Gamecock Nation Today

Friday, March 8, 2019

Good morning and happy Friday!

Time change: Due to forecasted inclement weather, Friday's baseball game vs. Valparaiso was moved up to 4 p.m.

New! Another Carolina Podcast: Gamecock Central's Chris Clark and Wes Mitchell on first impressions of the new defensive line coach, spring practice thoughts and what we've learned so far. (link)

Have a great weekend. See you Monday!

– Brian Shoemaker (email)
John Scott Jr.

1. Get to know new defensive line coach John Scott Jr.

South Carolina officially hired John Scott Jr. as its new defensive line coach on Jan. 22, but with a busy first month and a half on the job, Scott had yet to meet with the media. That changed on Thursday when he spoke on a number of topics following the Gamecocks' spring practice.

Why South Carolina? "South Carolina has always been a blue-collar place to me and that's really who I am, so that part of it fit. I've always thought that this place was a wonderful place. I remember coming to games when I was in high school. This place is rowdy, it has a tremendous gameday atmosphere, and so, just knowing the history and tradition of that, knowing what this school means to the state, it's closer to my family, just all of that wrapped up. To me, it was a no-brainer."

Fun facts: A Greer, S.C., native, Scott not only spent Saturdays going to games at USC, he won a state title for Greer High at Williams-Brice Stadium in 1994. He also used to drive to Columbia as a teenager to watch Hootie and the Blowfish play.

NFL Connections: Scott spent 2015 as a defensive quality control coach with the New York Jets and served as assistant defensive line coach there in 2016. Will Muschamp mentioned his experience at that level as one of his factors in hiring Scott.

"My two years in the NFL I probably learned more football than I have ever learned, just the amount of time they have to study and really dive into what’s going on. You don’t get that amount of time in college, because you've other aspects to deal with, just gaining that knowledge and being able to coach those guys."

What are expectations for the group? "We've got to be stout up front. I told those guys today, we're the core of the defense. If the core of your foundation when you're building a house is soft, the house is going to be soft. We've got to be the core. We can't allow people to run the ball inside. We've got to make that thing outside bounce. ... We've got to be fundamentally sound against the run and we've got to be solid against the pass."

Related items:
  • Video: Introducing John Scott Jr. (link)
  • New defensive line coach right at home (link)
– Wes Mitchell (email)
Destanni Henderson/Credit: Chris Gillespie

2. Gamecocks begin SEC Tournament

No. 10 Arkansas beat Georgia, 86-76, Thursday night for the right to play South Carolina. Arkansas won despite only shooting 7 of 16 from 3-point range. However, Chelsea Dungee was a force, scoring 31 points and going 10 of 12 from the free-throw line.
  • The game starts at 6 and will be televised on the SEC Network.

  • Previous meeting: South Carolina beat Arkansas, 87-79, in the regular season, but it was a tough win. Arkansas’s small, fast lineup and uptempo play gave South Carolina fits. Arkansas led most of the game, before Dawn Staley, desperate for a spark, inserted Destanni Henderson and Victoria Saxton, who were little-used freshmen at that point.

  • The winner of the South Carolina-Arkansas quarterfinal game will advance to face the winner of the Auburn-Texas A&M quarterfinal game.
South Carolina has won the last four SEC Tournaments, more than any other team in league history, even Tennessee. Much was written last year about how incredible it was that A’ja Wilson finished her decorated career without a single loss in the SEC Tournament, something no other four-year player could say.

Related items:
Hassani Gravett, Chris Silva/Credit: Katie Dugan

3. New and notes

Men's Basketball: Senior Day Ticket Special – Celebrate this year's seniors as they close out the regular season on Saturday. This special offer is available for your family and friends to enjoy a day at Colonial Life Arena and see the Gamecocks take on Georgia. (link)

Men's Basketball: Attention all kids – As part of the athletic department's "Year of the Kid" program, there will be a "Net Head Hat Giveaway" at Saturday's men's basketball game. The first 100 kids 12 and younger will receive a free net head hat. They can be picked up at the marketing table on the concourse by the main entrance.

Men's Basketball: SEC Tournament seeding scenarios – There's only one game between South Carolina and the SEC Tournament with still a lot to play for this season. They're currently sitting in pole position for the No. 4 seed and the final double bye in the SEC tournament. Here are some tournament seeding notes with every team having one game left to play. (subscription)

Baseball: Stats against Clemson – Gamecock great Drew Meyer compiled career stats for 67 different USC players against the Tigers since 1997. "This project started with me being curious about how I fared against Clemson in my career. It led to me to flipping through a bunch of box scores." (link)

Baseball: Junior college players providing big boost this year – When a team loses almost its entire starting lineup like South Carolina did heading into this season, it can be hard to replace that production with freshmen. That’s where junior college players come in. (link)

Baseball: Neutral-site tickets now available to general public – The baseball team will complete in three neutral site games during the 2019 season. Tickets for all three games are now available for purchase for the general public. (link)

Baseball: Kingston announces weekend rotation – Mark Kingston officially has a plan for how the Gamecocks pitching rotation will shake out this weekend. The Gamecocks are doing some shuffling, bumping Reid Morgan up a day and starting a freshman on Friday night. (link)

Football commit Issiah Walker has been invited to the Adidas All-American game according to a tweet from him (link)

Football (ICYMI): Pickens 'definitely looks the part' this spring – It hasn’t taken long for Zacch Pickens to start turning the heads of some of his teammates. The Gamecocks have only been on the practice field four times so far this spring, but that’s enough of a sample size to know Pickens already looks the part of an SEC defensive lineman. (link)

Football: The Insider Report from Chris Clark (subscription)

A message from President Pastides to students about optimism (link)

Equestrian: Volan named NCEA Horse of the Month – South Carolina Equitation on the Flat Horse Volan has been named the Horse of the Month for the month of February by the NCEA as announced Thursday morning. (link)

– Jackson Fields (email)
Gamecock softball team/Credit: USC athletics

4. Plan your schedule accordingly

Friday, March 8
• All day – Women's Golf, Darius Rucker Invitational (Hilton Head)
• All day – Track & Field, NCAA Indoor Championships (Birmingham)
• 1 pm – Equestrian hosts Delaware State
• 4 pm – Baseball hosts Valparaiso, SECN+
• 5 pm – Men's Tennis hosts Mississippi State, YouTube
• 6 pm – Women's Basketball vs Arkansas (Greenville), SECN
• 6 pm – Women's Tennis at Missouri
• 6 pm – Softball hosts Kentucky, SECN+

Radio info for Friday:
• Baseball, 3:45 pm air time, 107.5 The Game/Gamecock Sports Radio Network (the game will finish on WISW 1320 AM beginning at 5:45 pm)
• Women's Basketball, 5:45 pm air time, 107.5 The Game

Saturday, March 9
• All day – Women's Golf, Darius Rucker Invitational (Hilton Head)
• All day – Track & Field, NCAA Indoor Championships (Birmingham)
• 10 am – Beach Volleyball at Coastal Carolina
• 12 pm – Beach Volleyball vs UNCW (Conway)
• 1 pm – Men's Basketball hosts Georgia, SECN
• 2 pm – Softball hosts Kentucky, SECN+
• 4 pm – Baseball hosts Valparaiso, SECN+
• 7:30 pm – Women's Basketball, SEC Tournament (Greenville), ESPNU

Radio info for Saturday:
• Men's Basketball, 12:30 pm air time, 107.5 The Game/Gamecock Sports Radio Network
• Baseball, 3:45 pm air time, 107.5 The Game/Gamecock Sports Radio Network
• Women's Basketball (if USC wins Friday), 7:15 pm air time, 107.5 The Game (should baseball run over, WBB game will start on WISW-1320 AM)

Sunday, March 10
• All day – Women's Golf, Darius Rucker Invitational (Hilton Head)
• 1 pm – Women's Tennis at Arkansas
• 1 pm – Softball hosts Kentucky, SECN+
• 1 pm – Men's Tennis hosts Ole Miss, YouTube
• 1:30 pm – Baseball hosts Valparaiso, SECN+
• 2 pm – Women's Basketball, SEC Tournament (Greenville), ESPN2

Radio info for Sunday:
• Baseball, 1:15 pm air time, WOMG-98.5 FM/Gamecock Sports Radio Network
• Women's Basketball (if USC wins Friday and Saturday), 1:45 pm air time, 107.5 The Game

– Jackson Fields (email)

5. This Date in Gamecock History

March 8, 2002 – The Gamecocks stun No. 12 Kentucky in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament, eliminating the Wildcats with a 70-57 victory. Kentucky missed its first 14 3-point attempts as Carolina built an 8-point halftime lead. The Wildcats never got closer than six points in the second half, and when they did Michael Boynton came off the bench to hit two key 3-pointers and re-establish the USC lead. Aaron Lucas led USC with 12 points, while Rolando Howell (10), Tony Kitchings (10 points, 13 rebounds), Jamel Bradley (11) and Boynton (10) also reached double figures.

– John Parker, gamecockarchives.com

6. Key Dates (Countdown)

• March 13 – SEC MBB Tourney (5 days)
• March 21 – Football: Pro Timing Day (13)
• March 22 – Muschamp Coaches Clinic (14)
• April 6 – Football: Spring game (29)
• April 25 – NFL Draft begins (48)
• May 8 – SEC Softball Tourney (61)
• May 21 – SEC Baseball Tourney (74)
• July 15 – SEC Media Days begins (129)
• Aug. 31 – Football: Gamecocks vs UNC (176)

7. Happy Birthday to you! 

Gamecock Central birthdays

•  Prince of Cocks (Member since 2001)

If you have a Gamecock Central account - free or subscription - you can add your birthday here.

Gamecock Nation birthdays

Andrew Provence – He blossomed as a sophomore in 1980, leading the team in sacks, tackles for loss, forced fumbles and fumble recoveries. He had a season-high 16 tackles against Georgia, including three for loss, while also recording 11 tackles against Southern Cal and Michigan. He was named All-South Independent in 1981 after setting a then school record for tackles and leading the team in sacks. He picked off a pass against Kentucky and returned it to the UK 12, setting up a Carolina touchdown in a 28-14 win. Other big games that season were Virginia (25 tackles), Clemson (19 tackles, 2 for loss), UNC (16 tackles, 2 sacks) and Pittsburgh (17 tackles, 2 sacks). As a senior he was again named All-South Independent and The Sporting News named him an All-American. Other honors included third-team All-American by the Associated Press, the All-American Strength Team and the team’s Steve Wadiak MVP Award. Provence was one of the team’s captains in 1982 and was also named All-State by the South Carolina Sportswriters for the second straight year. Provence was a first round draft choice of the Atlanta Falcons, who he played for from 1983 through 1987 and was named to the USC All-Time Team in 1993. Andrew’s older brother, Jerome, was an offensive lineman and former MVP for the Gamecocks.

Jimbo Neely (football/running back, 1973-76)
Jason Pomar (football/wide receiver, 1995-96, baseball/pitcher, 1996-99)
Nick Ruhman (football/offensive guard, 1996)

– John Parker, gamecockarchives.com

8. Around Gamecock Nation

• March 9 – Charlotte, Gamecock Yoga & Mimosas
• March 27 – Greenville, President's Reception (link)
• April 10 – Give 4 Garnet (link)
• April 23 – Augusta, Spurs Up Tour
• April 24 – Midlands, Spurs Up Tour
• April 29 – Lancaster, Spurs Up Tour
• April 30 – Greenville, Spurs Up Tour
• May 2 – York, Spurs Up Tour
• May 7 – Sumter, Spurs Up Tour
• May 8 – Myrtle Beach, Spurs Up Tour
• May 9 – Atlanta, Spurs Up Tour
• May 14 – Charleston, Spurs Up Tour

Note: Will Muschamp is scheduled to appear at all of the Spurs Up Tour events. More information, including specific locations and ticket prices, will be announced as it comes available.

– Brian Shoemaker (email)
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