Over the past few weeks, South Carolina fans have seen a fair amount of disappointments in football and basketball.
In football, Carolina lost two more big time starters on top of Jaheim Bell. MaShawn Loyd, and Jordan Burch, both former five stars, decided to depart from the program.
Carolina also suffered a heart breaking loss to Notre Dame in the Gator Bowl. The Gamecocks fought hard and put up a performance to be proud of in Jacksonville. However, with the excitement from fans leading up to the game, Carolina fans packing TIAA Bank Field, and the early start the team had, it really just felt sour to end up losing. Especially after the final two performances of the regular season.
As for basketball, Carolina started out kind of shaky in out of conference play. The Gamecocks saw highs and very low lows during this first stretch of the season. They ended up finishing out of conference play with a (7-6) record. Not great… even during a rebuild.
South Carolina opened SEC play against Vanderbilt in what appeared to be a bottom of the barrel SEC matchup. Carolina would lose in overtime 79-84. Four days later, South Carolina would get absolutely embarrassed on their home court against Tennessee 85-42. Regardless of the difference in caliber between the two programs, this loss was just pitiful. Absolutely not a good sign for the future.
At this point, things were beginning to look a little down across both sports. Football with the constant opt outs and the bowl loss, and Basketball really not putting things together properly during the rebuild.
However, things really began to look up Tuesday night.
The Gamecocks really came out swinging on the court against Kentucky, as they found themselves up 13-2 early in the contest. Meechie Johnson, hit 6 three pointers in the (a category South Carolina has struggled with this season) to really kill Kentucky momentum at several points. Carolina would lead by 10 points for a majority of the contest and would go on to win 71-68. Fighting off a last minute rally by Kentucky.
During the basketball game, Spencer Rattler announced on Twitter that he would be returning to South Carolina next season. Thus, confirming the return of the Rattler, Juice Wells duo for next season. A combination that was very deadly, and played a massive role in Carolina’s success last season. Both players announced their return a few days from each other.
It’s now beginning to look a little brighter for the Gamecocks across both sports as these two affairs served as a massive sigh of relief. However, football will need to keep recruiting heavy, and basketball will need to fair well in their upcoming game against Texas A&M this week. Hopefully they’ll both be able to keep the fire burning and really turn things up.