South Carolina beat Jacksonville State last night by a score of 89-76. While the final score doesn't indicate complete dominance, this was a better performance in some ways than we put in against Kentucky Wesleyan. 86 points is a pretty good offensive night for in a college game. We shot for over 50% from the floor, a promising performance considering that one of this team's problems last year was poor shooting.
The game wasn't all roses, however. Giving up 76 points to a team like Jacksonville State isn't ideal and reminds one of some of the defensive meltdowns we experienced under Odom over the past two years. JSU's points came in bursts--we were actually up 58-32 at one point in the middle of the second half before letting JSU go on a spree--which indicates that this team could be prone to spells of mental lapse on defense.
We also suffered a significant injury. Brandis Raley-Ross left the game late in the first half, and reports say that he has a sprained knee and could miss up to a month. His absence will be a big blow to a team that already lacks depth. We can hope, though, that he'll be ready to go by the time the meat of the season begins, although as Kentucky learned last night, any SEC team is only one game against a hot-shooting mid-major away from getting embarrassed during the non-con slate.