This week gave us two close games as South Carolina snatched up one victory and took one tough loss.
If there was one constant in the two contests, it was undoubtedly the lackluster defensive play.
Other than giving up a total of 180 points on the week, the Gamecocks struggled to guard players from behind the arc.
If there is any good news, it is the fact that USC kept up in both games despite the immense scoring from the other team. In a game of wins and losses, though, the one loss to Alabama was enough to knock this team off the bubble, according to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi.
The Georgia game gave the fanbase hope (although the score was much closer than many would have liked) throughout the week, but it was all gone by 11 p.m. on Saturday.
All this team can shoot for now is to kill Mississippi State’s tournament hopes this Tuesday at home because unless this team shocks the world in the SEC Tournament, the Cocks are most likely NIT bound.
Okay sad time over. It’s time for some love to be dished out!
Player of the Week: Keyshawn Bryant
Yes, he was the most consistently great player over the week, but can we just appreciate how fun it is to watch him play?
Keyshawn Bryant is as close as it gets to being a walking highlight reel. In the Georgia game, he had two ferocious dunks (including the one shown below), and he even had a few attempts where players chose to foul him so they wouldn’t be the latest victim of a Bryant poster.
His game wasn’t all dunks either as he scored a combined 38 points on 56% shooting over the two games.
Bryant is probably this squad’s best defender, he is a beast on the boards and he keeps turnovers low as he was the only starter in the Georgia game that didn’t cough the ball up even once.
I think it’s time for people to see him as something other than a one-trick pony.
Runner-up: Maik Kotsar
Listen, Kotsar may not have been the player of the game against Georgia, but he may have been the most valuable.
Without his superb situational play down the stretch, Georgia (or shall I say Anthony Edwards) may have taken that one.
First off, he had to hit two free throws, one of South Carolina’s struggles, to take a lead late in the fourth quarter, and he did just that.
Kotsar was also the team’s driving force once they got into overtime. He hit a couple shots, and he clinched the game when he took the charge with a second left.
It was a different story against Alabama, though, but I thought the importance of his play against Georgia was that vital to their victory, making him worthy of the “runner-up” slot.
Honorable Mention: Alanzo Frink
To be completely honest, I didn’t think he even knew how to score points before this week.
Free throws are still a work in progress for him, but he led the team in scoring against Georgia with 22 (shooting 80%!) and broke double digits versus Alabama in a far less impressive showing.
Frink continues to have these head-scratching turnovers and fouls, but he is developing a respectable game in the paint.
With two games left on the schedule, it may be too late for that, though.