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November 21, 2012

USC-Elon Hoops Extra

So this is what fool's gold smells like.

After three games in which South Carolina scored more than 80 points on lights-out shooting from the floor despite not playing fundamentally sound, coach Frank Martin warned that the Gamecocks were playing with "fool's gold" and that they wouldn't like what it smelled like when the shots didn't fall.

Against Elon, USC shot just 31.6 percent from the floor and scored a season-low 53 points, 32 below the team's average of 85.7.

FIFTY-THREE, IS THE TRAGIC NUMBER: ... to lose to Elon. The Gamecocks lost 58-53 last season at Elon for the school's first-ever win over an SEC team. On Wednesday, the Phoenix got their second with the 65-53 victory.

BOUND TO HAPPEN SOMETIME, PART I In the category of future Gamecock trivia, Wednesday's loss to Elon was Martin's first as USC coach.

BOUND TO HAPPEN SOMETIME, PART II Brenton Williams missed his first two free throws of the season with 17:15 left in the second half. Until then, he had been 14-of-14 through the first three games.

The good news is the bad streak ended quickly; on the next possession he drove, was fouled and nailed both. He finished 4-of-6 from the stripe.

A SORT OF HOMECOMING, PART I: Elon sophomore guard Ryan Winters is the son of former USC standout, nine-year NBA veteran and current Charlotte Bobcats assistant coach Brian Winters. The elder Winters is a former NBA head coach at Vancouver (1997-97) and Golden State (2001-02) and coached the WNBA's Indiana Fever (2004-07).

Winters was the 12th overall pick in the 1974 NBA Draft, was a two-time All-Star and finished his career averaging 16.2 points per game.

A SORT OF HOMECOMING, PART II: Lucas Troutman is the lone South Carolinian on the Phoenix's roster. He is a graduate of Belton's Christ School and is the school's fifth-leading shot-blocker (and climbing).

DOUBLE DOUBLE-DOUBLE Lakeem Jackson became the Gamecocks' second player to record a double-double this year with 14 points and 10 rebounds against Elon. He also was the only USC player to score in double-digits after the Gamecocks came in with four different players averaging in double figures: LaShay Page (17 ppg), Michael Carrera (17), Williams (16.7) and Jackson (11.3).

EDA-WHATA? Early candidate for the regular season all-pronunciation team: Elon junior forward Eghoesa Edomwonye (E-go-sa E-dom-won-yee). A transfer from Rice, his hometown is listed as Newark, N.J., although a quick Google search revealed that he is a native of Benin City, Nigeria, and is the son of Uwa and Nosa.

FOREIGN FLAIR: Besides Edomwonye, Elon has three more foreign-born players in junior guard Sebastian Koch from Munich, Germany; sophomore guard Roger Dugas from Quebec, Canada, and sophomore guard Kevin Blake from Toronto, Canada.

IT'S IN THE GAME: Elon, picked to finish second in the Southern Conference's North Division, won the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Regional Games title last week with victories over Colgate and Florida Atlantic. Troutman (14 ppg, five rebounds per game) was named the tournament MVP after averaging 16 points, 8.5 rebounds and 5.5 blocks in the two games.

The regular-season tourney title was the first for Elon since the 1995-96 season, when it claimed the Holiday Inn Classic in Lake Wales, Fla.

Texas 69, Mississippi State 55
Boston College 50, Auburn 49
Kentucky 81, Morehead State 70

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