Two games, two conference losses for the Gamecocks this past week.
USC is winless in three chances ever since their trip to Charlottesville, and the losses just keep getting worse.
When they welcomed the Gators to town, they were in it for almost the entirety of the game but kept exchanging baskets whenever they made Florida sweat a little. Eventually, Florida just ran away with the game completely and took it 81-68.
Following that discouraging defensive showing, they follow it up by allowing 56 to Tennessee, a vast improvement.
The thing is, the offense then became the issue.
The Cocks shot 33% overall and much worse from beyond the arc. They also had a mere two players in double figures.
Now that you are caught up with the team as a whole, let’s dive into the play of some individual players...
Traditionally, I recognize three players, but this week I will only talk about two. Usually when the Gamecocks play two games in a week it gives me more positives to discuss, but that wasn’t the case this time around.
Player of the Week: Maik Kotsar
Kotsar takes the crown for the second consecutive week!
In my opinion, he was the only one on the team whose play was never truly detrimental to the team at one point or another.
Some players play solid defense, but they may also be careless with the ball or struggle to make a basket. Some may be more of a bucket getter but can’t hold their own on the defensive side of the ball.
Kotsar probably has the best balance of everything at this point, and while he may never blow you away with that money mid-range jumper, he never truly makes you audibly scream in anger either (maybe unless you are Frank Martin).
Against Florida, he led the team in points with 18 and field goal percentage, shooting it at a 58% clip.
He also made all of his free throws, which has been difficult to do for this team recently.
Defensively, he led the Cocks in steals with 2.
To add onto the list of things Kotsar is excelling in, rebounding duties have been mainly dominated by him as well.
Against Tennessee it was a lot of the same. He led the team in points and field goal percentage in addition to him contributing eight rebounds and a block.
If it wasn’t obvious enough, Maik Kotsar has been this team’s bright spot as of late, and I can guarantee that if he was given a chance at the last shot against Tennessee, he wouldn’t have committed a boneheaded offensive foul either (too soon?).
Player to Watch: Jermaine Couisnard
Besides being one of USC’s only sources of offense last Saturday, he also killed it defensively by stealing the ball three times.
In reference to any possible haters, yes, it took him 17 shots to score 15 points, but I’d take that over not making a shot at all (Lawson, Bolden, Minaya).
It wasn’t a good shooting day for the team, but at least his shots fell in the basket a couple times, six to be exact.
His spark off the bench is needed and his absence was felt against Florida.
Hopefully he doesn’t disappear for the next few games like the last time he stood out on the stat-sheet.