South Carolina Basketball: 3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down from blowout of Florida A&M

Three thumbs up and three thumbs down from South Carolina basketball's blowout win over the Florida A&M Rattlers.

South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris
South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina Basketball vs. Florida A&M
Thumbs Up 1: The Bench

The Gamecocks were good on offense against FAMU (despite not shooting elite percentages), and a case can be made that the bench unit did the Gamecocks' best work on that end of the floor. 52 of the team's 94 points came from reserves, led by Collin Murray-Boyles' 17, Morris Ugusuk's 11, and Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk's 10.

Those three double-digit scores and Zach Davis (9 points) combined to shoot 16-22 from the field, 4-7 from behind the arc, and 11-13 from the free throw line.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Florida A&M
Thumbs Up 2: Explosive CMB

Collin Murray-Boyles was a top-100 prospect in the class of 2023, and South Carolina basketball fans were excited to see what he could do for their team when the season started in November. However, in the days leading up to the opening tip, it was announced that CMB was going to have an extended absence due to mononucleosis.

When he returned in early December, he did not look like the same type of athlete he was on his high school film. Now, a little further out from his recovery and his weight gain (he lost almost 20 pounds while sick), Murray-Boyles finally looked explosive and confident against Florida A&M. Believed to be in line for a starting position prior to the season and his illness, if he continues to play like this (17 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals on 5-6 shooting in 14 minutes), he might push his way back into the starting discussion.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Florida A&M
Thumbs Up 3: Ball Movement

The Gamecocks have their first true point guard in years on the roster this season in veterna transfer Ta'Lon Cooper. Cooper is one of the country's best assist-to-turnover ratio players, and his play style has rubbed off on his teammates.

Extra passes, turning down good shots in order to find teammates for great shots, and playing securely with the basketball have become trademarks of this year's Gamecock squad. On Saturday, that manifested itself with 21 assists on 30 made baskets. Timely swings around the perimeter, post entry feeds, and dribble-drive kick-outs were all on the menu against Florida A&M as the Gamecocks had, arguably, their best ball movement day of the season.