Even by 2020 (or 2021) standards, the circumstances were weird. With the exception of a tune-up against Florida A&M, South Carolina hadn’t played a game in over a month. Sometimes that manifests itself as rust, but yesterday it had the Gamecocks fired up and ready to play.
Having said that, it was still disheartening to see this team lay down for the third consecutive road game.
Well, we started 3-17 from the field and quickly fell behind by a dozen. That’s generally a poor recipe for success on the road, but it’s an especially poor recipe when you have yet to even sniff success away from home all season. We did respond with an 11-0 run to restore some balance, however, and by halftime this one didn’t look entirely like a lost cause. Yet.
Halftime score: South Carolina 33, Texas A&M 27
The Gamecocks used the opening few minutes to slowly extend the lead to 10... and then it hit. The never-ending death spiral of turnovers, missed shots, and South Carolina offensive rebounds. In perhaps the most unpleasant A&M hoops stretch of the season, SC dropped the hammer with a 25-4 run that sent this game to Laughsville. The turnovers were a huge problem, but the key culprit was an uncharacteristically poor effort on the glass from a team that appeared primed to finally move on after Josh Nebo’s graduation. Now, we need him more than ever.
Final Score: South Carolina 78, Texas A&M 54
- This ain’t on Miller. He was stellar, dropping a career-high 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting, including 8-of-9 from the line. His six rebounds led the team for the seventh time in nine games.
- Jackson was the only other offensive threat, scoring 13 with five assists.
- We were outrebounded 45-31, which included an obscene 40.5% offensive rebounding rate for the Gamecocks.
- Our offensive turnover rate cleared 25% for the 6th time in our young nine game season, which is the worst mark in P5 college hoops
- Flagg has been relegated to the second unit in our “line change” system, and I honestly can’t argue with it. He’s playing tentative, which feels awfully similar to last year’s sluggish start. Here’s hoping he can turn it around in line with the 2020 SEC campaign.
We’ve played four games against P5 opposition... and we’ve been blown out in three, with our only win coming in the last second against an 0-3 Auburn squad that’s already been waxed by Arkansas and Mississippi. The current data set isn’t great, gang. It suggests some rough patches in the near future, and I fear that begins with the #11 Vols coming to town this weekend.