Unholy mess: #Gamecocks tangle with the Rams and get the horns, 85-53, in Charleston (AUDIO)

Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk (31) and the Gamecocks had no answer for Colorado State’s post play, Thursday
(University of South Carolina Athletics Communications)

CHARLESTON: South Carolina looked out of sorts from the opening tip and were routed by Colorado State, 85-53, in its opening game at the Shriners Children’s Classic in Charleston.

The Gamecocks (2-1) started sloppily, allowing buckets on Colorado State’s first three possessions while struggling to find clean looks themselves. The Rams attacked the Gamecocks with ball and player movement, time and again making the right read and an accurate pass en route to a 40-19 halftime advantage. Most of Colorado State’s baskets came right at the rim as the Rams outscored the Gamecocks 54-14 in the paint and shot 58% from the field.

Colorado State head coach, formerly Furman’s head coach, Niko Medved said it was a priority for his team, “It starts with getting paint touches. We say ‘love the paint and like the three.’ We didn’t run a lot of plays tonight. The guys just trusted the offense.”

It was clear early that Colorado State (4-0) didn’t have a suitable matchup for GG Jackson, but the Gamecocks couldn’t get him in position to take advantage. The Rams put 6’4 guard Joe Palmer on Jackson and doubled him on the high side as soon as he got a touch. Despite working on how to handle Colorado State’s double teams during practice, USC couldn’t solve it at game speed.

Early on, South Carolina just couldn’t get out of its own way, committing more turnovers (11) than made field goals (8) in the first half. Jackson, Hayden Brown and Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk were all hampered by foul trouble, limiting their effectiveness defensively.

For all the problems the Gamecocks created for themselves, they came firing out of the locker room for the second half and managed to cut the lead to 14 with 16:33 to play. But after a Colorado State timeout, USC cooled off, hitting just one of its next eight shots. A 14-2 Rams run followed, padding the lead further and effectively sealing the door shut.

In his postgame comments, Gamecocks head coach Lamont Paris made it clear how he felt about his team’s effort. “We didn’t have the body language of a team that was ready to make a comeback. What was the halftime lead? Twenty or somewhere around there? Is it ideal? No. But is it insurmountable? Absolutely not. Maybe we don’t have enough guys that have been at the root of a real comeback … We’ll compete better tomorrow, or I’ll be sitting up here having a similar conversation.”

The Gamecocks will continue in action at the Shriners Children’s Charleston Classic, Friday. South Carolina will face Davidson at approximately 7 p.m.

Final Stats

Lamont Paris postgame press conference

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