Straight Up Sports

South Carolina

2023 Football Schedule:

 

Sept. 2 – North Carolina (at Charlotte) – 7:30 pm, ABC

Sept. 9 – vs Furman – 7:30 p.m., SEC Network

Sept. 16 – at Georgia – 3:30 pm, CBS

Sept. 23 – vs Mississippi State – TBA

Sept. 30 – at Tennessee – TBA

Oct. 14 – vs Florida – TBA

Oct. 21 – at Missouri – TBA

Oct. 28 – at Texas A&M – TBA

Nov. 4 – Jacksonville State – TBA

Nov. 11- vs Vanderbilt – TBA

Nov. 18 – vs Kentucky – TBA

Nov. 25 – vs Clemson – TBA

HallofFameSportsGrill.com – (864) 609-4181

531 Wade Hampton Blvd.,  Greenville, SC

USC on top of the College Basketball World

        COLUMBIA – Two thirds into the NCAA Basketball season and the University of South Carolina is in the center of the Universe when it comes to the sport.

         Dawn Staley’s women’s team is used to being in the limelight with two national championships in hand (2017 and 2022) and several other Final Four appearances.

         Staley’s squad is the only undefeated men’s or women’s collegiate team in the county at 21-0 and has been ranked number one for most of the campaign.

         Now it’s joined by the men’s team, led by second-year coach Lamont Paris, which debuted in the AP Top 25 as the 15th ranked club. It is 19-3 with victories over then sixth ranked Kentucky at Colonial Life Arena and then fifth ranked Tennessee in Knoxville.

         After being picked to finish last in the conference, the squad is second in league standings with a 7-2 record. The Gamecock women lead the standings on their side with a 9-0 SEC mark.

         The programs have the best combined record of any NCAA Division One school.

         Only four times in its history have the Gamecock men gotten off to a start as impressive, with 2017 being the last time it advanced to the NCAA Tournament. It went to the Final Four on that occasion.

         The team’s rise has not only caught the basketball world’s attention, but has impressed Staley who quickly bonded with Paris after he earned the job and has been to many of his games.

         “Not a whole lot of people thought he was the right choice,” Staley said of Paris. “Didn’t have the type of season they wanted to have last year. But to have a year two the way he’s having a year two, we need to jump on board quickly.”

         That seems to be happening as the team played to a sold out crowd against Kentucky. When it defeated the Wildcats, students and others rushed the court. While Staley didn’t join the crowd, she attended the game, yelling, jumping and dancing in the stands throughput.

         Many of the women’s team did join the crowd by rushing the court, however.

         “I saw her after the last game after the Kentucky game, and she was on another level,” Paris told the SEC Now studio hosts. “Dawn’s a rock star, and I don’t even mean that in a basketball sense. We already know what she does there. They’re the greatest team in all of basketball right now, men’s or women’s. But she’s a rock star as a human being and as a person. From the second I got here, it’s been nothing but love. Unbelievable person. I feel blessed to call her a friend.

“It’s nice for her to come into this venue and be able to cheer. As a coach, you don’t get too many opportunities to cheer. So I bet it’s fun for her to come in here and have something to genuinely root for. Dawn’s the GOAT. Dawn’s a rock star.”

         Paris was hired by USC after turning the program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga around.

         He learned much of his coaching style while the top assistant to Bo Ryan at Wisconsin.

         During the offseason, he brought in older players that meshed well with the players that remained on team.

         While the squad has been connecting on 3-point shots at an impressive rate, the team hangs it’s hat on defense and a deliberate style of play on offense that frustrates opponents.

         The team’s turnaround from year one when many critics believed Paris was in over his head has changed to calls for him to be named SEC Coach of the Year.

         “They’re fighters, they’re tough, they want to win badly as a group and I say that as if that’s the assumption that everyone should make with every team, said Paris. That’s not. In 2024 that’s not the assumption. “We got a team full of guys where everybody wants to win and they do whatever they can.”

         Some are even trumpeting him to become National Coach of the Year for what he has done this season.

         One thing Paris hopes to do is continue to enjoy the ride as videos have shown him dancing in the lockerroom following key victories.

         “If you see me dancing in the locker room with my guys, it’s because that’s the one thing I’ve learned in this profession,” he told The Athletic. “Don’t get numb to the joy of winning.

“Maybe one day we’ll beat a top-five team on the road, and it’ll be a blip, and we won’t even acknowledge it because we’re supposed to do that. Maybe one day. But until then, we’re going to celebrate when we win, and we’ve had a lot of joyful moments in the locker room this year.”

         While it may be nearly impossible for USC Men’s Basketball to reach the heights of Staley’s crew, Paris has made the team relevant quicker than even the most optimistic Gamecock fan could have dreamed.

 

By Willie T. Smith III

South Carolina

HallofFameSportsGrill.com – (864) 609-4181

531 Wade Hampton Blvd.,  Greenville, SC

2023 Football Schedule:

 

Sept. 2 – North Carolina (at Charlotte) – 7:30 pm, ABC

Sept. 9 – vs Furman – 7:30 p.m., SEC Network

Sept. 16 – at Georgia – 3:30 pm, CBS

Sept. 23 – vs Mississippi State – TBA

Sept. 30 – at Tennessee – TBA

Oct. 14 – vs Florida – TBA

Oct. 21 – at Missouri – TBA

Oct. 28 – at Texas A&M – TBA

Nov. 4 – Jacksonville State – TBA

Nov. 11- vs Vanderbilt – TBA

Nov. 18 – vs Kentucky – TBA

Nov. 25 – vs Clemson – TBA

USC on top of the College Basketball World

        COLUMBIA – Two thirds into the NCAA Basketball season and the University of South Carolina is in the center of the Universe when it comes to the sport.

         Dawn Staley’s women’s team is used to being in the limelight with two national championships in hand (2017 and 2022) and several other Final Four appearances.

         Staley’s squad is the only undefeated men’s or women’s collegiate team in the county at 21-0 and has been ranked number one for most of the campaign.

         Now it’s joined by the men’s team, led by second-year coach Lamont Paris, which debuted in the AP Top 25 as the 15th ranked club. It is 19-3 with victories over then sixth ranked Kentucky at Colonial Life Arena and then fifth ranked Tennessee in Knoxville.

         After being picked to finish last in the conference, the squad is second in league standings with a 7-2 record. The Gamecock women lead the standings on their side with a 9-0 SEC mark.

         The programs have the best combined record of any NCAA Division One school.

         Only four times in its history have the Gamecock men gotten off to a start as impressive, with 2017 being the last time it advanced to the NCAA Tournament. It went to the Final Four on that occasion.

         The team’s rise has not only caught the basketball world’s attention, but has impressed Staley who quickly bonded with Paris after he earned the job and has been to many of his games.

         “Not a whole lot of people thought he was the right choice,” Staley said of Paris. “Didn’t have the type of season they wanted to have last year. But to have a year two the way he’s having a year two, we need to jump on board quickly.”

         That seems to be happening as the team played to a sold out crowd against Kentucky. When it defeated the Wildcats, students and others rushed the court. While Staley didn’t join the crowd, she attended the game, yelling, jumping and dancing in the stands throughput.

         Many of the women’s team did join the crowd by rushing the court, however.

         “I saw her after the last game after the Kentucky game, and she was on another level,” Paris told the SEC Now studio hosts. “Dawn’s a rock star, and I don’t even mean that in a basketball sense. We already know what she does there. They’re the greatest team in all of basketball right now, men’s or women’s. But she’s a rock star as a human being and as a person. From the second I got here, it’s been nothing but love. Unbelievable person. I feel blessed to call her a friend.

“It’s nice for her to come into this venue and be able to cheer. As a coach, you don’t get too many opportunities to cheer. So I bet it’s fun for her to come in here and have something to genuinely root for. Dawn’s the GOAT. Dawn’s a rock star.”

         Paris was hired by USC after turning the program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga around.

         He learned much of his coaching style while the top assistant to Bo Ryan at Wisconsin.

         During the offseason, he brought in older players that meshed well with the players that remained on team.

         While the squad has been connecting on 3-point shots at an impressive rate, the team hangs it’s hat on defense and a deliberate style of play on offense that frustrates opponents.

         The team’s turnaround from year one when many critics believed Paris was in over his head has changed to calls for him to be named SEC Coach of the Year.

         “They’re fighters, they’re tough, they want to win badly as a group and I say that as if that’s the assumption that everyone should make with every team, said Paris. That’s not. In 2024 that’s not the assumption. “We got a team full of guys where everybody wants to win and they do whatever they can.”

         Some are even trumpeting him to become National Coach of the Year for what he has done this season.

         One thing Paris hopes to do is continue to enjoy the ride as videos have shown him dancing in the lockerroom following key victories.

         “If you see me dancing in the locker room with my guys, it’s because that’s the one thing I’ve learned in this profession,” he told The Athletic. “Don’t get numb to the joy of winning.

“Maybe one day we’ll beat a top-five team on the road, and it’ll be a blip, and we won’t even acknowledge it because we’re supposed to do that. Maybe one day. But until then, we’re going to celebrate when we win, and we’ve had a lot of joyful moments in the locker room this year.”

         While it may be nearly impossible for USC Men’s Basketball to reach the heights of Staley’s crew, Paris has made the team relevant quicker than even the most optimistic Gamecock fan could have dreamed.

 

By Willie T. Smith III