Team preview: South Carolina

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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

When an NIT bid was offered to South Carolina last March, the Gamecocks jumped all over it.

Unlike one of its SEC brethren, Arkansas, which turned down an offer to play in the NIT, South Carolina was only too eager to extend its season, which had disintegrated into a bummer after the Gamecocks lost five of their last six games, thus blowing a chance at a second straight NCAA Tournament trip. Throughout his long career, South Carolina coach Dave Odom has always thought of the NIT as good thing, not a second-rate consolation prize handed out to teams not good enough to make the NCAAs.