South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris was not happy with his team following the Gamecocks' ugly loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa on Tuesday, and it's hard to blame him.
No one played particularly well for Coach Paris' squad. Ta'Lon Cooper and BJ Mack were good in the opening minutes, but Alabama figured out how to neutralize Cooper, and Mack really struggled most of the night. Meechie Johnson and Collin Murray-Boyles had some moments, but the overall showing was not good enough.
Carolina put up the stinker of all stinkers in the 2nd half against the 'Tide, getting outscored 44-18 after the intermission. What was a competitive 1st half that seemed to favor the Gamecocks based on style of play and pace quickly turned into a disaster as USC missed their first 10 shots of the 2nd half.
The defense was really good in the 1st half but not good in the 2nd, and the team's effort and composure were rattled when things went bad.
A loss in Tuscaloosa (where the Gamecocks almost never play well) is far from the end of the world, though. Before the year started, South Carolina basketball fans would have been outrageously pleased if you told them the Gamecocks would have a 13-2 (1-1) start to the season.
USC is still firmly in the NCAA Tournament picture, and as long as they don't fall into the cliche "letting the bad loss beat you twice," then the Gamecocks will have a bounce-back effort next time out against Missouri.