South Carolina Basketball: Three thumbs up, three thumbs down vs. East Carolina

South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports /
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South Carolina Basketball
South Carolina basketball big man Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk did not play against ECU (no reason has been given as to why), and the Gamecocks lacked some toughness at times down low. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports /

South Carolina Basketball vs. East Carolina:
Thumbs Down

Thumbs Down. Right now, Jacobi Wright looks lost. Normally a reliable offensive player who can provide a scoring and shooting punch off of the bench, he has not looked good the past few games for the Gamecocks. On Saturday, he went 0-4, and none of the shots looked confident or smooth. South Carolina basketball fans know that Wright is a good player, so it feels like it is only a matter of time before he rights the ship, but with Morris Ugusuk dealing with an ankle, Wright is the only true guard available off the bench right now. If he doesn’t turn things around soon, the Gamecocks might be in trouble.. . South Carolina Gamecocks. JACOBI WRIGHT

Thumbs Down. The strange whistles (and lack thereof) from the officials in Greenville certainly played a role in this, but the Gamecocks were inconsistent in their intensity, defensive effort, and physical toughness against East Carolina. There were 4 separate 3-minute scoreless stretches for the Gamecocks, and they got pushed around at times by the Pirates, especially by thick athletes Ezra Ausar, Brandon Johnson, and RJ Felton. On the positive end, Zach Davis played really tough (and versatile) defense in the 2nd half, and BJ Mack and Ta’Lon Cooper had nice days rebounding. The Gamecocks’ starting bigs (BJ Mack and Stephen Clark) were in foul trouble, and even Meechie Johnson was in some mild trouble with 2 fouls in the 1st half. As a team, the Gamecocks only collected 7 offensive rebounds, and 4 of them came off bad misses on shots at the rim that fell right back into the shooter’s hands. Coach Paris, understandably, was not happy with the effort at times on Saturday. Some of the issues could be because Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk did not play, and Josh Gray played just 8 minutes due to his own struggles.. . South Carolina Gamecocks. INCONSISTENT EFFORT, INTENSITY, AND TOUGHNESS

South Carolina Gamecocks. INJURIES AND ILLNESSES . Thumbs Down. Unfortunately, the Gamecocks being less than 100% was a factor on Saturday. Collin Murray-Boyles is still not 100% “back” from Mono as he is still a step slow on defense. Morris Ugusuk was playing with a balky ankle and then re-aggravated the injury during the game. Stephen Clark also was playing on a tender ankle. Ebrima Dibba didn’t play as he does not appear to be the same player as he was prior to his Achilles injury. Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk didn’t play on Saturday, but it is unclear if he is dealing with an ailment. Already playing one scholarship down (Arden Conyers is redshirting), the Gamecocks cannot afford to lose any players right now with how much of the roster is operating at less than optimal efficiency right now..

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