South Carolina Basketball: 3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down from Ole Miss victory

South Carolina basketball is now 20-3 and 8-2 in the SEC after knocking off the Ole Miss Rebels on Tuesday.
South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris and his team
South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris and his team / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina Basketball vs. Ole Miss Rebels
Thumbs Up 1: Collin Murray-Boyles

Now that he is back in the swing of things after battling mononucleosis, Collin Murray-Boyles has established himself as one of the best freshmen in the country. Another really good showing on Tuesday night saw the Columbia native go off for 16 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks, and 1 steal.

CMB was the top scorer for the Gamecocks and made 8-11 shots from the field, but he was also an elite defender. His most memorable play of the game came on that end of the floor as he blocked a Jamarion Sharp dunk attempt at its apex (which is really high considering he is 7'5") after an Ole Miss run erased a 17-point Carolina lead.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Ole Miss Rebels
Thumbs Up 2: A Clean Game

South Carolina basketball has won plenty of ugly games this season. Games that are marred by fouls and turnovers and slow pace have seemed to make Lamont Paris' team comfortable and their opponents uneasy.

Tuesday night's game against Ole Miss, though, was a different type of game. The pace wasn't lightning-quick, but it was faster than many other Gamecock contests, and the team's errors were minimalized. USC only turned the ball over 10 times (right around their season average but with just 4 live ball steals) and only fouled the Rebels 10 times, as well.

Adding to the cleanliness of this game, Carolina (mostly) shot the ball well. Outside of the struggles of BJ Mack and Meechie Johnson as shooters, the Gamecocks shot 24-42 from the field and 8-18 from 3, an extremely efficient night at Colonial Life Arena.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Ole Miss Rebels
Thumbs Up 3: The Davis/Stute Combination

Thanks to Josh Gray and Collin Murray-Boyles stepping up in SEC play, Myles Stute and Zach Davis get to spend almost all of their time playing on the wing, and the combination of the two players has been huge for Carolina. On Tuesday, Davis was a pest on the perimeter defensively (having the 2nd-best defensive rating on the team behind CMB), and Stute was a marksman shooting from outside (4-5 on 3-pointers).

Moving forward, the Gamecocks will need these two players to continue playing their roles well. Davis starting takes some of the defensive load off of more offensively-important players like Ta'Lon Cooper and Meechie Johnson, and having Stute come off the bench provides some needed shooting punch with the second unit.