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South Carolina at Florida Hoops: Gamecocks Crushed by Gators

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USA TODAY Sports

Just when you thought things were looking up after the big weekend win over Arkansas, Carolina got a huge reality check today, losing a lopsided game to the Florida Gators, 75-36. Actually, to call the game "lopsided" would be a major understatement. This was a record low in points scored for Carolina in an SEC game; the previous low was 40 against Kentucky in 1999. And it could have been worse. The score was 33-10 at the half, and at one point midway through the second half, it was 55-15. Only then did the Gamecocks begin to find a modicum of offensive success. This, folks, was about as ugly as it gets. The football equivalent would probably be that game in Gainesville in 2008 when Spurrier was rotating Chris Smelley and Stephen Garcia and the Gators made us look like an FCS patsy.

Perhaps what was most distressing about the game was that it was yet another instance of inconsistency from the Gamecocks. After seemingly turning the corner offensively with a dazzling shooting performance against Arkansas, the Gamecocks redefined offensive impotence against the Gators, going 14-45 from the field, 2-14 from three, and only getting to the line nine times. We also turned the ball over 17 times, 11 at the break. Granted, Florida's unbelievable defensive play had a lot to do with it; the Gators were the most disruptive defense we've seen this year. They contested every pass and shot and played with a discipline rarely to be seen. It really would have been fairly breathtaking if not for the fact that it was at our cost. Still, you would have liked to have seen some of the offensive momentum from last weekend continue over into tonight.

That said, after the game, Frank Martin said that Florida "did the same thing they've done to every opponent this year," and he's right. This was Florida's most dominant win yet, but only by a hair. The Gators have also beaten Mizzou and Mississippi St. by 30+ margins, and they've yet to be challenged by a league opponent. They're far and away the SEC's best team, and they might very well be the nation's best team. This game says little about our ability to play competitive basketball against most of our remaining opponents, and if the team can put the game behind them, they've got a legitimate chance to win a game over a revitalized Georgia team this weekend.