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South Carolina vs. Mississippi State/LSU: Players of the Week

Well, the hype was fun while it lasted

NCAA Basketball: Louisiana State at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

The Gamecocks followed a pretty 2-0 week with a winless one. There really is no better metaphor for this team than that.

The Cocks dropped a “please win, but it is not vital” game to Mississippi State and then lost a true “must-win” game to LSU, with that L all but capping this team’s maximum success at a NIT birth.

In South Carolina’s Wednesday matchup against the Bulldogs, they didn’t play like their NCAA tournament lives were on the line until literally the last minute of the game.

Until that point, their offense couldn’t keep up with Mississippi State and their defense couldn’t stop a nosebleed.

The story of the LSU game was much of the same.

Whenever South Carolina inched just a little closer, the Tigers seemed to always build up their lead until they felt comfortable again.

I would prefer to not defend poor play, but it also felt like LSU couldn’t miss from three at times.

When Darius Days makes 4-of-6 from long range, there isn’t much you can do.

Other than that, the difference was free throws and field goal percentage. LSU made their free throws and shot a good clip from the field. The Cocks didn’t.

When you win the turnover battle, you never expect a game to be this one-sided not in your team’s favor.

Shifting toward individual play, no one truly blew me away. Everyone struggled in some aspect.

On that note, only two players will get recognition this week.

Player of the Week: Maik Kotsar

I don’t think there is any debate that Kotsar was the best player wearing a Gamecock uniform this past week, but that doesn’t mean he was perfect.

He may have led the team offensively versus Mississippi State with 24 points on 65% shooting, but the fouls have become an issue.

Kotsar had four in both contests, a Silva-esque statistic.

While they may have impacted the game against the Bulldogs a little less as he still logged 37 minutes, they undoubtedly had a role in the LSU game.

He had to be taken out in some inopportune moments, and that hurt the team a decent amount.

Turnovers were also an issue in the first game as he gave it away three times.

As for the good, Kotsar is still killing it defensively.

He racked up five steals and two blocks over two games.

Yes, he may not have been a pretty winner of this award, but this team really didn’t have a good week (and I didn’t have another option).

Runner-up: N/A

Couisnard keeps getting into foul trouble and making shots at a terrible clip.

Lawson lights it up for a couple minutes and disappears for the next half. He also doesn’t do much for this team defensively.

Bryant didn’t have a necessarily terrible week, but we could have used him for more than 19 minutes against Mississippi State.

Frink has been awful.

Bench play has been mainly underwhelming.

No further argument necessary.

Player to Watch: Jair Bolden

Bolden has made 5-of-9 shots from behind the arc in his limited minutes, and that’s a stat that popped out to me.

There are some instances where I swear he just chucks it up and even he is surprised it went in. Those moments must have happened a few times versus LSU because wow.

Bolden has logged 20+ minutes just twice in his last eight games, and I really can’t be the only one who think he needs to get in the game more than that.

Without him, the LSU loss could have been much, much worse.