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National briefs: Spurrier – Gamecocks looking like winners

Associated Press
COLUMBIA, S.C. ó Steve Spurrier thinks South Carolina finally looks like a winning Southeastern Conference team. Whether it plays like one this fall is perhaps the biggest question facing the Gamecocksí coach.
The Gamecocks are bigger, stronger, fitter and sleeker than his first three seasons. Spurrier said with pride Tuesday. iIf you look at our team physically, I think youíd say, ëHey, thatís the best looking team weíve had here in a long time,í î Spurrier said.
Heís not ready to take the next leap, remembering clearly how last yearís 6-1 start devolved into five straight defeats and no bowl game.
iWe have not had a really good team,î said Spurrier, entering his fourth season. iWe must get our players playing at a higher effort level.î
Spurrier said he hopes heís taken steps to achieve that with offseason hires in defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson and special teams coordinator Ray Rychleski.
Spurrier also hinted that his quarterback corps could get a boost earlier than it expected should suspended freshman Stephen Garcia get the thumbs up from the university to return.
GOLF
CHARLESTON, S.C. ó The son of golf great Tom Kite has been named an assistant coach for the College of Charleston.
Cougars menís golf coach Mark McEntire made the announcement on David Kiteís hiring.
NBA/ACC
CLEMSON, S.C. ó Former Clemson standout Will Solomon has joined the NBAís Toronto Raptors.
NFL
OAKLAND, Calif. ó Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell was held out of all team drills during the evening practice Tuesday after banging his elbow off the helmet of teammate Darren McFadden earlier in the day.
AUTO RACING
MOORESVILLE ó Petty Enterprises will use three different drivers in the No. 45 Dodge over the next three races as it continues to evaluate the slumping team.
Chad McCumbee will attempt to qualify the car this weekend at Pocono Raceway. Kyle Petty will try to qualify the car the next week at Watkins Glen, and Terry Labonte will drive it at Michigan.
TENNIS
MASON, Ohio ó Roger Federer shook off last weekís early-round loss in Toronto and beat Robby Ginepri 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5), 6-0 Tuesday in his first match at the Cincinnati Masters.
iIím happy Iím back with a one-match winning streak,î Federer joked. iIím happy I could turn it around today.î
Andy Roddick wasnít so fortunate. The No. 6 seed withdrew just before his match with Philipp Kohlschreiber was to begin, citing neck and shoulder pain.

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