South Carolina Basketball: 3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down from win over 2nd place Ole Miss

South Carolina basketball knocked off the 2nd place Ole Miss Rebels to remain undefeated.

South Carolina basketball forward Ashlyn Watkins
South Carolina basketball forward Ashlyn Watkins / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina Basketball vs. Ole Miss Rebels
Thumbs Down 1: Frontcourt Fouls and Turnovers

South Carolina basketball has some really good post players. However, thanks to foul trouble and turnovers, the 1st half wasn't good down low for the Gamecocks. Ashlyn Watkins was excellent but picked up 2 fouls and couldn't stay in the game. Kamilla Cardoso also had 2 fouls while only making 1 shot. Even Sania Feagin was in foul trouble with 2 in the 1st half. The three post players were only able to play 22 total minutes of the possible 40 power forward and center minutes in the 1st half.

Things were so bad that Chloe Kitts (a thin power forward) had to play center for a few possessions before the intermission. Kitts and Cardoso paired to turn the ball over 4 times in the 1st half (the team's only giveaways in the first 20 minutes).

The fouls and turnovers both slowed down in the 2nd half, and it was no coincidence that the Gamecocks' dominated the boards (20-12), points in the paint (26-14), and the total blocked shots (4-0) after the break.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Ole Miss Rebels
Thumbs Down 2: Outside Shooting

For the second game in a row, South Carolina did not look like one of the country's best outside shooting teams. After making 0 3-pointers in the 1st half against Auburn in the mid-week, the Gamecocks made their first long ball in the final minute of the 1st half against Ole Miss. For the game, they made just 2 of 10. Both of those numbers are too low.

The trend of poor perimeter shooting is concerning, even though it hasn't come close to costing USC a victory. In the last 10 games, Dawn Staley's team has made double-digit 3-pointers just once and has made more than 5 shots behind the arc just 4 times.

The Gamecocks had four of the country's best 3-point threats (in terms of percentages), and Te-Hina Paopao, Bree Hall, Raven Johnson, and Tessa Johnson have not been making outside shots consistently in recent games. They combined for 2 total 3-balls on Sunday, and they've made just 10 together over the past 3 games, making less than 28% of their attempts.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Ole Miss Rebels
Thumbs Down 3: Post Defense other than Cardoso and Watkins

The Gamecocks' lack of total depth could come into play with Cardoso missing next week for Olympic qualifiers. With just 11 scholarship players, the Gamecocks have only 4 players who can really play power forward or center, and other than Cardoso and Ashlyn Watkins, they have no players who can defend the paint well.

Chloe Kitts and Sania Feagin are really good offensive players, but they have struggled on defense, and in the few minutes Bree Hall has been asked to play the small-ball 4, the Gamecocks haven't performed well.

On Sunday, Kitts and Feagin only forced two missed shots combined, and Kitts' 1 steal meant that the two players were responsible for only three stops in their 26 minutes. That will have to improve as the Gamecocks navigate the Missouri and UConn games next week without their Brazilian big.

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