It was a tale of two teams for the Gamecocks this past week.
Think about how fantastic the women have been playing. In my mind, I’m imagining the ball movement, the defense and the star power (without being selfish or iso-heavy) of Aliyah Boston and Zia Cooke.
Now, imagine the exact opposite. Voilà! You got the men’s squad.
They haven’t been playing as a team, they allowed the most points ever in the Frank Martin era against Auburn and A.J Lawson has been picking and choosing which games to show up for.
COVID could have been an excuse for the team’s play a couple weeks ago, but that copout has reached its statute of limitations.
Although the women’s game against LSU got a tad scary down the stretch, I have nothing but positive things to say about them. The players persevered and managed to get it done.
The men have to turn it around or, honestly, this could be Frank Martin’s last year at USC, which is something I definitely didn’t think I’d be writing a couple months ago.
Let’s get to the recognitions.
Player of the Week: Aliyah Boston
Despite having dominated for three games, her play against Georgia shined the brightest for me.
She had a triple-double... WITH BLOCKS.
Boston became the first Gamecock women’s basketball player with a triple-double, period, in that one, but she just had to add a little extra spice to it by having 10 in the block department, not assists.
If that wasn’t enough, Boston had 26 points, 16 rebounds and six blocks in the win against Arkansas, becoming the first player since Candace Parker in 2006 to have 25 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks in an SEC game.
Looks like there will be another #1 pick in the WNBA Draft coming out of Columbia this year!
Runner-up: Destanni Henderson
I am in love with the way she runs this offense.
She was giving out so many dishes this week she may as well drop this whole basketball thing and become a waitress (I’m so sorry for that pun)!
Henderson had a double-double against Arkansas with 14 points and 10 assists on 46% shooting (100% from three).
Additionally, she was one of the main reasons USC avoided an upset last Sunday at LSU.
Henderson scored 16 points and added eight assists while shooting 45% from the field.
If you watched these games, though, a lot of what she does doesn’t show up on the stat sheet.
She pushes the offense, she creates great looks for her teammates and simply plays smart.
Honorable Mention: Trey Anderson
I’m just going to start off by saying yes, I could’ve given this to Keyshawn Bryant, but I wanted to talk about how Anderson came out of nowhere and put on a show against Missouri.
He shot the best field goal percentage on the team, tied for the best three-point percentage on the team and scored 17 in a game where the Gamecocks really looked lost from start to finish.
Anderson even made some tough shots and made them look easy.
Also... where was he against Auburn?? After playing like that, he got four minutes? Questionable decision to say the least. In a blowout too? C’mon.