The Gamecocks defeated the Gamecocks tonight (as in, the good guys won), but it was another sub-par performance for Carolina. We struggled to pull away from JSU and then allowed them back into the game late, and against a team that's currently 2-12 and that has failed to beat even the most unimposing opponents on its schedule, it's hard to call this a performance to hang our hat on. Stephen Hall led JSU with 13 points, while Ramon Galloway led Carolina with 15 and Sam Muldrow put in a double-double.
A few quick thoughts:
- Carolina was ice cold from the floor again in this one, and for a team that apparently intends to live and die by the three, that's bad news. This team really seems to struggle when Bruce Ellington and Brian Richardson aren't lighting it up. At least Galloway shot the ball well tonight.
- Turnovers were still a problem; we committed 19 and were -4 in ratio. I was hoping that we would be limiting our TO numbers by this point in the season, particularly against competition like JSU. We're going to be in big trouble in this regard when we start playing teams like Kentucky, Tennessee, and Vandy.
- Darrin Horn followed my advice and started Damontre Harris over Malik Cooke tonight. He also limited Cooke's overall minutes, preferring to go with a larger lineup that incorporated Harris, Johndre Jefferson, and R.J. Slawson more than we've seen in past weeks. The change didn't pay huge dividends tonight, obviously, but I like the move. I don't think we can win consistently in the SEC without a stronger inside presence, and while I like Cooke, I think that to get that inside presence we're going to have to use Cooke in more of a support role. (Cooke is actually well-suited to a sixth-man-like role.) I like Harris's game and physical tools a lot, by the way; he could turn out to be a very nice player if he puts on 20 pounds or so over the next couple of years.
That's a wrap for this one. Next up is a trip to Boston College. A win there would certainly be nice heading into conference play, wouldn't it?