Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)


South Carolina coach: A career in its own class

South Carolina's Dave Odom's time as a coach is almost up. ¶ Odom, who announced his retirement effective at the end of this season on Jan. 18, and his struggling Gamecocks (13-16, 5-10 SEC) are down to Sunday's regular-season finale at No. 4-ranked Tennessee (27-3, 13-2) and then a trip to Atlanta for the conference tournament. ¶ "Playing or coaching your last regular-season game is a special time," he said. "It is." ¶ Odom has compiled an impressive 405-276 record in 22 seasons at East Carolina, Wake Forest and South Carolina. His teams have reached the NCAA Tournament nine times and the NIT six times; he has won three NIT titles, including in back-to-back years with the Gamecocks in 2005 and 2006. He has recruited and coached one of the best players ever, Tim Duncan. He has been coach of the year in the ACC and the SEC as well as nationally. ¶ That's what outsiders can see and evaluate. ¶ That's not the full measure of the coach.

Throughout his years, Odom, 66, has been a genteel ambassador for the game. A reporter could ask him anything, even about a former player who transferred, and he would graciously, respectfully fill up a notebook with his candid answer. He also has earned the admiration of his brethren for how he has handled situations and not merely X's and O's and W's and L's.

"I love Dave Odom," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "He's everything that's good about our profession. He touched all the bases — high school coach, (college) assistant, head coach. He has a great love for the game. He's been an outstanding coach and an even better person."

You can bet Odom isn't going to ask his players to win one more big one for him.

"I do love my team and I feel similar emotion from them," he said Thursday morning. "But I will do the best I can between now and Sunday afternoon to direct their attention to what they need to do to be successful on the court and not have them concentrate on my situation. My situation's not going to change. This is my last game. And while I know they want to do well for me, it is far more important that they do well for themselves."

Balance award snub?

Kansas is No. 5 in the AP poll and, perhaps, the most talented team in the land. But how many Jayhawks will earn All-Big 12 honors let alone land on someone's All-America teams?

The number might be small if voters look solely at the statistics.

Darrell Arthur, Brandon Rush, Darnell Jackson and Mario Chalmers have game, but less than gaudy stats. They average between 12 and 13.3 points. A dozen other Big 12 players average more.

"The problem with us," Kansas coach Bill Self said, "is when you have so much balance, it tends to get guys to think that maybe there hasn't been any one or any two who've had exceptional seasons. Which is not true at all. These guys have sacrificed for the good of the team."

Did you know?

Despite losing four starters and 62 percent of the scoring and rebounding from last year's Sweet 16 team, UNLV (22-7 entering today's game against Utah) seems poised for another NCAA berth. UNLV hasn't made it to consecutive NCAAs since its glory days of 1990-91.

No wonder Lon Kruger is a finalist for the U.S. Basketball Writers Association coach of the year award. The guy can flat-out coach.

By the numbers

3 Consecutive Pac-10 regular-season titles UCLA has won thanks to a comeback, 77-67 controversial overtime win against Stanford on Thursday.

19 Game winning streak by Davidson, tops in nation.

94.6 Free-throw percentage by Louis Dale of Ivy League champ and NCAA bound Cornell, tops in the nation. Cornell played at Penn on Friday.

He said it

"I like it better later in the year 'cause it means you have accomplished something. I think what it says about our team is that we have gotten better defensively, we have been able to withstand some adversity and we've had a guy who has really had four years of adversity and tough times step up and do a great job for us in Quentin Thomas."

Roy Williams, North Carolina coach, on his team moving back to No. 1 in the Associated Press poll this week before playing today at Duke.

Brian Landman can be reached at or (813) 226-3347.

South Carolina coach: A career in its own class 03/07/08 [Last modified: Friday, March 7, 2008 9:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over 'inappropriate conduct' (w/ video)


    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  2. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater


    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.
  3. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Good news for Rays on Steven Souza Jr. as MRI shows 'no damage' to hip


    The Rays got good news today on RF Steven Souza Jr., as an MRI showed "no damage" to his left hip.

    Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays holds his leg after hurting himself trying to steal second base in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on July 19, 2017 in Oakland, California.
  5. Bucs raise prices for single tickets to marquee games


    The Bucs will have single-game tickets for 2017 home games on sale July 28, with a new wrinkle: the best games will cost more for fans.

    Bucs fans cheer Jameis Winston after a victory in their final home game of the 2016 season. Individual tickets for the Bucs' three most coveted home games (against the Patriots, Bears and Giants) will cost more in 2017.