South Carolina Basketball: 3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down from collapse vs. LSU

South Carolina basketball blew a 16-point lead in the 2nd half against the LSU Tigers and lost their second game in a row.

South Carolina basketball wing Zach Davis trying to keep up with former Gamecock Trae Hannibal
South Carolina basketball wing Zach Davis trying to keep up with former Gamecock Trae Hannibal / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina Basketball vs. LSU Tigers
Thumbs Down 1: Horrible End-of-Game

Anyone who watched this game (especially the end) could see that South Carolina basketball did not play with their usual level of composure and discipline. Had they played a better team than LSU, they might have been blown out like they were against Auburn.

In the closing minute, after they'd choked away a 16-point lead, the Gamecocks had gone back up by 3 points with under 30 seconds left. The smart decision would have been to foul so that LSU couldn't have an opportunity at a 3-pointer or a quick and easy 2-point shot. Coach Paris was yelling for the foul, but his team did not listen.

Several players were within reach of foul opportunities and simply didn't take them. They also didn't seem to try on defense, either, as Jordan Wright had an easy layup to cut the lead to 1.

Then, with a timeout in their back pocket, Carolina inbounded the ball right into perfect trap position along the sideline. BJ Mack was fouled, but Pat Adams' refereeing crew missed the call and awarded a jump ball that went to the possession arrow-owning LSU. Another questionable foul went against Collin Murray-Boyles, granting Wright two free throws to win the game.

Even the final offensive "possession" wasn't good. CMB had to make a ridiculous athletic play just to avoid a turnover, and then the final shot (while trailing by 1 point) was a step-back 3-ball from Jacobi Wright.

Not good.

South Carolina Basketball vs. LSU Tigers
Thumbs Down 2: Guard Play

South Carolina has had really good guard play most of this season. They did not have good guard play against LSU.

Ta'Lon Cooper had one of his worst games of the year, and Meechie Johnson was scoreless before leaving the game with a head injury. Morris Ugusuk looked not ready in his 2 minutes on the floor, and Jacobi Wright was just okay.

The starting duo didn't play their usual elite brand of perimeter defense (especially in the 2nd half), and the entire guard unit got whipped on the glass, allowing Trae Hannibal to pull down 12 rebounds and Jordan Wright to snag 7.

In an offensively-challenged game, Gamecock guards went to free throw line zero times.

South Carolina Basketball vs. LSU Tigers
Thumbs Down 3: Sloppiness with the Lead

A normally well-disciplined team, South Carolina was not good playing with the lead in the 2nd half. Instead of slowing things down with a 16-point advantage, USC took some of their quickest shot attempts of the game and made some of their worst passes of the game during LSU's comeback.

The defense struggled during that time, as well. The Carolina D lost track of Tyrell Ward on numerous occasions and didn't seem to have an answer for Ward and Jalen Reed as they both shot 5-7 after halftime.

The rebounding effort wasn't good, and even when they got to the ball, there were several instances in which a Gamecock dropped the basketball or let it bounce off of their bodies instead of securing it. The sloppiness was a major contributing factor to the collapse.

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