South Carolina at Kentucky Hoops: USC Thumped by Wildcats

USA TODAY Sports

USC's basketball season is teetering on the precipice of another season much like the past two after a blowout loss in Lexington to the Kentucky Wildcats. Keep in mind that, while it's certainly a good team, this is not the Kentucky of the past three years. The usual star power is there with players such as Nerlens Noel, but the team has been inconsistent and is currently unranked. However, the 'Cats made us like amateurs tonight in Rupp, putting on a dominant show for the home crowd. The game wasn't close after the Gamecocks gave up a one-point lead midway through the first half.

With Noel, Willie Cauley-Stein, and other big muscle, the Wildcats had a major advantage against our height-challenged starting five, and it showed. Noel and Cauley-Stein dominated the game on the block, and when that wasn't the case, the 'Cats guards were beating our aggressive, undisciplined perimeter defense into the lane and dishing for easy lay-ins. The 'Cats went 27-44 from the field for a 61.4 FG%. Michael Carrera had a good game on the offensive side for Carolina, but he was clearly outmatched on the other end against Kentucky's superior talent. Kentucky also had a lot of success contesting our shots, with Noel, one of the nation's top shot-blockers, going for 5 blocks.

The other news was the continued inability of Carolina to do anything in the halfcourt offense. This team is generally only successful offensively in transition and off the offensive boards. You have to give Martin credit for at least getting them to run a halfcourt offense, which wasn't the case last year, but it's clear that they're not good enough to succeed against teams that play smart defense and don't overattack the ball.

After three straight ugly losses, you have to worry at this point that this team is losing focus as the likelihood of a successful season becomes slimmer and slimmer. There was reason for optimism while the team was losing close games, but it failed to build momentum by winning many of those contests, and now we're starting to play more like the team we thought we might be before conference play began. All is not lost, as Carolina could finish around .500 with a few more wins, but it also wouldn't surprise me to see us drop all or most of the remaining contests after tonight.

See A Sea of Blue's take on the game here.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Garnet And Black Attack

You must be a member of Garnet And Black Attack to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Garnet And Black Attack. You should read them.

Join Garnet And Black Attack

You must be a member of Garnet And Black Attack to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Garnet And Black Attack. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker