2006 South Carolina Gamecocks Basketball Preview
2006 South Carolina Gamecocks Basketball Predictions
After winning the NIT the past two years, the Gamecocks (23- 15 overall, 6- 10 SEC) looked like they could finally be headed to the NCAA Tournament this season until star forward Renaldo Balkman (9.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 1.3 BPG) turned pro. Now, the NIT may be a stretch.
Senior Tre’ Kelley (12.5 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 4.6 APG, 41.7 FG%, 76.5 FT%) starts for the third year at point. Some nights Kelley, with his commanding play, can carry the entire team. Guard/forward swingmen Dwayne Day (4.8 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 0.5 APG, 41.7 FG%, 76.5 FT%) and Bryce Sheldon (4.1 PPG, 0.6 RPG, 0.6 APG, 38.1 FG%, 80.0 FT%) will share the shooting position. Sheldon, who has a fine three-point shot, needs better defensive chops.
Senior power forward Brandon Wallace (7.6 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 2.3 APG, 50.0 FG%, 55.6 FT%) is the team’s best frontcourt threat, but he’s not commanding on the boards and his foul shooting leaves much to be desired. Although freshman Dominique Archie can play outside, he’s needed desperately upfront. Ready or not, frosh center Mitchell Carter will probably see minutes too. Ousmane Konate (1.0 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 0.0 APG, 31.8 FG%, 0.0 FT%), a junior, is coming back from injuries and should be able to give important minutes. Day and Sheldon may venture from guard to small forward.
Coach Dave Odom (100- 70 over 5 years with South Carolina) has a 21- 3 NIT record. Along with Balkman, Odom lost 3 of his other 6 top scorers. He’s got a young team that lacks depth and experience. Odom really needs to develop his frontcourt talent and be inventive in platooning players. He’ll have to use every player to get to the post-season.
This is a young team that will have to find ways to make up for the loss of Balkman and Tarence Kinsey (15.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG). Finding a go-to guy and creating consistency are both important in order for this team to win. If two of these three upperclassmen—Wallace, Kelley and Konate—can have breakout seasons a post-season appearance is very likely.
If you want more info on the 2006 South Carolina Gamecocks College basketball team check out the NCAA's official basketball team page of the program or check out some rival previews from Maddux Sports of schools like the Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs.