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South Carolina Basketball Players of the Week: Jan. 25 - 31

Four games, three wins. Who are the standouts from this recent slate of games?

South Carolina v Maryland Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Late Wednesday night, Gamecock fans must have been feeling ecstatic.

The men’s team rebounded after a tough loss to Auburn by shutting down Georgia. South Carolina went from allowing 109 points to the Tigers to almost cutting that in half versus the Bulldogs, allowing 59 points.

You then look ahead on the schedule and see two winnable games for the women and a matchup against Vanderbilt to bring this week’s games to a close.

I’m sure many, like myself, penciled in four wins for USC, something that has been anything but a common occurrence in recent years.

Right on cue, the men’s squad decided to disappoint, giving up 93 points to a team that had yet to win a game in the SEC.

That game proved once again, if you are a fan of the Gamecocks, knowing how to deal with constant pain is a requirement.

But hey, at least the women went 2-0, winning both games by 23 or more. They even added another ranked victory to their already impressive resumé!

It should be pretty obvious where I’m going (and not going) with these awards.

Let’s go!

Player of the Week: Zia Cooke

During a week where Aliyah Boston was either in foul trouble or not looking completely like herself, Cooke was able to take the reins and lead this squad to victory, twice.

Having been in a bit of a funk, she shook the cold off and proceeded to drop 19 and 21 points in her games this past week.

She was also struggling to shoot from downtown but made 50% of the threes she attempted over the last two games.

In a game versus Alabama where this squad took some time to start getting into a groove, Cooke scored 12 of her team-high 21 points in the third quarter where they regained the lead and never looked back.

She’s been fantastic offensively, especially when it mattered, and I just hope her stellar play continues for the remainder of the season!

I’ll leave you with some highlights from the Mississippi State game.

Runner-up: Victaria Saxton

Saxton didn’t disappoint this week either!

Aside from putting up double digits in both games this week, she also got her second double-double of the year and first in conference play.

Her defensive game continues to shine as well, picking up three blocks over the two games.

She may not be the player everyone talks about, but she’s been one of the most valuable on the team.

Honorable Mention: N/A

The women played great, but no one else stood out over both games.

As for the men, I was getting prepared to write about Jermaine Couisnard and Keyshawn Bryant after they had quality games against Georgia, but how they played against Vanderbilt left a bad taste in my mouth, and I wasn’t just going to forget about the second game.

Defensively, their defensive performance actually amused me to see how easy it was for opposing players to just blow past them. If that wasn’t bad enough, the Cocks had a knack for fouling players too after they get beaten.

I can’t in good conscience compliment any player on the men’s team after that last game.