December 22, 2014

Gamecocks put bite on Cobras 78-52 (AUDIO)

Notice led the Gamecocks with 19 (File Photo)

Notice led the Gamecocks with 19 (File Photo)

USC ran its winning streak to five Sunday afternoon with a 78-52 win over Division 2 opponent Coker College at the Colonial Life Arena.  The Gamecocks improve to 7-3 .  The game was an exhibition for Coker and does not count against its record.

Duane Notice led four Gamecocks in double figures with 19 points.  Laimonas Chatkevicius and Demetrius Henry had 16 points each.   Errick Bethel led Coker with 14 points.

The Gamecocks dominated the much smaller Cobras inside scoring 50 points in the paint and winning the boards 47-31 including 18 on the offensive glass.

USC also clamped down on the Cobras defensively  holding them to 31% shooting.  The Gamecocks had held each of their previous three opponents under 30% shooting.

USC is off until facing North Carolina A&T in Columbia on December 30th.

AUDIO: Ty Johnson & Demetrius Henry [2:23]

AUDIO: Frank Martin [6:19]

Final Stats

SportsTalk @ the Stadium: Sandlappers take Shrine Bowl 21-12 (VIDEO, AUDIO)

Shrine Bowl editedIt wasn’t pretty.  All star games usually aren’t.  But to high school football fans in South Carolina, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and any win over North Carolina in the Shrine Bowl is a thing of beauty.   That’s why Sandlapper fans are more than happy to take home a 21-12 win over the Tarheels in the 78th edition of the nation’s oldest high school football all star game.  South Carolina has won three straight in the series and now owns a 44-30-4 lead in the head to head match.

South Carolina won despite having as many turnovers (5) as first downs and only 145 yards of offense, nearly half of that from the legs of Offensive MVP Matt Colburn of Dutch Fork (71 yards, 1 TD on 13 carries).  But the Sandlappers had three big scoring plays…a 74 yard return of a block field goal by Jordan Williams of Spring Valley,  36 yard run by Colburn and a 29 yard touchdown pass from Daniel Thompson to JJ Arcega-Whiteside.

The SC defense only allowed 257 yards and forced three turnovers itself.  Defensive MVP Hassan Belton of Blythewood led the way with 14 tackles, 2 tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.

David Shelton joined me for our video review of the game:

Post Game Interviews:

AUDIO: SC coach Ben Freeman [3:20]

AUDIO: SC DE Albert Huggins [1:37]

AUDIO: SC OG Zack Bailey [2:45]

Final Stats

Final Defensive Stats

SportsTalk at the Stadium: USC hammers Clemson 68-45 in Columbia (VIDEO)

It was an enjoyable night for Frank Martin as he picked up his first win in the rivalry

It was an enjoyable night for Frank Martin as he picked up his first win in the rivalry

Frank Martin earned his first win over Clemson and his team no doubt earned more respect around the basketball world with a 68-45 win over Clemson Friday night in Columbia in front of nearly 12,000 fans at the Colonial Life Arena.

The Gamecocks break a two game losing streak to the Tigers with their most dominate win in the series since 2001.

The Gamecocks improve to 6-3 while Clemson drops to 6-4.

Check out our game recap from the CLA.

[Read more…]

#STRecruiting: USC will get another chance to bring Fields back into the class

Mark Fields Jr.

Mark Fields Jr.

When he decommitted from USC earlier this week because of concern about coaching staff stability, DB Mark Fields Jr. of Cornelius, NC didn’t close the door completely on the Gamecocks.  Friday, he pushed the door a little more open tweeting that he will make an official visits with the Gamecocks January 24th.  He will also visit Clemson January 17th.  Texas was the other school Fields mentioned earlier in the week as a possible official visit.

“Just too much uncertainty and stuff like that,” is how Fields put it on Tuesday when he announced his decommitment.  “I thought I’d let that play out and while that does I’ll continue to look elsewhere.  South Carolina was a good situation for me but there are other good situations out there for me.”

Fields was concerned over Steve Spurrier’s comment made December 1st to Josh Kendall of The State that he was now working on a 2-3 years plan.  After seeing four decommitments fall from the class in the days following that remark, Spurrier revised his plans saying on Wednesday that athletics director Ray Tanner was going to add another year to the four years he has left on his contact and that he’s now back on the 4-5 years plan.

Of the six decommitments overall the Gamecocks have suffered since October, Fields appears to be the only one that is still salvageable for the Gamecocks.

The Gamecocks have actually had two other scratches from their 2015 class.  DE Chauncey Rivers would be their seventh decommitment, and WR Michael Bowman had his offer rescinded after being arrested for theft last summer.

#STRecruiting: Big time junior offensive lineman commits to Clemson

Sean Pollard

Sean Pollard

2016 OL Sean Pollard (6-6 310) of Southern Pines, NC Friday announced a commitment to Clemson.  Pollard chose the Tigers over Duke, North Carolina, NC State and Wake Forest.  He is Clemson’s third commitment for the 2016 class joining quarterback Zerrick Cooper and TE  JC Chalk.

Pollard camped at Clemson last summer and made multiple trips to Clemson during the season each time bringing members of his family for a closer look.  And over time he developed a strong relationship with Clemson recruiter and offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell.

“Their atmosphere helps a lot but then just the education and how family oriented they are there,” Pollard said about why he chose Clemson.   “I think I will fit really well (on the offensive line).  I think he  (Caldwell) will give me my best chance to make it to the NFL.  I’m going to grind and all that stuff.”

Pollard said Clemson hasn’t said if he will play guard or tackle.  “I have a great work ethic and attitude,” he said.  “I’m an old fashion type of lineman.  I have good feet, I pull well and use good technique.”

Pollard knows the Tigers have lined up an excellent class for 2015 including an entirely new group of offensive linemen.  He looks forward to joining that group and helping the Tigers to great things.

“With the big names recruits they are bringing in they are going to be a national championship contender in the years to come,” Pollard said.  “I think it’s heading the right way.”

And those guys on the line had better make way for Pollard because when he arrives for the 2016 season his goal will be an immediate starting job.

“I’m going to work my tail off to make it easy for the coaches to think so,” he said.  “I’m not going to stop until I get that starting spot and I’m still not going to stop ever.  I enjoy working hard.”   Pollard said he plays all the positions on the line but his primary spot is left guard.

USC, Miami, Virginia and Penn State were some of his other offers.

Pollard’s decision gives Clemson a split of the two major North Carolina prospects who announced over the last two days.  Last night senior DB Mook Reynolds of Greensboro decided to stick to his commitment to Virginia Tech over the Tigers and Michigan.