On Tuesday night, Lamont Paris' South Carolina basketball squad dominated the Kentucky Wildcats and made it abundantly clear to the college basketball world that the South Carolina Gamecocks are real players in the 2023-2024 season.
Because of recent history and an average-at-best strength of schedule in out-of-conference play, many have doubted Carolina this season, believing that the 12-1 start to the year was not sustainable for the garnet and black.
With back-to-black blowout wins on the road against the Arkansas Razorbacks and at home against the 6th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats, South Carolina basketball is shifting the narrative around their team.
Some prominent national voices have been showering the CourtCocks with praise.
Even the losing head coach couldn't stop saying nice things about Lamont Paris and his team.
The South Carolina basketball players understandbly were excited after the win, as well.
Even a couple of Gamecock basketball legends were on hand for the history-making victory.
The celebrations are well-deserved and good for a day or two. However, the Gamecocks have more work to do. With 12 more games in the SEC schedule remaining, USC still needs to finish strong to secure their first NCAA Tournament berth since the 2016-2017 Final Four run.
The chances of a real postseason for South Carolina basketball seem pretty good as an elite defense and veteran players who can knock down shots is a recipe for success in the SEC. It doesn't hurt having the leading candidate for National Coach of the Year on your side, either, as Lamont Paris has done a tremendous job in year 2 on the job in Columbia.
The Gamecocks will take on the Missouri Tigers at home on Saturday at 1:00 on the SECNetwork.