OMAHA, Neb. -- The branches of Jack Leggett's coaching tree have reached the College World Series.

Clemson's coach is back here for the sixth time since 1995. This year, he's joined by Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan, who spent nine years as Clemson's pitching coach.

It's O'Sullivan's third year with the Gators (47-15), who won the SEC regular season title this season. The No. 3 overall seed opens the tournament against UCLA tonight at 7.

"I'm very excited for Kevin. He's had a great year," Leggett said. "He's got his team playing very well. His program is right where it needs to be. And, so, I'm very proud of what he's got going. And proud to see him out here in Omaha."

High praise

South Carolina and Clemson aren't meeting (yet), but Leggett was asked Friday about USC sophomore Jackie Bradley Jr. He said he's a player the Tigers often talk about positively when conversations turn to baseball.

"To me, he's one of the best players we've played against," Leggett said. "He's a very tough out. And he's one of those guys you really don't want to see come to the plate with the game on the line."

A hand injury slowed Bradley early in the year, but he's picked it up lately. Bradley, in the midst of a 16-game hit streak, is batting .371 with 11 homers and 51 RBIs.

For starters

The coaches made official who they'll start Sunday.

In the early game, USC senior right-hander Blake Cooper (12-1, 2.81 ERA) will face Oklahoma junior right-hander Michael Rocha (7-2, 3.57 ERA). Rocha was used primarily as a reliever early in the year, but he emerged late in the season as a starter.

Cooper was hit in the pitching hand by a foul ball a week ago, but he's fine. He showed it to reporters Friday, and it didn't even have any signs of bruising.

Clemson will go with junior left-hander Casey Harman (7-3, 3.73 ERA) against Arizona State junior right-hander Seth Blair (12-0, 3.35 ERA).

Strong sign

For the second time this decade, Leggett and USC's Ray Tanner shared the dais at a pre-CWS news conference. That's staying power -- and a positive sign for the health of the state's baseball programs.

It's Clemson's 12th trip to Omaha, and No. 9 for USC.

"It's awesome for the state of South Carolina," Leggett said. "It's awesome for both schools, both programs."

Extra bases

Rain is in the forecast this weekend, with scattered storms possible during the afternoon hours. ... Former USC catcher Landon Powell was honored Friday night as part of the CWS Legends team. Powell reached Omaha three times.

Reach Travis Haney at thaney@postandcourier.com, check out the Gamecocks blog at postandcourier.com/blogs/gamecocks and follow him on Twitter (@gamecocksblog).