South Carolina Basketball: Three thumbs up, three thumbs down vs. Elon

South Carolina basketball improved to 11-1 on the season (matching last year's win total) with a blowout victory over Elon.

Dec 19, 2023; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks guard Myles Stute (10) grabs
Dec 19, 2023; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks guard Myles Stute (10) grabs / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina basketball fans only got to witness 11 total victories last season (and 21 losses, a mark that is tied for the all-time worst number in program history). This year, the Gamecocks have already won 11 games after USC knocked off the Elon Phoenix in blowout fashion on Friday night at Colonial Life Arena.

The game wasn't always pretty as Carolina didn't shoot the ball particularly well, and Lamont Paris' squad had some stretches of sloppy play.

However, the Gamecock defense was locked in against Elon, holding the visiting Phoenix to 32% shooting from the floor and 14.3% shooting from behind the 3-point arc. They also forced 15 turnovers, including 7 live ball steals.

Meechie Johnson missed the game with a minor knee ailment, so it makes sense that the Carolina offense wasn't firing on all cylinders. However, in Johnson's absence, veteran point guard Ta'Lon Cooper stepped up in a big way, chipping in with 17 points on just 11 shot attempts. He also added 6 rebounds and 3 assists.

After a really bad first half in which he went 0-5 from the field, including three air balls and one shot blocked, Myles Stute finished with 14 points and looked much more confident in the second period. Jacobi Wright (who started in place of Meechie Johnson) and freshman forward Collin Murray-Boyles each had some nice moments.

As usual, players like Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk and Zach Davis did their jobs well, and it helped the Gamecocks blow out Elon 70-43. The win snapped the Gamecocks' 2-game losing streak to the Phoenix (dating back to the final year of the Darrin Horn era and the first year under Frank Martin), and it was South Carolina basketball's lowest points-allowed total of the season.

43. 2368. South Carolina Basketball vs. Elon Phoenix. 70. 533. Final