South Carolina headed into its Christmas break 11-1. There are detractors who say, not incorrectly, that the one loss came against the only team the No. 10 Gamecocks played, but in 12 games, USC has answered a lot of questions.
With only one non-conference game remaining, the SEC is looming. The Gamecocks, due to winning big in the majority of their games, gained invaluable experience for their newcomers and also dealt with some adversity.
That kind of experience can only help in the SEC. Depending on a core of three or four players will win, but won’t win big. USC, after sniffing the top four of the league the last two years, wants to take that extra step this year.
All isn’t perfect – the defense continues to be a work in progress, and I have a feeling that if Dawn Staley sees one more layup bricked off the rim, she’s going to launch a Florsheim into the CLA rafters – but the offense is much more multi-dimensional and everybody gets to play. USC can easily go 10 deep in its rotations, a luxury that hasn’t been around that much in the past two years. Once Khadijah Sessions returns, the minutes played by Tiffany Davis and Tina Roy in the past two games will be a boon.
Staley likes this team because it’s got the chemistry, and the height, to finish top-four. Now it has the experience, too. Follow on Twitter at @DCTheState