Congratulations, Gamecock fans.
You got what many of you wanted.
So what happens now?
I would guess that South Carolina, with coach Dave Odom officially on his rocking chair tour, will play the next two months in a more agreeable atmosphere, at least in home games. The group of fans who were booing Odom during game introductions and chanting "Go, Dave, Go" during a blowout loss to Tennessee can be appeased that their favorite target will soon be out the door.
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If the Gamecocks play as they did in a win at Arkansas a few days ago, perhaps they'll give Odom a nice present for his swan song. If they play as they did in a loss to UNC Asheville, the final factor in Odom's decision, it'll just be more of the same.
The boos will silence, but then comes the waiting.
Who will USC hire to guide the basketball team? Will the university approach a proven winner, will it go after an up-and-coming assistant, will it turn to some of its alumni to come back home?
And when the new guy takes over, are all of the fans who loudly voiced their desires for Odom to get out going to do the same if the failures keep occurring?
It's a strange thing about this business that I don't judge coaches solely on their won-loss records. The first criteria I look at is how good they are to deal with.
Odom passed with flying colors in that category. He was always pleasant, always approachable and from what I gained hanging around the team the past four years, his teaching and guiding weren't just limited to his players. He had the whole university learning from him.
That being said, I understand why fans weren't pleased with him and why he felt he needed to nip it in the bud, walking away before the administration was forced to tell him to go. Odom was a nice guy and did a heck of a lot to repair those long-ago burned-out bridges with the stars of yesteryear, but he wasn't hired to be a nice ambassador.
He was hired to win, and when the past season and the first half of the current one had more overall losses than wins, somebody had to answer.
Athletics Director Eric Hyman refused to comment on the future, because there's probably nothing to comment on at the present time. I'm sure Hyman has a list of potential candidates, but it'd be bad form to start calling them in the middle of the season.
This will be Hyman's first major coaching search at USC, and he's got to hit a home run. I'm sure his inbox is already being filled with requests for Gonzaga's Mark Few or Virginia Commonwealth's Anthony Grant and of course, former Winthrop coach Gregg Marshall.
Marshall's new school, Wichita State, has already said it will release a statement on the situation Monday. But he and the others will still have to play the am-I, am-I-not carousel until a hire is made.
Whoever gets the final call, he'll step into a stocked cupboard. The Gamecocks lose only Dwayne Day this year and have only two seniors on the roster next year. Top scorers Devan Downey and Zam Fredrick will return next year, giving the new coach a guaranteed 1-2 punch.
But what then? What's the pattern of success going to be judged on?
Odom only reached one NCAA tournament in his first six years, which going by the program's history, is hardly a surprise. The Gamecocks have only been in the tournament eight times -- four from 1971-74, under their greatest coach, Frank McGuire -- but there are still those who insist the program can be a consistent tournament team.
What hurt Odom is he had three players who were good enough to make NBA rosters. Tarence Kinsey, Renaldo Balkman and Brandon Wallace have each been on a pro roster in the last year -- although Kinsey and Wallace aren't there any more and Balkman's hurt -- which begged a good question.
If they were good enough to make the NBA, how come they weren't good enough to make the NCAA tournament every year?
This year's team has enough raw talent to make the NCAA tournament. It would take a supremely excellent effort to do so, but it could happen. In the next few years, when the freshmen fill in and have the game learned, it's a strong possibility they could be a consistent tournament team.
But if the new guy doesn't make the tournament in his first two or three years -- Odom did it in his third -- do the boo birds start up again? Will those who say it's a disgrace that Odom only had one of the eight NCAA bids begin harping on the new guy?
Whoever he is, he might not be as nice as Odom was in walking away. And then those fans who chanted for Odom to leave will have to wonder -- was it worth it?