After things were looking bad, VERY bad for South Carolina, they finished last week 2-0 with impressive wins over Kentucky and Texas A&M.
On top of that, the wins came in ways we would never have expected.
Who would have thought Lawson and Kotsar wouldn’t be leading the way in their upset against Kentucky? And name me a person who would have had Bolden, after not playing the previous game, as the X-factor against the Aggies? Also, this team can make threes now?
Simply put, what happened?
It’s as if the Gamecocks flipped a switch after they took the ball out of Lawson’s hands, their supposed “best player.”
And listen, we all know Texas A&M isn’t some powerhouse, but they didn’t falter one bit after losing Keyshawn Bryant to the injury bug.
This week introduced a few household names and said good riddance to a few others.
With that, here are the guys who stood out to me over the last two games.
Player of the Week: Jermaine Couisnard
I think USC might have finally found its star, and it’s none other than Jermaine Couisnard.
Saying he made the most of his opportunities since being inserted into the starting lineup would be an understatement.
After struggling from the field as a team in the first half versus Kentucky, he decided to put the team on his back, scoring 17 of his 26 points in the second act on route to a come-from-behind victory for the Gamecocks.
When people think of that game, though, they think of “the shot,” the circus shot game-winner that took over the city of Columbia and gave fans hope in this team after being seemingly at a standstill.
His superb play didn’t end there either as he was a great source of offense versus Texas A&M as well, dropping 17 points on 54% shooting.
Couisnard had much more help in the second contest, though, as it was raining from three and not only from shots that he took.
I’m so happy to see this man mature before my eyes and make a difference this quickly in his college career.
Runner-up: Jair Bolden
Welcome back, old pal.
If you told me he wasn’t on the team ever since the Virginia game, I probably would have believed you, but Bolden decided to come back into the spotlight with a vengeance thanks to his three-point barrage against the Aggies.
In 33 minutes, Bolden scored 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting. He also converted on five out of his seven shots from behind the arc.
Bolden’s chances with this team were running out, and if Bryant didn’t go down, we may not have seen this performance either.
Now PLEASE don’t leave us again...
Player to Watch: Justin Minaya
Up until recently, he was used mainly for rebounding and defensive purposes, but Minaya finally proved his worth on offense scoring 29 and shooting 46% from long range over the last week.
We were all waiting for that game we knew he was capable of having, but instead he gave us games plural.
If Minaya can continue to produce at this level, we may see him snag one of the top two slots in the coming week.
After all... Couisnard was USC’s MVP one week after I announced him as my “player to watch.”