Gamecocks MBB ended their home season in an embarrassing loss full of lackluster defense to Arkansas.
The South Carolina Gamecocks MBB team (6-13) lost 101-73 to 12th ranked Arkansas (20-5) in a game that was basically over at halftime. It’s not like South Carolina played poorly, but Arkansas just couldn’t miss from beyond the arc. South Carolina struggled on all ends, and a 28 point loss is not a good way to finish at home. Here are some key takeaways from this tough but predictable loss:
The Frank Martin Zone just doesn’t work anymore.
South Carolina has always enjoyed a strong defense under Frank Martin, but teams have figured out how to expose the zone. Most teams have figured out that shooting from the free-throw line is the best way to expose the zone, but Arkansas just passed it around the perimeter until they could create a three. The Razorbacks shot 55.2 percent and 45.5 percent from beyond the arc. That’s inexcusable for a Martin-coached defense. South Carolina’s most important job on defense was to slow down Moses Moody. They failed to do that with Moody having 17 points at halftime. Even with the halftime adjustments, they couldn’t stop Moody who finished with 28 points. The Gamecocks couldn’t do anything to stop Moody, and they couldn’t turn turnovers into points. That has been the story of this season. You can’t force almost 17 turnovers per game and only have 73 points per game. There needs to be a change in Martin’s defensive philosophy.
Arkansas will likely go deep in the NCAA Tournament.
Arkansas is getting hot at the right time. They’re currently on a 10 game SEC win streak, and they aren’t slowing down. They beat the SEC champions in Alabama, and Moses Moody is a top three Freshman in the country. They’re easily a top 10 team in the country, and they can beat you in so many ways. Moody, Justin Smith, and Desi Sills are too good of a trio to not contend for the Final Four. I fully expect this team to win the SEC tournament.
The future of South Carolina Men’s Basketball is very uncertain.
I understand that COVID has created a mess for South Carolina this year, but finishing the season with at most seven wins is abysmal. This was supposed, to be Frank Martin’s most talented team since the Final Four team, but it ended up being one of the most frustrating teams to watch. I honestly don’t see next season as a bounce-back season because the Gamecocks will lose a lot of talent and didn’t recruit all that well. South Carolina desperately needs to revamp its philosophy, and Martin needs to make sure these players are playing to their potential.
I honestly don’t know who to blame at this point. The Gamecocks just don’t play with the same energy they used to have. When was the last time we saw a Bryant slam hype up this team? There needs to be some change for this team or else Martin’s job is in serious jeopardy. Best of luck to AJ Lawson and Seventh Woods at the next level, but I think South Carolina fans agree this season needs to end fast.