South Carolina Basketball: 3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down from Missouri win

South Carolina basketball is now 17-3 (5-2) after winning at home against the Missouri Tigers.

South Carolina basketball forward BJ Mack shooting over Missouri's Jordan Butler
South Carolina basketball forward BJ Mack shooting over Missouri's Jordan Butler / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina Basketball vs. Missouri Tigers:
Thumbs Down 1: Meechie Johnson's Struggles

For much of this season, Meechie Johnson has been South Carolina basketball's best player on offense. Right now, though, the combo guard is struggling, and the struggles continued on Saturday against Missouri.

Johnson shot 0-9 from the field and 0-7 from the 3-point line in a scoreless outing. He only grabbed one rebound, as well, and Coach Paris had to sit his star for much of the 2nd half. The Gamecocks need the dynamic guard to bounce back as they fight forward toward the NCAA Tournament.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Missouri Tigers:
Thumbs Down 2: Perimeter Defense

Zach Davis was pretty good on defense against Missouri, but even he wasn't as good as he can be. The same could be said of Ta'Lon Cooper. Meechie Johnson, Morris Ugusuk, and Jacobi Wright struggled at times, though, and Missouri's top scorers Sean East and Tamar Bates got driving lanes anytime they wanted.

Carolina did not allow Mizzou to take many outside shots (just 8), but they had stretches with slow defensive rotations and overly aggressive closeouts, and East and Bates took advantage. It wasn't a huge problem against the Tigers, but it is something worth cleaning up before the next time out on the floor.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Missouri Tigers:
Thumbs Down 3: Transition

Fast breaks weren't kind to the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday. USC gave up 18 points to the Tigers in transition and only scored 3 points of their own outside of halfcourt sets or the free throw line. Meechie Johnson had a dunk attempt blocked in transition, and Carolina missed two layups on fast breaks, as well.

Sloppy passing killed a few fast break opportunities for the Gamecocks on Saturday, and there were multiple times in which Carolina players did not hustle back on transition defense or run with the ball handler when they tried to push the pace.

Next. National outlet has ridiculously low view of South Carolina basketball. National outlet has ridiculously low view of South Carolina basketball. dark