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Gamecocks drop another heartbreaker
I had a feeling.
I just had a bad feeling that with Sindarius Thornwell out, the Tigers could smell blood in the water — a chance to boost their own tournament hopes and beat a ranked team on the road.
And Clemson did just that, topping the Gamecocks 62-60 in Columbia on Wednesday night.
Despite sophomore guard PJ Dozier posting his fifth straight 20-point game, the Gamecocks couldn’t make up for Thornwell’s absence.
— Willie Smith (@willie_t_smith) December 22, 2016
This one hurts. After the wins against Syracuse and Michigan, I had the Clemson game circled. A chance to take some of the sting out of the 56-7 loss on the gridiron.
Alas, the Gamecocks already have several notable victories and will have even more opportunities once conference play starts in January.
It’s a bummer, but this too shall pass. The prospect of a much-improved Dozier on the court with a returning Thornwell is enough to keep me excited about this team.
King motivated by Clemson game
Gamecocks’ CB Jamarcus King had quite a debut season in the SEC — unfortunately, he faced one of the nation’s best wide receivers in his last game.
Clemson WR Mike Williams dragged the Carolina corner into the end zone for a score in the first half of the Battle of the Palmetto State. It’s a play King has a tough time shaking.
From SEC Country:
Even though that night taught him the importance of having a short memory, King won’t forget what happened against Williams in Clemson.
A rough night in the Upstate has driven King to the weight room — the junior told reporters he’s targeting a 190-pound playing weight for 2017, up from 180 in 2016.
The Alabama native was a key cog in the Gamecocks’ defensive turnaround this past season, and putting on some weight should only help King against bigger receivers.
As much of a learning experience as his matchup with Williams was, the Alabama native knows it was just one game — he’ll continue to be counted on by the Gamecocks.
“I dwell on it,” King told reporters, “But it’s not going to hold me back.”
What’s ahead for Gamecocks seniors
“I have a meeting set up and (I’m) trying to set up some long-term deals if football doesn’t work out for me,” senior LB TJ Holloman told the media on Wednesday. ”If football doesn’t work out, I have a Plan B.”
Holloman is one of several Carolina seniors prepping for one final game before entering the real world after graduation.
The Atlanta native, along with DE Darius English, are the seniors most likely to earn a shot in the NFL.
Having seen former Carolina H-back Pat DiMarco become an All-Pro at the next level, who’s to say there’s another underutilized talent who can’t thrive in the NFL?
Despite some recent bummer news on the recruiting front, Wednesday wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Gamecocks.
? I've made my college decision… pic.twitter.com/TvY7jt0hoF
— ⚡️?SHAZAM?⚡ (@Jeaun_) December 21, 2016
Despite a heavy push from Maryland, Class of 2017 CB Tavyn Jackson reaffirmed his commitment to the Gamecocks.
Lattimore on skipping bowl games
Though former South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore said he supported the decisions of Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette to skip their respective bowl game, he clarified his comments on Wednesday.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) December 21, 2016
I see both sides of the argument. You can’t fault someone who plays a position characterized by continuous contact and shortened careers for wanting to skip a mid-tier bowl.
There’s a big difference between passing on the PetesLemonadeStand.com Bowl and sitting out an entire season.
In case you missed it
- The State looks at newcomer MJ Webb’s early impact at Carolina.
- The 51 most memorable SEC football moments of 2016.
- Early 2017 enrollees that could make an impact in the SEC.
- The Gamecocks are Saturday Down South’s third least-motivated SEC bowl team. (I completely disagree with this, by the way.)
- Is Elliot Fry the Gamecocks’ next great NFL kicker? Gamecock Central with the scoop.
- Women’s basketball won big against Savannah State, 70-30, on Wednesday night.
- Lady Gamecocks named USA Basketball Co-Team of the Year.
Most underrated Gamecocks-themed Christmas gift
What’s better than a wearable blanket? A wearable blanket with a cartoonish drawing of a Carolina football player.
I’m no doctor (despite what my PhD in Thuganomics says), but the forearms on that player do not look normal. Perhaps said player took Jamarcus King’s note about the weight room a little too seriously. Easy on the wrist curls. Also, why are that woman’s hands purple?