The South Carolina Gamecocks men’s basketball team brushed off two straight losses at the end of Nov./beginning of Dec. to go on a five game winning streak. Lashay Page has been dismissed from the team for academic reasons, though, and Michael Carrera is out indefinitely with a hip injury.
The Lady Gamecocks just started the SEC season with a bad 20 point loss to Tennessee.
The ladies have two straight games against un-ranked opponents before taking on No. 10 Georgia on the road Jan 13.
The guys will play their first SEC game of the year on Jan 9 at Mississippi State. Then they get Auburn at home followed by a road game against LSU and a home game with Vanderbilt. Three of those four teams have records at or below .500 and only LSU has a “better” record than the 10-3 Gamecocks (LSU sits at 9-2).
If all goes well, the guys could surpass their 2012 win total in that first SEC game against the Bulldogs.
In fact, if all goes very well, the Gamecocks could find themselves in the post season for the first time since 2009/10; The NCAA tournament is pretty much out of the question, but should Carolina finish around .500 in league play, the NIT would have a hard time over looking them at say anywhere from 17-14 to 19-12.
Based solely on record, right now the Gamecocks are better than nine of the teams in the SEC. We know that Kentucky is much better than Carolina, though, and teams like Arkansas and Tennessee that sit below SC in the W/L column have only lost to quality opponents.
Without Michael Carrera this team might not be good enough to get those 17 wins. Still, anything over 10 is an improvement, and with Bruce Ellington back for the rest of the year, who knows what could happen.
As for the Ladies, they should still make the tournament, but their run to the Big Dance was turned into a light power-walk by Tennessee. At 12-2, it shouldn’t be a problem for SC to get to 20 wins in the regular season, and a win or two in the SEC Tournament should all but seal the deal on another trip to the tourney.