South Carolina Basketball: 3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down from SEC Tournament win over Texas A&M

South Carolina basketball knocked off Texas A&M despite playing a very sloppy game. They will play Tennessee in the SEC Tournament semifinals on Saturday.

South Carolina basketball post player Kamilla Cardoso
South Carolina basketball post player Kamilla Cardoso / Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK
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South Carolina Basketball vs. Texas A&M Aggies
Thumbs Down 1: Turnovers

What else could it be?

In what was the Gamecocks' worst ball security game of the year, USC gave the ball away 24 times. 10 of those turnovers came in the 1st quarter, and A&M scored 16 points off of the extra possessions.

So many of the turnovers came on ill-advised or lazy passes, something that drives Coach Staley crazy. South Carolina basketball fans can expect the issue to be addressed in a major way before the next game, and if the Gamecocks want to win on Saturday (and they do), they cannot turn the ball over 24 times against Tennessee.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Texas A&M Aggies
Thumbs Down 2: Fouls

The Gamecocks fouled Texas A&M 17 times in this game, and they gave up 22 free throw attempts because of those fouls.

That number is horrible, but it's pretty bad for a team that was able to keep the Aggies' best inside player off the court with foul trouble.

For whatever reason, they couldn't keep their hands off of Aicha Coulibaly, allowing the Texas A&M wing to shoot 15 foul shots. She scored 13 of her 32 points from the charity stripe.

Kamilla Cardoso, Chloe Kitts, and Sania Feagin all had 3 or more fouls and dealt with some level of foul trouble in the game.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Texas A&M Aggies
Thumbs Down 3: Lack of Impact Defensive Plays

Defensively, South Carolina is known for accumulating stocks (steals + blocks). They especially block a lot of shots. The Gamecocks lead the nation with over 8 blocked shots per game, nearly 2 full blocks more than the next-best team.

On Friday, Carolina had 4 combined blocks and steals.

With just 3 blocks, Carolina allowed more inside scoring than what is usual for them. Texas A&M shot 10-18 on layup attempts. That number isn't good, but it is a remarkable number against the inside presence of the garnet and black defense. The Aggies scored 44 points in the lane and from the free throw line.

Bree Hall had the only steal of the game (a combined effort with Kamilla Cardoso on a lazy pass to the block). They did manage to force a solid 14 turnovers, but only the one came in a live ball situation, and it did not result in a transition opportunity.

To be clear, the Gamecocks played pretty well on defense in the SEC quarters. However, those impact plays, especially the blocked shots, will be needed moving forward.

Next. South Carolina Basketball: Gamecock commit keeps picking up awards. South Carolina Basketball: Gamecock commit keeps picking up awards. dark