South Carolina Basketball: 3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down from road win over Tennessee

South Carolina basketball knocked off Tennessee in Knoxville to move to 24-0.

South Carolina basketball star Kamilla Cardoso
South Carolina basketball star Kamilla Cardoso / Saul Young/News Sentinel / USA TODAY
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South Carolina Basketball vs. Tennessee Volunteers
Thumbs Down 1: Outside Shooting

The Gamecocks continue to shoot the ball poorly from behind the 3-point line. After starting the year as one of the best perimeter shooting teams in college basketball, the Gamecocks have struggled of late. Te-Hina Paopao's efforts have salvaged several end-of-game totals, but on Thursday, even she struggled to tickle the twine, going 0-3 from outside.

South Carolina basketball is not taking or making the 3-pointer with any consistency right now. For the 5th straight game, the non-Paopao Gamecocks have shot 12 or fewer outside shots and made 4 or fewer. The entire team (including Paopao) has not made more than 7 outside shots in a month, something they managed to do in 8 of their first 16 games.

The outside shooting has to improve.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Tennessee Volunteers
Thumbs Down 2: Stagnant Offense

Dawn Staley's team played good defense most of the night against Tennessee. They forced tough shots and a lot of misses from the team in white and orange. Long scoring droughts were common for Kellie Harper's team. Even so, the Gamecock offense could not pull away.

Poor shooting from Carolina (40%/22%/50%) was a leading factor in the stagnancy of the offense, and missed layups and dropped balls (both rebounds and passes) were momentum killers.

Non-post players really struggled on offense as Kamilla Cardoso, Ashlyn Watkins, Sania Feagin, and Chloe Kitts were the only players to shoot 50% or better, combining to go 20-33 for 45 points, The rest of the roster went 8-37 for 21 points.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Tennesee Volunteers
Thumbs Down 3: Drawing Fouls and Making Free Throws

No team in the country is as physically imposing as the South Carolina Gamecocks. Yet, they struggled to utilize their physical advantages on Thursday night.

Presented with another "big" team, Carolina could not force Tennessee to commit many fouls (just 15 for the entire game) and, therefore, could not get to the line. When they did earn foul shots, they made just 8-16 of the freebies.

Despite pulling down 19 offensive rebounds, the Gamecocks did not draw many fouls in the paint, though, their 17 2nd chance points helped out the cause tremendously.

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