It all started about 2001. The staff at LOHD was excited for our program. We had a coach coming in who had led his team to a Final Four and perennial Top 10 rankings. Not to mention found a hidden gem in a guy by the name of Tim Duncan....boy if he could do those very same things at USC it would be great. Just give Dave Odom (aka D.O.) time.....
The LOHD staff was thrilled when he lead the team to the NIT finals his first year. The LOHD staff became addicted when a team that was picked to finish last in the conference made it to the Big Dance (albeit a short trip). We use to run out and tell everyone who would listen how wonderful Dave Odom was and all we have to do is give him time to develop the program. The LOHD spent time telling anyone who would listen that he would turn this program into a contender....just give him time. He has a proven track record and always runs a good program from A to Z.
But then came reality.....USC won the NIT with a team that has a slow start, but should have been in the Big Dance. USC became back to back NIT champs...great...can not wait till next year. But nothing happened and the team never took the next step despite having talent and 3 players on the roster that would play in the NBA (granted only Balkman is left today).
Then last season, despite the fact friends and co-workers were telling us we were was insane, the LOHD still said "Odom will get the job done. He's only got 11 guys elligble. His best player is hurt. You have to give him a chance." I also said just wait...he has two new transfers coming to play for USC so 07-08 will be special.
But towards the later part of 2007, the LOHD hit rock bottom. We still try to spin the recent losses to provide a glimmer of hope in a fading team. The UNC-A loss sent LOHD over the edge, then Vandy, then UT....we here at LOHD just can not take it. But alas, LOHD writers' finally came to realization that we needed to kick our Odom addiction this season.
Odom is 123-94 at USC, which includes two NIT titles but just one trip to the NCAA tournament — in 2004, when the Gamecocks lost to Memphis in the first round. Under Odom, the Gamecocks have never finished above .500 in the SEC, with their best mark 8-8 in 2003-04. Overall, USC is 37-62 in the SEC with 13 regular-season games left. Odom came to USC after 12 years at Wake Forest, where he led the Demon Deacons to the NCAA tournament eight times and the NIT three times. In his first year at USC the Gamecocks lost to Memphis in the NIT finals — one of three trips to Madison Square Garden for the Gamecocks under Odom.
So he steps down and our D.O. addiction has ended....
Retiring basketball coach Dave Odom will receive almost $320,000 from South Carolina after stepping down April 1. Odom had two more seasons remaining on his contract after this year. Odom's contract calls for payments of $250,000 for next season and $50,000 for 2009-10. The 65-year-old coach will also get paid almost $20,000 during April. A year ago, Odom was given a two-year extension for a package that paid him about $700,000 per season.
Odom had his chance and was a overall good coach if you look at his career but at the end of the day he could not get the job done at USC. We are glad USC and Odom parted ways. The LOHD hopes that a new 'young' coach with a 'fire' in his belly will come in and shake things up. And invest the time and energy to take Gamecock basketball to the level the fans deserve!