Sindarius Thornwell finished with 16 points and five assists and P.J. Dozier chipped in with 15 points and 10 boards as South Carolina improved to 6-0 on the season with a 64-50 win over No. 18 Syracuse at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
It’s the second win for South Carolina over a ranked team this week – they beat No. 25 Michigan on Wednesday – and the Gamecocks allowed a total of just 96 points in the two games.
This is the second straight season that Frank Martin’s club has gotten off to a terrific start to the year, as they won their first 15 games last season. South Carolina eventually missed last year’s NCAA tournament despite finishing the regular season at 24-8 in large part due to the fact that they didn’t have much in the way of great wins.
And who knows if what beating Michigan and Syracuse will look like come March.
But the Wolverines were one of the most surprising teams in the country before they were completely stymied by the Gamecocks in Columbia, and the Orange entered Saturday’s game having averaged 86 points on the season, an impressive number even if it came against questionable competition.
The bottom line is this, however: After the week they’ve had, it seems clear that the Gamecocks will be one of the teams that will be in the mix to finish second in the SEC, and if they’ve proven anything, it’s that their defense will be able to keep them in games even if they’re struggling on the offensive end of the floor.