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South Carolina vs. Georgia/Tennessee: Players of the Week

All smiles in Columbia following a 2-0 week

NCAA Basketball: Tennessee at South Carolina Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

One week, two wins for the South Carolina Gamecocks.

In the first contest, USC completely handled Georgia, and “handled” may be a kind way to put it.

The Bulldogs had a single bucket through the first seven minutes and four points through the first 10.

When Frink and Kotsar shared the floor, the paint was off-limits. The majority of Georgia’s possessions when going up against that duo ended with a foul or a missed three, and I’m sure any Gamecock fanatic will take that.

Although they still played well defensively, Frink missed most of the game against the Volunteers after committing four (dumb, ugly) fouls in five minutes.

The story of the Tennessee game, though, was the Gamecocks’ inability to make any free throws, and (spoiler alert) that’s why I cannot give Jermaine Couisnard any recognition this week.

Well, that and the fact the Cocks still won while only draining four shots behind the arc.

Nonetheless, I’m only nitpicking. This was a great week for the brand.

Let’s dive in!

Player of the Week: Maik Kotsar

There is one reason he is getting this award.

It’s not his defense, not his steller game in the paint but the fact that he made every single free throw when the Gamecocks desperately needed one.

After USC turned it over two times with the game on the line, Kotsar ended up at the charity stripe multiple times, hit them all, and completely bailed the team out.

If it wasn’t for him, Tennessee may have went home a lot happier.

Kotsar’s game wasn’t too shabby either as he stacked up 24 total points on offense and added three blocks over two games.

I don’t think I’d be incorrect in calling him this squad’s most consistent player either.

While Lawson or Couisnard may mentally take games off, Kotsar is always out there giving it his all, consistently leaving his mark whenever he takes the floor.

Runner-up: Keyshawn Bryant

He may unfairly be known solely for his dunks and his defense, but wow is he great at those two things.

Over the last two games, Bryant had three steals and three blocks without committing too many fouls either.

Bryant was a lot more effective offensively versus Georgia, dropping 12 while shooting 4-for-5 from the field, but he shouldn’t be slept on in that department.

When at home, he has a way of getting the crowd into it with the plays he makes, and you can’t really replace that kind of energy.

Player to Watch: Jalyn McCreary

I mainly thought of him as a benchwarmer... until this week.

Despite putting up only eight points, he had a couple much-needed baskets to end cold spells at the time while contributing solid defense, which is why he has gained his coach’s trust.

This happened too.

I love this man’s effort, and I am happy he found a way into this week’s column.

Keep up the good work.