USC played uninspired basketball last night as they failed to take advantage of a big win against Vanderbilt this past weekend by losing to Alabama 57-47. The Gamecocks led for only a minute in regulation and every time they got close to Alabama, they let things get out of hand. USC pulled within 3 in the second half but Alabama went on a big run that would hold for the rest of the night.

USC played sloppy basketball all night as the team combined for 20 total turnovers. Credit Alabama for some of those turnovers but I feel they were self-inflicted at times. Freshman Bruce Ellington really struggled in the first half and Sam Muldrow failed to show up this week after playing the game of his life against Vanderbilt. Ellington came alive in the second half but it's pretty easy to see that if he's not playing well then this team doesn't play well. I'll give some credit to Malik Cooke and Eric Smith for their performances in the first half. They kept USC in the ball game early off the bench as the Gamecocks had 17 of their 21 points come from bench players.

The Gamecocks played solid defense and didn't allow Alabama much room for easy scores. They just failed to take care of the basketball and take advantages of offensive opportunities. They were beat on the boards 41 to 36 but had the offensive rebound advantage 14 to 11. Carolina has to find someone who can make a short-range shot. Andy Shain from The State mentioned on Twitter how a volleyball match turned up near the Gamecocks rim at one point. The same thing happened against Vanderbilt at one point. You saw 4 to 5 offensive rebounds in one possession yet nothing fell for USC and the opposing team came away with ball. The Gamecocks really need Sam Muldrow to be this low-post presence if they hope to convert these close range baskets.

The Gamecocks will travel to Florida for another SEC conference game this Saturday with a 1:00 pm tip-off. I hope USC has short-term memory and come out this Saturday and play much better basketball.