With conference play fully underway in the SEC, it is time to take a look at just where this Gamecock basketball team stands and where they could finish.
An up and down start to the season thus far in non-conference play that has continued in SEC play has left us stunned and worried.
We know this team’s guard play has been lacking and weak on the defensive and offensive sides of the ball late in games, which has seen close games slip away from them.
Picked to finish 10th in the SEC, the expectation of a rough and long season is predicted.
It’s going to take a lot of effort and work from Frank Martin and this team to achieve some wins and upsets.
This team has seemed very one-dimensional at times and has struggled on many different fronts, each varying from game to game.
One thing is clear: free throws have not been a strong spot in the statistics throughout the season, leaving important and easy points off the board.
All of that accompanied with an all-around panic shows the struggles of this team early into the heart of the schedule
The Gamecocks did show some fight and kept their spurs dug into a good Florida Gators team in the SEC opener.
However, in the end, they lost out to some good guard play on the other side of the ball.
After a brutal loss in Knoxville over the weekend the question remains: how does this team look ahead now with such a sporadic start to the season?
The next three games will more than likely determine this season: Kentucky, Texas A&M, and Auburn.
A trial by fire will surely test this team to its limits and will command them to step up and buckle down.
Also, it will require players like T.J. Moss, Keyshawn Bryant and others to get it together and play to their potentials.
There is room for improvement but it will not come easy. This team has proved to be effective at times, with a big win against Virginia, the reigning National Champions.
If there is to be a turnaround, it will most likely fall on the backs of A.J Lawson and Maik Kotsar, who will need to have big minutes and be leaders on this basketball team.
At the end of the conference play, this team will most likely fight to be at .500.
Picking up against teams like Vanderbilt, Arkansas, and Mississippi State are an absolute must later in the season.
This South Carolina team has not seen player progression like it has wanted and needs to find someone on the team to step up and take control.
This was said to be the year of A.J Lawson and this to be his team. So far, that has not exactly come to fruition, outside of him being the Gamecocks leading scorer.
The SEC is a wide-open conference through the middle and a place can still be carved out for this team, if they take the opportunities to grow fast, start communicating on the floor and being responsible will the ball.
In reality though, this team has a long season yet to go and will require a major turnaround to push for any post-season play.