South Carolina basketball fans knew this one was coming.
After the Gamecocks beat Ole Miss and Vanderbilt in the last week, freshman forward Collin Murray-Boyles was named the SEC's Freshman of the Week.
In USC's two wins against the Rebels and Commodores, Murray-Boyles averaged 23.5 points per game on 79% shooting from the field, 8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.5 blocks, and 1 steal. Despite his high usage rate, CMB only turned the ball over once.
In both games, the explosive freshman had a massive block. Against Ole Miss, Murray-Boyles thwarted a late-game dunk attempt from 7'5" senior Jamarion Sharp to preserve the win, and against Vanderbilt, he chased down Commodore guard Ezra Manjon for a block off the backboard to stop what Manjon thought was an easy fast break bucket.
He also made a little bit of history.
Murray-Boyles' 31 points against Vanderbilt was the most points scored by any Gamecock since Jermaine Couisnard scored 33 against LSU two years ago (yes, that means Murray-Boyles scored more than GG Jackson ever did in garnet and black). His 31 points ties the all-time South Carolina basketball freshman scoring record. Bruce Ellington (2010-2011) also scored 31 points in a game as a freshman.
Frankly, CMB should have been the SEC Player of the Week, but Texas A&M guard Tyrece Radford had a really nice showing, as well, and because he is a senior, he would have been left off of the weekly awards had CMB been honored appropriately.
Gamecock fans hope he can continue his strong play. Saturday's victory over Vandy was his third-straight game with at least 16 points, and he has had at least 5 rebounds in six games in a row. The only games of his career that have seen the Columbia native play more than 20 minutes have been the last 10 games, and in those games, he is averaging double-digit scoring and is shooting over 60% from the field.