South Carolina Basketball: Gamecocks losing favor with AP voters

South Carolina basketball fell from 11th in last week's poll to 20th after a 2-loss week last week.

South Carolina basketball players Myles Stute, Meechie Johnson, Collin Murray-Boyles, and Josh Gray
South Carolina basketball players Myles Stute, Meechie Johnson, Collin Murray-Boyles, and Josh Gray / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris and his team didn't have a great week last week. One of several ranked teams to go 0-2 in the last 7 days, the Gamecocks fell in a blowout loss on the road against Auburn and in a late-game collapse (16-point 2nd half lead) to the struggling LSU Tigers.

Reactions to the current struggle have varied. Many fans have overreacted to the Gamecocks' losses and written off the garnet and black completely. Some others view the 2-game losing streak as a simple blip on the radar that will naturally correct itself in the upcoming games.

The reality is probably somewhere in the middle. The Gamecocks have some issues they need to fix if they want to avoid losing too many more games down the stretch. However, Coach Paris' team is still a good unit and should find themselves comfortably in the NCAA Tournament when the dust settles at the beginning of March.

The same variance seen among the fanbase can be noticed in the national media. While most still view the Gamecocks as a clear participant in March Madness next month, opinions over the team's current place in the national standings are all over the place.

The new AP poll dropped a little after lunch on Monday, and their aggregate opinions resulted in South Carolina basketball falling nine spots down to 20th. They also are no longer a unanimous inclusion in the top-25.

With games on the road against Ole Miss and Texas A&M coming up in the next 10 days, the road doesn't get much easier. The two games against the middle-of-the-pack SEC programs are winnable, but the Rebels and the Aggies are much better at their home arenas. Picking up at least one win in those two could be crucial for Coach Paris' group to avoid any dramatics when it comes to Selection Sunday.

Next. South Carolina Basketball: Gamecock forward sneaking his way into National Freshman of the Year discussion. South Carolina Basketball: Gamecock forward sneaking his way into National Freshman of the Year discussion. dark