Kinsey signs with Cavs after stint in Turkey

Gamecocks leave for Eastern Europe Wednesday to play four games

semerson@thestate.comAugust 5, 2008 

Apparently, Turkey is the place to be if you’re a former South Carolina basketball player.

After playing part of last season in the Turkish Basketball League, Tarence Kinsey has signed with the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers. Kinsey, who played at USC from 2003-06, spent the first part of last season with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Brandon Wallace has signed with a Turkish team, according to close friend and ex-USC teammate Tre’ Kelley. Wallace, whose Gamecocks career finished in 2007, signed with the Boston Celtics but did not play for the eventual NBA champion.

Kelley could be the next one to go to Turkey. After splitting his rookie season between teams in Croatia and Greece, Kelley said his contract might be bought out by a team in Russia or Turkey.

European advice. The Gamecocks leave Wednesday for eastern Europe, where they will play four games in eight days. Having spent the past six months in Europe, Kelley was asked if he had advice for his former team.

“Really, just get a lot of rest on the plane,” Kelley said. “They’re going over to play basketball, so go over there and compete.”

Gamecocks will win opener. Darrin Horn’s first game as Gamecocks coach will be against Jacksonville (Ala.) State, which shares USC’s nickname. The opener will be Nov. 14, the night before the USC football team plays at Florida.

As for the rest of the schedule, Horn said no other major opponents have been added, and he hopes to have a final schedule done in the next few weeks.

The Baltic connection. Former USC player Marius Petravicius will be playing for Lithuania in the Olympics. Current Gamecock Evka Baniulis is also Lithuanian but said he does not know Petravicious Still, he said he will be watching to see how his countryman does.

“That’s my goal, like a lot of people, to make the national team,” Baniulis said. “So it really is cool.”

Reach Emerson at (803) 771-8676.

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