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

South Carolina basketball knocked off Missouri on the road on Thursday night, but it was a far from a perfect effort for Dawn Staley's team.

South Carolina basketball coach Dawn Staley
South Carolina basketball coach Dawn Staley / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina Basketball vs. Missouri Tigers
Thumbs Down 1: Starting Post Players

Kamilla Cardoso is an SEC Player of the Year candidate, and Chloe Kitts is one of the Gamecocks' most improved players from last season. However, neither player had their best games on Thursday. They combined for just 9 points and 10 rebounds (just 2 on offense) and only got themselves into position to take 7 shots for the entire game. They also combined for 6 fouls and 4 turnovers.

Gamecock fans should not be concerned as Cardoso and Kitts are really good players who belong in the starting lineup. But Thursday wasn't great.

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

The Gamecocks were decent guarding the perimeter against Mizzou. However, decent defense is not good enough for a Dawn Staley coached team, especially from her guards. The worst stretch of defense came in the 3rd quarter when the Gamecocks gave up 4 3-pointers and 2 open layups due to losing players around screens on the perimeter. The Tigers cut the lead to just 5 points during that run.

The numbers would have been worse in the 3rd period had it not been for two impressive blocks from Kamilla Cardoso and Ashlyn Watkins after perimeter busts. The Gamecocks weren't bad for the game defending the perimeter, but they had a bad stretch of play that surely will be addressed by Coach Staley when the team watches film.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Missouri Tigers
Thumbs Down 3: Passing/Ball Movement

South Carolina didn't share the basketball against Missouri as well as they have much of the year. The Gamecocks had just 12 assists on 33 made shots from the field. There have been a few low-assist totals this season that have resulted from Raven Johnson and Te-Hina Paopao taking steals all the way for single-handed fast break points, but USC had just 11 points in transition against Mizzou.

Sania Feagin led the team with 4 assists (good for Sania, bad for overall offensive success), and the Gamecocks' starting 1-3 had just 5 total dimes. When playing against better teams than this Missouri team, that type of play could come back to bite Carolina.

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