Originally created 11/12/06

Area college preview



CLEMSON TIGERS

2005-06 RECORD: 19-13, 7-9 ACC

COACH: Oliver Purnell, fourth season

KEY PLAYERS: G Vernon Hamilton (Sr., 6-0, 195); F/C James Mays (Jr., 6-9, 225)

BIG GAMES: at South Carolina, Dec. 2; vs. North Carolina, Jan. 17; at Duke, Jan. 25; vs. Duke, Feb. 22

NOTES: Hamilton and Mays should help fill the loss of the Tigers' top scorers from last year, Shawan Robinson and Akin Akingbala. Mays returns after missing the second half of last season because of academic ineligibility.

GEORGIA BULLDOGS

2005-06 RECORD: 15-15, 5-11 SEC

COACH: Dennis Felton fourth season

KEY PLAYERS: G Levi Stukes (Sr., 6-2, 205); G Mike Mercer (So., 6-4, 185); G Sundiata Gaines (Jr., 6-1, 205)

BIG GAMES: vs. Gonazaga (Duluth, Ga.), Dec. 16; at Georgia Tech, Dec. 22; at Clemson, Dec. 28; vs. Kentucky, Jan. 24; vs. Florida, Feb. 7

NOTES: Bulldogs made an eight-win improvement last season and should be better this year. With its top three scorers from last season returning, Georgia could make its first postseason trip since 2004.

GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS

2005-06 RECORD: 11-17, 4-12 ACC

COACH: Paul Hewitt, seventh season

KEY PLAYERS: G Javaris Crittenton (Fr., 6-4, 200); G Anthony Morrow (Jr., 6-5, 210); C Ra'Sean Dickey (Jr., 6-9, 250)

BIG GAMES: vs. Georgia, Dec. 22; vs. Duke, Jan. 10; at North Carolina, Jan. 20; vs. Connecticut, Feb. 11; vs. North Carolina, March 1

NOTES: Yellow Jackets return six of their top seven scorers from last season, including Morrow (16 ppg). Crittenton (Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy) is penciled in as the team's starting point guard. Georgia Tech is looking to get back to postseason play after losing 13 of its final 15 games last season.

SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS

2005-06 RECORD: 22-15, 6-10 SEC

COACH: Dave Odom, sixth year

KEY PLAYERS: G Tre Kelley (Sr., 6-0, 188); F Brandon Wallace (Sr., 6-9, 203)

BIG GAMES: vs. Clemson, Dec. 2; vs. Kansas, Jan. 7; vs. Florida, Jan. 13; vs. Kentucky, Jan. 13; at LSU, March 3

NOTES: With seven newcomers on the team, Kelley will be looked upon to lead the offense. Wallace is one of the SEC's better frontcourt defenders, averaging almost 2 blocks a game last year. Forward Dominique Archie, from Josey High School, will be ready for his first collegiate action after being redshirted last year.