South Carolina Basketball: 3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down from Gamecocks' NCAA Tournament win over Indiana

South Carolina basketball beat Indiana in a close game in the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Tournament.

South Carolina basketball star Kamilla Cardoso
South Carolina basketball star Kamilla Cardoso / Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina Basketball vs. Indiana Hoosiers
Thumbs Down 1: 2nd Half

There were some big problems with the Gamecocks' play in the 2nd half against Indiana.

Despite her excellence down low, Kamilla Cardoso, seemingly, was not a big part of the offensive play for the Gamecocks. She finished the game shooting 10-12, and in addition to showing how good she was, it also shows that she needed more touches.

The Carolina defense also wasn't very good in the 2nd half. They lost a 22-point lead, allowing Indiana get the margin down to just 2 points.

Somehow, USC kept losing Sydney Parrish as the wing made 4 of her 5 3-pointers and 16 of her 21 points in the 2nd half. chloe Moore-McNeil, Sara Scalia, and Yarden Garzon all took some wide-open shots from outside, as well.

Dawn Staley is sure to correct whatever it was in the Carolina defense that was failing between now and their Elite Eight game on Sunday. However, if the Gamecocks continue to allow so many open jump shots, they are vulnerable.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Indiana Hoosiers
Thumbs Down 2: Out-of-Control Drives

The Gamecocks shot 50% from the field on Saturday, but they had an opportunity to shoot a much higher percentage. Far too often in the game, especially while Indiana was making their 2nd half runs, the Gamecocks just crashed into the paint with out-of-control drives.

With a pretty light whistle from the officials for most of the game, those out-of-control drives often resulted in turnovers or wild chucks at the rim. Despite Kamilla Cardoso shooting 10-12 in the paint, the Gamecocks shot just over 60% as a team on shots at the cup. That isn't good enough (outside of Cardoso). They also had 6 live ball turnovers in the lane.

Playing more under control will help the Gamecocks in many ways, and not just in the obvious ways of making more shots and turning the ball over less. It also will help keep impactful players like MiLaysia Fulwiley, Ashlyn Watkins, Chloe Kitts, and Sania Feagin on the floor for more minutes.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Indiana Hoosiers
Thumbs Down 3: Transition

Simply put, South Carolina wasn't excellent in transition on Friday like they normally are.

USC scored just 2 points on fast breaks in the game, and they allowed Indiana to get 7 points at critical times with transition buckets. Several of those scores for the Hoosiers came because a Carolina guard didn't get back to stop an Indiana player from leaking out for a free score.

Indiana out-hustled South Carolina on multiple occasions in fast break opportunities, and it almost cost the Gamecocks in a big way.

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