David Cloninger

All things Gamecocks, especially basketball and football

Cloninger Soundoff: Final 5 games huge for USC

02/09/2014 4:46 PM

02/09/2014 4:57 PM

As many suspected, it all comes down to these.

Looking at the schedule before the season, the final five games stood out. Dawn Staley even mentioned it a few weeks ago, saying that being in first place at the time was nice, but the final five games were going to determine just how high South Carolina would finish this year.

The final five are here. In one week, first-place USC will see just how hard it is to try and stay in first place until the end of the season.

Games at No. 16 LSU and No. 15 Kentucky come first. Then a two-game homestand against Florida (7-4 SEC) and Georgia, a team that has been a mystery this year. Then the big one – at No. 8 Tennessee to finish.

The game in Knoxville could be to determine a regular-season championship. It could be to determine the final top-four spot for the SEC tournament. It could be for a number of things.

Whatever that game means, USC has to make it meaningful first.

“Every team is coming for us. Every team wants to beat us,” junior Aleighsa Welch said. “Every team’s coming to try to take what we have.”

And what they could have.

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