mo. 6-1, 203, Jr. Ponte Verda, Fla. 6-3, 210, Fr. Kennesaw, Ga. 6-4, 210, RFr. Fleming Island, Fla.
39 Rivers Bedenbaugh 43 Garrison Gist 22 Brandon Wilds 7 Shon Carson 33 David Williams
6-2, 245, So. 5-10, 251, Sr. 6-2, 220, Sr. 5-8, 206, Sr. 6-1, 222, So.
Leesville, S.C. Rock Hill, S.C. Blythewood, S.C. Scranton, S.C. Philadelphia, Pa.
DEFENSE DE: 18 Cedrick Cooper 44 Gerald Dixon 55 David Johnson DT: 90 Taylor Stallworth 95 Dante Sawyer 94 Kelsey Griffin NT: 92 Gerald Dixon, Jr. 52 Phillip Dukes 99 Abu Lamin DE: 8 Marquavius Lewis 5 Darius English 49 Boosie Whitlow MLB: 10 Skai Moore 11 T.J. Holloman WLB: 28 Jonathan Walton 4 Bryson Allen-Williams SLB: 23 Larenz Bryant 12 Ernest Hawkins SPR: 20 T.J. Gurley 26 Jasper Sasser
6-2, 248, Sr. 6-2, 269, Sr. 6-1, 240, So. 6-2, 308, So. 6-3, 291, So. 6-2, 316, Jr. 6-3, 327, Sr. 6-3, 319, Sr. 6-4, 326, Jr. 6-3, 264, Jr. 6-6, 225, Jr. 6-3, 240, Fr. 6-2, 218, Jr. 6-2, 231, Jr. 6-0, 235, Jr. 6-1, 233, So. 6-0, 220, Jr. 6-1, 224, So. 5-10, 193, Sr. 6-0, 210, So.
Lithonia, Ga. Rock Hill, S.C. Lithonia, Ga. Mobile, Ala. Suwanee, Ala. Buford, Ga. Rock Hill, S.C. Manning, S.C. Fayetteville, N.C. Greenwood, S.C. Powder Springs, Ga. Opelika, Ala. Cooper City, Fla. Stone Mountain, Ga. Daphne, Ala. Ellenwood, Ga. Charlotte, N.C. Baltimore, Md. Cairo, Ga. Jacksonville, Fla.
27 Toure Boyd LCB: 17 Chaz Elder 16 Rashad Fenton FS: 21 Isaiah Johnson 6 Chris Moody SS: 42 Jordan Diggs 24 D.J. Smith RCB: 7 Al Harris Jr. 1 Rico McWilliams
5-11, 180, Jr. 6-2, 209, Jr. 5-10, 180, Fr. 6-0, 206, Sr. 6-1, 215, Jr. 6-0, 209, Jr. 5-11, 195, So. 5-11, 163, So. 5-11, 186, Jr.
R. Cucamonga, Calif. Union City, Ga. Miami, Fla. Cary, N.C. McDonough, Ga. Fort Myers, Fla. Marietta, Ga. Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Hampton, Ga.
SPECIALISTS KO: PK: P: KR: PR: SN: H:
5-9, 182, Sr. 6-0, 164, Jr. 6-0, 164, Jr. 5-9, 182, Sr. 5-10, 189, Jr. 6-3, 200, Fr. 5-8, 206, Sr. 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. Scranton, S.C. Laurens, S.C. Havelock, N.C. Irmo, S.C. Gainesville, Fla. Oakland, Fla. Rock Hill, S.C.
33 Cam Hilton 6-0, 180, Fr. 6-3, 200, RFr. Round Rock, Texas FS: 21 Ian Simon 6-0, 195, Sr. 6-2, 215, Jr. Ballwin, Mo. 60 Connor McGovern 6-4, 305, Sr. Fargo, N.D. 3 Cortland Browning 6-1, 205, Sr. 64 Paul Adams 6-6, 290, RFr. Nashville, Tenn. 6 Tavon Ross 6-0, 200, RFr. 62 Taylor Chappell 6-5, 305, Sr. Canadian, Texas DEFENSE 57 Alec Abeln 6-3, 290, So. St. Louis, Mo. 77 Evan Boehm 6-3, 310, Sr. Lee’s Summit, Mo. DE: 16 Marcell Frazier 6-5, 265, So. Portland, Ore. SPECIAL TEAMS 63 Brad McNulty 6-4, 305, Sr. Allen, Texas 56 Walter Brady 6-3, 255, RFr. Florence, Ala. 73 Mitch Hall 6-5, 310, Sr. Russellville, Ark. DT: 97 Josh Augusta 6-4, 345, Jr. Peoria, Ill. PK: 99 Andrew Baggett 6-1, 215, Sr. 71 Kevin Pendleton 6-4, 315, RFr. Lee’s Summit, Mo. 79 Terry Beckner Jr. 6-4, 300, Fr. East St. Louis, Ill. 90 Nick Coffman 5-11, 175, Jr. 55 Nate Crawford 6-5, 300, So. Pensacola, Fla. 18 Josh Moore 6-5, 260, Fr. Olathe, Kan. H: 9 Eddie Printz 6-3, 205, So. 70 Malik Cuellar 6-5, 300, Jr. Fortuna, Calif. NG: 95 Rickey Hatley 6-4, 300, Jr. Atlanta, Texas 41 Eric Laurent 6-2, 215, Jr. 80 Sean Culkin 6-6, 245, Jr. Indian Rocks Beach, Fla. 96 A.J. Logan 6-2, 300, So. Columbia, Mo. LS: 86 Jake Hurrell 6-3, 235, Jr. 10 Jason Reese 6-5, 250, So. Euless, Texas DE: 91 Charles Harris 6-3, 255, So. Kansas City, Mo. 54 Nick Monaghan 6-2, 245, Sr. 82 Clayton Echard 6-5, 260, Sr. Eureka, Mo. 88 Nate Howard 6-4, 230, Fr. St. Louis, Mo. KO: 26 Corey Fatony 5-11, 185, Fr. 7 Maty Mauk 6-0, 195, Jr. Kenton, Ohio 13 Spencer Williams 6-3, 245, RFr. Jacksonville, Fla. -OR- 99 Andrew Baggett 6-1, 215, Sr. 3 Drew Lock 6-4, 205, Fr. Lee’s Summit, Mo. W: 10 Kentrell Brothers 6-1, 235, Sr. Guthrie, Okla. KR: 22 Anthony Sherrils 6-0, 190, So. 9 Eddie Printz 6-3, 205, So. Marietta, Ga. 34 Joey Burkett 6-2, 210, So. Jefferson City, Mo. 5 John Gibson 6-0, 190, Jr. 1 Marvin Zanders 6-1, 185, RFr. Jacksonville, Fla. M: 30 Michael Scherer 6-3, 230, Jr. St. Louis, Mo. P: 26 Corey Fatony 5-11, 185, Fr. 21 Ish Witter 5-10, 190, So. Tampa, Fla. 4 Brandon Lee 6-2, 220, RFr. Indianapolis, Ind. 98 Dayton Balvanz 6-5, 200, Jr. S: 25 Donavin Newsom 6-2, 230, Jr. St. Louis, Mo. PR: 11 Aarion Penton 5-10, 190, Jr. 35 Tyler Hunt 5-11, 210, Sr. Huntsville, Mo. 40 Clarence Green 6-0, 220, Sr. Clute, Texas 8 Thomas Wilson 5-10, 190, So. 36 Morgan Steward 6-0, 210, Jr. Kansas City, Mo. 24 Terez Hall 6-2, 215, Fr. Lithonia, Ga. 39 Chase Abbington 6-2, 215, So. St. Louis, Mo. CB: 7 Kenya Dennis 5-11, 200, Sr. Leland, Miss. 6 J’Mon Moore 6-3, 190, So. Missouri City, Texas 5 John Gibson 6-0, 190, Jr. Missouri City, Texas 17 DeSean Blair 6-3, 190, RFr. Jacksonville, Fla. CB: 11 Aarion Penton 5-10, 190, Jr. St. Louis, Mo. 84 Emanuel Hall 6-3, 200, Fr. Franklin, Tenn. 28 Logan Cheadle 5-10, 180, So. Lee’s Summit, Mo. 2 Nate Brown 6-3, 205, So. Suwanee, Ga. 31 Finis Stribling IV 5-11, 175, RFr. Thompson’s Station, Tenn. 16 Thomas Richard 6-1, 190, RFr. Nashville, Tenn. SS: 22 Anthony Sherrils 6-0, 190, So. Kansas City, Mo. 14 Ray Wingo 5-11, 180, RFr. St. Louis, Mo. 8 Thomas Wilson 5-10, 190, So. Suwanee, Ga. 18 Wesley Leftwich 6-1, 205, Sr. Columbia, Mo. *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.
St. Louis, Mo. Mansfield, Texas Tyler, Texas Cochran, Ga.
LT: LG: C: RG: RT: TE: QB: -OR- TB: -OR- X:
15 Keyon Dilosa 41 Eric Laurent
19 Landon Ard 29 Elliott Fry 29 Elliott Fry 19 Landon Ard 13 Sean Kelly 85 Michael Almond 7 Shon Carson 32 Rod Talley 11 Pharoh Cooper 47 Drew Williams 48 Nick McGriff 13 Sean Kelly 19 Landon Ard
Lee’s Summit, Mo. Missouri City, Texas Marietta, Ga. Ballwin, Mo. St. Peters, Mo. Darien, Ill. Franklin, Tenn. Lee’s Summit, Mo. Kansas City, Mo. Missouri City, Texas Franklin, Tenn. Eldora, Iowa St. Louis, Mo. Suwanee, Ga.
Spurs & Feathers • 19
September 30, 2015
South Carolina Gamecocks
Recruiting Round-up By Phil Kornblut
OL Pete Leota (6-5 307) of Asheville, NC last week announced a commitment to USC choosing the Gamecocks over Virginia Tech. “It’s because it’s in the SEC,” Leota said. “Because of the coaches. I felt at home when I was down there. I loved the whole vibe of the campus and I really like Coach Elliott. He’s been an awesome recruiter throughout this process, and also coach Deke Adams has always been consistent throughout this process staying in contact with me and having me call him. I just loved their whole program and what they have to offer. They also have some great food.” Leota also had offers from North Carolina, Virginia, Phil Kornblut Boston College, Wake Contributing Forest and East Carolina. Writer He plays offensive tackle and is considered to be an aggressive lineman who finishes every block. Leota is USC’s 16th commitment for the 2016 class and the fourth offensive lineman. Gamecock quarterback commitment Brandon McIlwain of Newtown, PA is not considering abandoning the ship. If anything, he’s more solid with the Gamecocks than ever before, if you can be more than 100% certain about something. He’s looking at making his official visit with the Gamecocks for the Clemson weekend and that will be his only official visit. McIlwain is, of course, keeping a close watch on his future team and is a little more forgiving than some fans about a single loss. “It’s tough when your guy can’t stay healthy and you’re switching quarterbacks,” McIlwain said. “It’s hard to get in a true rhythm. But I think they are figuring stuff out.” He remains confident that Steve Spurrier has not lost his offensive touch and will have the Gamecock offense humming once again this season. “I have no doubts,” he said. “Coach Spurrier is such an awesome offensive mind. He’s known for that. And the recruiting class they are build-
ing, we’re going to have some amazing athletes, so we’ll be good. I have no worries about our offense.” McIlwain said he’s been in touch with a few of the Gamecocks’ recruiting targets like Pete Leota, John Simpson and Kelvin Harmon. McIlwain also is a pro baseball prospect. He had said he would enroll at USC in January thus taking himself out of the 2016 baseball draft. But right now he’s not 100% certain he will enroll early. “I have the potential to have all my credits done but I’m still going to talk it over with my family to make sure it’s the best decision for all of us,” McIlwain said. “It’s not a definite (enrolling early) but I’m pretty sure. Between 90-95 percent.” McIlwain said on Sundays he works on baseball with his head coach going to a batting cage and getting in his swings. “A Texas Ranger scout stopped by and he was talking about how the whole process works,” he said. “The (scouts) tell me I’m a very interesting prospect because I kind of came out of nowhere. They didn’t watch me until this summer, so it’s been kind of interesting. They watch your progression through the spring. If I have good progression like they expect I could be included in the draft. If I kind of back up and it looks like I can’t really handle the football and baseball, then I won’t be.” McIlwain reiterated that he is planning to enroll at USC to play both football and baseball. OL John Simpson of Fort Dorchester visited USC for the Kentucky game and kept a close eye on the action on the field. “Offensive line wise, I think they did very good,” Simpson said. “They created a lot of holes. I feel like Coach Elliott is one of the best coaches recruiting me.” Simpson said he talked with Elliott, Steve Spurrier and Everette Sands and absorbed the atmosphere that existed for the Gamecocks’ first home game. “It wasn’t a bad visit, I had a good time,” he said. “I do love the atmosphere.” Simpson’s next unofficial visit will be to Clemson for the Notre Dame game October 3rd. He has nothing else planned for unofficial or official visits. His top seven remains the same with no leader … USC, Clemson, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee and LSU. Simpson is still planning an announce-
ment at the Army All American game and does not plan to graduate early. DE Jachai Polite of Daytona Beach, FL has not taken any unofficial visits for games yet but he plans to eventually. He does know the five schools he plans to see on official visits are USC, Tennessee, Miami, Auburn and Florida. Polite said USC recruiter Steve Spurrier Jr. is in touch daily with messages and is recruiting him hard. “He said I remind him of Melvin Ingram,” Polite said. “I like how they are rebuilding, and I like their schemes. I haven’t really watched them this year but I watched them a lot last year.” Polite has never been to USC but he has seen Miami and Florida in the past. He said Miami is also making a strong push for him as are all the schools on his short list. He doesn’t have a favorite and won’t make a decision until after the season. ATH Stephen Davis Jr. of Dutch Fork saw his season end last Friday night with a torn ACL against Dorman. While a serious injury, it’s not likely to cause schools to back off such a major talent who went back on to the recruiting market earlier this month with his decommitment from Auburn. He is now focused on five schools … USC, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State and Georgia with no current favorite. He attended the Kentucky game at USC and the Gamecocks started their hard sell. “It was a great visit, I had a lot of fun,” said Davis Jr. who talked with Steve Spurrier, Steve Spurrier Jr., Lorenzo Ward and Grady Brown. “They told me I could be a big time player playing in the SEC. They were coming at me pretty hard. They are recruiting me hard and I’m going to enjoying the recruiting, play my high school ball and then figure it out.” Davis Jr. switched from safety to running back this season but said the Gamecocks talked with him about linebacker and spur safety. He said he’s not sure if most schools will recruit him for defense or offense and the position doesn’t matter to him, he’s just looking for the best opportunity for playing time. Davis Jr. said he will continue to visit schools during the season and he will take all five official visits to his favorites before mak-
ing a decision in January. He is not graduating early from school. “I’m in the mix of visiting colleges and seeing how I like the college and the campus and the academic programs,” Davis Jr. said. “I’m going to take my official to Clemson for the Florida State game, to Florida State for the Miami game, to Auburn for the Alabama game and I might take my official to South Carolina for the LSU game. I’ll also take one to Georgia.” He also plans to go unofficially to Auburn September 26 when his dad, a former star Tiger running back, is honored by the school. USC 2017 QB target Jake Fromm of Warner Robins, GA visited Alabama Saturday. He was at USC for the Kentucky game. 2018 LB Xavier Thomas of Wilson visited USC for the Kentucky game. He plans to attend the Notre Dame at Clemson game and then will re-evaluate his favorites list. Basketball News: USC coaches Frank Martin and Matt Figger met with 6-10 center Sedee Keita of Philadelphia last week at his school in Putnam, CT and were able to get the big man scheduled for an official visit for October 10th. “They told me I’m a good fit and want me to take an official,” Keita said. “Coach Martin talked to me about having coached Michael Beasley and the big men he’s coached at South Carolina.” Keita has been to USC before attending some football games last year while living in Greenville. He also plans to take official visits to Providence and Temple. He’s not sure when he’ll make his decision. Update on PG Seventh Woods from Hammond coach Mark McClam …”He liked the Georgetown staff and the campus (on his official visit). He’s going to North Carolina this weekend. South Carolina and North Carolina have had in home visits and he liked both.” Woods visited Georgetown September 11th and he will visit USC October 9th. USC last week had an in-home visit with 2016 PG 6-2 Maliek White of Wytheville, VA. He has over 20 offers but USC has not yet offered. 2017 6-8 Melo Eggleston of Baltimore picked up a USC offer last week.
Tickets on sale for Hall of Fame Shootout on Dec. 22 Tickets are now on sale for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Shootout on Dec. 22, featuring South Carolina vs. St. John’s. Marist and Brown will also play each other at the event, which will be held at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster. com, at Ticketmaster outlets and through the Mohegan Sun Box Office.
Season ticket prices for the upcoming season of South Carolina men’s basketball remain unchanged, with full season packages starting at $90. Like last season, fans can purchase lower level season tickets for $260 (Gamecock Club membership required for sections 104-106, 113115), the Coke Family Sections are available for $600 (four tickets) and upper level tickets are available for $200 (no Gamecock Club mem-
bership required). End zone seating in the upper level is priced at four seats for $360. University Faculty/Staff members receive a 20% discount on lower level and upper level ticket prices. To place a deposit for season tickets, fans are encouraged to visit Gamecocksonline.com/ Tickets, or call 1-800-4SC-FANS. Story by South Carolina Athletics Media Relations
photo by allen sharpe
20 • Spurs & Feathers
September 30, 2015
Gamecocks looking to build off last year as 2015-16 season starts by brian hand Executive Editor
pectation a little bit. We immediately started reevaluating what (Akram’s) goals were in regards to Rio next summer at the olympics and South Carolina swimming and diving head what we wanted to do there. I think Tom got coach McGee Moody has liked what he has a very clear picture that he can swim in the seen from the Gamecocks so far this year olympics and he deserves to be there. But it and really where the program is at this point does change what you do and it changes how of his tenure, but he’s not comfortable by any we train. Guys that are going to the olympics means. it changes what this season looks like for “I don’t think you ever want to be comfortthem too because that’s the pinnacle. How able,” Moody said. “You get too comfortable many people can say they’re an olympic athand that’s when things fall apart around you. lete? And even fewer can say they’re a medalI think we’re pleased where they are. We’re ist. That’s the environment that we promised pleased with the effort we’re getting and these athletes when we recruited them.” we’re pleased with the fitness level that they With the aforementioned Rio 2016 Olymhave.” pics on the horizon, Moody is quick to point Moody and the Gamecocks know that there out that it makes the upcoming year a little is a fine line to all that hard work as they comdifferent. pete in the SEC and they also want to make a “It’s stressful,” Moody mused. “We’re 11 statement nationally year in and year out. months out and there is not a day that goes “Our goal is to be working harder than by that you don’t think about that because everyone else and I think right now we’re aclogistically our program looks so different complishing that to be honest,” Moody said. this year because we have people that have to Last year, the South Carolina men’s and go swim in their home countries and we have photo by allen sharpe women’s swimming and diving teams ended people that have to represent Egypt, or Ecuatheir year on a high note and Moody believes dor, or Canada, or Germany at some different meet. We’re all over the place. Logistically it’s that is transitioning into the start of the new and the class stress and things like that pretty out of the state of Georgia. stressful, but there’s so much weight on this year. well. That’s the thing I’m most excited about. “Cody Bekemeyer I think is a young man because you have young men and women that “We’re coming off a very, very good season Usually early in the season when things are that can be at the NCAAs as a freshman and are wearing the flag of their country on their for both our men’s and women’s programs,” kind of a struggle, they seem to be handling help us with points,” Moody mentioned. cap and there is a lot that goes with that.” Moody noted. “We’re very proud of where we that with ease right now.” “We’re pretty excited about that.” At the end of the day, Moody knows that is finished last year. And so we tried to build on In his ninth season at the helm, Moody On the women’s side, Moody believes they why they came to South Carolina and he is that over the summer with our men and wom- has high expectations for both the men and have added some individuals that will also thankful to help them along their process. en that were training either with their clubs or women in the upcoming year. help out immediately. “We’ve promised these guys and these here going to school. I think we’re in a much “We need to take what we did last year on “(Overall) we added a big group on the better place early in the season than we were the men’s side with the 19th place finish (in women’s side, but in particular Emma Barks- young ladies that we’re going to take them to whatever goals they’ve set for themselves,” last year in terms of our fitness and in terms the NCAAs) and we need to build on that,” dale and Paige Maynard, the expectation is of our intensity. I think that we’re in a pretty Moody said. “Our goal is to be top-15 (nation- high for them,” Moody said. “They were both Moody concluded. “With that, there is a lot of pressure. You made promises to these good spot as far as setting up our first meet ally) this year and I think we’ve got the tools olympic trial qualifiers as seniors in high folks and it’s our job to get them there. It does next week going down to Florida Gulf Coast. in place to go do that.” school and so the expectation is that they change how we look at things and it does I think everybody’s excited to race.” The Gamecocks are without three-time are going to come in and put points up on change our approach, but it doesn’t change As with every sport, usually getting ready All-American Cole Miller, who finished his the board not only at conference, but also at (our) goal and I think as long as our athletes for the freshmen is one of the hardest parts career last year, but Moody is looking for a NCAAs. Ultimately that’s what we’re about keep that in their mind and they do their part, of the early year, but Moody says that has not sophomore to step up in Miller’s place this and they do put us in position where we can we’re going to provide them with the environbeen the case so much as they prepare for the season. put some relays on the women’s side at the ment and the surroundings to be great. And 2015-16 season. “What we’re looking for is for Jordan Gotro meet. I think we’re in a much better place hopefully in the end when we get to next July “Traditionally one of the hardest parts of the to step up on the boards and take Cole’s than last year and the expectation is higher.” and August it all works out.” year is where you’re coming in and there is place,” Moody stated. “And we’re looking This past offseason, South Carolina had The South Carolina men’s and women’s the shock value to new freshmen that are here for our men to continue to build on what we numerous individuals step up internationally. swimming and diving teams open their 2015and the workload is bigger did last year. We need more Moody believes that will help exponentially 16 schedules on Oct. 2 and 3 in Fort Myers, than anything they’ve ever points, we need more relays at in the upcoming year. Florida against Florida Gulf Coast. seen,” Moody relayed. “That the meet and we added a few “We talk a lot about elevating their self exThe first men’s home meet of the year at the was relatively minor this freshmen that can come in and pectation, raising that level of expectation,” year. We’ve got really good be at that meet.” Moody said. “If you’re Marwan El Kamash or Blatt P.E. Center/Carolina Natatorium will All Gamecock swimming and One of those freshmen that be at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24 against recruiting classes both on you’re Akram Mahmoud or if you’re Tomas diving coverage the men’s and women’s side Moody believes can help imPeribonio, you go to these international meets Purdue. The South Carolina men and women sponsored by and the freshmen this year mediately came to South Caro- and Akram finishes fourth in the world in the commence their conference schedule at home Aquarian pools of Columbia lina as the top-ranked recruit are handling the workload 1,500-meter freestyle, you better up your ex- on Saturday, Oct. 31 against Alabama.
Spurs & Feathers • 21
September 30, 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-Missouri television The South Carolina-Missouri game will be available on the SEC Network. Please check local listings. In-Stadium frequency The in-stadium frequency for the Gamecock Radio Network broadcast at Missouri is 100.9 FM (primary) and 105.1 FM (secondary).
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22 • Spurs & Feathers
September 30, 2015
Collegiate Baseball ranks recruiting class No. 2 in the nation
south carolina athletics media relations
Lexington, S.C. - As a senior in high school in 2012, rated No. 17 best right-handed pitcher in the state of South Carolina baseball’s recruiting class has South Carolina by Diamond Prospects been ranked No. 2 in the nation as announced - 2012 North/South All-Star selection by Collegiate Baseball on Tuesday morning. The class consists of 19 newcomers. Jonah Bride – INF - Owasso, Okla. (Neo“We are very excited for this year’s recruiting sho JC, (Kan.)) class,” said South Carolina head coach Chad - Earned 2015 second-team NJCAA AllHolbrook. “It is a deep group of newcomers America honors with some of the top prep players in the country - Earned 2015 first-team All-Jayhawk Conferas well as a group of standout junior college ence honors players. Eight of the 19 newcomers have been - As a freshman at Neosho JC in 2015, hit .471 selected in the MLB Draft and we had several with a single-season school record of 96 hits players turn down six-figure signing bonuses to with 14 HR and 93 RBI. His 93 RBI ranked come to school.” third-highest in junior college - Prepped at Owasso HS where he earned 2015 RECRUITING CLASS 2014 Louisville Slugger HS All-America honKyle Anderson – LHP - Evans, Ga. (Evans ors by Collegiate Baseball HS) - Helped lead Owasso HS to a 36-0 record - Rated No. 409 best prospect in the nation by and a 6A state championship in Oklahoma in Perfect Game 2013 - Rated No. 41 best prospect in the state of - Owasso HS finished 2013 ranked No. 4 in Georgia by Perfect Game the nation in the final Baseball America/Na- As a senior in 2015, went 5-0 with a 1.57 tional High School Baseball Coaches AssociaERA and 44 strikeouts in 35.2 innings pitched tion Top 25 - Twin brother Matt is a catcher and has signed and will play at Georgia Southern Chris Cullen – C - Cumming, Ga. (West - Played for Georgia Roadrunners AAU team Forsyth HS) - 2015 MLB Draft selection (38th round/ Danny Blair – OF - Bel Air, Md. (IMG Oakland A’s) Academy, Fla.)) - Rated No. 233 best overall prospect for 2015 - Rated No. 240 best overall prospect for 2015 MLB Draft by Baseball America MLB Draft by Perfect Game - Rated No. 416 best overall prospect for 2015 - Rated No. 143 best high school prospect in MLB Draft by Perfect Game the nation by Perfect Game - Rated No. 172 best high school prospect in - Rated No. 30 best high school outfielder in the nation by Perfect Game the nation by Perfect Game - Rated No. 22 best high school prospect in - Rated No. 2 best high school prospect in the the state of Georgia by Perfect Game state of Maryland by Perfect Game - Named second-team Underclass All-Ameri- Played for Evoshield Canes AAU team can by Perfect Game - Won WWBA World Championship in Oc- Helped lead West Forsyth HS to 2015 tober 2014 6-AAAAAA Region Co-Championship - Won WWBA National Championship in - As a senior in 2015, hit .301 with two HR 2013 and 2014. Named 2013 tournament MVP and 15 RBI and hit .416. - As a junior in 2014, hit .424 with a .500 on- Prepped at Gilman HS before attending base percentage with 25 runs and 25 RBIs with IMG Academy West Forsyth - Played for Georgia Legends and 6-4-3 DP Colie Bowers - RHP - Lexington, S.C. Cougars AAU teams (USC Sumter) - 2015 NJCAA honorable mention All-AmerRoss Grosvenor - 1B - Franklin, Tenn. ica honors (Walters State CC) - As a sophomore in 2015 at USC Sumter - Played in Cape Cod League in summer of went 9-2 with a 2.14 ERA in 92.1 innings with 2015 with Cotuit Kettleers 97 strikeouts and a 2.14 ERA, - Earned 2015 third-team NJranked 11th in the junior colCAA All-America honors lege ranks in strikeouts - Helped lead Walters State - Helped lead USC Sumter to 2015 NJCAA World Series, to 2015 NJCAA World Series named to NJCAA World Seand 2015 Region X Eastern ries All-Tournament team District championship - 2015 NJCAA Marucci Elite - Spent 2013 season at ColAll Gamecock baseball Hitter award for East Central lege of Charleston coverage sponsored by District - Prepped at Lexington HS in DiPrato’s - As a sophomore in 2015
at Walters State, hit .426 (95-for-223) with 20 HR and 94 RBI (second-highest in the nation), a .529 on-base percentage and a .789 slugging mark; added 21 doubles and 70 runs scored - As a freshman in 2014 at Walters State, hit .260 (25-for-96) with 3 HR and 14 RBI - Prepped at Battle Ground Academy
- Played for Diamond Devils AAU team
John Jones – C - Orlando, Fla. (State College of Florida) - 2014 MLB Draft selection (39th round/Minnesota Twins) - As a freshman in 2015 at State College of Florida, hit .340 (66-for-194) with 23 doubles, Hayden Heflin – RHP - Summerville, S.C. two homers, 30 runs and 37 RBI, also a .439 (Spartanburg Methodist College) on-base percentage - As a sophomore in 2015 at Spartanburg - Prepped at Orangewood Christian HS Methodist went 2-3 with a 1.40 ERA with 24 - As a senior in high school in 2014, rated as strikeouts in 25.2 innings No. 193 best high school prospect in the nation - As a freshman in 2014 at Spartanburg Meth- by Perfect Game odist tallied a save and struck out 14 batters - As a senior in high school in 2014, rated as in 18.2 innings with a 3.86 ERA, helped lead No. 25 best high school catcher in the nation by SMC to 2014 NJCAA World Series Perfect Game - Prepped at Pinewood Prep HS - As a senior in high school in 2014, rated as No. 38 best high school prospect in the state of Adam Hill – RHP - Anderson, S.C. (T.L. Florida by Perfect Game Hanna HS) - Played for Orlando Scorpions AAU team - 2015 MLB Draft selection (39th round/San Diego Padres) Cody Morris – RHP - Laurel, Md. (Reser- Rated No. 3 best high school prospect in the voir HS) state of South Carolina by Diamond Prospects - 2015 MLB Draft selection (32nd round/Bal- Rated No. 8 best high school prospect in the timore Orioles) - Rated No. 250 best overall prospect for 2015 state of South Carolina by Perfect Game - Rated No. 2 best right-handed pitcher in the MLB Draft by Perfect Game - Rated No. 265 best overall prospect for 2015 state of South Carolina by Diamond Prospects MLB Draft by Baseball America - Earned 2015 South Carolina AAAA All- Rated No. 70 best high school prospect in State honors the nation by Baseball America - Named to 2015 SC Select Team - Rated No. 73 best high school prospect in - As a senior in 2015 at T.L. Hanna went 9-2 the nation by D1Baseball with a 1.13 ERA with 111 strikeouts in 68 in- Rated No. 78 best high school prospect in nings the nation by Perfect Game - As a junior in 2014 at T.L. Hanna went 9-0 - Rated No. 26 best high school right-handed with a 1.02 ERA with 100 strikeouts in 82.0 pitcher in the nation by Perfect Game innings - Top high school prospect in the state of - Helped lead T.L. Hanna HS to 2014 and Maryland by Perfect Game 2015 Region I-AAAA titles - As a senior in 2015 at Reservoir, went 2-0 - Played for Evoshield Canes South AAU with a 0.00 ERA with 26 strikeouts in 12.0 inteam nings - 2014 HS Louisville Slugger first-team HS TJ Hopkins – OF - Summerville, S.C. All-American by Collegiate Baseball (Summerville HS) - Named first-team Underclass All-American - Earned 2015 first-team HS All-America by Perfect Game honors from Collegiate Baseball - Played for Evoshield Canes AAU team - Rated No. 7 best high school prospect in the - Went 8-1 with .99 ERA and 88 strikeouts as state of South Carolina by Diamond Prospects - Rated No. 7 best high school prospect in the a junior in 2014 at Reservoir HS; helped lead team to 2014 Maryland 3A state championship; state of South Carolina by Perfect Game pitched complete game two-hit shutout in title - Rated No. 2 outfielder in the state of South game vs. North Harford Carolina by Diamond Prospects - 2014 Gatorade Maryland Baseball Player of - Rated No. 3 outfielder in the state of South the Year Carolina by Perfect Game - Two-time Howard County Pitcher of the - Earned 2015 South Carolina AAAA AllYear State honors - Won WWBA World Championship in Oc- Named to 2015 SC Select Team - Named to 2015 Diamond Prospects’ Golden tober 2014 - Won WWBA National Championship in Glove team - As a senior in 2015, hit .371 (33-for-89) with 2013 and 2014 two homers, 18 RBI, 40 runs scored, three DJ Neal – OF - Stone Mountain, Ga. (Stetriples, 23 stolen bases, a .517 on-base percentphenson HS) age and a .562 slugging percentage - Named CABA national championship MVP - 2015 MLB Draft Selection (32nd round/
Spurs & Feathers • 23
September 30, 2015
Atlanta Braves) - Attending South Carolina on a football scholarship as a wide receiver - Rated No. 197 best overall prospect for 2015 MLB Draft by Perfect Game - Rated No. 352 best overall prospect for 2015 MLB Draft by Baseball America - Rated as No. 45 best high school prospect in the nation by Perfect Game - Rated as No. 53 best high school prospect in the nation by D1Baseball - Rated No. 10 best high school prospect in the state of Georgia by Perfect Game - Played for GBSA Rays AAU team Hank Nichols – LHP - Greenville, S.C. (J.L. Mann HS) - Rated tied for No. 15 best high school prospect in the state of South Carolina by Diamond Prospects - Rated No. 17 best high school prospect in the state of South Carolina by Perfect Game - Top rated left-handed pitcher in the state of South Carolina by Diamond Prospects - Earned 2015 South Carolina AAAA AllState honors - Helped lead J.L. Mann HS to South Carolina AAAA state title game; starting pitcher in title game - As a senior in 2015 at J.L. Mann went 7-3 with a 2.83 ERA with 67 strikeouts in 59.1 innings - Played for Diamond Devils AAU team Colton Provey – RHP - Columbia, Tenn. (Walters State CC) - Helped lead Walters State to 2015 NJCAA World Series - As a sophomore in 2015, went 6-1 with a 2.42 ERA and 10 saves, tied for sixth in NJCAA; Struck out 62 batters in 48.2 innings in 27 relief appearances - As a freshman in 2014, tallied a save and struck out 12 batters in 12.2 innings pitched - Prepped at Columbia Central HS Harrison Smith – RHP - Mt. Pleasant, S.C. (Wando HS) - Rated No. 22 best high school prospect in the state of South Carolina by Perfect Game - Rated No. 17 best right-handed pitcher in the state of South Carolina by Diamond Prospects - Helped lead Wando HS to South Carolina AAAA state championship; starting pitcher in title game, a 6-4 win over J.L. Mann - As a senior in 2015 at Wando went 6-3 with a 2.33 ERA with 74 strikeouts in 60 innings - Played for Diamond Devils AAU team Dom Thompson-Williams – OF - Sioux City, Iowa (Iowa Western CC) - Earned 2015 honorable mention NJCAA All-America honors - Helped lead Iowa Western to consecutive trips to the NJCAA World Series in 2014 and 2015 - Helped lead Iowa Western to 2014 NJCAA National Championship at 2014 NJCAA
photo by allen sharpe
World Series - 2014 MLB Draft selection (19th round/St. Louis Cardinals) - Rated No. 35 best junior college prospect in the nation by Perfect Game - As a sophomore in 2015, hit .409 (65-for159) with 10 doubles, three triples and five homers as well as 51 RBI - As a freshman in 2014 hit .407 with 14 doubles, seven triples, five homers and 44 RBI - Prepped at Sioux City East HS where he was 2013 Gatorade Iowa High School Player of the Year - Three-time All-State selection in baseball LT Tolbert – INF - Piedmont, S.C. (IMG Academy, (Fla.)) - 2015 MLB Draft selection (34th round/ New York Mets) - Rated No. 120 best overall prospect for 2015 MLB Draft by D1Baseball - Rated No. 213 best overall prospect for 2015 MLB Draft by Perfect Game - Rated No. 278 best overall prospect for 2015 MLB Draft by Baseball America - Rated No. 84 best high school prospect in the nation by D1Baseball - Rated No. 94 best high school prospect in the nation by Perfect Game - Rated No. 2 best high school prospect in the state of South Carolina by Perfect Game - As a senior in 2015, hit .320 with two homers and 25 RBI - Named first-team Underclass All-American by Perfect Game - Played for USA Baseball’s 18U National Team in the fall of 2014 - Played for Evoshield Canes AAU team - Played in 2014 Under Armour All-America Game and was named UA Silver Spikes American MVP. He went 2-for-2 with two
singles and the game-winning RBI - Won WWBA World Championship in October 2014 - Won WWBA National Championship in 2013 and 2014 - Prepped at Wren HS before joining IMG Academy - 2012 and 2013 SC AAA All-State at Wren HS Braden Webb – RHP - Owasso, Okla. (Owasso HS) - 2015 MLB Draft selection (38th round/ Cleveland Indians) - Rated in 2014 as the No. 131 best high school prospect in the nation by Perfect Game - Rated in 2014 No. 3 best high school prospect in the state of Oklahoma by Perfect Game - Rated in 2014 No. 4 best high school prospect in the state of Oklahoma by Perfect Game - Helped lead Owasso HS to a 36-0 record and a 6A state championship in Oklahoma in 2013, winning pitcher in title game with a three-hit complete game - Owasso HS finished 2013 ranked No. 4 in the nation in the final Baseball America/ National High School Baseball Coaches Association Top 25 - Played for Evoshield Canes AAU team; squad won 2013 PG WWBA World Championship Caleb Whitenton - 1B - Alto, Ga. (Gainesville HS) - Helped lead Gainesville HS to 2015 GHSA AAAAA state championship series - As a junior in 2014 at Gainesville HS, hit .340 with 8 homers
Recruiting Results By Collegiate Baseball 1. Florida 2. South Carolina 3. Mississippi St. 4. Georgia Tech. 5. Vanderbilt 6. UCLA 7. Louisiana St. 8. Oregon 9. South Florida 10. Auburn 11. Virginia 12. Oregon St. 13. Louisiana-Lafayette 14. Texas 15. Rice 16. North Carolina 17. Stanford 18. Texas Christian 19. Arizona 20. Oklahoma 21. Louisville 22. Arizona St. 23. Mississippi 24. Cal. St. Fullerton 25. Oklahoma St. 26. Iowa 27. Maryland 28. Florida St. 29. Miami, Fla. 30. Texas A&M 31. Clemson 32. Dallas Baptist 33. Indiana 34. Southern California 35. Missouri St. 36. U.C. Santa Barbara 37. New Mexico St. 38. Alabama 39. Illinois 40. Kentucky
24 • Spurs & Feathers
September 30, 2015
South Carolina Gamecocks
2015 - 2016 men’s Basketball Schedule
All Gamecock basketball coverage sponsored by Yesterdays
Opponent / Event
11/08/15............... vs. Allen *......................................Columbia, S.C.................................... 11/14/15............... vs. Norfolk State............................Columbia, S.C.................................... 11/16/15............... vs. Oral Roberts............................Columbia, S.C....................................
TBA TBA TBA
U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam 11/20/15..................vs. DePaul.......................................... St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands............. 11/22/15..................TBD.................................................... St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands............. 11/23/15..................TBD.................................................... St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.............
6:00 p.m. ET TBA TBA
11/27/15............... vs. Lipscomb.................................Columbia, S.C.................................... 11/30/15............... vs. Western Carolina.....................Columbia, S.C.................................... 12/05/15............... vs. USF..........................................Columbia, S.C.................................... 12/15/15............... vs. Drexel......................................Columbia, S.C.................................... 12/18/15..................at Clemson........................................ Greenville, S.C. (Bon Secours Arena)..
TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Shootout 12/22/15..................vs. St. John’s....................................... Uncasville, Conn. (Mohegan Sun Arena)
12/30/15............... vs. Francis Marion........................Columbia, S.C.................................... 01/02/16............... vs. Memphis..................................Columbia, S.C.................................... 01/05/16..................at Auburn # ...................................... Auburn, Ala............................................. 01/09/16............... vs. Vanderbilt # ............................Columbia, S.C.................................... 01/13/16..................at Alabama # .................................... Tuscaloosa, Ala....................................... 01/16/16............... vs. Missouri # ...............................Columbia, S.C.................................... 01/19/16..................at Ole Miss # .................................... Oxford, Miss............................................ 01/23/16..................at Tennessee # .................................. Knoxville, Tenn....................................... 01/26/16............... vs. Mississippi State # ..................Columbia, S.C.................................... 01/30/16............... vs. Alabama # ...............................Columbia, S.C.................................... 02/02/16..................at Georgia # . .................................... Athens, Ga............................................... 02/06/16..................at Texas A&M # ............................... College Station, Texas............................ 02/10/16............... vs. LSU # .......................................Columbia, S.C.................................... 02/13/16............... vs. Kentucky # ..............................Columbia, S.C.................................... 02/16/16..................at Missouri # .................................... Columbia, Mo......................................... 02/20/16............... vs. Florida # ..................................Columbia, S.C.................................... 02/24/16............... vs. Tennessee # .............................Columbia, S.C.................................... 02/27/16..................at Mississippi State # ....................... Starkville, Miss........................................ 03/03/16............... vs. Georgia # ................................Columbia, S.C.................................... 03/05/16..................at Arkansas # . .................................. Fayetteville, Ark......................................
TBA TBA 7:00 p.m. ET 3:00 p.m. ET 9:00 p.m. ET 1:00 p.m. ET 7:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 7:00 p.m. ET 6:00 p.m. ET 7:00 p.m. ET 4:00 p.m. ET 7:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 7:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 9:00 p.m. ET 2:30 p.m. ET 7:00 p.m. ET 5:00 p.m. ET
Bold......................indicates home game # ...........................indicates SEC game * ...........................exhibition game All Times Listed as Eastern and are subject to change
photo by allen sharpe
Spurs & Feathers • 25
September 30, 2015
The view from the UCF locker room by kyle heck Reporter
photo by juan blas
After his big mistake, Cooper also ended up hurting the Knights. He gave the Gamecocks the lead for good in the third quarter when he took a pitch to the right and appeared ready to pass the ball downfield. However, he cut back to the left and ran past the UCF defense for a 29-yard touchdown run. “With a person like that, you can’t give him a lot of room,” UCF defensive lineman Jamiyus Pittman said. “That’s what he had, a lot of room. Somebody has to make
a play. We missed a lot of tackles on that play.” The Knights were held to 230 total yards and had just 26 rushing yards on the day. While their defense was able to keep them in the game for a while, the turnovers and athleticism of South Carolina squashed the momentum that UCF had for the first half. “I told the kids that they improved, but you have to play consistently for 60 minutes,” O’Leary said. “That’s what the game is about and we didn’t do that.”
the left edge for a one-yard touchdown. “Obviously having a lead at halftime is big against a team like that,” Patti said. UCF was feeling pretty good with itself “We wanted to carry that over to the secgoing into halftime of its game against ond half, but I thought we came out a little South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadiflat. We’ve got to do a better job of getting um. The winless Knights were leading an it back going again.” SEC team 14-8 at the break and appeared The Knights held the Gamecocks without to have the momentum. a touchdown in the first half, but the big However, that feeling didn’t last very third quarter opened up the game. While long. The Gamecocks outscored UCF 20-0 O’Leary understands that some of it had to in the third quarter to roll to a 31-14 vicdo with mistakes on his own team, South tory on Saturday, Sept. 26. Carolina did a good job of taking advanA couple of interceptions in that quarter tage of the moment. proved to be the Knights’ (0-4) undoing as “Give South Carolina credit, I thought South Carolina (2-2) scored 13 points off some of their athletes were better athletes of those two turnovers. in space than we had,” O’Leary said. “It’s tough when you play such a good O’Leary was also impressed with the first half,” UCF head coach George way that South Carolina quarterback O’Leary said. “The second half, you can’t Lorenzo Nunez played. The freshman turn it over and miss tackles. Those are the finished with 184 yards through the air things that cost you ball games. That was and two touchdowns and also rushed for really the difference in the second half.” a game-high 123 yards in his first career The Knights took advantage of a rare start. mistake by South Carolina star Pharoh “Give him credit, I think he’s a good athCooper to take the lead into halftime. Coo- lete,” O’Leary said. “He’s only a freshman per tried to field a punt near his own goal so he’s going to be a good player. I thought line, but the ball slipped through his finour game plan against him was fine, but gers and was recovered by UCF. One play we hurt ourselves with a lot of missed later, wide receiver Nick Patti ran around plays on our part.”
26 • Spurs & Feathers
September 30, 2015
South Carolina Gamecocks
2015 - 2016 woMen’s Basketball Schedule
All Gamecock basketball coverage sponsored by Yesterdays
Opponent / Event
11/06/15..................vs. Newberry *.................................. Columbia, S.C.................................TBA 11/13/15..................vs. Ohio State.................................... Columbia, S.C.................................TBA 11/15/15..................vs. UNC Greensboro........................ Columbia, S.C.................................TBA 11/18/15............... at Clemson....................................Clemson, S.C.............................. TBA 11/22/15............... at UCLA........................................Los Angeles, Calif....................... TBA Waikiki Beach Marriott Rainbow Wahine Showdown 11/27/15..................vs. Arizona State............................... Waikiki, Hawaii.................7:30 p.m. ET 11/28/15..................vs. CSU Bakersfield.......................... Waikiki, Hawaii.................6:30 p.m. ET 11/29/15..................at Hawai’i........................................... Waikiki, Hawaii...............10:00 p.m. ET 12/06/15............... vs. Duke........................................Columbia, S.C............................ TBA 12/13/15............... vs. Winthrop.................................Columbia, S.C.............12:00 p.m. ET 12/16/15............... vs. Hampton..................................Columbia, S.C............................ TBA 12/20/15..................vs. East Carolina............................... Myrtle Beach, S.C.............1:00 p.m. ET 12/22/15............... vs. Elon..........................................Columbia, S.C............................ TBA 01/03/16............... vs. Arkansas # ..............................Columbia, S.C...............3:00 p.m. ET 01/07/16..................at Vanderbilt # ................................. Nashville, Tenn...............................TBA 01/10/16............... vs. Missouri # ...............................Columbia, S.C.............12:00 p.m. ET 01/14/16..................at Kentucky # ................................... Lexington, Ky.....................7:00 p.m. ET 01/17/16............... vs. Texas A&M # ...........................Columbia, S.C...............1:00 p.m. ET 01/21/16..................at Auburn # ...................................... Auburn, Ala.......................7:00 p.m. ET 01/24/16..................at Mississippi State # ....................... Starkville, Miss..................5:00 p.m. ET 01/28/16............... vs. Ole Miss # ...............................Columbia, S.C...............7:00 p.m. ET 01/31/16..................at Texas A&M # ............................... College Station, Texas......6:00 p.m. ET 02/04/16............... vs. Kentucky # ..............................Columbia, S.C...............7:00 p.m. ET 02/08/16............... vs. UConn.....................................Columbia, S.C...............7:00 p.m. ET 02/11/16............... vs. Florida # ..................................Columbia, S.C...............7:00 p.m. ET 02/15/16..................at Tennessee # .................................. Knoxville, Tenn.................7:00 p.m. ET 02/18/16............... vs. Georgia # ................................Columbia, S.C...............7:00 p.m. ET 02/22/16..................at Alabama # .................................... Tuscaloosa, Ala.................7:00 p.m. ET 02/25/16..................at Ole Miss # .................................... Oxford, Miss....................................TBA 02/28/16............... vs. LSU # .......................................Columbia, S.C............................ TBA Bold......................indicates home game # ...........................indicates SEC game * ...........................exhibition game All Times Listed as Eastern and are subject to change
photo by allen sharpe
Spurs & Feathers • 27
September 30, 2015
South Carolina/UCF postgame notes and quotes south carolina athletics media relations
In the first half, I was a little shaky. I just wanted to go out there and compete.”
GENERAL NOTES • South Carolina defeated UCF 31-14, snapping the Gamecocks’ two game losing streak. The win over UCF gives the Gamecocks 22 wins in their last 23 non-conference games dating back to 2010. • Captains for South Carolina for the game were: junior linebacker Skai Moore, senior spur TJ Gurley, junior wide receiver Pharoh Cooper and senior offensive linemen Will Sport. • The game marked the fifth gridiron meeting between South Carolina and UCF. With the win, the Gamecocks now hold a 5-0 lead in the all-time series. • Steve Spurrier is now 4-0 in his career vs. UCF and is 3-0 vs. UCF’s George O’Leary. • Attendance was 78,411.
South Carolina junior linebacker Skai Moore On halftime mindset “The first half was unacceptable in my eyes. We shouldn’t have been down 14-8. We were just trying to get everyone’s minds right and go back out in the second half and play like we should.” On the first half “I felt like we had energy, just sometimes we weren’t executing in certain situations. We had some mishaps in the first half that put us in bad situations. We just have to execute all 60 minutes.”
UCF head football coach George O’Leary Opening statement “It was a tough one. You play a good first half and get things OFFENSIVE NOTES South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier you have to get done, but in the second half you can’t turn it Opening statement over or have missed tackles. Those are the things that will cost • Freshman quarterback Lorenzo Nunez went 12-of-22 for “At the beginning of the week we didn’t realize what a big win you ball games. People who are in position to make plays on 184 yards and two touchdowns. He connected on his first career this was going to be for us. We thought we were just going to the ball are making those plays, and that was the difference in touchdown pass with a 13-yard strike to redshirt-freshman tight show up and those guys (UCF) were just going to show up, but I the second half – field position because of missed tackles and end Jacob August in the third quarter. knew it was going to be tough. I told those guys that this was go- turnovers. You just have to improve in areas that are constantly • Nunez was also the team’s leading rusher with 18 rushes for ing to be a tough game. Their (UCF’s) d-line is one of the best. showing up each game.” 123 yards, including gains of 19, 23, 23 and 29 yards. The last Finally we started running the ball in the third or fourth quarter. South Carolina quarterback to rush for 100 yards in a game was We tried a little bit earlier and it didn’t do any good. Pharoh On South Carolina quarterback Lorenzo Nunez Connor Shaw against Clemson in 2011, who ran for 107 yards (Cooper) made on crucial mistake but he got two touchdowns “We had people there that missed a tackle, and give them on 19 carries in the win. back for us. Lorenzo Nunez, he actually threw the ball a little credit I think he is a good athlete. He is only a freshman, and he • Pharoh Cooper finished the game with four catches for 69 better than I think everyone thought he would and played very is going to be a good player. I think the gameplan against him yards and a touchdown. He also ran the ball three times for 27 well. Our defense played well and we should play well. Hopeful- was fine, but we hurt ourselves on a lot of missed plays.” yards, including a 29-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. ly this will tell our guys that we can play defense. We have good • August’s 13-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter players. TJ Holloman of course got a game ball for his two big Category SC UCF was the first of his career. He finished with two grabs for 21 picks. The defense held them (UCF) to that one drive and played 1st Downs 20 15 yards and the score. pretty well. We finally got a little pass rush at the end. Hopefully Total Yards 400 230 we can gain some confidence through this second half. We were Passing 184 204 DEFENSIVE NOTES in trouble at halftime but I basically told our guys whoever plays Rushing 216 26 the best second half is going to win the game and we played the Penalties-Yards 2-20 5-31 • Junior linebacker T.J. Holloman recorded six tackles, one best in the second half.” 3rd Down Conversions 7-16 3-12 tackle-for-loss, two interceptions, two quarterback hurries and 4th Down Conversions 1-1 1-3 a pass-breakup. His two interceptions both came in the third On the team taking confidence from this win into next Turnovers 1 2 quarter and give him five for his career. week… Time of Possession 33:54 26:06 • Senior spur TJ Gurley led the team in tackles for the first “We hope so, time will tell. Missouri was the Eastern Division time this season with 10, falling one short of matching his Champions the last two years. It will be a good test for us. We’re Passing Leaders career-high. capable; I really believe we’re capable. We know UCF didn’t South Carolina COM ATT YDS TD INT • Freshman defensive end Boosie Whitlow picked up his first come in here as the top offense in the country, in fact they were Nunez 12 22 184 2 0 career sack in the first quarter. He also added a safety on the near the bottom I think, so we can’t get too overconfident right Orth 0 3 0 0 0 first play of the second quarter, the first safety by South Carolina now that we’re a real good defense. We have to go stop some UCF COM ATT YDS TD INT since 9/12/09 at Georgia. good teams. The test is still out there for us. The only thing we Schneider 20 35 189 1 2 • Junior linebacker Skai Moore finished second on the team in did, we came off the deck at halftime, guys made some plays Patti 3 3 15 0 0 tackles with nine, giving him a new season-high. and we won the game by 17.” Rushing Leaders South Carolina CAR YDS AVG TD LG SPECIAL TEAM NOTES Co-defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward Nunez 18 123 6.8 0 29 Carson 7 35 5.0 0 14 • Junior kicker Elliot Fry’s 52-yard field goal in the first quarter On taking confidence from the win… UCF CAR YDS AVG TD LG gave him a new career-long. It is tied for the sixth-longest field “Any time you can win after loosing two ball games it’s big. It Jones 9 22 2.4 0 7 goal in program history and the longest since Ryan Succop’s plays mentally on the coaches and on the kids. You have to play Patti 4 11 2.8 1 61 54-yarder against Arkansas (11/8/08). Frye finished 3-4 with with confidence. It’s definitely big after you’ve lost two games Receiving Leaders makes of 52-, 27-and 33-yards, and is now 9-of-12 on the year. in a row.” South Carolina REC YDS AVG TD LG • Junior punter Sean Kelly averaged 45 yards-per-punt on four Cooper 4 69 17.3 1 35 attempts, including a 41-yard punt in the second quarter that was South Carolina freshman quarterback Lorenzo Nunez Adams 3 47 15.7 0 17 downed at the two-yard-line and led to a safety. He is averaging On Expectations UCF REC YDS AVG TD LG 43.35 yards-per-punt on the year. “I just wanted to go out there and see what I could do. I think I Smith 5 82 16.4 1 30 did a pretty good job. I did way better in the second half, I think. Payton 5 42 8.4 0 12 photo by jenny dilworth
28 • Spurs & Feathers
September 30, 2015
South Carolina’s ‘The Graveyard’ more than lived up to its name this past week by brian hand Executive Editor South Carolina’s Stone Stadium is affectionately known as “The Graveyard.” Obviously the soccer stadium sits near a cemetery, but for the most part the nickname really has to do with the fact that visiting teams expectations of a victory quickly are vanquished by both the South Carolina men’s and women’s soccer teams. In fact, the South Carolina women’s team in the 2015 season through Friday, Sept. 25, is currently 6-0 at “The Graveyard,” while the Gamecock men’s soccer team is 4-0-1 this season inside the friendly confines of Stone Stadium. If one ever needed further clarification of the prowess of “The Graveyard,” all one would need to do is look at Sept. 22-Sept. 25. During that stretch, three top-10 teams visited “The Graveyard” and three top-10 teams left with a loss. The South Carolina men’s soccer team bested previously unbeaten No. 8 Elon, 3-1, on Tuesday, Sept. 22 first before the 17th-ranked South Carolina women’s soccer team took care of business against No. 4 Texas A&M with a 2-1 SEC win over the Aggies on Thursday, Sept. 24. The South Carolina men then picked up their second straight win over a top-10 team for the first time since 2000 with a 2-1 Conference USA overtime win over No. 7 New Mexico. South Carolina men’s soccer head coach Mark Berson knows beating two top-10 teams in one week is one for the record books. “It’s big,” Berson mused. “It’s really big. This is the caliber of the schedule that we play. These are the caliber of teams that are in Conference USA for instance. This is the standard that we set for our guys and that they set for themselves. And what I’m really pleased with is that they set that standard and they met that standard.” Both the South Carolina men and women are currently among the tops in the country in overall attendance and Berson and 16th-year South Carolina women’s soccer head coach Shelley Smith know just how special Stone Stadium really is for Gamecock fans and their programs. “We have a lot of pride for playing for the University and to have people in the stands In his 38th season as head coach of the cheering you on, it makes it even that much Gamecock men’s soccer program, Berson more special,” Smith noted to Spurs & Feath- knows how respected Stone Stadium is across ers just before South Carolina’s thrilling top- the nation. 20 win over No. 4 Texas A&M. “This is a great place to play,” Berson said
photo by allen sharpe
after South Carolina’s win over No. 7 New Mexico. “It’s one of the stadiums of heritage in college soccer across the country. Everyone knows this place. Players on our national team and not just our team, but other (national
team) players have played here. It’s a great place, it’s a great environment and our fans were unbelievable again tonight and it was great to put on another good performance for everybody.”
Spurs & Feathers • 29
September 30, 2015
The Gamecocks made some strides against UCF
While there are still a lot of unanswered from the same cloth. He runs without fear questions about the 2015 South Carolina foot- and can fit the ball into a tight space with his ball team moving forward, one issue has been throws. Nunez displayed poise way beyond resoundingly settled – quarterback. The third his years, and never once had the dear-in-thestarter was the charm, as true freshman Loheadlight look of an inexperienced player. renzo Nunez led the Gamecocks I believe the potential he to a 31-14 victory over Central showed could be karma for the Florida with his arm and his feet. USC program. However, even There was some question if he though they dominated the was up to the task after his first stats, there was nothing about pass was right to a UCF defendthe way the game played out er, who, fortunately, dropped it. that would lead you to believe After that scare the Kennesaw, the Gamecocks have turned the Ga., native went on to complete corner. There are going to be 12-of-22 throws for 184 yards some mighty challenges ahead, and two touchdowns, with no so why not cast an eye to the interceptions. Nunez constantly future by playing Nunez? He will Glenn Snyder kept the Golden Knight defense go through the “baptism of fire” Inside off balance with his running, that every freshman quarterback Look finishing with a net 123 yards faces, but he will learn from his rushing. mistakes and get better every I don’t think there is any question that Con- week. nor Shaw set the standard for the dual-threat Some will ask why they didn’t start Nunez QB at Carolina, and Nunez looks to be cut from game one, and I will explain why. Play-
ing time is based on performance in practice and scrimmages, and while he had his moments, he still had issues with making his reads, something that gets better with every repetition. I ran into former Gamecock great, running back Harold Green, recently, and I was teasing him about his reputation for not being a strong practice player. He protested and said, “But you know Glenn, when they turned on the lights, I was 110 percent.” I’m not suggesting that Nunez doesn’t have strong practice habits, quite the contrary, but there are some players who perform better when the lights are turned on. “He’s a gamer,” Coach Steve Spurrier said, “he showed us that.” I can tell you another thing about Nunez, he’s a strong character kid. I had the pleasure to meet his parents last year when they were up for a game, and in just a few minutes visiting with them about their son, I could tell that education comes first, and that Lorenzo is always going to do things the right way.
I think the Gamecocks made some strides against UCF. The offense scored in every quarter, and 31 points is enough to win a lot of games. The offensive line play was once again solid, and Shon Carson, David Williams, Pharoh Copper and Nunez combined to rush for 216 yards. And speaking of Cooper, I said it last season and will say it again, Pharoh is one of those special players you want to pay to see perform. His 29-yard TD run on what was supposed to be a double pass, was a thing of beauty. The defense responded to the challenge, holding the Golden Knights to just 230 yards of total offense, and completely shutting them out in the second half. It wasn’t pretty against a 0-3 team, but it was definitely a step in the right direction. I stayed up late to watch Kentucky beat Missouri 2113. If the Gamecocks can play an inspired game like the Wildcats, they certainly have a chance. It’s a great time to be a Gamecock!
‘University 101’: Study hard and show up daily With the Gamecocks ushering in a group of young players - in particular freshmen at prominent parts of the team - we all are enrolling in the renowned course “University 101”if we know it or not. For those who don’t know “University 101” is the hallmark course at USC that is taught to every freshman that attends the University. This course teaches freshmen various transition and problem solving skills for the “real world.” With the football team reeling after last week’s loss, the hunt for playmakers Langston Moore was necessary. Contributing We had to look Writer to our freshmen class and first year players to provide the extra playmaking spark we needed on both sides of the ball. This is an obvious indication that the young players are our best chance to win now this season. As a player who grew up in football organizations that looked down on freshmen playing at any position, I had to reexamine my own thoughts about young inexperienced players having a say so in winning by playing early. So we, fans, coaches = Gamecock Nation must foster a “sense of belonging”
because these young Gamecocks are here to stay. Having had to go through both the classroom “University 101” as a student and the on the field “University 101” playing as a true freshman in ‘99, I know first hand how important a course like this is for a young person, especially when the game (life) gets tough. As it relates to football there are a few principles our young freshmen are going to have to grasp and understand fully if we are to earn a passing grade on the field to a win. “The purpose of ‘University 101’ is to help new students make a successful transition” The beginning of the course must be focused on transition. As a young player entering the starting lineup you have to understand the past is gone, that you are transitioning from a high school standout who more than likely is or was a legend on their hometown field. When you enter the stadiums in college none of that matters, none of the accolades and cheers follow you into Williams-Brice or any other stadium. The player has the opportunity to write a new script for the next however many long seasons they play for the garnet and black. Transitions must also be aided by the instructors aka the coaches. It’s up to the coach to provide the student (player) with the correct tools and instructions on how best to make it. In this case the best way to be a factor for the team and not be a liability. This is imperative in the player (student) making a successful transition from high school star to college.
this is your University now, you control the destiny and future of it through your actions. You must be accountable not only to your teammates now, but to all of those who’ve come before you. Your play will be watched by those coming after you, looking for cues on how to be a Gamecock. It’s important that you understand you hold the baton now but for only a short time, it must be passed on. “Did you make it better or worse after you left the Coop?” With a true freshman center, quarterback photo by jenny dilworth and defensive end accounting for big plays “Course content should be tailored to the in the game against UCF there is no quesneeds of the students in each section.” tion the young talent we expected to develop Each student (player) must be put in posislowly is now being asked to become saviors tions to have success to build their confiof the season. Displaying renewed talent, dence. Coaches have to understand when energy, and some youthful ignorance workthey have to adapt their playcalling to the ing in their favor, Carolina may be figuring talents and abilities of the players at that out who they are. With still so many more given time. “See a little see a lot” you can’t lessons ahead and other courses to tackle, the give a young excited player too much, they freshmen must show up to “University 101” will be overwhelmed. Instructors (coaches) daily, take part in all study groups (practices) have to know when to protect the player from and class discussions (film sessions) to assure their preparedness for the next test. Study giving them too much and when to let them hard... just go play. Until the correct skillsets and techniques have been instilled into the young **The quotes were taken from the students, the teachers (coaches) may have to “University 101” site: http://www.sc.edu/ scale back the curriculum (playbook) and allow the student to get comfortable with the univ101/aboutus/goals.html Follow Langston Moore on Twitter at: course load. @reMovetheChains “Community should be established early #justachicken in order to promote a sense of belonging” #eat2win In particular this speaks to the players #yoby (students). Understand this is your team now,
30 • Spurs & Feathers
September 30, 2015
Rolando Howell excited to be back in Columbia community
by kyle Heck Reporter
As a McDonald’s High School All-American at Columbia’s Lower Richland high school, Rolando Howell could have gone just about anywhere. After having a final three of Kentucky, Connecticut and South Carolina, Howell decided to stay home and play for the Gamecocks and head coach Eddie Fogler. “I didn’t want to leave my parents and my whole family,” Howell said. “I wanted them to support me at every game and they did.” With that decision in 2000, Howell became just the third McDonald’s All-American to sign with South Carolina, joining Terry Dozier and all-time leading scorer B.J. McKie. There are now four that share that honor, thanks to 2015 incoming freshman P.J. Dozier. Howell, whose older brother Ivan also played for the Gamecocks, went on to have four successful years with South Carolina, averaging 9.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. He blocked 72 shots while playing in 102 games and starting 66 during his career. A broken wrist prematurely ended Howell’s career during his senior season. Howell was coached by both Fogler and Dave Odom, who took over after the 2001 season. “That was a great experience,” Howell said of his time with the Gamecocks. “I paid to play basketball all over the world. still keep in contact with coach Fogler and “You play about 60 games compared to 82 coach Odom. Both coaches were great. The time was a learning experience coming out (in the NBA),” Howell said. “I was always of high school. I was an All-American turn- on the highest level over there so I would ing into an average student at Carolina.” play two or three games a week instead of Being a top-10 recruit coming out of high one game a week like the lower levels did. school, Howell’s dream was to have a long But it was a great experience.” career in the NBA. He ended up having a Almost three years ago, while he was long professional career, but it wasn’t in the playing in Taiwan, Howell got married. NBA. That meant that for the last few years of his After failing to catch on with several NBA career, he got to have his family by his side. teams, Howell went overseas Howell probably would have to play professionally. That kept on playing but with the began a 12-year run playing crumbling economy over in with seven different countries Europe, the pay started to dip across Europe and Asia. Howand Howell could no longer ell played five seasons in Italy, count on it to support him and two seasons in Spain and a his family. year in Lebanon, Portugal, So now Howell has returned Taiwan, China and Russia. to Columbia with his family, All Gamecock basketball where he is looking to get While it wasn’t his childhood dream, Howell enjoyed coverage sponsored by involved with the community. the time that he spent getting Yesterdays One good thing about retiring
south carolina athletics media relations
is Howell now gets to see a lot of people he hasn’t seen in a long time. He was at Langston Moore’s Eat2Win camp this past summer to help out with the youngsters and catch up with some fellow former Gamecocks. “In the summertime, you only had three months,” Howell said of his professional days. “You can’t see everyone in three months. You can’t spend time with all your family and friends because before you know it, it’s time to go back to work.” “It’s good to see all these guys together,” Howell added. “We’re going to support each other. We always have and that’s how it should be. We’re going to continue to do more things like this and get basketball involved as soon as possible.” Howell has teamed up with former South Carolina (1996-2000) and international standout Herbert Lee Davis and the two are planning to get something going in the community sometime soon.
“It’s about to get interesting in Columbia,” Howell said. Howell has a lot of great memories from his pro career. His favorite place to play was in Italy, saying that “everything was great about it.” His favorite memories were when he was with his wife in the latter stages of his career, remembering a time they were both in Taiwan eating an unknown food that tasted surprisingly good. Howell also got the opportunity to play against San Antonio Spurs star Manu Ginobili. Now back on the U.S. side of the pond, Howell said he is still getting adjusted to being back home. However, he’s enjoying the time with his family and friends and is looking forward to making an impact in Columbia. “As long as I have my family beside me, it’s a lot easier,” Howell said. “I’m trying to help out the community. I just want to let everyone know I’m back and I’m around.”
Spurs & Feathers • 31
September 30, 2015
Girardeau: Expect the unexpected
On Oct. 17, 1992, South Carolina was off to a sunny, beautiful day. On his first touch down its worst five game start in the history of the pass, Taneyhill took his helmet off at midfield, program at 0-5 (the 1964 team tied twice in releasing his shoulder length hair, tossed his hat the first three on a way to an 0-5-2 start). The into the air, and on its way down, took an imagiGamecocks faced Jackie Sherrill’s 15th- ranked nary homerun swing, followed by shielding the Mississippi State squad in Columbia. sun from his eyes, as he watched his imaginary The team was coming off a shellacking at the dinger sail out of sight. hands of ninth-ranked Alabama, losing 48-7 and Williams-Brice went nuts! South Carolina had lost to East Carolina at home rolled on to a 21-6 upset of the earlier as well as at Kentucky. Bulldogs and used the win to During the week, the players had springboard on to four more reportedly “revolted” and asked wins, including 16th-ranked Tenfor head coach Sparky Woods to nessee and Clemson in Death resign. That was put down fairly Valley. quickly, but it was the worst of That was the last time a true times. freshman started at quarterback Comparatively speaking, this for the Gamecocks and WON! year’s start is bad, but not as bad That is until this past Saturday as 1992. USC was playing in its when true freshman Lorenzo first season in the SEC and I can Nunez started for Carolina and Ed Girardeau remember thinking (as I’m sure USC went on the beat UCF, 31-14. Contributing plenty of others did, too) what Taneyhill went 7-for-14 for Editor have we gotten ourselves into? It 183 yards and two touchdowns. was a pretty embarrassing start. Nunez was 12-for-22 for 184 Enter Steve Taneyhill, a muchyards and two touchdowns. To acclaimed, true freshman, from Altoona, Penn- boot, Nunez rushed 18 times for 123 yards. sylvania. What a day it turned out to be. It was Taneyhill had, well, Steve was not known for his
rushing, but for the first time out, their passing numbers are eerily similar. They are two different people. Taneyhill was brash out of the box. Nunez is quiet, but has a quiet confidence. We probably won’t see Lorenzo pulling theatrics such as the helmet toss. Aside from the fact that it’s now illegal to take your helmet off on the field of play, it’s not his personality. He brings the intangible of rushing like a running back and his passing, after a limited number of attempts in the first three games, was surprisingly good. He is just getting started and will undoubtedly get better as the season progresses. The point of all this is not to suggest that USC is ready to roll. We beat a pretty poor UCF team, but, as Coach Spurrier said after the game, several times, it was a good win and one that was needed for this team. During the week I heard all kinds of derogatory comments as to the future of this team. That comes with the territory, but the more discouraging talk was the absolute hopelessness professed by some. There is still a long way to go. The schedule is very tough, but if the past has taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. How often
have poor starts turned into great finishes? The opposite is true; too, how many fast starts turned into poor finishes? We have a long way to go. One thing is for sure, Coach Spurrier, the coaching staff, and the players will not stand pat as we saw with the changes on Saturday. They will continue to make ground and get better. The offense will need improvement, but as I said many times this past week, the offense is not the biggest problem. The defense was better against UCF giving up one sustained drive and a touchdown (the other score was on a fumbled punt on the one yard line). For the third time in three of the four games, the defense shut out the opponent in the second half. The team will have to find a way to put together two halves back to back in one game, particularly with the upcoming schedule. A poor first half start from here on out will not end pretty. Strides were made Saturday. Missouri went to Kentucky and lost, thus, an opportunity exists to get better and perhaps get a win on the road. Then LSU will come to Columbia. Opportunities abound, so enjoy the ride and don’t be surprised if you are surprised by how this season ends.
Embrace the expectations for Gamecock men’s basketball Expectations for athletic programs can be both a great asset and massive detriment to coaches. Fans build up their ideas of what their favorite teams should accomplish in the given season and if those thoughts are not met then sports talk shows and internet message boards are filled with anger. At these times, those expectations can be a detriment as coaches must deal with those beliefs when they are not met. The proverbial hot seat for a coach becomes a topic of conversation causing great stress but also a sense of urgency Bill Gunter to get the job done. Contributing On the other Writer hand, expectations can keep a program moving forward and sustaining a high level of success. When the fan base does not get to enjoy their usual success, they can demand a change in order to not let the program become stagnant and irrelevant. For South Carolina basketball, the word expectation has rarely been used the last 25 years. Sure, there have been a year here or there where the Gamecocks fan base believes that something
big is on the horizon however for the most part anyone that coaches, anyone that plays, we the basketball season is treated as a great footcreate unbelievable expectations of ourselves,” ball official visit tool along with something to Martin said. “When you get the fans with exwatch between football season ending in Janupectations then you start creating a recipe where ary and baseball starting up in mid-February. there is excitement, real excitement. Now we all It is understandable that the fan base would have to do our part, we need the fans to help, the have a reluctance to embrace the program and fans need to create an unbelievable home court expect anything more than moderate success. environment for us and we have to take that next We are talking about a program that has not won step as coaches and do our job to make sure we an NCAA Tournament game in over 40 years. take the next step forward.” However, if you have been paying to attention With the head coach firmly embracing the to what Frank Martin and his coaching staff fans expectations and understanding them, that have done over the previous three years, it is should give you hope that even bigger things are hard to not embrace the future and have a few in store. expectations for the upcoming season. Practice will begin for the Gamecocks this For a fan base to truly embrace a sports procoming Saturday, Oct. 3 and Martin will rely on gram there needs to be the opportunity to be a veteran team to not just play well but help the disappointed by them, to have the anger emotion talented newcomers develop quickly. drawn out of you when something does not go “The thing I was on the returning players the way you had hoped. In four seasons, Martin about is part of becoming a good basketball has been able to build that passion among the team, part of becoming a good upperclassmen fan base as they now believe he is on the verge is when you are not in a drill, you don’t go stand of something big. on the sideline and worry about Last week, on my radio show yourself,” Martin said. “You “Reynolds and Gunter,” we interhave to engage with this first viewed Martin and talked about year guys to help them.” the word expectation, and what I personally believe this year’s the Gamecocks should do in the team has the talent to be chalupcoming season. The Gamelenger in the SEC and be in cocks head man did not shy away contention for the NCAA TourAll Gamecock basketball nament when they arrive at the from believing that his team is coverage sponsored by SEC Tournament in March. At capable of something special. Yesterdays “That is the way it should be, bare minimum this is a team that
photo by allen sharpe
should play a few games in the NIT Tournament and then bring in another strong recruiting class that continues the program’s upward ascent. Some coaches may shy away from expectations, but Martin is not doing that this year and for fans that is a good thing. The fan base needs to join Martin in expecting big things in 2015-2016 by coming out to games, making a tough home court environment and embracing what this year’s team is capable of doing. It is okay to believe they are on the verge of something special and if some of the expectations are not met then that will be ok too. It creates a good environment for any athletic program and that is something that has been missing with the Gamecocks men’s basketball team for a while now. This year however should be the start of big expectations each year moving forward.
32 • Spurs & Feathers
September 30, 2015
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