This past week made Gamecock fans feel a wide range of emotions. First, they lose a very winnable game to Ole Miss (but they just beat Florida so maybe we are undervaluing them?) where the result was never in doubt. Next, they allow Texas A&M to go on a 9-0 run to start the game, making me think, “is USC really gonna lose to Texas A&M right now?”
Thankfully, the team then woke up from their nap ranging a game and four minutes by soon taking the lead and not looking back from there.
It’s no secret that they had to adjust to the loss of Justin Minaya, but I didn’t think it would take as long as it did.
Their key to beating the Aggies wasn’t really them, though, and more on the part of the Gamecocks taking advantage of boneheaded, unforced errors and turning them into buckets.
Although the lead got to beyond 30 at one point in time, I still want to wait and see how they play against Georgia because the wounds created from the Cocks’ poor effort against the Rebels are still fresh.
Despite very polarizing performances, there are still some guys to recognize.
Player of the Week: Jermaine Couisnard
He is the only guy who played well in both games and was one of two players who decided to show up against Ole Miss.
In that contest, Couisnard shot from the line 13 times and capitalized on nine of those opportunities, good for just south of 70%.
That wasn’t it either as he finished with 28 points and unquestionably led South Carolina in the scoring department.
He had some more help in the second contest of the week but still managed to break social media with this shot to end the first half.
Like we said, PG1 is built different. ⛹️♂️@The__Future11 #Gamecocks pic.twitter.com/TREewzjGk8— Gamecock MBB (@GamecockMBB) February 8, 2020
I’m just very impressed with his consistency and his killer mentality.
This man will continue to wreak havoc on any player having to guard him.
Runner-up: Maik Kotsar
I was torn in deciding whether to give the second slot to Kotsar for his play against Ole Miss and Texas A&M collectively or A.J. Lawson for his play against Texas A&M because I am convinced he was checked out during their game versus the Rebels.
Although Lawson did have a game on Saturday, I couldn’t ignore Kotsar’s overall play.
He is now a force on the defensive end not only in the blocks department but in the steals department as well.
Kotsar’s slight of hand was able to help him rack up seven steals collectively over the two games.
He also didn’t miss from the charity stripe all week.
His offensive play doesn’t necessarily blow me away, but he did develop a solid mid-range jumper and a game inside the paint.
Have a week!
Player to Watch: Alanzo Frink
The one player to take advantage of Minaya’s injury was undoubtedly Alanzo Frink.
He only saw one minute against Ole Miss after he missed a box out assignment and Frank Martin decided to bench him for the rest of the game, but he started the second matchup and played his heart out for each of the 21 minutes he played.
Is his game offensively still mediocre at best? Well... yeah, but his defense was what blew me away.
Frink played the four very effectively and he gave this team a second rim-protector when he shared the floor with Kotsar.
His four fouls weren’t very attractive, but he did add three blocks and a steal and USC was at its best defensively when he was on the floor.
I previously said I didn’t expect to see his name back in my column, but I’m pleasantly surprised to see him sticking around.