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South Carolina Basketball: Gamecocks Fall in Blowout to Boise St. in Diamond Head Classic

Gamecocks struggle against Broncos.

Marco Garcia-USA TODAY Sports

Boise St. hammered the Gamecocks in the semifinals of the Diamond Head Classic, winning 80-54. The loss sends the Gamecocks to 3-6 on the year. Boise wing Anthony Drmic led all scorers with 30. He beat the Gamecocks regardless of how we defended him, scoring both by driving the lane and by knocking down open threes. On the other end of the floor, the Gamecocks struggled offensively, shooting just 37.3% from the field.

There's not a lot to take away from this game other than that we got our butts stomped. The Broncos were much more physical than we were and were able to take away the pick-and-roll plays that we executed well against St. Mary's. Tyrone Johnson and Sindarius Thornwell are both excellent players who have bright futures at Carolina, but both have struggled against more physical guards. That was the case again last night. Boise's physicality really hampered Johnson's ability to get into the lane and distribute, as it did Thornwell's ability to finish on his scoring attempts.

It probably wouldn't have made much of a difference in such a lopsided affair, but I was surprised that Laimonas Chatkevicius didn't get more minutes coming off a great game against St. Mary's. Even though he played half as many minutes, Chatkevicius had a bigger impact on the stat line than Mindaugas Kacinas. On the season, Chatkevicius far outpaces Kacinas in points and rebounds per 40 minutes. Maybe a Chatkevicius/Demetrius Henry front line is part of the answer for the Gamecocks.

The Gamecocks take on Akron this evening in the loser's bracket. Akron is coming off a blowout loss of its own, albeit to an excellent Iowa St. team as opposed to a solid Boise team. In any event, the Zips aren't quite as strong as Boise (or St. Mary's, for that matter), but they're definitely good enough to beat us. They thus present another opportunity for a good win. Strangely enough, we'll be taking them on again over the weekend in Columbia.