South Carolina Basketball: 3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down from road win over Tennessee

South Carolina basketball defeated the Tennessee Volunteers 63-59 in Knoxville on Tuesday night.

South Carolina basketball seniors Myles Stute, BJ Mack, and Ta'Lon Cooper
South Carolina basketball seniors Myles Stute, BJ Mack, and Ta'Lon Cooper / Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina Basketball vs. Tennessee Volunteers:
Thumbs Down 1: Meechie Johnson and BJ Mack Shooting

Meechie Johnson and BJ Mack combined to shoot just 5-23 from the field. That's...not good. The two best scorers on the team didn't do their part to efficiently put the basketball through the hoop.

However, both Johnson and Mack did other things to help the team win.

Johnson had a lot of success as a drive-and-kick player, finishing the game with a game-high 6 assists. He also chipped in with 6 rebounds, 2 steals, and a deep 3-pointer. His defense helped lead to a bad showing from Zakai Zeigler.

Mack scored 16 points, largely because he fought his way to the free throw line where he made 7-8 shots. The big post player grabbed 5 rebounds and had one of the best defensive games of his season, as well.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Tennessee Volunteers:
Thumbs Down 2: Zach Davis on Offense

Sophomore Zach Davis is a defense-first player, and he did about as well as one could hope in helping defend against Dalton Kinecht on Tuesday night. However, on offense, he really struggled.

The Denmark-Olar product missed all of his shots (including 0-4 from the perimeter) and had 3 turnovers. He had a couple more dropped passes and rebounds that didn't count as turnovers in the books but caused a missed opportunity for the Gamecocks or an additional one for the Vols.

Whether Davis continues to start or if Myles Stute takes his spot back in the opening-5, the Gamecocks will need Zach Davis to step up on offense.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Tennessee Volunteers:
Thumbs Down 3: Offensive Plan

The Gamecocks are not an offensive juggernaut. However, for most of the season, South Carolina has been decently efficient.

On Tuesday, though, there wasn't much that worked for Carolina offensively. The only success they had with any consistency came from Meechie Johnson drive-and-kick looks, 2nd chance opportunities, and BJ Mack post-ups leading to free throws or kick-outs.

There were far too many pick-and-pops despite Mack's shooting struggles (1-8 from outside), and the offense became one that hoped a screen at the top of the key could create enough space for...something...anything to happen.

South Carolina basketball fans know that the Gamecocks' offensive plan is better than what they saw on Tuesday night, so there is plenty of reason not to panic. Even with the deficiencies, if Mack or Johnson make their usual percentage of shots, the team scores in the 70s and wins running away anyway.

Next. South Carolina Basketball: Gamecock target gets 5-star bump. South Carolina Basketball: Gamecock target gets 5-star bump. dark