South Carolina Basketball: 3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down from demolition at the hands of Auburn Tigers

South Carolina basketball got smacked around by the Auburn Tigers on Wednesday night.
South Carolina basketball wing Myles Stute against Auburn
South Carolina basketball wing Myles Stute against Auburn / John Reed-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina Basketball vs. Auburn Tigers
Thumbs Up 1: Fabulous Freshman

Collin Murray-Boyles is still really good at basketball. The freshman was good on Wednesday, and his 19 points, 7 rebounds, 1 block, and 2 steals all were top-2 on the team for the game, and he was very efficient as a scorer, getting his 19 on 6-10 shooting from the floor and 7-8 from the free throw line.

It isn't hyperbolic to say that Collin Murray-Boyles is Lamont Paris' best player (Ta'Lon Cooper is the most important, and Meechie Johnson is the most electric, but CMB is the best overall player). The NBA has started to sniff around the Columbia native, but before he has a decision to make this offseason, he has a handful more regular season games with the Gamecocks to help them solidify their spot in the NCAA Tournament.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Auburn Tigers
Thumbs Up 2: Meechie Got His Mojo Back

Meechie Johnson has not been a very efficient scorer lately. He's found other ways to impact the game, but scoring hasn't been his strong suit.

That changed on Wednesday.

Though it didn't matter in a lopsided loss, Meechie Johnson got some of his mojo back on offense. The explosive guard scored 22 points and looked really quick with the ball in his hands. He made jumpers (both 3-pointers and mid-range shots), and he had more nice passes than one might expect from his total of 2 assists.

He lost his cool after a flagrant foul and earned a technical foul, but other than that, he was one of the only Gamecocks who didn't back down from the moment against Auburn. If he can continue being a major threat on offense moving forward, that will help USC in a big way in their fight for the SEC title.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Auburn Tigers
Thumbs Up 3: Free Throw Shooting

One of the few things the Gamecocks did well on Wednesday was take and make free throws. Carolina got to the line for 28 attempts, and before a 1-4 garbage time stretch from the line by Stephen Clark and Jacobi Wright, they had made 21-24 of their shots from the foul line. As it stands, they finished just under 80% at 22-28.

South Carolina has two post players (BJ Mack and Collin Murray-Boyles) and a guard (Meechie Johnson) who draw a lot of fouls. If they can continue doing that, the Gamecocks can score enough to keep winning in the SEC.