Time to smile, Gamecocks fans! Carolina just put the finishing touches on a thrilling, rollercoaster-ride of a victory over the visiting Arkansas Razorbacks. The Hogs are a solid team, perhaps the best in the West, so this should be considered a good win. The game featured numerous momentum shifts, but when it went to overtime, Carolina took over. Sam Muldrow and Ramon Galloway were the stars for USC. Muldrow nearly posted a triple-double with 20 points, 9 boards, and 7 blocks, and he had some huge scores and defensive stops in the extra period. Galloway added 19. Marshawn Powell led the Hogs with 21 and was a nightmare for Carolina under the basket.
Carolina is now 12-5 / 3-1 and has a very real chance to put its name firmly in the NCAAs conversation with a home victory over Kentucky this weekend. For a team playing this many freshman and which only a few weeks ago was losing to Furman and getting manhandled by Ohio St., you have to be happy with the position we're in right now. Darrin Horn is doing a good job with this team. We're beginning to show signs of maturity and less of a propensity to make freshman mistakes, and while I didn't agree with every decision Horn made tonight (it seemed that he was unwilling to go away from Bruce Ellington late in the game despite the fact that Ellington was having an off night), I also think he made very nice moves, as well. Some of his inbounds plays were nifty and well-designed, and the team seems to be operating half-court offenses somewhat better. Horn was getting a good bit of flak a few weeks ago for the way the season was going, but he now deserves our adulation. We still have a long way to go, of course,but right now he's making the right moves to give us chance to have a memorable season.
That's a wrap for this one. Next up is a visit from the 'Cats. This will be, of course, a season-defining moment, just like it is every time you play Kentucky. Stay tuned.
So sound off, folks: how do you feel about this team? Can we make the NCAAs?