South Carolina Basketball: 3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down from bad loss to Georgia

South Carolina basketball lost a disappointing game to the Georgia Bulldogs that was colored by poor officiating, bad free throw shooting, and ugly stretches of offense and rebounding.
South Carolina basketball big man BJ Mack
South Carolina basketball big man BJ Mack / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina Basketball vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Thumbs Up 1: Collin Murray-Boyles (Except from the FT Line)

Freshman Collin Murray-Boyles is a budding star for the Gamecocks. Getting his second start of the year, he blocked scored 8 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, swatted 4 shots, dished out 2 assists, and played better overall defense than any post player on the team has done all season. Unfortunately, he was bad at the free throw line (4-10).

Murray-Boyles unlocks a lot of things for the Gamecocks when he is on the floor. He is athletic enough to guard in space, he is big enough to hold up in the post, he's a good enough rebounder to make a difference, and he is aggressive enough on offense to affect the game as a scorer. As he continues to develop, he could become a really good player in garnet and black.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Thumbs Up 2: Second Chance Opportunities

In a game in which Georgia outrebounded Carolina by 9, the Gamecocks had a good showing on the offensive glass. Four different players pulled down multiple misses, and USC wound up with 17 second chance points for the game. Somehow that number could have been even higher as the Gamecocks missed multiple bunnies and had a few shots through fouls that almost dropped. Josh Gray and Collin Murray-Boyles each drew two fouls on the offensive glass, as well.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Thumbs Up 3: Defense

Other than BJ Mack (more on that in the "thumbs down" section), the Gamecocks played pretty well on defense. USC held Georgia to just 38% shooting and 23% shooting from behind the 3-point arc, and several of the Dawgs' makes came on awkward, contested midrange shots.

Carolina didn't force a ton of turnovers, but that was more a testament to UGA taking care of the basketball. They did, however, block 8 shots, 6 of them by Collin Murray-Boyles and Josh Gray. The defense dipped a bit after Zach Davis had to play through a cramp and Myles Stute left the game with an injury (Coach Paris played three smaller guards most of the way down the stretch), but the defensive effort was far from the problem against Mike White's team.