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

South Carolina basketball got back to its winning ways with a road victory over Ole Miss.

South Carolina basketball big man BJ Mack
South Carolina basketball big man BJ Mack / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina Basketball vs. Ole Miss Rebels
Thumbs Up 1: Playing Gamecock Basketball

Over the past several games (not just in the two losses), Lamont Paris' team has abandoned "Gamecock basketball" for long stretches of time. Carolina is built on slowing the game down, playing good defense, taking smart shots, limiting turnovers, and being tough as rebounders. All of that showed on Saturday against Ole Miss.

USC outrebounded their opponent 44-34, they shot efficiently (especially from outside), they forced Ole Miss to score inefficiently, they had just 9 turnovers before garbage time, and they stayed comfortable on offense by playing their own pace.

If the Gamecocks are going to make any sort of run in the NCAA Tournament, that's how they will need to play.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Ole Miss Rebels
Thumbs Up 2: Zach Davis

Zach Davis had the best game of his South Carolina basketball career against Ole Miss. He set career-high marks for scoring (14 points) and rebounding (9 boards) while playing tough defense against some of the hardest-to-defend scoring guards in the conference in Matthew Murrell and Allen Flanigan.

Davis was called on to play even more minutes than usual with Myles Stute out with a knee injury, and the sophomore delivered in a big way.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Ole Miss Rebels
Thumbs Up 3: 2nd Half Bigs

In the 1st half against Ole Miss, BJ Mack was bad (got whipped on the glass multiple times and shot 1-5 from the field) and Collin Murray-Boyles barely played because he in foul trouble (3 fouls in the first 10 minutes of the game).

Josh Gray and Stephen Clark combined for 14 minutes covering for the two starters, and they held things together, but the Gamecocks needed their starters to step up to avoid a 2nd-half collapse like they experienced against LSU.

In the 2nd half, Mack and CMB did, indeed, step up, joining Zach Davis as the most impactful players on the floor. After halftime, the two starting bigs combined to score 22 of the team's 36 points while shooting 67% from the floor.